Sunday, February 9

This week in the Civil War: Feb. 9, 1864

Skirmishes in Virginia

Union forces kept up harassing tactics against Confederate forces in Virginia this week 150 years ago in the Civil War. On Feb. 6, 1864, Federal cavalry made several swift crossings of Virginia's Rapidan River north of Richmond, seat of the Confederacy. The crossings at the time, near Morton's Ford, Va., and elsewhere, were intended as feints as Union forces mulled unleashing a large-scale raid elsewhere up Virginia's peninsula region toward that city. Neither side gained an advantage in the skirmishes that accompanied the crossings. But the worst fighting broke out at Morton's Ford before Union cavalry withdrew the following day, Feb. 7, 1864. Large-scale fighting in Virginia was still months ahead in the Shenandoahs and when Union's "Overland Campaign" would ramp up in the late spring of 1864.

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