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Battle of Rio Hill

the Battle of Rio Hill was a battle in the American Civil War in which the Union raided a Confederate camp in Albemarle County, Virginia.

In the early afternoon of February 26, 1864 Union General George A. Custer and about 1,000 to 3,000 Union soldiers advanced towards Charlottesville. This raid was an attempt by the Union to divert attention on to Charlottesville while an attempt was made to free prisoners of war held in Richmond, Virginia.

Custer's orders were to destroy a railroad bridge across the Rivanna River. Custer's only opposition came from Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's Horse Company and rebel infantrymen stationed in a camp near the Rivanna at Carsbrook. His men raided the camp under fire from Confederate forces commanded by Capt. R. Preston Chew and Captain M.N. Moorman. The Union forces looted the camp and set fire to it. They captured two Confederate soldiers. One of the confederate artillery pieces exploded however, and Custer became confused believing that the explosion was actually the reopening of guns. His men fired into each other and then fled from the camp. The rebel troops regrouped and chased Custer out of Albemarle.

Custer and Philip Sheridan returned to Charlottesville in 1865 and occupied the town from March 3 to March 6 a month before the South surrendered at Appomattox.