CVMA 27-2 Bull Run III
23 July 2022

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Single Rider $20.00
Register at the event. 

Rider and passenger $30.00 

All proceeds go to support the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run

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Visit the BRIII facebook page for the latest news, updates, and sponsor information


Vendor and sponsor list
Click any vendor to open a new window
Vendor listings will be updated as vendors and sponsors are locked in

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Click the flyer to open the Facebook page with updates along with routes and stop locations

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     The annual Bull Run III ride supports the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run, the flagship program of Willing Warriors, which seeks to be a “retreat providing a much-needed break for our recovering service members at military hospitals in the National Capital Region. The retreat is a place where our “Willing Warriors” can get away from the hospital environment with their families to relax, enjoy quality time, and reconnect in a comfortable home-like setting. The objective is that the entire family returns to their warrior’s recovery process feeling refreshed, inspired, and motivated to succeed in rebuilding the lives they wish to lead.” With that mission in mind, and in support of the fight against PTSD, TBI, and conflict related injuries, CVMA 27-2 conducts the annual Bull Run III in order to support this worthwhile, and important cause. All proceeds from the event go directly towards supporting the Willing Warriors program, a 501 (c)(3) organization that is funded by private donations and sponsorship, with no cost to the service member or family.

If the event is called Bull Run III, why is it starting in Fredericksburg?

     The Battle of Fredericksburg on December 13, 1862, involved nearly 200,000 combatants, the largest concentration of troops in any Civil War battle and one of the costliest in terms of casualties, and was the inspiration for 2 books, Gods and Generals, a 1996 book by Jeff Shaara that was made into a film in 2003, and Hospital Sketches, an 1863 book by Louisa May Alcott, a nurse for the Union Army at the Battle of Fredericksburg. While the battle of Fredericksburg receives much less exposure than the more famous battles of Antietam or Gettysburg it is still historically significance.

     This massive troop buildup, and the battle that followed was the first instance of U.S. troops conducting a river crossing while engaged with the enemy, as well as the first recorded instance of urban combat, something that veterans of Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam, and every other conflict before have become unfortunately experienced with.

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Richard Rowland Kirkland
The Angel of Marye's Heights

The “Angel of Marye’s Heights”

     Richard Rowland Kirkland, a civil war soldier with Company E of the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers, was a 19-year-old kid when in 1861 he fought in his first battle of the war, the 1st Battle of Bull Run. Other conflicts would follow, including fierce fighting at Antietam, however the Battle of Fredericksburg would forever define Sergeant Kirkland as the “Angel of Marye’s Heights” for his compassion and bravery even in the midst of the fierce fighting that defined the battle.

     Wave after wave of Union troops had charged up Marye’s Heights into the massed fire of Confederate forces entrenched behind a fortified stone wall. As the Union soldiers tried, and failed repeatedly, to take the high ground on the outskirts of the city of Fredericksburg the bodies of dead, dying, and injured soldiers began to pile up. Unable to move, and with no one to rescue them, most of the injured soldiers still lay between the lines when the sun rose the next day. One South Carolina soldier wrote in his journal that “The Yankees were literally piled in our front, dead and dying together, the living crying, water, water!" At daylight on December 14th, Sergeant Kirkland begged permission from General Kershaw to take water to the wounded men, knowing there was a good chance of joining the dead and wounded men as soon as he left the protection of the wall along the ridge.

Angel of Marye's Heights by artist Mort

Sgt. Richard Kirkland, in Fredericksburg, Virginia on Dec. 14, 1862 by artist Mort Kunstler

                            Despite the almost certain odds of death, Kirkland retrieved several water canteens from his fellow soldiers, jumped over the wall, and ran out onto the battlefield. Almost immediately Union bullets began to strike the ground around him, but he was not hit, and while it was common during the civil war for soldiers to loot the bodies of the adversary, the Union soldiers quickly realized Kirkland’s intentions and ceased firing. Reaching the nearest soldier, Kirkland knelt down and, placing the man's head on his chest, poured water from the canteen to ease the soldier’s thirst. He then took the soldier's knapsack and placed it under his head for a pillow, at the same time laying the man's overcoat across him for a blanket. For the next hour and a half Kirkland would move from casualty to casualty, providing what aid he could and earning his nickname The Angel of Marye’s Heights. Sergeant Kirkland would be fatally wounded less than a year later in September 1863, during Battle of Chickamauga in Tennessee. In 1965 Dr. Richard Lanier, along with many other prominent Fredericksburg citizens, petitioned the state legislatures of Virginia and South Carolina to construct a monument to Kirkland's memory. Today this monument stands at the northeast corner of Mercer Street and Sunken Road, a rare testimony to man's ability to care for his fellow man, even at the risk to his own safety.