This Week in the Civil War - 528

Mar 18, 2013

Union General-in-Chief Joseph Hooker was furious over the late February 1863, Confederate cavalry raid near his Fredericksburg, Virginia headquarters. 

On Tuesday, March 17, 1863 twenty-one hundred Union cavalry commanded by General William Averell crossed the Rappahannock, but General Fitzhugh Lee, who ironically was one of Averell’s closest friends at West Point, counterattacked near Kelly’s Ford with a Confederate cavalry brigade of approximately 800 men. 

After hours of bitter fighting, the Union force withdrew.  Technically a Confederate victory, Federal cavalrymen believed they had won an important, moral victory because, for the first time, they had held their own against Jeb Stuart's legendary horsemen.