Oak Hill: Civil War Skirmish

Click the image to launch gallery view

Dublin Core


Oak Hill: Civil War Skirmish


On the night of November 5, 1861, a shootout occurred between three Union scouts and four Confederate cavalrymen at Oak Hill. It was seven months after the start of the Civil War and four months after the Confederate victory in the First Battle of Bull Run/Manassas. Confederate forces occupied Fairfax Courthouse (today's City of Fairfax) and Union Army camps were within 10 miles near Alexandria. Located between the lines of the two armies, Oak Hill was in an area where they tested each other and probed with frequent patrols.

In "Oak Hill Kitchen Skirmish" (access the article in the File(s) list) Michael Mitchell reconstructs the brief firefight from several sources. The sources range from official reports and personal letters written within days of the event to correspondence and newspaper and book articles written decades later.

Private Edward S. E. Newbury of the Third Regiment New Jersey Infantry was a principal figure in the event and probably the most reliable source of what occurred. Photographs of Newbury, who later advanced to the rank of Captain, show him in his Union Army uniform and as a much older man after 1900.

Researcher and author Michael Mitchell was born and raised in Annandale and enjoys pursuing his interest in local Civil War history.

In addition to Mike's article "Oak Hill Kitchen Skirmish," included in the list of files are copies of sections from four sources cited therein:

--- News item from Trenton State Gazette newspaper erroneously reporting death of Newbury and T. P. Edwards.

--- Appendix C from Roll of Officers and Members of the Georgia Hussars and of the Cavalry Companies, of which the Hussars are a Continuation, with Historical Sketch Relating Facts Showing the Origin and Necessity of Rangers or Mounted Men in the Colony of Georgia from Date of its Founding (1906). Includes accounts of the Oak Hill skirmish as well as detailed analysis of an ambush that occurred nearby on Braddock Road a month later. (access full document at: http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/meta/html/dlg/zlgb/meta_dlg_zlgb_gb5065.html?Welcome)

--- "Gallant Union Scout" from Historical Sketches of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars (1908) by J. Madison Drake (access entire book at http://archive.org/details/historicalsketch00drakiala)

--- "The Spy Who Was Trapped Inside Enemy Lines" newspaper article, New York Herald Co. (1911)


Michael S. Mitchell


"Oak Hill Kitchen Skirmish" article copyrighted material not to be reproduced without permission of owner, Michael Mitchell

Trenton State Gazette erroneous report.jpg copyrighted material; image used with permission from GenealogyBank.com

Edward S.E Newbury_in uniform.jpg image , New Jersey State Archives

Edward S.E Newbury_late in life.jpg image , Mrs. Ray S. Newbury Collection, Civil War Photos. Record Group 98. Military History Institute. Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania (Newberry, 1st Lt. Edward S. E. (Newbury). Photograph. ca. 1900-1920)