Today in History:

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

Page 189 Chapter XXIV. CEDAR MOUNTAIN, VA.

my brigade, a short distance back in the woods and out of sight of the enemy, to await General Winder's orders. I left this brave, generous, and accomplished officer at this point, and was informed a short time afterward that he had been struck by a shell and mortally wounded.

I now assumed command of the division under the disadvantage of being ignorant of the plans of the general, except so far as I could form an opinion from my observation of the dispositions made. I at once rode to the front to acquaint myself with the position of the Second Brigade, and reconnoitered the enemy's position from the wheat field in front of the First Virginia Battalion, of that brigade. I could discover no evidences of the enemy in front, but could discover them in force on the right of that position in the corn field, somewhat concealed from the view of our troops by the undulations of the country.

I now returned to the position occupied by our batteries, when I was overtaken by an officer, who reported that the enemy were showing themselves in front of the position I had just left and were advancing. I at once ordered the Tenth Virginia Regiment to be detached from the Third Brigade and sent forward to re-enforce the First Virginia Battalion, and sent an order to Colonel Ronald to move his brigade (the First) rapidly to the support of the Second Brigade. I now perceived the enemy advancing through the corn field, and directed Colonel Garnett to throw his right forward and drive them back, and ordered Colonel Taliaferro to move his brigade into the open field to the right and attack and drive back the enemy in front. The Twenty-first Virginia Regiment, Second Brigade, Lieutenant-Colonel Cunningham, poured a destructive fire upon the enemy and exhibited a degree of heroic gallantry rarely ever witnessed. The Third Brigade advanced in fine style and the enemy gave way before the severity of its fire. At this moment I discovered that, owing to the fact that the First Brigade had not been moved sufficiently near originally, or that the order had not reached Colonel Ronald in time, the enemy had attacked the left wing of the Second Brigade and turned it, and that it was falling back in some disorder. This movement exposed also the left flank of the Third Brigade and caused it to fall back, but it was soon afterward brought back to its original position. At this critical moment the First Brigade moved up and, with General Branch's brigade, of General Hill's division, encountered the enemy, confused by their severe conflict with the Second Brigade, and drove them back with terrible slaughter. The Third brigade now advanced to the brow of the hill overlooking the corn field and the Second Brigade to the edge of the woods, and drove the enemy in front of them from their positions in confusion. To cover his retreat the enemy's cavalry charged the Third Brigade, but they were met by such a storm of missiles that the whole column was turned, wheeled to the right, and before it could be wheeled off to the enemy to make a stand. They retreated and our troops pursued them, capturing a number of prisoners. This division crossed the corn field diagonally toward the woods on the road toward the railroad. Brigadier-General Prince, U. S. Army, was made a prisoner, and surrendered to me as we were crossing this field, and his command, which was on our right and had been, I think, principally engaged with General Early's brigade, fled upon our approach with scarcely any opposition. We continued to push forward until we had driven the enemy some 3 miles and until the darkness rendered it impossible to distinguish our troops from those of the

Page 189 Chapter XXIV. CEDAR MOUNTAIN, VA.