U. S. CIVIL WAR
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November 27th thru 29th Positions
While French deliberated about which road to take, Confederate Major General
Edward Johnson led his division down the Raccoon Ford Road to connect with
Rodes's left. About 4 p.m. he collided with French's men on the Payne farm.
Vicinity of Payne's Farm
Unaware that he faced an entire Union corps, closely supported by a second (32,000 men total), the aggressive Johnson attacked with his 5,300 veterans. The heaviest fighting of the campaign occurred as troops charged and countercharged one another across the Payne farm fields and through the adjacent woods. Significantly, Johnson's Southerners halted the Federals and thereby protected Rodes's left flank at Robertson's Tavern. After dark the Confederates pulled back to a new position on the high ground west of Mine Run and constructed strong earthworks.
Mine Run - Confederate View.
The modern bridge is for State Route 20 (The Orange Turnpike).
Meade now realized that his plan to steal a march and place his army on Lee's flank had failed. During the night he concentrated his army on a line perpendicular to the Turnpike, west of Robertson's Tavern.
Location of the Union Line at Mine Run (Modern State Route 729).
(Photograph is taken from Route 20 approximately one mile east of Mine Run.)
Heavy rains and muddy roads hampered the next day's advance. While Lee's men strengthened their defenses, Meade plotted his next move.
On the morning of November 29th Meade sent Warren's corps on a wide flanking maneuver to the south. It took Warren all day to get his men into position , but by 5 p.m. they stood poised to roll up the lightly defended Confederate right flank. Unfortunately for the Federals, darkness postponed the assault until morning. During the night, General Lee learned of Warren's movement and shifted Lieutenant General A.P. Hill's corps to the south, where it hastily constructed trenches opposite Warren's line. Overnight the temperature dropped below zero, and without tents, shelters or even fires, the soldiers shivered through what, for many, was perhaps the worst night of the war.
Meade planned an all-out assault at 6 a.m. on the 30th, but when Warren informed him that Hill had entrenched across his front and that the movement could not succeed, Meade suspended the attack. Again the Union commander pondered his options. Frustrated by Lee's countermove, low on provisions, and faced with continuing bad weather, he withdrew his army back across the Rapidan on December 1st.
(Text Source: U.S. Gov't, National Park Service)
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