Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Both Claimed A Victory

The Battle of Haw’s Shop [also called the Battle of Enon Church] was fought in Hanover County, Virginia May 28th 1864.

Union General Ulysses S Grant abandoned his line at North Anna, after fighting Confederate General Robert E Lee’s force there, and swung once again, trying to flank the Confederates.  Lee moved his troops quickly, and sent out cavalry to gather intelligence about the Union movement.

Confederate Major General Wade Hampton, who was scouting the Union troops, ran into Union cavalry under the command of Brigadier General David M Gregg on May 28th 1864 at Enon Church near Hanovertown, Virginia bring on the Battle of Haw’s Shop.  Although both sides were cavalry they fought predominately dismounted.  Both sides used earthworks in the area, and neither could gain an advantage.  Greg received reinforcements from Union Brigadier General Alfred T Torbert’s New Jersey division.  As the seven hour fight was wrapping up with Hampton withdrawing his men, Union Brigadier General George A Custer launched an attack, that brought everything to an end.

The Battle of Haw’s Shop was inconclusive, with both sides claiming victory.  Union Cavalry Corps commander Major General Philip H Sheridan felt his men had won as they drove Hampton from the field, but Hampton had held up the Union cavalry for seven hours and was able to provide Lee with intel about the Union Army.  The Union force reported 344 casualties, including Private John Huff of the 5th Michigan Cavalry, who fatally shot Confederate major General JEB Stuart a few weeks earlier at the Battle of Yellow Tavern.  Confederate casualties were unofficially counted about 400.

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