«MAJ. GEN. CHARLES S. HAMILTON HISTORY of THE THIRD REGIMENT of WISCONSIN VETERAN VOLUNTEER INFANTRY 1861 — 1865. BY EDWIN E. BRYANT Late Adjutant. ...»
Whatever doubts Pope might have had as to the objective point of Jackson were soon dispelled. Gen. Bayard,44 in charge of four regiments of cavalry, reported to Pope that he was falling back and the enemy following him. Jackson’s plan, as he wrote Lee,45 was to be in Culpepper by noon. But Hill46 had not come up; and his men, too, had suffered dreadfully with the heat. Crawford’s brigade then occupied a position in the low ground of Cedar Run, with Bayard’s cavalry in his front and Roemer’s47 battery of six 3-inch rifled guns and two sections of Knapp’s48 10-pounder Parrots49 posted in the rear.
Banks’ corps moved out to join Crawford a little before 10 o’clock in the morning of the 9th. The heat was intense, the pike “shadeless and ED. NOTE: Franz Sigel, USA, born in Baden, 18 Nov 1824, died 21 Aug 1902 in NYC.
ED. NOTE: George Dashiell Bayard, USA, 18 Dec 1835 - 14 Dec 1862.
ED. NOTE: Robert Edward Lee, CSA, 19 Jan 1807 - 12 Oct 1870.
ED. NOTE: Ambrose Powell Hill, CSA, 9 Nov 1825 - 2 Apr 1865.
ED. NOTE: Captain Jacob Roemer, L Company, 2nd New York Artillery.
ED. NOTE: Captain Joseph M. Knap, Pennsylvania Artillery.
ED. NOTE: Iron artillery piece designed by Robert Parker Parrott, distinguished by its single reinforcing band on the breech. One of the most widely used guns in the Civil War, it came in 10-, 20-, and 30-pounder versions.
-65waterless,” pace rapid, with few halts. We passed Rickett’s50 division of McDowell’s51 corps, who were at ease in their tents, at the intersection of the Madison and Orange roads. We pushed on five miles further under a broiling sun, at a speed that caused many to fall. One Second Massachusetts man fell dead. Here, Cedar Mountain — or as Virginians call it, Slaughter’s mountain — rose high before us,52 a conical hill, as seen from its north face, with stunted timber and underbrush on its sides. Crawford’s brigade was in line of battle with his skirmishers out. General Roberts, Pope’s chief of cavalry, was there. As we came up Gordon took a look, and seeing a little elevation off to the right some three-fourths of a mile from the road he said to Roberts: “That hill yonder should be held by our right; shall I take it?” “Yes,” said Roberts, “do so.” Gordon moved his brigade there. Banks soon came up and said to Roberts, “Gen. Pope said you would indicate the line I am to occupy.” Roberts replied, “I have been over this ground thoroughly and I believe this line,” meaning the one on which Crawford was in position, “is the best that can be taken.” Banks concurred with him and placed his command there.
The little force was soon up and in line. From right to left it was in the following order: Gordon’s brigade on the right, consisting of the Second Massachusetts, Collis’s company of Zouaves de Afrique,53 Twenty-Seventh Indiana, and the Third Wisconsin. Crawford’s brigade of our division, made up of the Fifth Connecticut, Tenth Maine, Twenty-eighth New York, Forty-sixth Pennsylvania, was on our left, and both brigades on the right of the Culpepper road. On the left was Augur’s division, with Geary’s brigade, its right resting on the road, made up of the Fifth, Seventh, Twenty-ninth and Sixty-sixth Ohio.
The batteries held positions on higher ground in rear of the two brigades.
Prince’s54 brigade, consisting of the Eighth and Twelfth United States regulars, One Hundred and Second New York, One Hundred and Ninth and One Hundred and Eleventh Pennsylvania, Third Maryland and Robinson’s55 Maine ED. NOTE: James Brewerton Ricketts, USA, 21 Jun 1817 - 22 Sep 1887.
ED. NOTE: Irvin McDowell, USA, 15 Oct 1818 - 4 May 1885. 23 of 45 in West Point class of 1838.
ED. NOTE: Cedar Mountain is 829 feet above sea level at its summit.
ED. NOTE: 114th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment.
ED. NOTE: Henry Prince, USA, 19 Jun 1811 - 19 Aug 1892 (suicide) graduated 30th in his class at West Point in 1835, was captured at Cedar Mountain and held until December 1863. Commanded Second Brigade, Second Division at Cedar Mountain.
ED. NOTE: Captain O’Neil W. Robinson, Fourth Maine Artillery.
