This Week in the Civil War - #851
In the Shenandoah Valley, on June 11 and 12, 1864, Union cavalry attempting to join Hunter’s Union forces at Charlottesville, Virginia were stopped in one of the largest cavalry battles of the Civil War. At Trevilian Station Confederates under Wade Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee opposed Philip Sheridan’s and George Custer’s cavalry. On June 11, Custer’s troops captured Hampton’s supply train but then became surrounded and barely fought their way to safety. On the following day, with heavy casualties on both sides the Confederates beat back seven separate assaults by the Federals, forcing Sheridan to give up attempting to link with Hunter. Hunter scarcely needed assistance; he was effectively destroying the Valley. In fact, Robert E. Lee had to detach Jubal Early and send him to the Valley to counter Hunter’s advances.