Attack of General Birney’s Brigade - Fairfax, VA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
N 38° 51.890 W 077° 22.252
18S E 294299 N 4304448
One of many historical markers at Ox Hill Battlefield Park in Fairfax, Virginia.
Waymark Code: WM176DA
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 12/22/2022
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Turtle3863
Views: 0

The plaque says, " courier with an urgent request galloped up to 1st Division, III Corps commander Major General Philip Kearny on the Warrenton Turnpike. General Stevens’ division had intercepted Stonewall Jackson’s column on the Little River Turnpike and was in desperate need of support.

“By God, I’ll support Stevens anywhere!” exclaimed Kearny. He ordered General David Birney’s brigade to hasten forward. General John Robinson’s and Colonel Orlando Poe’s brigades were directed to follow.

Marching in heavy rain, Birney formed his line facing the cornfield, 450 yards west of here. Birney pushed forward five regiments of Maine and New York troops while holding two regiments in reserve near the Reid orchard.

Birney’s lead regiments entered the cornfield and wheeled northward to engage the North Carolina brigades of generals Branch and Pender at the edge of the woods behind a double fence. Minie balls ripped through the corn as the Confederates poured a heavy fire into the Union ranks. As Birney’s attack shifted westward in the woods, Branch extended his line accordingly to keep from being flanked. Wet ammunition ultimately caused the fight to degenerate into a vicious brawl of bayonets and clubbed muskets in the dim twilight.

Meanwhile, Kearny arrived and posted Battery E, 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, on a knoll in the rear. The battery fired 100 rounds of solid shot into the woods. Birney informed Kearny that Stevens’ troops had withdrawn, leaving his right flank uncovered, and requested that Poe’s brigade fill the gap. Shocked by this news, Kearny rode off to the right to investigate."
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