Today in History:

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

Page 173 Chapter XXIV. CEDAR MOUNTAIN, VA.

after opened a terrific and deadly fire, which closed the conflict for the day. The enemy then took up his line of retreat.

The list of casualties in this command has already been reported.*

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,




Commanding Second Division.

No. 23. Report of Brigadier General Zealous B. Tower, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.

HDQRS. 2nd Brigadier, 2nd DIV., 3rd ARMY CORPS, ARMY OF VA., August 14, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report, for the information of the general commanding the division, that Saturday, at 5 o'clock, in obedience to his orders, my brigade left camp, 2 miles south of Culpeper, and advanced on the Orange Court-House road 3 1/2 miles. At that point the brigade was by direction broken directly to the right, and marched a half mile into position in line of battle in front of the enemy's left. After examining the position, two batteries were placed on the hill-slope, where my right had rested, two of my regiments, Twenty-sixth New York Volunteers, Colonel Christian, and Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania, Colonel McLean, deployed en potence, supported them on the right hand, and two regiments, Ninetieth Pennsylvania, Colonel Lyle, and Ninety-fourth New York Volunteers, Colonel Root, supported them on the left.

Although this position was within musket-range of the enemy's left he did not open fire upon us. No orders were given me to commence an attack, and this was nature of the ground he occupied were unknown, and could not be ascertained in the night. At one time I gave orders for opening with the batteries, but hearing that General Carroll's brigade was entering woods on my left countermanded the order, fearing that the fire of these batteries might injure our own forces. All the regiments of my command marched promptly to their positions, formed in good order, and were cool and ready for action. Only one soldier of the Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania Regiment, commanded by Colonel McLean, was wounded.

At 3 o'clock a.m. General McDowell gave me orders to withdraw into the woods to the rear of my first position to cover the right of the new line of battle, then being formed to meet the enemy in the morning should he renew the attack. This order was promptly executed. I have no doubt that the firm stand taken by this division, commanded by General Ricketts, and the prompt and accurate fire of the batteries on the left, checked the enemy's advance, threw them into confusion, silenced their batteries, and caused the retreat of their right.

In the morning I returned to the position occupied by my troops during the night in company with General Bayard and his command of cavalry, reconnoitered the enemy's position, and hurried the removal of some wounded men from the hospital belonging to General Gordon's brigade.


*Embodied in revised statement, p.138.


Page 173 Chapter XXIV. CEDAR MOUNTAIN, VA.