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Mine Run

corps, meade, warren, third, attack, lees, sixth, position and tavern

MINE RUN, Campaign of. During the Civil War, on 7 and 8 Nov. 1863 General Meade crossed the Rappahannock at Kelley's Ford and Rappahannock Station, and concentrated his army of 70,000 men in the vicinity of Brandy Station, General Lee, with 50,000 men, with drawing beyond the Rapidan to an entrenched line, the left of which covered some of the fords of the river, the right being perpendicular to it and extending to Bartlett's Mill on Mine Run. On 26 November Meade began the Mine Run cam paign by sending the First, Fifth and Second corps to cross the Rapidan at Culpeper Mine and Germanna fords, and the Third and Sixth corps to cross at Jacob's Mill, all five corps to converge upon the old turnpike and the plank road near Robertson's Tavern, both leading to Orange Court House, and turn the right of Lee's position. An early start was made on the 26th, but owing to delay in some of the columns, all were halted for the night but a short dis tance beyond the river. The march was re sumed at daylight of the 27th. The Second corps reached Robertson's Tavern at 10 A.m., to find itself in the presence of a considerable body of Ewell's corps which Lee had hastened there, and it was ordered to remain on the defensive, until the Third corps, followed by the Sixth, came up on the right. But the Third corps was delayed. Lee, on discovering Meade's movement, had promptly ordered Early, commanding Ewell's corps, to move to the right. Part of his command had reached Robertson's Tavern and confronted the Second corps, and Johnson's division was moving in the same direction when it came into collision with the Third corps, on Payne's Farm, and a battle ensued, lasting until dark. Both sides claimed the advantage, but the engagement resulted in a delay to Meade's operations, and, as he claims, the failure of his campaign. The Union loss was 125 killed, 747 wounded and 71 missing. Lee reported a Confederate loss of 545. The Second corps was severely engaged during the day, and advanced some distance beyond Rob ertson's Tavern. At night the First corps moved up to the support of the Second. The Fifth corps, which had supported Gregg's cav alry division in an engagement at Parker store, on the Orange plank-road, was brought over to support the Second, and next morning the Third and Sixth corps came up on the right of the Second. On the 28th Meade advanced to the attack, but on driving in the Confederate pickets it was found that Ewell's corps had fallen back. Pursuit was made, the Second corps in advance, and after a march of two miles Ewell was found in position on the west side of Mine Run. A. P. Hill had come up and formed on Ewell's right, covering the Orange plank-road. The line was very strong, and on it were 150 guns. It was after dark when the Second, Sixth and First corps, with part of the Third, fronted this position. An examina

tion of Lee's position convinced Meade that there was no probability of success in an attack in his immediate front, and he determined to send General Warren, with his Second corps and a division of the Sixth, to feel for Lee's right flank and turn it if practicable. The 29th was spent in reconnoitring and demonstrations, while waiting for Warren's movement. Early in the morning of the 29th Warren started from Robertson's Tavern, crossed over to the plank road, drove in the skirmishers of A. P. Hill's corps and late in the day came utxm Hill's position across the road. Warren reported to Meade that the conditions were favorable for an attack, and personally assured him that he could carry everything before him. Meanwhile some of Sedgwick's division commanders had discovered weak points on Lee's left, no works being thrown up, and Meade ordered an attack for the morning of the 30th, the right and centre to open with artillery at 8 o'clock, at which time Warren was to make the main attack, and at 9 o'clock Sedgwick was to assault Lee's left with five divisions of the Fifth and Sixth corps. Two divisions of the Third corps were sent to Warren, thus increasing his command to six divisions of 26,000 men. The batteries on the right and centre opened a furious fire at 8 A.M. The skirmishers of the First and Third corps advanced across Mine Run and drove in those of the enemy, and Sedgwick was about to assault when Meade ordered him to desist. He had received a dispatch from Warren advising against an attack on Lee's right, as it could not succeed. During the night of the 29th Warren had made dispositions for an overwhelming assault, but on the morning of the 30th he saw on the heights before him a line of strong works thrown up over night, well filled with infantry, and heavy batteries covering the slope up which it was necessary to charge, and therefore he deemed successful attack impossible. Meade rode over to Warren, who proved unchangeable in opinion, and Meade tried to arrange for an attack later in the day, but found it impracti cable. The armies remained confronting each other that day and the next, and on the night of 1 December Meade withdrew to his former position beyond the Rapidan. Lee followed part way on the 2d. The Union loss in the Mine Run campaign, 26 November to 2 Decem ber, was 173 killed, 1,099 wounded and 381 missing. The Confederate loss was 110 killed, 570 wounded and 65 missing. Consult