The Battle of Chantilly (Ox Hill),
A Monumental Storm

By Charles V. Mauro

In 1915, one-legged Confederate veteran donated a portion of his land from a Civil War battlefield so that memorials to the participants could be erected.  John Ballard, a captain who served part of the war under Colonel John Mosby, wanted markers dedicated not only in memory of his fellow Confederates but to two Union generals—Phil Kearny and Isaac Stevens—who died during the battle on his farm at Ox Hill in “...the most important and largest action...to take place in the confines of Fairfax County, Virginia.”

This book was written primarily to provide a military history of the Battle of Ox Hill.  Of equal importance is the aftermath of the conflict.  Fought on Thrift Farm, its effects on the neighborhood were both immediate and long lasting.  The spirit of remembrance and reconciliation that began with Captain Ballard’s land donation was repeated several more times during the 1900s.  The resulting commemorative ceremonies and battlefield preservation efforts demonstrate just how much the past is still with us today.

The Battle of Chantilly, as it was called by the Union, or the Battle of Ox Hill, as it was called by the Confederacy, was fought on 1 September 1862.  With the main battle lasting 2½ hours, approximately 270 soldiers were killed, 1125 wounded, and 105 captured.  Waged during a heavy summer rainstorm, thunder and lightning became an additional participant and added confusion to the Monday afternoon conflict.  While the Confederates claimed victory as they held the field at battle’s end, the Union Army had countered the Confederate attempt to destroy them as they were retreating towards Washington in defeat (for the second time) from Manassas.

The Battle of Ox Hill was preceded by the battles of Brawner’s Farm (28 August) and Second Manassas or Bull Run (29 and 30 August) in Virginia.   It was soon followed by the battles of South Mountain (14 September) and Antietam (17 September) in Maryland.   Like Brawner’s Farm and Antietam, Ox Hill was waged within a rural neighborhood on a farm in a cornfield. 

Nonfiction
96 pages 78 illustrations
Index
Paper

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