Rappahannock Station

These are summaries of the battles. For first hand news reports, note the dates and check our "From the Front" section for more detail.

Aug. 14th Gen Pope reviews King’s division. On the 16th we move out across the field of Cedar Mountain and camp at its base. Aug. 19th commence the movement known as Pope’s retreat. We march through Culpeper to Rappahannock Station. Distance 17 miles. Aug. 20th cross the river and camp about half mile from the station back of the railroad, the enemy’s cavalry hanging close on our rear, coming up within range of our cannon, when a skirmish ensued with loss on both sides.

Rappahannock Station
They (the South) had hitherto intended, at least, to prevent reinforcements to McClellan from coming throught the Shenandoah route to Richmond, but now the resolved on pushing a very large force, at the utmost speed, through that valley, and crushing the corps of Pope's army at Culpepper, before he could reenforce them from Fredericksburg or McClellan's troops, and then defeating the other forces, to capture Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia at the East, and Cincinnati at the West, and liberate Kentucky, Western Virginia, and Maryland from the Federal Authority. All that done, they calculated that their power and importance would be demonstrated before the world, they would obtain recognition from foreign nations, and their great object in the rebellion would be accomplished. They had a magnificent conception, if it had been for a righteous end. Their force at Richmond was being enlarged to about 150,000, and the greater part of it was sent forward.
Their plans and action becoming known at Washington, it was decided that General Pope should first cross the Rappahannock and threaten Gordonsville, in order to check the rebel operations, and give freedom from molestation to McClellan in withdrawing from the Peninsula. General Cox was ordered towards Washington from Western Virginia, and President Lincoldn issued a call for 300,000 men to serve for nine months.
But the enemy were not to be delayed; they pressed hard upon our forces south-west of Washington, and on the 19th of August commenced the celebrated movement known as "Pope's Retreat." The Iron Brigade that day marched through Culpepper to Rappahannock Station, seventeen miles, and the next day crossed the river and skirmished with the enemy's cavalry which hung close upon them, sone loss being suffered on bothe sides.
Wisconsin in the War, Love, 1866


Aug. 21st move to the right to prevent the enemy from crossing the river at Beverly’s Ford, and skirmish with them, sustaining some loss. Adjutant C. K. Dean was among the number taken prisoner. The entire regiment is put on picket duty. Aug. 22nd remain in line near Beverly’s Ford, and at times are subject to heave cannonading, and luckily without loss. About nine march up the river toward Warrentown. In the afternoon it rains. Marching becomes very heavy. Bivouac just before reaching Warrentown. Distance 15 miles.