The Battle of Culpeper Court House

The Rapidan River became the dividing line between Confederate and Union troops after the battle of Culpeper Court House, September 13-15, 1863. The Union Army retained control of Culpeper County for a month.

An article written by Culpeper historian Clark B. Hall captures the chaotic few days of military engagements around Culpeper Court House, with Federal cavalry chasing Confederate cavalry south to Raccoon Ford. As this happened, supporting artillery fired upon the village, according to Hall.

Read Hall’s article, “Culpeper attacked in 1863 on ‘wild and boisterous Sunday”, published in the Culpeper Star Exponent, September 15, 2019.

1863 – A sketch by prolific Civil War illustrator Alfred R. Waud entitled “Reconnoisance (sic) by Bufords Cavalry towards the Rapidan river” captures the Union line looking south. Done in pencil and Chinese white on brown paper on September 14, 1863 as the two armies engaged in the Battle of Culpeper Court House. (Image source: Library of Congress,