Date: July 23, 1863
Troops Engaged: 11,000 US; 7,000 CS
Casualties: 126 US; 102 CS
Following defeat at Gettysburg, Lee’s army retreated across the Potomac River with Stuart’s cavalry shielding its eastern flank. Meade pursued, and on July 23, he ordered General William French’s Third Corps to cut off the Confederates at Front Royal. To do so, French first had to pass through Manassas Gap, guarded by a portion of General Richard H. Anderson’s Confederate division. Throughout the day, French pushed the Confederates through the gap, but by late afternoon, Confederate General Robert E. Rodes arrived with reinforcements to help defend against renewed Union assaults. At dusk, French abandoned his attacks, and during the night, the Confederates withdrew. Union forces awoke the next morning with a clear path to Front Royal, but by the time they arrived, Lee’s army had slipped away.
MANASSAS GAP TODAY
Manassas Gap is located just east of Linden and Exit 13 on I-66. Today, both I-66 and Route 55/John Marshall Highway run through Manassas Gap.