Battle Of Kelly’s Ford

Following the December 1862 Federal debacle at Fredericksburg, and the infamous Mud March of January 1863, both armies settled into winter camps on opposite sides of the Rappahannock River. Several cavalry raids and skirmishes broke the dull routine of camp life during the long winter. The largest and most important of these occurred on March 17, 1863, near the Rappahannock crossing at Kelly’s Ford. This was “the first purely cavalry fight east of the Mississippi River” of any appreciable size – 3,000 Yankees confronted 800 Rebels. The battle was the first opportunity for the Union cavalry to amass a significant force, because the horsemen had been concentrated into a corps only a few weeks earlier.
Take Route 29 North, 8.8 miles to right on Route 674/Kelly’s Ford Rd. Bear left after railroad tracks and follow 5 miles to left onto Route 620/Edward’s Shop Rd. Turn right into parking lot before bridge.

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Culpeper, Virginia 22701


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