Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and Friends of  Wilderness Battlefield will sponsor a bus tour of the Mine Run Campaign on Saturday, November 23. The tour will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the campaign which occurred November 26-December 1, 1863.

The tour departs from the Gordon Road commuter lot on Route 3 (Plank Road), about five miles west of Fredericksburg. Participants should bring their own lunch and drinks and wear appropriate clothing and footwear for walking about three miles. The tour will last from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The cost of the tour is $40 per person.

Advanced reservations must be made by calling 540-372-3034.

After the battle of Gettysburg, General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army of Northern Virginia and Major General George G. Meade’s Federal Army of the Potomac returned to Virginia and fought a series of smaller engagements along the lines of the Rapidan and
Rappahannock Rivers. The Mine Run Campaign was the last of these battles before both sides settled into winter camp.

Miscalculations, muddy roads and indecisiveness slowed the Federal attempt to surprise the Confederates.During the largest fight of the campaign on November 27 at the Payne Farm, neither side fully understood the strength of their opponents as 5,300 Confederates attacked a portion of a 32,000 Federal force in front of them.Troops charged and countercharged indesperate fighting across the Payne farm fields and through the adjacent woods until dark.

The Confederates then withdrew to behind a stream called Mine Run, and dug an impressiveset of defensive works.The Federals however, concluded that an attack on the southern end of that line offered promise and maneuvered troops into position for a grand assault. But the main attack would not take place.In a controversial decision, Federal General Gouverneur K. Warren concluded that the Confederates had greatly strengthened their lines overnight and decided not to carry out his orders to attack on the morning of November 30. The Federal troops turned around and went into winter camp – some frustrated by a failed campaign; some relieved that they had not been sent to attack on November 30 and that the failure was no worse.

For additional information, call 540-373-6124.