November 27-December 2, 1863 - Union forces mount the Mine Run Campaign. After the failure of the Bristoe Campaign in October-November, 1863, Maj. Gen. George G. Meade (right) began planning a new operation with the goal of defeating Gen. Robert E. Lee along the Rapidan River. Based on speed and surprise, Meade intended to cross the river to the east and swing behind the Confederate right flank. In doing so, he hoped crush Lt. Gen. Richard Ewell's Second Corps before pushing west to defeat Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill's Third Corps. Moving out on November 26, the Army of the Potomac quickly fell behind schedule due to deep mud and a traffic jams at the river fords. These delays allowed Lee to adjust to the situation and shift forces to meet the new threat. The two armies fought a series of small but intense battles on November 27. Falling back, Lee entrenched on heights behind Mine Run that night. Unwilling to directly assault the Confederate works, Meade attempted to move around the enemy right. Again blocked and increasingly short on supplies, he withdrew the army back over the river on December 1 and entered winter quarters at Brandy Station.
Civil War - Eastern Theater in 1863:
Photograph Courtesy of the National Archives & Records Administration