Union Forces Commanded by: Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick
Confederate Forces Commanded by: Col. Thomas Munford
**Missing and Captured
Conclusion: Inconclusive Victory
After a tremendous victory at Chancellorsville, Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia left Fredericksburg through the gaps in the Blue Ridge Mountains to block key mountain passes and screen the army's movements from Union cavalry. He planned on going through the Shenandoah Valley and north towards Pennsylvania. A major problem for Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker was to acertain Lee's whereabouts and direction. On June 17th, this task was entrusted to Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, who ordered a movement from Manassas Junction to Aldie, a village located at the junction of roads through the Blue Ridge Mountains to Winchester, an excellent base for reconnaissance into the valley.
Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's 2nd and 3rd Virginia Cavalry screened the Confederate infantry, under Col. Thomas Munford, as it marched north behind the sheltering Blue Ridge mountains. Soon, the Confederate cavalrymen met their adversaries who were probing west to locate Lee and determine his intentions. Munford made a stand in Aldie and Union cavalry under Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick engaged the Confederate force. The result was 4 hours of stubborn fighting. Both sides made mounted assaults by regiments and squadrons. After being reinforced in the afternoon, Kilpatrick finally drove the Confederate force from the town to the west. In an afternoon of sharp fighting, Munford was pressed back but the Federals were severely bloodied in scattered actions.
Pleasonton learned that none of Lee's infantry was east of the mountains, but his report of an easy victory was far from the mark.