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[347] great fury and determination. The action lasted about an hour and a half, and during that time our forces suffered heavy loss, and were gradually driven back to their former position, at which point, just at dusk, Ricketts's division of McDowell's corps came up and joined in the engagement.

As soon as I arrived on the field, at the head of Ricketts's division, I directed General Banks to draw in his right, which was much extended, and to mass the whole of his right wing at the centre of his line, pushing forward at the same time Ricketts's division to occupy the ground thus vacated. The enemy followed Banks as he retired with great caution, and emerging from the woods which had sheltered him all day, attempted to push forward to the open ground in front of our new line. A sharp artillery engagement immediately commenced, when the enemy was driven back to the woods, principally by the batteries of Ricketts's division. The artillery firing was kept up until near midnight of the ninth. Finding that Banks's corps had been severely cut up, and was much fatigued, I drew it back to the rear, and pushed forward the corps of Sigel, which had began to arrive, to occupy the woods on the left road, with a wide space of open ground on his front. Ricketts's division was also drawn back to the cover of the woods, and the ridges in the open ground on the right of Sigel. These dispositions were completed about daybreak on the morning of the tenth. Banks's corps, reduced to about five thousand men, was so cut up, and worn down with fatigue, that I did not consider it capable of rendering any efficient service for several days. I therefore directed General Banks, or in his absence, General Williams, who succeeded to the command, to assemble his corps on the road to Culpeper Court-House, and about two miles in rear of our front, to collect his stragglers, send back his wounded to Culpeper Court-House, and proceed as rapidly as possible to put the corps in condition for service. In consequence of the vigorous resistance of the night previous, and the severe loss of the enemy in trying to advance, before daylight of the tenth, Jackson drew back his forces toward Cedar Mountain, about two miles from our front. Our pickets were immediately pushed forward, supported by Milroy's brigade, and occupied the ground.

The day of the eighteenth was intensely hot, and the troops on both sides were too much fatigued to renew the action. My whole effective force on that day, exclusive of Banks's corps, which was in no condition for service, was about twenty thousand artillery and infantry, and about two thousand cavalry--General Buford, with the cavalry force under his command, not yet having been able to join the main body, I had telegraphed Gen. King at Fredericksburgh to move forward on the eighth, by the lower fords of the Rappahannock and Stevensburgh, to join me. A large part of his command had just returned from a very fatiguing expedition against the Central Railroad, but he marched forward promptly, and joined the main body late in the evening of the eleventh. The whole day was spent by both armies in burying the dead and in bringing off the wounded.

Although, even after King joined me, my whole effective force was barely equal to that of the enemy, I determined, after giving King's division one night's rest, to fall upon him at daylight on the twelfth on his line of communications, and compel him to fight a battle, which must have been entirely decisive for one army or the other. But during the night of the eleventh, Jackson evacuated the positions in front of us, and retreated rapidly across the Rapidan, in the direction of Gordonsville, leaving many of his dead and wounded on the field and along the road from Cedar Mountain to Orange Court-House. No material of war nor baggage-trains were lost on either side, but the loss of life on both sides were severe. Brig.-Gens. Geary, Augur and Carroll were badly wounded, and Brig.-Gen. Prince was captured by accident. Very many of our best field and company officers were killed or wounded. From the verbal reports and statements of General Banks and others, the Massachusetts regiments behaved with especial gallantry, and sustained the heaviest losses, but the conduct of the whole corps of General Banks was beyond all praise. Although I regret that General Banks thought it expedient to depart from my instructions, it gives me pleasure to bear testimony to his gallant and intrepid conduct throughout that action. He exposed himself as freely as any one under his command, and his example went far to secure that gallant and noble conduct which has made his corps famous. Gens. Geary, Augur, Carroll, Gordon and Green behaved with distinguished gallantry. Gen. Prince, who had led his brigade throughout the action with coolness and courage, was captured after dark while passing from one flank of his command to the other. As I have not received any report from Gen. Banks, it is not in my power to mention the field and company officers who distinguished themselves under his immediate eye in this action; but as soon as his report is received, I will transmit it to the Government, and endeavor to do justice to every officer and soldier who belonged to his corps. Brig.-Gen. Roberts, Chief of Cavalry, of my staff, accompanied Gen. Banks throughout the day, and rendered most important and gallant service.

No report of killed and wounded has been made to me by Gen. Banks. I can, therefore, only form an approximation of our losses in that battle. Our killed, wounded and prisoners, amounted to about one thousand eight hundred men, besides which fully one thousand men straggled back to Culpeper Court-House and beyond, and never entirely returned to their commands.

A strong cavalry force, under Generals Buford and Bayard, pursued the enemy to the Rapidan, and captured many stragglers. The cavalry forces immediately resumed their original position, and again occupied the Rapidan from Raccoon Ford to the base of the Blue Ridge. On the fourteenth of August, General Reno, with eight

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