Today in History:

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

Page 178 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

On August 2 Colonel (now Brigadier General) W. E. Jones, with the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, of Robertson's brigade, was sent to take charge of the outposts on the Rapidan. Arriving near Orange Court-House, he found it occupied by a large cavalry force, which by a bold and vigorous charge he drove from the town. The enemy rallied, and Colonel Jones was in turn compelled to fall back before superior numbers to the place where the engagement began. The enemy soon after withdrew.

Learning that only a portion of General Pope's army was at Culpeper Court-House, General Jackson resolved to attack it before the arrival of the remainder, and on August 7 moved from Gordonsville for that purpose.

The next day the Federal cavalry on the north side of the Rapidan was driven back by General Robertson, and on the 9th Jackson's command arrived within 8 miles of Culpeper Court-House, when the enemy was found near Cedar Run, a short distance northwest of Slaughter Mountain. Early's brigade, of Ewell's division, was thrown forward on the road to Culpeper Court-House; the remaining two brigades-those of Trimble and Hays, the latter under Colonel Forno-diverging to the right, to position on the western slope of Slaughter Mountain. Jackson's own division, under Brigadier-General Winder, was placed on the left of the road; Campbell's brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Garnett commanding, being on the left; Taliaferro's parallel to the road, supporting the batteries, and Winder's own brigade, under Colonel Ronald, in reserve. Lawton's brigade, having been detached by General Jackson to guard the train, was prevented from taking part in the engagement.

The battle opened with a fierce fire of artillery, which continued for about two hours, during which Brigadier General Charles S. Winder, while directing the movements of his batteries, received a wound from the effects of which he expired in a few hours. I can add nothing to the well-deserved tribute paid to the courage, capacity, and conspicuous merit of this lamented officer by General Jackson, in whose brilliant campaign in the valley and on the Chickahominy he bore a distinguished part.

The enemy's infantry advanced about 5 p.m. and attacked General Early in front, while another body, concealed by the irregularity of the ground, moved upon his right. Thomas' brigade, of A. P. Hill's division, which had now arrived, was sent to his support, and the contest soon became animated.

In the mean time the main body of the Federal infantry, under cover of a wood and the undulations of the field, gained the left of Jackson's division, now commanded by Brigadier-General Taliaferro, and poured a destructive fire into its flank and rear. Campbell's brigade fell back in confusion, exposing the flank of Taliaferro, which also gave way, as did the left of Early's. The rest of his brigade, however, firmly held its ground. Winder's brigade, with Branch's, of A. P. Hill's division, and after a sanguinary struggle the enemy was repulsed with loss. Pender's and Archer's brigades, also of Hill's division, came up on the left of Winder's, and by a general charge the enemy was driven back in confusion, leaving the ground covered with his dead and wounded. General Ewell, with the two brigades on the extreme right, had been prevented from advancing by the fire of our own artillery, which swept his approach to the enemy's left. This obstacle being now removed, he pressed forward under a hot fire and came gallantly into action.

Page 178 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.