The Second Battle of Rappahannock Station took place on 7 November 1863, on the Orange and Alexandra Railroad. While the Union Major General William French crossed the river at Kelly’s Ford, Union Major General John Sedgwick’s army advanced towards Rappahannock Station, where Confederates, under Major General Jubal Early, were mobilized. The commander of the Confederate army, General Robert E. Lee, had despatched the bulk of his army to Kelly’s Ford hoping that, if French was defeated, Union numbers would be diminished. Confederate Brigadier Generals Harry T. Hays and Robert Hoke defended the bridgehead with artillery fire, while Sedgwick and Union Colonel Emory Upton pounded the Confederates with shells. At dusk, Upton’s men surged over the Confederate defences, where both sides engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Confederate resistance eventually dissolved and many died, were captured or fled. In a clear Union victory, Upton and his men seized the bridgehead.
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