Mention the Civil War in Louisa County and most people think of the Battle of Trevilian Station in 1864. Aside from Civil War buffs, few people know much about the other major campaign fought a year earlier called Stoneman’s Raid in May 1863.
On Saturday, April 20th at 10 a.m. Stoneman’s Raid expert A. Wilson Greene, Executive Director of Pamplin Military Park, will speak at The Louisa Arts Center. His lecture will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the raid and will be the premier Civil War 150th event in Louisa County in 2013.
The 7,400 Union cavalry under the command of Gen. George Stoneman were sent into the heart of Virginia in late April 1863 to cut off supply lines to Richmond, destroy bridges and draw off Confederate Cavalry in preparation for the Battle of Chancellorsville.
The story of the raid, confusing to interpret and heartbreaking to document, takes place in Louisa Court House, Tolersville (now Mineral), Fredericks Hall, Yanceyville, Shannon Hill and just about every bridge or ford in between.
Fog, horrific rains and contradictory orders made raid difficult for the men involved. Swollen rivers and thick mud made the raid devastating on the Union horses and mules.
Reports from the time describe that the conditions wore down horses at such a rate that dead and lamed animals marked the route of Stoneman’s march.
A. Wilson Greene has worked in Civil War history for 38 years. He started his career with the National Park Service, serving as historian at Petersburg National Battlefield and later at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park.
The lecture will last about an hour and is free to the public. The event is sponsored by the Louisa County Historical Society and will be held in the Haley Cooke Theater at the Louisa Arts Center, located at 212 Fredericksburg Avenue, Louisa. Call (540) 967-5975 for more information.