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

Page 188 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

No. 30. Report of Brigadier General William B. Taliaferro, C. S. Army, commanding First Division.

Camp near Liberty Mills, Va., August 13, 1862.

CAPTAIN: By direction of the major-general commanding I have the honor to report the operations of my command on the 9th instant, during the engagement near Cedar Run:

On the morning of the 9th instant the First, Second, and Third Brigades of this division, under Brigadier General C. S. Winder, First Brigade (the Fourth having been detailed to protect the train), marched from their encampment near Barnett's Ford of the Rapidan River upon the turnpike road leading in the direction of Culpeper, the division of Major-General Ewell having preceded it the morning previous. After crossing the Robertson River and proceeding some 3 miles we overtook the division of General Ewell and discovered the enemy in front, when our troops were halted to make dispositions to attack them. This division was ordered to attack the enemy's right, while the division of General Ewell was ordered to attack him upon the left. On my riding to the front I perceived the enemy's cavalry drawn up on the range of hills near Cedar Run, with a line of vedettes in front, while the fall of the hills in rear and the woods beyond evidently concealed their batteries and infantry. A corn field in front of this position also concealed the movements of the enemy and the undulations of the country made reconnaissances very difficult.

The field batteries of General Ewell were now shelling the enemy, when General Winder ordered the division forward along the turnpike to a point at which the woods on the right of the road terminated. Beyond this point the woods on the left extended to a wheat field, beyond which a dense wood again appeared. On the right of the road from the point of termination of the wood and extensive bare field stretched to the left to a considerable distance and to the front to a corn field. A brigade under General Early, protected by the fall of the hills, occupied the right of this field in line of battle, directly fronting the general line of the enemy, as far as we could make it out.

General Winder now ordered the Second Brigade, under Lieutenant-Colonel Garnett, Forty-eighth Virginia, to move forward to the left under cover of the woods to the wheat field, and to extend back to the left along the skirt of woods. He then ordered some pieces of artillery, under the general charge of Major R. Snowden Andrews, chief of artillery for the division, to the point where the bare field commenced, and ordered the Third Brigade, under my command, to move along up parallel to the road in rear of the batteries and under cover of the wood until the head of the column rested near the rear of the Second Brigade. The brigade was then faced to the road. The First Brigade (Colonel C. A. Ronald, Fourth Virginia Regiment, commanding) was ordered, as I was informed, to move up as a reserve. While these dispositions were being made the troops were subjected to a heavy discharge of shell and shot from the enemy's artillery, thrown mostly at random into the woods. The effect of our batteries from the point of woods and from a position subsequently taken in the open field to the right was very great, to a great extent silencing the enemy's guns. After the pieces had been placed in battery at the corner of the woods, and had opened some fifteen minutes upon the enemy, I returned to

Page 188 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.