|After the Seven days' battles around Richmond we had a brief season of
rest, which was greatly enjoyed after the marches, hardships and dangers
which we had encountered. But soon the "Foot Cavalry" began to loathe the
swamps of the Chickahominy, and sigh for the green fields, fresh breezes,
clear streams, buttermilk, and apple butter of the mountains. They were soon
to be gratified.
"The situation" was one of difficulty, and would have greatly perplexed a
less sagacious and determined leader than General Lee. McClellan was strongly
intrenched at Harrison's Landing, and it was uncertain whether he would advance
against Richmond by the north side -- cross the river and move on Petersburg
-- or join the forces which General Pope was collecting in Culpeper. The
arrival of this latter General from the West and his assuming command of
the "Army of Virginia" was heralded in all of the Northern papers. He came
up to his headquarters on a special train decked with flags, streamers and
flowers. He had issued his famous older, which afterwards proved so prophetic
that I quote it in full, as follows:
"Washington, July 14, 1862.
"To the officers and soldiers of the Army of Virginia:
"By special assignment of the President of the United States, I have assumed
command of this army. I have spent two weeks in learning your whereabouts,
your condition and your wants, in preparing you for active operations, and
in placing you in position from which you can act promptly and to the purpose.
I have come from the West, where we have always seen the backs of our enemies,
from an army whose witness it has been to seek the adversary and to beat
him when found, whose policy haw been attack and not defense. In but one
instance has the enemy been able to place our Western army in a defensive
attitude. I presume I have been called here to pursue the same system, and
to lead you against the enemy. It is my purpose to do so, and that speedily.
I am sure you long for an opportunity to win the distinction you are capable
of achieving. That opportunity I shall endeavor to give you. Meantime I desire
you to dismiss from your minds certain phrases which I am sorry to find much
in vogue among you. I constantly hear of taking strong positions and holding
them, of lines of retreat, and bases of supplies. Let us dismiss such ideas.
The strongest position a soldier should desire to occupy is one from which
he can easily advance against the enemy. Let us study the probable lines
of retreat of our opponents and leave our own to take care of themselves.
Let us look before and not behind. Success and glory are in the advance;
disaster and shame lurk in the rear. Let us act on this understanding, and
it is safe to predict that your banners shall be inscribed with many a glorious
deed and that your names will be dear to your countrymen forever.
Major General Commanding."
This order was copied into the Richmond papers, and was at once the object
of jibes and jests, which became more and more pointed as the campaign
But he issued other. orders directing his men "to live on the country," holding
citizens of his district responsible for the acts of "bushwhackers," requiring
citizens to take the oath of allegiance to the United States Government,
move out of his lines, or be treated as spies, and others of like import,
which inaugurated a system of pillage, plunder and outrage which excited
the burning indignation of our press, and made the army eager to be led against
this new hero, whose "headquarters," he said, were "in the saddle."
When, therefore, on the 17th July, 1862, we broke camp near Richmond and
the head of our column moved toward the mountains, the "Foot Cavalry" started
off with their old swing and cheers rang along our lines. (General Lee had
sent Jackson with his own and Ewell's divisions to Gordonsville for the purpose
of watching and checking the movements of Pope until McClellan should develop
his purpose. We reached Gordonsville on the evening of the 19th July, and
found in the vicinage abundant pasturage for our jaded animals, beautiful
camps for the troops, and the warmest hospitality on the part of the people.
I had opportunity at this time of seeing a good deal of General Jackson --
sometimes at his headquarters, sometimes in the hospitable homes of the peoples
and frequently at preaching -- and was more than ever impressed with his
genius as a soldier and his high qualities as a man. Just before the march
to Cedar Run I was called to his headquarters to give him information concerning
the roads between the Rapidan and Louisa Courthouse. I had been familiar
with these roads from my boyhood, and thought I knew them thoroughly. But
when "Old Jack" begun to question me about the streams, and hills, and
crossroads, and bridle paths, and showed the most perfect familiarity with
them, I had to say: "I thought I knew all about that country, General; but
I can give you no information, as you evidently know more about it than I
I remember being very much amused at seeing him several times fast asleep
at preaching, and at hearing General Ewell ask one day: "What is the use
of General Jackson's going to church? He sleeps all of the
<shv10_84>time." One day a visitor alluded to Pope's orders, and said:
"Well, General, here is a new candidate for your favor." "Yes, and by God's
blessing he shall receive my attention," was the quiet reply.
