During June 11-12, 1864, Union General Phil Sheridan and his Union Calvary clashed with a Confederate Calvary under General Wade Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee at Trevillian (also referred to as Trevilians) Station. Union troops pushed the Confederates back allowing Union General George Custer to split the troops and take Hampton's supply train. The Union would destroy miles of railroad. Union troops tried to force the Confederates out but would fail as the Confederates held their lines. The battle is known as the largest and bloodiest all-cavalry battle of the Civil War.
In June of 1864 Union
General Ulysses Grant ordered General Sheridan to go on a raid
destroying as much of the Virginia Central Railway as possible. His ultimate
goal was to destroy the road in Gordonsville, then move into Charlottesville
and destroy the supply depot there and join up with Major General Hunter where
they would join the army at Petersburg.
General Sheridan met the
Confederate Calvary under Generals Wade Hampton and Fitzhugh Lee at Trevilians Station, 6 miles southeast of
Gordonsville. The first day of the battle Hampton struggled against the Union
troops and Lee's men had to fall back. This gave Union reinforcement
troops under General George Custer the opportunity to split the Confederates
and capture Hamptons supply train. However, Custer's charge took him farther away from Union lines than planned and he found himself surrounded from three sides. During the desperate fighting, his mortally wounded guidon barer tore the unit's flag (5th Michigan) from its staff and gave it to Custer, who stuffed it into his coat. Sheridan sent brigades under Merritt and Devin to Custer, who's unit (and Custer himself) was rescued, though losing 361 men. This moment from the battle as been coined, Custer's First Last Stand, foreshadowing his fatal Last Stand in 1876 during the Battle of Little Bighorn in Montana. The Union would destroy miles of railroad
The second day of the
battle would be different. Confederates would gain reinforcements. The Union
would try and defeat them but the Confederates had fortified their lines and
pushed back every Union attempt. Sheridan would be forced to withdraw he would
fail to meet up with Hunter, but did succeed in destroying rail lines and
drawing attention from General Grants movement of troops, so that Grant could cross the James River unopposed.
The Union lost 955 men (95 killed, 445 wounded, 410 captured/missing). The Confederacy lost 813 men (exact figures not known).
Due to the size of the battlefield, there is no single address/location for the battle. Louisa County (VA) Historical Society holds tours of the battlefield and all points of interests or visitors can take the auto tour.