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crest of the low ridge before mentioned. In his front
was a wheat field, also extending up the slope of the
ridge and prolonged by another field, the two cutting out
a narrow parallelogram from the forest. Across this
field, in the edge of the forest, with its right resting in
a strip of woods south of the road and its left extend-
ing a short distance into the edge of the forest to the
north of it, Jackson placed Taliaferro's brigade. Banks
placed Augur's division, of three brigades, on the left of
the road, thus extending his line to the south along the
slope toward Cedar creek from the eastward. In
Augur's front, next to the Culpeper road, was a large
field of standing Indian corn ; to the south of that, pasture
fields reached to the foot of Slaughter mountain. The
topography of the ground occupied by Banks was well
suited for defense. That commander, smarting under
the criticisms that Jackson's Valley campaign had brought
upon him, and having in hand Pope's peremptory order
to attack, was in a fighting mood, and doubtless thought
that he now had an opportunity for settling with Jackson
and regaining his lost reputation.

About 5 p. m. of the long August day, when the sun
in that locality does not set before half past seven, and
being in battle array. Banks ordered an advance, by one
brigade on the north and two on the south of the road,
which moved promptly and bravely forward. Gordon's
brigade, one of the best in the division, remained in


reserve on the right, while Green's remained guarding
the left. It was plain to be seen, from the Federal line,
that there was a wide gap in the open field between
Early's right and the left of Ewell's other brigades. The
Federals attempted to break Jackson's line through this
opening ; but Early, always quickly comprehending the
wants of his position, had already asked for reinforce-
ments to fill this space, and Jackson promptly furnished
Thomas' brigade of A. P. Hill's division, and so made
his line an unbroken front.

The Federal advance on the north of the road, that of
Crawford's brigade, was more successful. Taliaferro's
brigade held the road and the strip of woods to the south
of it on Early's left, but with several batteries between,
and extended a short distance north of the road along
the edge of the forest and that of the wheat field. His
line was prolonged to the left, in the woods, by Camp-
bell's brigade. It was unfortunate that the brave and
prudent Winder was not at this point to look after these
brigades of his division. He had been mortally wounded
by the fragment of a shell, just as the action commenced
some hours before. Crawford, with his own and part of
Gordon's brigade on the Federal right, soon emerged from
the forest, and in gallant style swept across the wheat
field, diagonally turning on his left, and struck first
Campbell's brigade and then Taliaferro's, and drove them
back in great confusion, thus threatening for the time to
effectually turn Jackson's left and gain possession of his
rear. The Confederate officers of the two brigades that
had been flanked, aided by Jackson in person and all his
staff, made heroic efforts to rally their men. Every
regimental commander was either killed or wounded,
and they met with but small success in their efforts, and
the winning tido of Federal soldiery swept eastward
across the road and struck Early's left, breaking or driv-
ing back the half of his brigade. The Thirteenth Vir-
ginia, under Col. James A. Walker, though forced back
on Early's left, made a determined resistance, holding
on to its organization, and became a check on the Fed-
eral attack. Early's right, parts of the Twelfth Georgia
and the Fifty-second and Fifty-eighth Virginia (parts of
Gen. Edward Johnson's old command on Alleghany
mountain and at McDowell), held their ground and beat
hack the oncoming tide. As soon as this Federal attack


developed, Jackson ordered Winder's brigade, the old
Stonewall, through the woods on his left, overlapping
the right flank of the Federal movement. The Thirty-
third and Twenty-seventh Virginia regiments promptly
engaged with the enemy that had scattered Taliaferro's
men ; the Twenty-seventh had to give way, but at this
opportune moment Branch's brigade, of A. P. Hill's
division, which Jackson had, by orders, been urging for-
ward during the day, came up in gallant style and moved
in on the right of the Stonewall brigade, extending its
line to the road, and boldly pushing forward struck the
flank of the victorious Federal column and hurled it in
confusion to the rear. The left of the Stonewall brigade, at
the same time, wheeled into action, and Crawford's men,
yielding to the force of superior numbers, fled, under a
destructive fire, across the wheat field to find refuge in
the forest, whence he had advanced, and behind his
reserves, which he, too late, had ordered into action.
The brave Gordon promptly moved forward to save the
day and attempted to check the Confederates ; but Jack-
son, at that time, had extended his left with the brigades
of Archer and Pender of Hill's division, and thrown his
extreme left forward around the upper end of the wheat
field, so that when Gordon advanced he found himself
within a blaze of musketry, both in front and flank, and
was forced in disorder from the fleld, after losing fully
one-third of his men. A small battalion of Federal cav-
alry then charged down the Culpeper road to aid in saving
a battery, but these were quickly repulsed. Of Jackson's
routed men, some rallied on Walker's Thirteenth Virginia
and others joined the fresh brigades moving in on the
left, and took part in securing the victory.