A.P. Hill's splendid "Light Division" had been sent up to join us, and on
the 2d of August there was a sharp cavalry fight in the streets of Orange
Courthouse, between Colonel W.E. Jones and a strong reconnoitering force
which Pope had sent across the Rapidan. Learning that Pope's line was
considerably extended, Jackson determined to strike his centre at Culpeper
Courthouse before he could concentrate his whole force. Accordingly, we broke
camp on the afternoon of August 7th, it being Jackson's purpose to reach
Culpeper Courthouse very early on the morning of the 9th. But by some
misconception of orders A.P. Hill only crossed the Rapidan on the 9th, and
Jackson thus encountered the enemy eight miles short of his objective point.
It was on this march that his negro servant Jim told some officers who were
inquiring about "Old Jack's" habits: "Yes, the General is a great man for
praying at all times. But when I see him get up a great many times in the
night to pray, then I know there is going to be something to pay, and I go
straight and pack his haversack, because I know he will call for it in the
I have a very vivid recollection of that march -- the enthusiasm with which
the men cheered "Old Jack" as he rode to the front, the joy with which the
people hailed us as their deliverers from the reign of terror which Pope's
orders had inaugurated, and the impatience of the men at the slow advance
of our column, as the roads were obstructed by the Federal cavalry, who kept
up a constant skirmish with our advance guard.
Ewell's division led the advance, and as Early's brigade was in front, and
my own regiment (the Thirteenth Virginia Infantry) in advance of the brigade,
I had a fine opportunity of witnessing the manceuvering for position and
the skirmishing. A little after 12 o'clock our brigade was halted at a
schoolhouse on the road, eight miles from Culpeper Courthouse, near Slaughter's
Mountain, and not far from Cedar Run. Some time was spent in reconnoitering
the position of the enemy, and bringing our own troops into position.
There was some sharp controversy at the time between General Pope and General
Banks as to who was responsible for bringing on that battle; but if those
gentlemen have not yet settled it satisfactorily, I would advise them to
call General Early to the stand, and he would testify that neither Pope nor
Banks was the responsible party, bat that Early himself brought on the fight
by direct orders from Jackson. I happened to be near General Early when Captain
A.S. Pendleton, a gallant officer of Jackson's staff, rode up, gave the military
salute, and said: "General Jackson sends his compliments to General Early,
and says that he must advance on the enemy, and he will be supported by General
Winder." The prompt reply, drawled out in earnest tones, was: "Give my
compliments to General Jackson, and tell him I will do it."
The situation at this moment was as follows: The other two brigades of Ewell's
division were supporting batteries splendidly posted on Slaughter's Mountain;
Winder, commanding Jackson's old division, was moving in column along the
main road to support Early, and A.P. Hill was coming on to Winder's support.
General Banks commanded the Federal forces, which consisted of his own corps,
and Rickett's division of McDowell's corps, actually engaged, and numbering
about seventeen thousand men, with large reinforcements rapidly approaching.
Jackson's entire force numbered 18,623 men, but they were veterans, flushed
with victory, and eager to meet their old friends of the Valley campaign,
and to give their new friend, General Pope, an opportunity of seeing something
else save the backs of the enemy.
As soon as General Early received Jackson's order, he called for eight picked
men of the Thirteenth Virginia, whom he sent forward as scouts, threw that
splendid regiment into skirmish line, and advanced his brigade (consisting
of the Forty ninth Virginia, Fifty second Virginia, Fifty eighth Virginia,
Thirty first Virginia, Twenty fifth Virginia, Thirteenth Virginia and Twelfth
Georgia) across a field to the left of the road to the cover of a small body
of woods, behind which he very carefully formed his line of battle, while
the Thirteenth Virginia advanced as skirmishers a little way into the woods.
