Book Review: Meade and Lee at Rappahannock Station: The Army of the Potomac’s First Post-Gettysburg Offensive, From Kelly’s Ford to the Rapidan, October 21 to November 20, 1863


by Jeffry Wm. Hunt

El Dorado Hills, Ca.: Savas Beatie, 2021. Pp. xiv, 310. Illus., maps, diagr., appends. $32.95. ISBN: 1611215390

Meade’s Forgotten First Offensive

In the third of his books on the very neglected operations in Virginia after Gettysburg, Jeffrey Hunt, Director of the Texas Military Forces Museum, looks at George Meade’s first offensive moves against Robert E. Lee.

Following the defeat of his Bristoe Station operation (October-November 1863), Lee retired south of the Rappahannock, leaving bridgeheads at Rappahannock Station and Kelly’s Ford. On November 7, 1863, Meade undertook attacks at both points, with surprising success. Hunt’s very careful review of the decisions and actions of both commanders helps explain how mistakes by the Confederates, and a combination of good luck and skill led to an stunning Union victory, which shattered two brigades, and why Meade chose to not follow up his success, .

Meade and Lee at Rappahannock Station is a good, fast paced treatment of a neglected episode in history of operations in Virginia, which will prove worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the Civil War.




Note: Meade and Lee at Rappahannock Station is also available in several e-editions.


StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium (

Reviewer: A.A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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