Catlett Station, Virginia
Warrenton Junction - Cedar Run R/R Bridge - Greenwich

1. Historical Marker Database
2. Battery B, 4th U.S. Light Artillery - The Mountain Howitzer
3. Reaves Firearm Collection: Mosby's Mountain Howitzer
4. Catlett’s Station Related Markers
5. Stuart and Mosby Marker
6. Attack upon a Train at Catlett's Station: The New York Times

7. Catlett's Station: "Bucktail," 13th PA Reserves
8. Sites on the O&A Railroad
9. Day trips from State College in PA


Catlett Station


Catlett's Station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad saw much activity during the Civil War and was mentioned in many dispatches. General J.E.B. Stuart raided a Federal supply depot here on August 22, 1862 in the opening phases of the Second Manassas Campaign. In May 1863, Colonel Mosby staged two raids along the rail lines around Catlett. The first was on May 3 at Warrenton Junction to the southwest where the Warrenton Spur connects to the main line. Weeks later on May 29, Mosby returned and destroyed a train to the northeast of the station, and was pursued to the north by Federal cavalry detachments
For more details regarding the action at Catlett's Station read Thomas J. Evans and James M. Moyer's Mosby's Confederacy: A Guide to the Roads and Sites of Colonel John Singleton Mosby

The following photos/text courtesy of Richard Edling, PA and Craig Swain, Leesburg, VA
For any use of these photos contact

(December 2007) Enlarge Catlett’s Station marker - Village resident Susan Emiline Caldwell described in a letter Stuart's cavalry capture of 200 Union prisoners and $25,000. The Rebels also nabbed Union Gen. John Pope's personal items, including his dispatch book. Intelligence from the book enables Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson to develop a strategy that lead to victory at Second Manassas a week later. (Marker at Catlett Station Antiques on Old Catlett Road.)
Photo by Richard Edling

(December 2007) Enlarge Tracks near Catlett Station on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad - Early this morning (May 30, 1863), Major Mosby marches briskly to Catlett's Station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. They cut telegraph wire and unfasten the track and attach a wire to pull the track out of line when the engine comes along and therefore throw the train off the track. Soon, the train comes steaming along, but stops abruptly when reaching the dangerous rail. The little howitzer Mosby received yesterday is used to fire a shot into the engine. The Rangers charge the infantry guarding the train. The Yankees run leaving the train in the Partisans hands. At 9:00am, hearing the guns and seeing the smoke of the burning train, Colonel Man of the 7th Michigan Cavalry orders the 5th New York Cavalry to intercept Mosby while he takes the First Vermont Cavalry and his 7th Michigan Cavalry along the railroad line toward Mosby. Major Mosby soon sees them coming at his front and has his howitzer spit a shell into the enemy's ranks to check their advance for a moment. Then Mosby stands up and fights dispersing the federals twice-first with cannon fire, then with a dashing charge. The federals large numbers and exhaustion of ammunition eventually causes Mosby to retreat and abandon the howitzer after a desperate hand-to-hand combat. The federals, with 4 killed, 15 wounded, do not pursue Mosby. Mosby's loss is shamefully painful--5 killed, 20 wounded, and 10 prisoners
Photo by Richard Edling



(December 2007) Enlarge  Tracks near Catlett Station on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad - Pursued by Union detachments after raiding a train north of Catlett Station on 30 May 1863, Confederate Col. John S. Mosby and 50 of his Rangers (43d Battalion Virginia Cavalry) made a stand on a hill just to the north. The Rangers used howitzer to break a charge by the 5th New York Cavalry. The New Yorkers regrouped, however, and with troopers of the 1st Vermont and the 7th Michigan overran Mosby's position. After a hand-to-hand struggle, Mosby and the Rangers fled, abandoning the cannon and losing some 20 men wounded and killed. Among the dead was Capt. Bradford Smith Hoskins, and English professional soldier, who was buried at nearby Greenwich Presbyterian Church. Union losses were 15 killed and 4 wounded
Photo by Richard Edling

(December 2007) Enlarge Stuart and Mosby marker near Catlett’s Station - To halt the flow of supplies to Union forces on the Orange & Alexandria R.R., Maj. John S. Mosby, C.S.A., destroyed a train near here on 30 May 1863. Removing a rail to stop the train, Mosby’s Rangers disabled the engine with a recently acquired howitzer, described as “too big to fit in a holster, but too small to be a cannon.” Alerted by the firing, nearby Union troops (N.Y., Mich., & Vt.), commanded by Col. William D. Mann, attempted to capture the Confederates. Mosby set fire to the railcars and withdrew, fighting a delaying action with his single artillery piece
Photo by Richard Edling


(December 2007) Enlarge A view of Catlett's Station from the south side of town. None of the wartime structures are known to be standing
Photo by Craig Swain


(December 2007) Enlarge Looking at the site of Catlett's Station from the north side of the tracks.  It was here, during his August 22, 1862 raid, that Stuart captured Pope's uniform, and more importantly the Federal commander's papers.  Those documents were Pope's undoing.  One can contrast the effect of Pope's lost papers to Lee's more famous lost order outside Frederick, MD, a few weeks later, on the Antietam Campaign
Photo by Craig Swain

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