150 years ago: Bristoe Station

Today is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station.  I’ll be out on the field there later today, taking the scheduled tours timed to the actions a century and a half ago.  Somewhat overcast day with a good chance for more rain.  However, my track record thus far for sesquicentennial events is good when it comes to rain.  Just in case, here’s a photo taken of the field in better weather:

Bristoe Station 14 June 09 078

Since my relocation to Northern Virginia, Bristoe Station has “grown up” a bit.  That is in large part due to the Civil War Trust and Prince William County.  Both organizations have purchased lands in front of development to ensure a good portion of this field (and that of Kettle Run) were set aside.

This battle is far more complex than Lee telling Powell Hill to bury his dead.  If you can’t be there today, check out the resources at the park website and on Civil War Trust’s webpage.


From McIntosh’s Hill:



Kirkland’s Brigade advanced through open fields that are today a pine thicket:


Area where 26th North Carolina reached the railroad:


I spent part of the day on my own walking the trails (well interpreted trails, I would add).  Later, my friend Todd Berkoff gave me a very good overview of the battle.  Then, because I wanted to soak it all up, I attended the real time programs offered by the park (during which I took most of the photos above).

If you have not toured Bristoe Station, then you should consider making it a stop.  Add in the new mobile tour and make a day of it!

Published by Craig Swain

"Historical marker hunter" and Civil War enthusiast.

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