Friday, August 9, 2013

My Most Successful Exploits

The Battle of Cedar Mountain was fought August 9th 1862.

Union Major General John Pope had a new army under his command, which he christened the Army of Virginia.  Pope moved on Culpeper Court House and Confederate General Robert E Lee sent the order to General Thomas J Jackson that he wanted “Pope to be suppressed.”

Jackson was outnumbered, but Pope helped him with the numbers, when he divided his troops along the Rapidan River.  Jackson moved on the part of Pope’s army that was near Culpeper.  Moving on the main road toward Culpeper in extreme heat on bad roads Jackson’s exhausted troops encountered Union cavalry near Cedar Run on August 9th 1862.  Confederate Brigadier General Jubal A Early formed a line along the road, he anchored it on Cedar Mountain.  The Confederate artillery posted along the mountain, a small knoll known as the Cedars and near the Crittenden House beginning a duel with Union artillery on the Mitchell Station Road.  During the artillery bombardment Confederate Brigadier General Charles S Winder was mortally wounded.  Around 5pm Union Major General Nathaniel P Banks launched an attack on the Confederate line.  Union troops led by Union Brigadier General Samuel W Crawford attacked the Confederate left in what became hand to hand combat, while other Union troops under Brigadier General Christopher C Auger hit the other end of the line near the guns on the knoll.

The Confederate troops began to show signs of a rout, but Jackson road into the middle of his men and rallied the troops.  With Jackson holding his men in place and restoring order, Confederate General A P Hill arrived in time to strengthen the line and push the Union troops back across the field.  A battalion of the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry held the Confederate counterattack long enough so that most of the Union men could retreat.

Two days after this battle Jackson began his move to join up with Robert E Lee for what would lead up to Second Manassas.  Jackson said that the Battle of Cedar Mountain was “the most successful of his exploits.”

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