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American Battlefields
Kelly’s Ford   

Other Names: Kellysville

Location: Culpeper County

Campaign: Cavalry Operations along the Rappahannock (March 1863)

Date(s): March 17, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. William W. Averell [US]; Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Divisions (3,000 total)

Estimated Casualties: 200 total

Description: Kelly’s Ford was one of the early larger scale cavalry fights in Virginia that set the stage for Brandy Station and cavalry actions of the Gettysburg campaign. Twenty-one hundred troopers of Averell’s cavalry division crossed the Rappahannock River to attack the Confederate cavalry. Fitzhugh Lee counterattacked with a brigade of about 800 men. The “Gallant” Pelham was killed. After achieving a localized success, Union forces withdrew in mid-afternoon.

Result(s): Inconclusive

CWSAC Reference #: VA029

Preservation Priority: III.3 (Class C)

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