On June 11, 1864, the largest all-cavalry battle of the Civil War began when Union Gen. Grant gave orders to tear up the Virginia Central Railroad and cut supply lines to Richmond. The Union Cavalry headed up the North Anna River to a strategic stop on the railroad called Trevilian Station. The Confederates had arrived the day before and fired the first shots along what is now Ellisville Drive. The second day of battle brought Custers First Last Stand - a disastrous attack on the Confederates along present-day Gordonsville Road. Union Gen. Custer and his Michigan Brigade suffered heavy losses and at one point Custer personally led a dismounted charge. Even so, by day's end the Union failed to capture the railroad and retreated.

Visiting the Trevilian Station Battlefield

Your best bet to tour The Battle of Trevilian Station is to download the Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation driving tour. The tour begins at Louisa Court House and takes you past the sites of major actions that are marked with Civil War Trails markers. Tour stops include the site of the first shots fired by the Confederates, Sheridan's headquarters at Claytons Store, the Confederate headquarters at the reconstructed Netherland Tavern, the site of Custer's First Last Stand, and Oakland Cemetery, the resting place of mostly unknown Confederate soldiers from the Battle of Trevilian Station.

WARNING: While the driving tour follows scenic country roads, be advised that the roads are well-travelled and traffic moves along at a fast clip. For this reason, the driving tour is probably not safe for cyclists, and drivers should exercise caution when turning into and pulling out of the stops on the tour.

Visit Civil War Trust and Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation for battle details and information about the preservation of this battlefield.

Pictured at the top: The driving tour includes a stop at the reconstructed Netherland Tavern and Civil War Museum. Built in 1822, the tavern served travellers on the stage roads to Louisa Court House and Fredericksburg. The tavern was demolished in the 1950s, but recently reconstructed on its original foundation. The Museum is home to numerous and diverse artifacts representing the Civil War era.

louisa court house

Robert E. Lee's nephew Fitzhugh Lee bivouacked at Louisa Court House during the Battle of Trevilian Station. Built in 1905, the current court house replaced the original structure.