The brigades of Geary and Prince, which extended
Augur's line south of the road, were also swept away by
the Confederate counterstroke. Early having joined in
the forward movement along with Thomas, and borne an
active part in turning the tide of victory. Ewell, on
Jackson's right, watched the fierce contention from
Slaughter's ridge, impatient to join in the fray ; but the
Confederate batteries, which, with their usual daring,
were being pressed forward, not only to answer those of
the enemy but to fire at short range into their lines of
battle, so swept the field that he could not enter it with-
out passing through their fire. When the direction of


this fire changed, later in the day, Ewell's two brigades
advanced and joined in the thickening combat. His
artillery, from a bench in Slaughter's field at the north-
eastern end of the mountain ridge, opened with an enfi-
lade on the Federal left and made that portion of its line
untenable. Thus vigorously and unflinchingly pressed
in front and flanks, by a superior tactic force, resistance,
though determined and brave, was no longer possible,
and the entire Federal corps retreated in disorder nearly
two miles to the rear, to find refuge behind the division
of Ricketts, which had been in the meantime thrown for-
ward for this purpose and to check Jackson's pursuit.
The latter pressed forward, from his right. Field's fresh
brigade of A. P. Hill's division, with Pegram's bat-
tery, which opened on the retreating Federals, adding to
their confusion; but several batteries, which Ricketts
had placed on his left, in commanding positions, soon
forced this movement, which was made after nightfall,
to retire. Both armies then rested in bivouac on and near
the battlefield, exhausted by the intense heat of the mid-
summer day and the hard struggles they had undergone.

Jackson's losses in this battle were 1,314; 611 of these
were in the brigades of Jones and Taliaferro, upon which
Crawford's blov.' had fallen at the beginning of the battle.
Early lost 163, and the brigades of Winder, Branch,
Archer and Pender, whose timely arrivals saved the day,
lost but 273. The Confederates captured 400 prisoners,
a i2-pounder gun and three colors, and gathered from
the battlefield 5,300 small-arms, all of which, after
deducting about 1,000 left by Jackson's killed, wounded
and disorganized men, were lost by Banks' division.
The Federal loss was 2,393, of which 1,661 were killed
and wounded, and 732 missing. Crawford's brigade lost
867, and Gordon's 466. Generals Augur and Geary were
wounded and General Prince captured.

Jackson telegraphed to Lee: "On the evening of the
9th instant God blessed our arms with another victory. ' '
Lee promptly responded: "I congratulate you most
heartily on the victory which God has granted you over
our enemies at Cedar run. The country owes you and
your brave officers and soldiers a deep debt of gratitude. "

The loth of August was another scorching summer
day. Jackson held his position in the rear of his battle-
field with his skirmishers on the other side of Cedar run.


Gen. J. E. B. Stuart put in an appearance during the
day, having been sent forward by Lee, with the larger
portion of his cavalry, to cover the right of Lee's general
movement to the vicinity of Gordonsville. Stuart recon-
noitered the Federal left, moving his cavalry along the
eastern side of Cedar mountain and advancing his scouts
well toward Culpeper. Through these, Jackson learned
that Pope already had in hand 22,000 fresh troops, under
Sigel and Ricketts, 2,000 cavalry under Bayard, and about
5,000 that remained with Banks; a tactic force of about
30,000 in front of Jackson's 24,000, from which the cas-
ualties of the 9th had taken 1,000. When informed of
Jackson's advance, on the 8th, Pope ordered King's
division of 10,000 men up from Fredericksburg. These
joined him on the nth, so that he then had 40,000 men
at command. Reno was following King with 8,000 of
Burnside's corps, and he reported to Pope on the 14th.

