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Thousands of cavalrymen clash at Brandy Station, Virginia, in the largest cavalry battle of the war

Civil War Battle, iconic image
Ordered to disrupt Confederate plans for an anticipated offensive, General Alfred Pleasonton led the Army of the Potomac's cavalry corps in a two pronged attack across the Rapphannock River in the early morning hours.  General J.E. B. Stuart's cavalry was taken unawares and a massive mounted action ensued with around 20,000 horsemen involved in close combat with sabre and pistol.  After a ten hours of fighting, Pleasonton's troopers broke off and recrossed the river, ending the largest cavalry battle ever fought in North America.  (By John Osborne) 
Source Citation: 
 Eric J. Wittenberg, The Battle of Brandy Station: North America's Largest Cavalry Battle (Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2010), 75-188.