Presently Colonel Walker, of the Thirteenth, called back in his ringing voice:
"General Early, are you ready?" "Yes; go on," was the reply, and soon after
there was sharp skirmishing, which presently gave place to the roar of battle.
Soon after the opening of the fight some one suggested to the surgeons,
chaplains, &c., of the brigade that by riding up on the hill to the right
we would have a better view of the field, and could also see when our services
were needed by the wounded.
Accordingly we rode up and had a splendid panoramic view of the whole scene.
Banks's line of battle, his artillery in position, and his splendidly appointed
cavalry seemingly preparing for a charge; Ewell's two brigades on the mountain
and his batteries superbly served; Early's brigade moving in line of battle
on the enemy with the precision of dress parade; Winder deploying his troops
to support Early, and A.P. Hill hurrying up in column -- all combined to
form a battle picture of a grandeur rarely witnessed. We had been joined
by some citizens and a number of straggling cavalrymen, and our party formed
a considerable group, who were reveling in the splendid panorama when our
enjoyment was brought to a very sudden termination. A Federal battery, probably
mistaking us for some General and his staff, galloped into position within
easy range, and opened fire upon us with six pieces as hard as they could
drive. At first the missiles fell short, but they would doubtless soon get
the exact range, and we suddenly discovered that we had important duties
Without considering "the order of our going" we galloped down the hill to
the cover of the woods. A negro servant of one of our surgeons happened to
be mounted on the doctor's best horse, and led the party. As we called a
halt and gathered together again the doctor began to upbraid the boy for
"being so much frightened and riding his horse so hard." The negro meekly
replied: "Doctor, I don't love the whizzing of dem ar things any better then
you do sah. 'Sides, I don't think you orter blame me 'cause my horse kin
beat yours a runnin'."
A roar of laughter greeted this sally, for it was perfectly evident that
each man had done his "level best" in getting away from "the whizzing of
dem ar things."
Meantime the battle raged furiously. Hastening towards the front, I saw the
bleeding, mangled form of the gallant Winder, who was mortally wounded just
as he was putting in his division and skillfully directing the fire of Poague's
and Carpenter's batteries. A West Point officer of rare merit, General C.S.
Winder had succeeded General Garnett in the command of the "Stonewall" brigade,
was now in command of the old "Stonewall" division, and had already won a
reputation which opened before him a most brilliant career. Jackson said
of him in his official report:
"It is difficult within the proper reserve of an official report to do justice
to the merits of this accomplished officer. Urged by the Medical Director
to take no part in the movements of the day, because of the enfeebled state
of his health, his ardent patriotism and military pride could bear no such
restraint. Richly endowed with those qualities of mind and person which fit
an officer for command, and which attract the admiration and excite the
enthusiasm of his troops, he was rapidly rising to the front rank of his
profession. His lost has been severely felt."
General Winder lived only three hours after he fell, and died mourned by
the whole army.
At five o'clock in the evening the crisis of the struggle came by the advance
of the Federal infantry to turn Early's right flank, and that being defeated
by the opportune arrival of Thomas's Georgia brigade of A.P. Hill's division,
a still more formidable attack was made on the left. The second Virginia
brigade, Taliaferro's brigade, and half of Early's brigade were driven back
in confusion, and a great disaster seemed inevitable. But Colonel Lindsay
Walker's artillery -- men stood to their guns and used grape and canister
with terrific effect; Colonel J.A. Walker and his famous old Thirteenth Virginia
stood as firm as a rock; a part of the Thirty first Virginia stood by them;
General Early held firmly the troops under his immediate eye, and at the
supreme crisis Jackson himself dashed upon the field, the very personification
of the genius of battle, and rallied his broken legions with magic words
and heroic examples. Drawing his sword (for the first time during the war),
he shouted out in clear ringing tones which were heard above the roar of
the battle: "Rally, brave men, and press forward! Your General will lead
you! Jackson will lead you! Follow me!" His presence acted like a charm;
his officers caught the inspiration; the fugitives rallied at once around
the heroic nucleus formed by Colonel Walker with the Thirteenth Virginia,
the "Stonewall" brigade, came forward in gallant style, A.P. Hill sent in
Branch's brigade of brave North Carolinians, the enemy was repulsed, and
the disaster turned into victory. Just at this point in the battle I witnessed
the charge of a magnificent column of Federal cavalry, who came forward in
a style which excited our highest admiration, and deserved a better fate,
for Branch's men repulsed them in front, while Walker threw the Thirteenth
Virginia behind a fence and delivered, as they galloped back, a withering
fire at very short range, which emptied many a saddle.
