14 Oct 2017

Preservation Victory at Bristoe Station

Preservation Victory at Bristoe Station

Earlier this year, we announced a campaign to preserve 34 acres at Virginia’s historic Bristoe Station battlefield. This valuable real estate had previously been approved for development, but the landowner Bristow Manassas LLC was willing to donate it to us. Thanks to this generous partner in preservation, and committed preservationists like you, we can now celebrate victory in protecting this historic land!

On October 14, 1863, Confederate Gen. A.P. Hill’s corps collided with two corps of the retreating Union Army of the Potomac at Bristoe Station. Hill attacked without proper reconnaissance, falling into as one observer termed it “as fine a trap as could have been devised by a month’s engineering.” Outnumbered nearly 5-to-1, the Confederates were cut down in waves. It all lasted scarcely an hour, and the Army of Northern Virginia suffered its most one-sided defeat in more than two years. On surveying the field strewn with nearly 1,400 killed or wounded Confederate soldiers he could ill afford to lose, Confederate chieftain Robert E. Lee angrily said, “Well, General, bury these poor men and let us say no more about it.”

You have helped us save a total of 168 acres at Bristoe Station, but this hallowed ground is the first to be preserved from the Union side of the battle. The property was the likely site of R. Bruce Ricketts’ Union six-gun battery, just a few hundred feet behind the main battle line along the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, opening incredible new interpretive opportunities for this battlefield and a possible “domino effect” of future preservation.

This weekend, commemorate the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station with luminaria, living history programs, an encampment, and more.

American Battlefield Trust

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