-66battery was next in line; and Green’s56 small brigade of the Seventyeighth New York, and a battalion of the First District57 volunteers was somewhat refused in support of McGilvery’s58 Sixth Maine battery on the left.
Thus (Augur’s) division extended toward the little frowning mountain. Our position was a good one from which to resist attack, but too far off to be a favorable one from which to advance. Near the center of our line was Knapp’s battery, which had an unobstructed fire over the open fields, but all our guns were commanded by the mountain. The force mentioned in the field was, as officially stated, 6,289 infantry and artillery, 30 guns, and from 1,000 to 1,200 cavalry — an effective force of less than 7,500 men.
When Gordon had placed his brigade in position, he sent out skirmishers from the Twenty-seventh Indiana into the woods on his right. In his front, over Cedar Run, into the timber beyond, he sent Col. Ruger59 with six companies of the Third Wisconsin, while the Second Massachusetts, the remaining three companies of the Third Wisconsin (A, B and E), and the Twenty-seventh Indiana rested in ranks, ready to move at the instant of command, the Indiana regiment on the right; the Second Massachusetts next;
and the Third Wisconsin companies at this time on the left.
Let us now turn to the other side and note the disposition made there.
Jackson pushing on toward Culpepper had Ewell60 in advance. On the morning of the 9th his forces were nearly up or within supporting distance, and on reaching Cedar Mountain and finding infantry in his front he prepared for battle.
The turnpike from Culpepper, southwest, crosses Cedar Run a little creek about eight miles from Culpepper, then passes through open but undulating ground. About a mile on the left of the road were then cornfields.
About a mile and a half southwest from the point where the creek crosses the road, the northeast end of Cedar, or Slaughter’s mountain, rises some hundreds of feet above and dominated the surrounding country. The mountain is nearly a mile southeast of the turnpike. But a dirt road runs around its base, and one leads from the turnpike, southeast, to the north end of the mountain; and on the northwest side of the turnpike, the ground is ED. NOTE: BGen George S. Greene, Third Brigade, Second Division.
ED. NOTE: District of Columbia.
ED. NOTE: Captain Freeman McGilvery, Sixth Maine Artillery.
ED. NOTE: Thomas H. Ruger, Third Wisconsin Infantry, West Point Graduate, and a LtCol at the time of the Battle of Cedar Mountain.
ED. NOTE: Richard Stoddert Ewell, CSA, 8 Feb 1817 - 25 Jan 1872.
-67wooded and somewhat elevated, as compares with the position taken by Banks. At a point northwest from the north face of the mountain, a country road turns southwesterly from the turnpike. Northeast of this dirt road was a wheatfield of some thirty or more acres, lying on the northwest side of the turnpike, surrounded by woods on its northeastern and southwestern sides, and this field is prolonged, growing narrower into a little field, in which were many briers and underbrush.
As Jackson’s forces came up they found the Union line formed as above indicated. Ewell’s division was turned to the right, and along the slope of the mountain, and there secured a position well up the hillside, from which his artillery could command the Union ground. Ewell’s brigade, on the same line, moved out on the Culpepper road toward us, on the Confederate’s right, and formed his line on the southeast side of the road. Our batteries opened upon him with such vim that he withdrew his troops behind a little rise of ground.
His own artillery at once got into position and returned our fire with spirit.
At this moment Gen. Winder61 came up with Jackson’ [sic] old division, arriving at the point where the dirt road leads northwestward from the pike through the woods. He disposed Campbell’s brigade to the left, under cover of the wood and near to and on the southwest side of the wheatfield. A little to the left in reserve and in mass, was the “Stonewall” brigade commanded by Ronald.62 Taliaferro’s63 brigade was placed parallel to the road in rear of the batteries of Poague64 and Carpenter.65 Winder was an accomplished officer, much esteemed by Jackson. While directing the movement of his batteries he was struck by a piece of shell from one of the Union guns, and borne dying to the rear.
While these dispositions were taking place, Ewell, with Trimble66 and Hayes’ brigades, reached the northwestern termination of the mountain, and upon an elevated spot, some 200 feet above the valley, planted Latimer’s67 battery, which poured a rapid fire on our gunners below. Reply to these highED. NOTE: Charles Sidney Winder, CSA, West Point Class of 1850, 18 Oct 1829 - 9 Aug 1862;
horribly mangled by an exploding shell at Cedar Mountain, he died a few hours after the incident.
ED. NOTE: Colonel Charles A. Ronald.
ED. NOTE: William Booth Taliaferro, CSA, 28 Dec 1822 - 27 Feb 1898.
ED. NOTE: Captain William T. Poague, Rockbridge Artillery, Virginia.
ED. NOTE: Captain Joseph Carpenter, Alleghany Artillery, Virginia.
