October 30 This day during the American Civil War

October 30, 1863 – in Catlett’s Station, Virginia – On May 30 , Col. John S. Mosby and his Confederate raiders arrived at Catlett’s Station. Mosby planned on attacking a Union train at the railway there. He assigned an artillery crew on the bluff above the defile while a group severed the telegraph wire and attached it to a loosened rail. The plan was to pull the rail from the track when a train approached, forcing the train to stop or crash. The Confederates would then rob and take whatever they wanted from the train. After just a brief time, a 14-car train came their way. The train saw the missing track and managed to bring the train to a halt, but not before the Confederate howitzer fired a round through the engine’s boiler. Mosby ordered his men to make their attack. They swarmed down the bluff toward the train cars. On board, a 30-man Union detachment from the 15th Vermont Infantry saw the Confederates coming and fled the area. The Confederates were soon taking supplies that they needed. After a short time, Mosby ordered the cars torched and they were set on fire. They quickly left the area.

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