Through the tireless Stuart, who was as ubiquitous as
Jackson himself, he was kept well posted in reference to
these movements of the various parts of Pope's army of
Virginia. Thus informed, he reluctantly gave up his
idea of further attacking Pope, but remained on the bat-
tlefield during the loth and nth, caring for his wounded,
burying his dead, and gathering the spoils of the battle-
field. On the nth he granted Pope a truce, until 2 p. m.,
for removing his dead, that were not already buried,
and then, on request, extended the truce until 5. Dur-
ing the night of the nth he recrossed the Rapidan,
and the next day reoccupied his old camps along "the
little mountains of Orange, " covering Gordonsville, hav-
ing stolen a march on Pope, who had arranged to attack
him at Cedar run, on the morning of the 12th, with
double his numbers. This bold movement of Jackson,
although it did not accomplish all he desired and had
good reason to expect, in consequence of the condition of
the weather and of the failure of his division commanders
to promptly and intelligently respond to his orders, was
by no means a barren victory. Pope's cavalry had made
repeated efiforts to reach and break the Virginia Central
railroad, and his main body was dangerously near to that
important line of communication between Jackson and
Lee, and of supply for both armies. The Federal com-
mander was only awaiting the reopening of the railway
from Washington to the Rapidan to move forward in


force and fall upon Jackson, and by so doing draw
Lee's attention from McClellan that the latter's army-
might be brought around to Pope's. The battle of Cedar
Run taught Pope his first lesson and gave him thencefor-
ward a wholesome fear of his military schoolmaster,
which made him desist from further attempts on the rail-
way, and remain idle in his Culpeper camps while McClel-
lan's army was being transported to Washington, thence
to reinforce Pope, and while Lee was moving the whole
army of Northern Virginia from Richmond to Orange,
preparatory to sending Pope's army to meet McClellan's
at Washington, and transferring the field of operations
to and across the Potomac, while the farmers and plant-
ers of Virginia, in Piedmont and in the Valley, garnered
the magnificent harvest which a bountiful Providence
had vouchsafed to them,



THE battle of Cedar Run, as General Lee says in his
report, "efiEectually checked the progress of the
enemy for the time ;" but the pressure from Wash-
ington was so great that Pope had to respond
with an advance, which he made, on August 14th, when
Reno's arrival increased his force to 50,000. He disposed
his army from the crossing of Robertson river by the
Orange road, to the crossing of the Rapidan at the his-
toric Raccoon ford, across which Wayne led his Pennsyl-
vania brigade to reinforce Lafayette in 1781. Lee, in
■expectation of this, had, on the 13th of August, ordered
Longstreet, with his division and two brigades under
Hood, to move to Grordonsville, and R. H. Anderson to
follow him, anticipating by a day McClellan's move-
ment from Harrison's landing toward Fort Monroe.
At the same time Stuart was ordered to move the main
body of his cavalry toward Orange Court House, cover-
ing the right of Longstreet's movement and placing his
■cavalry upon the right of Lee's army when concentrated
in Orange.

Longstreet's troops reached the neighborhood of Gor-
donsville on the i6th, and the same day Jackson, in
advance, moving secretly, put his command behind the
■outlying Clark's mountain range, east of Orange Court
House, covering Raccoon and Somerville fords of the

Lee, in person, followed and joined his army in Orange
-near the middle of August, and on the 19th gave orders
for an advance, having determined to strike Pope and
•defeat him before the great force under McClellan could
join him. Longstreet advised a movement to the left,
so that Lee's army, with the Blue ridge behind it, might
fall upon Pope's right; but Lee and Jackson thought it
"better to turn Pope's left and put the army of Northern
"Virginia between him and Washington, cutting his line



of supplies and retreat. Lee's order of the i9tli directed
Longstreet to cross the Rapidan at Raccoon ford with
the right wing of the army, and move toward Culpeper
Court House, while Jackson, with the left wing, was to
cross at Somerville ford and move in the same direction,
keeping on Longstreet's left. Anderson's division and
S. D. Lee's battalion of artillery were to follow Jackson,
while Stuart, crossing at Morton's ford, was to reach
the Rappahannock, by way of Stevensburg, destroy the
railroad bridge, cut Pope's communications, and operate
on Longstreet's right. The men were to carry three
days' rations in their haversacks, and the movement was
to begin at dawn of the 20th. Jackson desired to attack
earlier; but Longstreet was not prepared. The con-
centrated army was ready to move on the 19th, but
Fitz Lee's brigade of Stuart's cavalry, the leading one in
the march from Richmond, had gone too far to the right,
in the direction of Fredericksburg, and was a day late in
joining the army, thus causing another delay.

