By June 1864, the war in Virginia had concentrated south of the James around Petersburg. Meanwhile, Jubal Early was to make a last attack through Maryland toward Washington before Phil Sheridan swept the Confederacy out of the Valley forever.
Lee and his troops didn't realize it, but for most units by the first weeks of June the mobile campaign was almost over for the year. Time dragged on as Lee and Grant exchanged messages about the removal of the dead from in front of the Confederate trenches. Meanwhile the men relaxed for the first time in months. This close to Richmond, it was easier for the commissary to get both food for the men and forage for the horses, and both ate well for the first time in a while.
The situation in front of Richmond may have stabilized, but the news from the Shenandoah Valley was not good. A Federal force under Major-General David Hunter now occupied Staunton, western terminus of the Virginia Central Railroad, and Grant had sent his cavalry commander Major-General Philip Sheridan with two divisions to join him. To meet this threat, Lee sent two brigades west under Breckinridge, as well as most of his cavalry under Wade Hampton. Hampton's cavalry headed off on a route parallel to Sheridan's, reaching Louisa Court House on June 10, before sending a part of his force on to Trevilian's Station, 28 miles (45 km) west of Charlottesville, where he planned to meet Sheridan's troops. Hampton's plan was to have Fitzhugh Lee attack Sheridan's men from the east. As Lee was on the move, however, he was hit by a Union cavalry division, led by a brigade commanded by a young brigadier-general, George A. Custer, that drove his brigades back, and captured a number of wagons.
Hampton was outnumbered and fell back, to be joined by Fitzhugh Lee on the 11th. Both sides prepared to renew the fight the next day. The Federals attacked, the Confederates held, and at the end of the day, Sheridan fell back to Grant, his mission of joining Hunter foiled. Casualties for the Confederates were