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Civil War

Louisa was a major contributor to the Confederacy in the Civil War. The largest all-cavalry battle of the entire Civil War occured in Louisa County. In this battle, Union Major General Philip H. Sheridan left the Army of the Potomac on June 7, 1864 and headed west up the North Anna River toward Trevilian Station, a stop on the Virginia Central Railroad. He took with him 9,600 men, 24 guns, and 125 wagons.

His goal was to intersect the railroad in western Louisa County and destroy all rail assets from there to Charlottesville before moving on to Richmond.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee sent cavalry divisions in pursuit of Sheridan on June 9th. This consisted of 6,000 cavalry men and 400 horse artillerists all sent to protect the railroad and supply lines. 

In the end, Union General Sheridan broke off the fight and returned to the Army of the Potomac, having failed to unite with General Hunter or to inflict any permanent damage to the railroad. Sheridan lost 935 men in the two day battle, while Confederate loses probably numbered close to 815 men.

James H. Kidd described the battle, stating "The planning and fighting of the battle, with its artful maneuvers and tactical stratagems, have been compared to a game of chess. To my mind, no cavalry engagement of the Civil War had more points of resemblance to the moves of knights and pawns upon the chessboard than did the first day at Trevilian Station."

VS.7a, USI.9a, USI.9f