ED. NOTE: Isaac Ridgeway Trimble, CSA, graduated 17th in West Point class of 1822, 15 May 1802 Jan 1888.
ED. NOTE: Captain J. W. Latimer, Courtney Artillery, Virginia.
-68posted guns was difficult; though Major Andrews,68 chief of Jackson’s artillery, was here severely wounded. Ewell’s two brigades now stood out on the northwest face of the mountain, spectators of what was below.
The lines as now developed placed Campbell’s brigade in front of Crawford’s and well covered by the woods. Crawford was also concealed by the woods northeasterly of the wheatfield, and by the undulation of the ground. The “Stonewall” brigade was a little in rear of Campbell’s left, massed in reserve, but close at hand. Hill’s division of six brigades was still farther to the rear, but in easy supporting distance and moving up.
The batteries grew more furious in dispute at about 3 o’clock. Our guns were admirably served; the enemy’s had the best ground. Banks now advanced his whole line, except Gordon’s brigade, about 400 yards. As he had seen but little infantry, he thought there was no large force in his front.
At about 5 P.M. he ordered a regiment out on each flank. Crawford, in preparing for this movement, discovered such force that he asked to send in his brigade, Banks ordered it. Meanwhile, Col. Ruger with his six companies had swept the woods on the northwest side of the wheatfield, but did not discover the enemy, not having penetrated beyond the wheatfield. Crawford, in sallying forward with his men, ordered Ruger to join him. Col. Ruger replied that he momentarily expected orders from his own brigade commander, and suggested that before detaching him from his brigade, it should be directed by superior authority. Crawford’s appeal to Banks obtained the required direction. Gen. Williams69 gave the order to Gordon, and Ruger at the same moment advanced his companies, which rallied from their skirmish deployment, and formed on Crawford’s right, then advancing.
At this stage in the movements, we will look once more at the general situation. Prince and Geary of Augur’s division were at our left confronted by Early70 and Thomas’s brigade of A. P. Hill’s division. On the mountain were two brigades of Ewell’s division with their batteries — four brigades against two on our left. Opposite our right, confronting Crawford and Gordon’s brigades, was Winder’s division of three brigades, one of them, Campbell’s, being in line in the woods on the southwest side of the wheatfield, and to his left, in rear and in mass, was the Stonewall brigade, then commanded by Ronald. Then Taliaferro’s brigade closing the gap between Campbell’s right and Early’s left, and five of the six brigades of Hill’s division were successively formed on the enemy’s left up on our right or where most needed. This was ED. NOTE: Major R. Snowden Andrews.
ED. NOTE: Alpheus S. Williams.
ED. NOTE: Jubal Anderson Early, CSA, 3 Nov 1816 - 2 Mar 1894.
-69about half past five o’clock. Geary on the left of the road and Prince on his left moved forward simultaneously with the brigade of Crawford to the attack.
Let us now look to Crawford’s brigade (the Forth-sixth Pennsylvania, Twenty-eighth New York and Fifth Connecticut).71 It swept through the woods up hill to the little wheatfield, dashed with loud yells across it, struck a high, rail fence on the edge of the timber, bounded over it and disappeared in the forest on the southwestern side of the field. It struck Campbell’s brigade so suddenly and from so unexpected a quarter that this brigade, one of the stoutest of Jackson’s division, gave way. Jackson himself says: “It fell upon his left, and by force of superior numbers, bearing down all opposition, turned it, and poured a destructive fire in its rear. Campbell’s brigade soon fell back in disorder. The enemy (Crawford’s brigade) pushed forward, and the left flank of Taliaferro’s brigade being by these movements exposed to a flank fire, fell back, as did also the left of Early’s line. During this advance the guns of Jackson’s division becoming exposed they were withdrawn.” Cooke, in his life of Jackson, says: “So sudden and determined was this assault, that the troops were almost surrounded before they knew it, and nothing remained but for them to fall back to a new position. The enemy gave them no time to reflect.
They rushed forward with deafening yells, pouring a terrific fire into the wavering line, and the day seemed lost.” But the six companies of the Third moved forward to the right of Crawford with less rapidity — because of the woods, briers and rough ground over which they forced their way — to a more severe exposure. As they advanced, either by their direction being oblique or that of the other bearing to the left, a considerable interval was made between the Forty-sixth Pennsylvania and Ruger’s left; and as he approached the enemy in the woods and underbrush, the two regiments were not in sight of each other; the view being obstructed in part by a cluster of straw stacks in the northwestern part of the wheatfield. The Forty-sixth Pennsylvania and other regiments to the left got into action a minute or two earlier by reason of their advancing over less difficult ground.