Battle of Fairfield, PA

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1. Battle of Fairfield - Wikipedia
2. Battle of Fairfield: Grumble Jones' Gettysburg Campaign Victory
3. Battle of Fairfield -
4. Fairfield, Pennsylvania - Wikipedia

5. Battle of Fairfield Civil War Reenactment in Adams County
6. Civil War commemoration comes to Fairfield, Pa., April 22-23
7. Important PA Battles & Skirmishes | Fairfield

8. PDF: Battle of Fairfield, PA - 4th North Carolina Cavalry
9. Battle of Fairfield-Regular Cavalry in the Civil War
10. Jone's Cavalry Bridge Saves Lee's Army--At Fairfield, PA

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During the Gettysburg Campaign in the American Civil War, the Battle of Fairfield played an important role in securing the Hagerstown Road, enabling Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia to retreat through Fairfield towards the Potomac River.
Union Hospital 17, the Hugh Culbertson Farm: "Situated on Carroll's Tract Road between Cashtown and Fairfield, this house was used as a hospital for the 6th Cavalry. On July 3, 1863, the rear guard of the Confederate Cavalry and the 6th Union Cavalry skirmished in this area. Private George Platt, Troop II, of the 6th Cavalry saved the Union Colors, was promoted to Sergeant, and awarded the Medal of Honor."
The Battle of Fairfield was a cavalry engagement during the Gettysburg Campaign of the American Civil War. It was fought July 3, 1863, near Fairfield, Pennsylvania, concurrently with the Battle of Gettysburg, although it was not a formal part of that battle. While a minor fight by the small number of troops deployed, strategically, the Confederate victory secured the important Hagerstown Road, which Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia would use on July 5 to return to Maryland and then on to safety in Virginia.
Much of the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia had accompanied J.E.B. Stuart on his ride around the Federal Army of the Potomac through Maryland and south-central Pennsylvania. Lee had retained several brigades to guard the mountain passes as he advanced through the Shenandoah and Cumberland Valleys and to scout Federal positions. Among the latter brigades was that of William E. "Grumble" Jones—the celebrated "Laurel Brigade" that had once been commanded by Turner Ashby. Jones had detached one of his best commands, the 35th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, to accompany the infantry of Jubal Early, but retained the bulk of his command. Jones' Brigade had been raiding the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in West Virginia and Maryland before being recalled by Lee. They hastened to Pennsylvania, crossing the Potomac River on July 1 (where Jones detached the 12th Virginia to guard the ford) and camping at Chambersburg the following night.
Jones' force had been reduced to the 6th, 7th, and 11th Virginia Cavalry and Preston Chew's Battery of horse artillery. Jones reached Fairfield on July 3 in response to Lee's orders to secure the vital Hagerstown Road. Reports of a slow moving Confederate wagon train in the vicinity had attracted the attention of newly commissioned Union Brig. Gen. Wesley Merritt, who ordered the 6th U.S. Cavalry under Maj. Samuel H. Starr to scout Fairfield and locate the wagons.
Once in Fairfield, Major Starr learned that a wagon train had just rolled out of town and was heading to Cashtown. He divided his 400 men into three detachments and began to search for the wagons. One party soon encountered the pickets of Jones' 7th Virginia Cavalry and withdrew when additional Confederates rode up. Informed of the presence of the enemy, Starr rode to a small ridge and dismounted his men in fields and an orchard on both sides of the road. He threw back a mounted charge of the 7th Virginia, just as Chew's Battery unlimbered and opened fire on the Federal cavalrymen. Supported by the 6th Virginia, the 7th Virginia charged again, clearing Starr's force off the ridge and inflicting heavy losses. Jones pursued the retreating Federals for three miles to the Fairfield Gap, but was unable to catch his quarry.
Federal losses were 6 killed, 28 wounded, and 208 accounted for. The losses for the 7th Virginia Cavalry were 8 killed, 21 wounded, and 5 missing.
Jones camped near Fairfield and kept the road open for Lee's retreat, then guarded the rear as the Army of Northern Virginia slogged through the Fairfield Gap in a driving rainstorm on July 5.
Pvt. George C. Platt, an Irish immigrant serving in Troop H of the 6th U.S. Cavalry, was awarded the Medal of Honor on July 12, 1895, for his actions at Fairfield. His citation reads, "Seized the regimental flag upon the death of the standard bearer in a hand-to-hand fight and prevented it from falling into the hands of the enemy.


(2007) Carroll's Tract Road looking north from the Marshall house. The Confederate wagon train stretched from here to Cashtown over four miles away


(2007) Enlarge The Benjamin Marshall House, Situated on Carroll's Tract Road between Cashtown and Fairfield. This house was used as a hospital for the 6th Cavalry. It also hosted a reunion of the 6th U.S. Cavalry on July 3, 1911

(2007) Another view of the Benjamin Marshall House  

(2007) Enlarge Historical marker in front of the Benjamin Marshall House

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