The Central Virginian

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Custer’s first last stand

Posted on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 11:29 am

By Edgar Crebbs

Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer arrived in Louisa County by way of Carpenter’s Ford over the North Anna River.  He led his troops down the road to a spot about a mile south of Buck Chiles’ farm on the Marquis Road (present day Rt. 669) and went into camp there on the night of June 10, 1864.  About 6 a.m. the next morning, he began moving toward Trevilian Station taking a road across the country side and emerging on the Gordonsville Road about a mile east of the Station.  (The route took him to present day Kent’s Mill Road then south to Rt. 22.)

He then proceeded to the vicinity of Trevilian Station and captured General Hampton’s held horses and wagon train shortly after 8 a.m. Hampton then attacked these troops pushing them from the railroad.

General Rosser, who had been guarding the western approach, attacked from the west and drove Custer from the field (across from current day K&B Market) and back into the woods to the east, retaking Hampton’s horses and wagons.  Now General Fitzhugh Lee comes up from Louisa and slams into Custer from his rear trapping him in those woods.

Custer is now surrounded in a triangle of woods and for the next four plus hours is fighting for his and his men’s lives.  They were trapped here until the early afternoon when General Wesley Merritt was finally able to break through the Confederate lines to rescue Custer and his troops.  At least four previous attempts had been made to link up with Custer, all of which had been repulsed.

Within about two hours, all fighting ceased and everyone regrouped.  The following day, Custer’s men reached the field at the back of the Ogg Farm and facing cannon fire across three hundred yards of open field advanced no further.  That night after midnight, the Union soldiers departed Louisa County as they had entered, at Carpenter’s Ford, three evenings earlier.

Reference:  Glory Enough For All:  Sheridan’s Second Raid and The Battle of Trevilian Station.