The Battle of Fairfield was a cavalry engagement during the Gettysburg Campaign of the American Civil War. It was fought July 3, 1863, near Fairfield, Pennsylvania, concurrently with the Battle of Gettysburg, although it was not a formal part of that battle. While a minor fight by the small number of troops deployed, strategically, the Confederate victory secured the important Hagerstown Road, which Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia would use on July 5 to return to Maryland and then on to safety in Virginia.
Fairfield had been the site of combat on June 21, when the 14th Virginia Cavalry of Brig. Gen. Albert Jenkins's mounted infantry brigade had used Monterey Pass to conduct a raid near Fairfield, Pennsylvania, with the First Troop, Philadelphia City Cavalry that resulted in the Confederates withdrawing into the Cumberland Valley.
Much of the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia had accompanied Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart on his ride around the Union Army of the Potomac through Maryland]and south-central Pennsylvania. Lee had retained several brigades to guard the mountain passes as he advanced through the Shenandoah and Cumberland Valleys and to scout Federal positions. Among the latter brigades was that of Brig. Gen. William E. "Grumble" Jones—the celebrated "Laurel Brigade" that had once been commanded by Turner Ashby. Jones had detached one of his best commands, the 35th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry, to accompany the infantry of Jubal Early, but retained the bulk of his command. Jones's Brigade had been raiding the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in West Virginia and Maryland before being recalled by Lee. They hastened to Pennsylvania, crossing the Potomac River on July 1 (where Jones detached the 12th Virginia to guard the ford) and camping at Chambersburg the following night. Jones's force had been reduced to the 6th, 7th, and 11th Virginia Cavalry and Preston Chew's Battery of horse artillery. Jones reached Fairfield on July 3 in resp...