Jackson now hurried up Pender's and Archer's brigades of A.P. Hill's division,
advanced Ewell from the mountain, threw forward his whole line, and, when
night put an end to the contest, had driven the enemy two miles, holding
the whole battlefield, the enemy's dead and many of his wounded falling into
our hands. Jackson had no idea of stopping short of Culpeper Courthouse,
and I know personally the fact that guides were detailed from the "Culpeper
Minute Men" of my regiment to conduct his columns on the proposed night march.
But the night proved very dark, the cavalry brought information that Banks
was receiving heavy reinforcements, and Jackson very reluctantly decided
to wait for the morning. The next morning General J.E.B. Stuart reached the
army "on a tour of inspection " (it is shrewdly suspected that "Jeb " had
"snuffed the battle from afar," and had come to claim the privilege of going
in), and at the request of Jackson made a reconnoissance which fully developed
the fact that Pope had already received large reinforcements, and that others
were rapidly coming forward. Jackson determined therefore, to await the attack
from the enemy; and we spent the 10th in looking after our wounded, burying
our dead, and collecting arms, ammunition, &c., from the battlefield.
Old "Stonewall" announced his victory by the following characteristic dispatch:
"August 11th -- 6 1/2 A.M.
"On the evening of the 9th instant God blessed our arms with another victory.
The battle was near Cedar Run, about six miles from Culpeper Courthouse.
The enemy, according to statements of prisoners, consisted of Banks's, McDowell's
and Siegel's commands. We have over four hundred prisoners, including Brigadier
General Prince. While our list of killed is less than that of the enemy,
we have to mourn the loss of some of our best officers and men. * * * We
have collected about one thousand five hundred small arms and other ordnance
On the morning of the 11th General Banks asked for a truce to enable him
to bury his dead. The request was granted, and as Early's brigade on our
side had charge of it, I had full opportunity of witnessing the scene, which
was indeed a novel one.
That night we deliberately moved back toward the Rapidan, and as my brigade
brought up the rear, I can testify of my own knowledge that the "hot pursuit"
by the Federals, and "rapid retreat of the rebels," about which General Pope
telegraphed his Government, were as complete romances as that famous dispatch,
purporting to come from General Pope, announcing the capture of ten thousand
of Beauregard's army on his retreat from Corinth. (General Pope two years
afterward denied that he ever sent such a dispatch, and claimed that it was
manufactured by General Halleck.) I never saw a more leisurely march than
we made on our return, and if there was any "hot pursuit" our rear guard
did not hear of it. The fact was that "Old Jack" gained a splendid victory
at Cedar Run (Slaughter's Mountain), and learning that the enemy had received
large reinforcements he waited two days for an attack, and then marched leisurely
back across the Rapidan to await the coming of General Lee. Some incidents
of the battle may be <shv10_89>given. There was in one of the regiments
a Quartermaster who was noted for his elegant uniform and splendid trappings.
During the progress of the fight this gentleman rode up on Slaughter's Mountain,
where he was spied by rough old Ewell, who thus accosted him: "I say, you
man with the fine clothes on! Who are you, and where do you belong?" Being
informed, with all possible dignity, that he was Captain -------, Quartermaster
of the ------- Virginia regiment," the grim old soldier threw up both hands
and exclaimed: "Great heavens! a Quartermaster on a battlefield; who ever
heard of such a thing before? But as you are here I will make you useful
as well as ornamental," and thereupon he sent him with a message which carried
him under very heavy fire. The gallant Quartermaster carried the message
and brought the answer, but says that he soon after discovered that his train
needed looking after, and never ventured near General Ewell during a battle
Another gallant Quartermaster, Major J.G. Field, of General A.P. Hill's staff,
rendered most important service, going, as was his wont, into the thickest
of the fight, until he was severely wounded. His wound caused the loss of
his leg, but he returned after a short absence to render valuable service
until the surrender, and recently filled with ability the office of Attorney
General of Virginia.