Pope, on the 19th, ordered a cavalry reconnoissance
across the Rapidan, which captured one of Stuart's staff
with Lee's order of march on his person. This was
quickly furnished to Pope, who hastened to evacuate
Culpeper and put the Rappahannock between himself
and the now famous Confederate general-in-chief ; and
Lee had the mortification of seeing from the summit of
Clark's mountain, the southeastern of "the little mount-
ains of Orange," Pope's army in full retreat, across the
plains of Culpeper, on the very day that he would have
fallen upon it had his strategic orders been promptly
and energetically obeyed by his first lieutenant.

Lee's 50,000 men followed his marching orders at dawn
of the 20th ; but not against Culpeper Court House, for
Pope had evacuated that the day before. Longstreet,
preceded by Fitz Lee's cavalry, marched to Kelly's ford
of the Rappahannock, while Jackson marched by way of
Stevensburg and Brandy station toward Rappahannock
bridge, bivouacking for the night near Stevensburg.
Stuart, with Robertson's cavalry brigade, had a spirited
contest that day with Bayard's cavalry, near Brandy sta-
tion. Forced from that point. Bayard took position
between Brandy and Rappahannock bridge, still guard-
ing the Federal rear, from which Stuart again routed
him and drove him across the Rappahannock, under


cover of Pope's batteries on the high northern bank.
The Confederates captured 64 prisoners and lost 16, killed
and wounded.

The morning of the 21st found Lee's 50,000 veterans
on the south bank of the Rappahannock, with Jackson
on the left, extending from the railroad bridge to Beverly
ford, across which Robertson's Fifth Virginia cavalry-
had made a dash, scattering the Federal infantry near
by, disabling a battery, and spending most of the day on
the north side of the river by the aid of Jackson's batter-
ies on the south side. On the approach of a large Fed-
eral force, Rosser, by order of Stuart, recrossed. Long-
street extended Lee's line from Rappahannock bridge to
Kelly's ford. Pope's 55,000 men held the commanding
ground on the north bank of the Rappahannock, and a
lively artillery duel was kept up during the day between
the confronting armies, but with little or no damage to

The undulating Midland plain, on which these con-
tending armies had now met, was far better fighting
ground than was the swampy and densely forested Tide-
water country, which was so recently the field of conten-
tion. The larger portion of this vicinity of the Rappa-
hannock was cleared and had been under cultivation, in
large plantations, until the opening of the war. At the
same time it was a more difficult region for strategic
movements to be covered from observation. It was evi-
dent that Pope's concentrated army could not easily be
reached by a front attack, while his left was difficult of
approach, and receiving the reinforcements steadily com-
ing to him from the direction of Fredericksburg. Lee's
military genius, and his conferences with Jackson, con-
vinced him that the proper movement was one that should
turn Pope's right and place the Confederates in his rear,
cutting him off from the old time highway that led
through the Piedmont country, by Warrenton, toward
Washington. Moreover, "the strength of the hills" lay
in that direction ; for within sight, looking to the north-
ward and westward, were the outlying ridges of the coast
■range, the Rappahannock and Bull Run mountains,
behind which concealed movements could be made in
the desired direction.

The first step in this strategic movement was to get
the mobile left wing of his army, under the energetic


