The Dranesville fight

The Dranesville fight which Newt Nash mentioned in his Jan. 1st letter to wife Mollie was the Dec. 20 battle between Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry, riding a reconnaissance north from Centerville, and Union troops under Gen. Edward Ord.

Nash relied on Madame Rumor who said the total of Confederate losses was 160. The record, however, shows a loss of 194, which led the quarrelsome Leesburg commander Gen. Hill to rebuke Stuart in a letter:

“From what I have been able to learn,” Hill wrote, according to historian Hal Bridges in Lee’s Maverick General: Daniel Harvey Hill, “the enemy knew your strength and destination before you started…. I would therefore respectfully suggest that when you start again, you should disguise your strength and give out a different locality from that actually taken.”

The 13th was not involved in the battle, except insofar as it kept Gen. Hill and other Leesburg area commanders on edge that winter, fearing a Union advance and issuing periodic warnings to the 13th and the other troops to cook extra rations and get ready to march and fight.

About Dick Stanley

Retired Texas daily newspaperman
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