Friday, July 8, 2011
A Retreating Battle
As the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia retreated south following its defeat at Gettysburg, its cavalry held the passes in South Mountain. They fought a rearguard action against parts of the Union First and Third Cavalry and a supporting infantry. The Battle of Boonsboro on July 8th 1863 occurred along the National Road. Confederate Major General J E B Stuart with five brigades of cavalry ran into Union resistance at the Beaver Creek Bridge about four miles north of Boonsboro. The Confederate cavalry moved forward through rain soaked fields causing them and their Union Cavalry counterparts Brigadier Generals H Judson Kilpatrick and John Buford’s divisions to have to fight dismounted. By late afternoon the Union left under Kilpatrick, low on ammunition fell under Confederate pressure. Stuart’s troops advanced in the early evening, but were stopped by the timely arrival of Union infantry.
The fight gained a day for General Robert E Lee’s retreating army.