and always-ready Jackson, behind these covering Xosu
mountain ranges, the southwestward extensions of the
Bull Run mountains, without the knowledge of Pope. To
accomplish this, Lee adopted a series of novel advances.
While Jackson and Stuart were engaging the attention
of Pope along the Rappahannock, north of the railroad,
he moved Longstreet from his right, by concealed roads,
and placed him in Jackson's rear, leaving the latter free
to fall back after dark, giving place to Longstreet, and
march to a position farther up the river, but still holding
on to Longstreet's left. This first exchange of positions
was made during the night of the 21st, or rather the early
morning of the 2 2d, and that day, preceded by cavalry,
Jackson reached the neighborhood of Warrenton Springs,
where the great highway, from Culpeper Court House
toward Washington, crosses the Rappahannock and goes
on through Warrenton to Centreville. During that day
Longstreet, by a vigorous contention with skirmishers
and artillery, engaged Pope's attention in his first posi-
tion north of the Rappahannock, and caused him to add
to his force at Beverly ford, apprehending that Long-
street was about to force a passage there and attack his
center. Detachments of Federal cavalry and infantry
made dashes on Jackson's line of march from a detached
column that Pope was moving up the north bank of the
river, to keep pace with whatever movement Lee might
be making to his left. Especially was a bold dash made
at Freeman's ford, about noon, as Jackson's rear was
passing that point. His rear guard, under Trimble,
deployed and awaited the Federal attack. Hood, with
two of Longstreet's brigades, came up about four in the
afternoon, when Trimble, aided by these, Arigorously
attacked the Federal brigade which had crossed the river,
and drove it back with slaughter and in confusion. A
third crossing, in pursuit of information, was made at
Fant's ford, by cavalry, infantry and artillery, but these
soon retired, having learned but little.

When Jackson reached the river, opposite the Warren-
ton Springs, and found the ford guarded, he at once began
moving his troops to the other side, sending over the'
Thirteenth Georgia and two batteries, while Early
crossed, on an old mill dam, about a mile further down
the river. It began raining while these troops were
crossing, and an afternoon of showers was followed by a


night of heavy downpour and darkness, preventing the
crossing of more troops. By morning the river was
swollen past fording, and Jackson's advance, under Early,
was isolated on the further shore. Pope's main body had
continued to hold its position, near the railway, on the
2 2d, as he was unwilling to remove further from his
expected reinforcements from Fredericksburg. Appre-
hensive of an attack from Longstreet, he did not care to
move farther to his right to intercept Jackson's move-
ment, concerning which he as yet had no reliable infor-
mation. Longstreet still held him at bay.

On this same 2 zd, Lee initiated one of the boldest of his
deceiving strategic movements. During the forenoon
he dispatched Stuart, with the main body of his cavalry,
by concealed roads behind his army, to Waterloo bridge,
four miles above Warrenton Springs, held by Jackson,
and where the graded highway from Warrenton to Little
Washington crosses the Rappahannock. There Stuart,
with 1,500 men and two guns, crossed the river and began
a rapid march for Pope's rear, to break the railway lead-
ing to Washington and gather information, just as he
had recently done in his grand ride around McClellan at
Richmond. With a good road to march on, he reached
Warrenton unopposed, in the afternoon. After halting
there for a short rest, he continued eastward, by Auburn
Mills, to Catlett's station, on the Orange & Alexandria
railroad, intending to destroy the bridge over Cedar
creek near that place. The downpour that had swelled
the Rappahannock, caught Stuart on the march, and he
reached his objective in the midst of rain and darkness ;
but an intercepted and captured negro led him to a camp
where were the headquarters wagons of General Pope.
These Stuart quickly captured with one of the Federal
commander's staff and his personal baggage and official
papers. His efforts to destroy the wagon trains and the
railroad bridge were but partially successful, in conse-
quence of the rain and the darkness. He began his return
march before daylight of the 23d, bringing off 300 pris-
oners, and recrossed the Rappahannock in the evening
of the same day, without molestation, after having taught
Pope a second lesson on the subject of rear guards, and
infused an element of fear into the Federal army as to
the safety of its lines of retreat ; also bringing off the
captured correspondence between Pope and Halleck,


which informed Lee fully concerning the strength and
the plans of his antagonist.

In the afternoon of the 23d, before Stuart cut the rail-
way and the telegraph at Catlett's station, Pope had tel-
egraphed to Halleck: "Under present circumstances I
shall not attempt to prevent his (Lee's) crossing at Sul-
phur Springs, but will mass my whole force on his flank
in the neighborhood of Fayetteville, ' ' a cross-roads ham-
let five miles to the southeast of Sulphur Springs, and
about the same distance northeast from the right of his
position on the Rappahannock. An hour and a half later
he telegraphed: "I cannot move against Sulphur Springs
just now without exposing my rear to the heavy force in
front of me, ' ' still looking with alarm across the Rappa-
hannock at Longstreet. Three hours later, after report-

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 31 of 153)