When our men found out from prisoners that General Banks commanded the opposing
forces, they raised the shout: "Get your requisitions ready, boys! Put down
everything you want! Old "Stonewall's Quartermaster" has come with a full
supply for issue!"
I saw A.P. Hill that day as he was putting his "Light Division" into battle,
and was very much struck with his appearance. In his shirtsleeves and with
drawn sword he sought to arrest the stragglers who were coming to the rear,
and seeing a Lieutenant in the number, he rode at him and fiercely inquired:
"Who are you, sir, and where are you going?" The trembling Lieutenant replied:
"I am going back with my wounded friend." Hill reached down and tore the
insignia of rank from his collar as he roughly said: "You are a pretty fellow
to hold a commission -- deserting your colors in the presence of the enemy,
and going to the rear with a man who is scarcely badly enough wounded to
go himself. I reduce you to the ranks, sir, and if you do not go to the front
and do your duty, I'll have you shot as soon as I can spare a file of men
for the purpose." And then clearing the road, he hurried forward his men
to the splendid service which was before them.
I have not left myself space to give a full sketch of the truce, but may
say that the contrast between Early and Milroy -- the mingling together of
"the blue" and "the gray" in friendly converse or sharp trades, and the animated
discussions between the two parties -- would make a chapter of great interest.
I rode out on the neutral ground with a brother Chaplain with no purpose
whatever of any dissension of the points at issue in the great contest; but
we soon found ourselves surrounded by groups of the "boys in blue," and before
we knew it were engaged in a sharp discussion of various matters pertaining
to the war. Then we got on the different battles, ending with Cedar Run.
A Colonel with whom I was talking finally pulled out his pocketbook and offered
to bet me $100 that "in less than twenty four hours Jackson would be in full
retreat on Richmond and Pope in close pursuit." I replied: "I cannot take
your bet, Colonel, for several reasons. In the first place, I do not bet
at all; in the second place, I have not $100 about me; and, in the third
place, it would be very difficult to find a stake holder who would be
satisfactory to both parties; but we shall see what we shall see!"
During the campaign of second Manassas. I one day met a long column. Of prisoners
going to the rear, and was surprised to see among them my friend, the Colonel.
He at once recognized me, and pleasantly called out: "I say, Chaplain, ain't
you sorry now that you did not take my bet?" "Well! no Colonel," I replied,
"I think you will probably need all of your spare cash now. But if you will
excuse me for anything which may squint toward exultation over a prisoner,
I would like to ask you if you do not think Stonewall Jackson has chosen
a singular route by which to retreat on Richmond, and if you do not regard
Pope's close pursuit as rather erratic?" He frankly owned up; we had a pleasant
chat together; I shared my rations with him, and, as we parted, he said,
"If you ever make up your mind to bet, Chaplain, you may bet your bottom
dollar that I will never offer to bet again on any movement where Pope is
in command on our side and Lee and Jackson on the other."
On the 14th of August we had, by Jackson's orders, deeply interesting
thanksgiving services in the army.
The battle of Cedar Run caused General Pope to pause in his career of "seeing
the backs of the enemy," and we rested undisturbed in our beautiful camps
until General Lee came with the rest of the army, and we started on that
brilliant campaign by which "Headquarters in the Saddle" were summarily
dismounted by the "foot cavalry" and their gallant comrades, and General
Fitz John Porter made the scapegoat of Pope's blunders.
Paper #1 :: Paper #2
:: Paper #3 :: Paper #4
:: Paper #5 :: Paper
#6 :: Paper #7 ::
Paper #8 :: Paper
Section: Main ::
Order of Battle