Today in History:

89 Series I Volume XII-II Serial 16 - Second Manassas Part II


Jones, of the First Pennsylvania Cavalry, and with our combined forces drive the enemy back upon Colonel Karge. I advanced beyond Slaughter's house, when my advance guard reported large infantry forces and long lines of wagons in plain view. I at once sent word to Colonel Karge to withdraw his force, and fell slowly back myself to the road by which he would have to return. The enemy advancing in force, I nevertheless succeeded in checking his advance with Major R. I. Falls' battalion of the First Pennsylvania Cavalry, who deployed his men as skirmishers, and held the position for half an hour under as heavy fire. He had 2 men wounded. Colonel Karge now returned, having captured 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, and 24 men of the infantry force of the enemy.

I now sent word to the pickets along the river below when we were to return to camp, and all reached camp the next day by a roundabout road, except Captain Boyd, First New Jersey Cavalry, the commanding officer, who was compelled to take to the woods, and finally reached us just before the fight at Cedar Mountain, losing horse and equipments. We now fell slowly back, and just as my rear guard reached Robertson's River the enemy opened with their artillery. Over that stream I destroyed the bridge, which detained them for some time, and enabled me to break up my camps leisurely. All was conducted in the best order and manner by all the men and officers except Quartermaster Hazen, First New Jersey Cavalry, who deserted his camp, leaving a portable forge and the regimental books to fall into the hands of the enemy, and one more exception I have again to make. All the men who were left in camp became panic-stricken, and went rushing into Culpeper in a disgraceful manner. Those in the field did admirably. I fell back beyond Cedar Run, and reported the facts occurring in my front to you. General Crawford arrived the next day and assumed command.

On that day was fought the hard fight at Cedar Mountain. Colonels Allen and Duffie reported to me according to order. I inclose a list of my losses. I must again speak of the admirable behavior of my men and of the gallant charge led by Major R. I. Falls, First Pennsylvania Cavalry,l and herewith inclose his reports. The next two days were employed scouting in the direction of the enemy's flanks, and them we had for a few days a rest. On the 18th I received orders to cover the retreat from Cedar Mountain with five regiments of cavalry, viz: First Pennsylvania, First New Jersey, First Rhode Island, First Maine, and Second New York Cavalry. We waited all that night and the next day for General Sigel's train to pass, reaching Culpeper just at dark on the 19th.

I received orders to halt at Brandy Station that night. In the morning, according to order, I sent out reconnoitering parties on all the roads. A squadron of the Maine cavalry, which I sent out on the Raccoon Ford road, first came up with the enemy, and finding them advancing in force they fell slowly back. The Harris Light (Second New York) Cavalry, Colonel Kilkpatrick kept them at bay until all the reconnoitering parties returned. He lost several men badly wounded. As soon as the reconnoitering parties returned I slowly tell back toward the river, following the Maine and Rhode Island, which I had already sent on. Just before reaching the ford of the Rappahannock the country is open, and for 2 or 3 miles offers for cavalry an open and uninterrupted field for their operations. I crossed this and drew up the Harris Cavalry beyond the strip of timber which separates this plain from the river. The New Jersey cavalry I placed to the right of the Harris Cavalry and some 600 yards in rear. Lieutenant-Colonel Karge I in-