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[558] ninth instant, which, I fear, will be an imperfect one, as I only took command after the fight had considerably advanced:

The regiment was posted in line of battle in the woods, about forty paces back of the road, to the left of a battery in the field, and facing to the road, a small party being sent to the road in front of our extreme left to keep watch. In this position, the men were ordered to lie down to protect them from the enemy's cannonading, which was kept up with great vigor. A number of shells exploded in our vicinity, one of which struck and killed William H. Morgan, of company F, a young officer of great merit. In about half an hour, a volley of musketry was heard on our left, when the party on the road immediately returned, and reported that a regiment was advancing along the road and fence. Lieutenant-Colonel Cunningham ordered our regiment forward to the edge of the road, which order was promptly obeyed, all seeming eager for the engagement. Soon after reaching the road and engaging the enemy, another regiment of them emerged from a cornfield, and arrayed themselves in line of battle to our left oblique. This seemed to heighten the ardor of our men, who fought with all the gallantry and energy that could have been desired, and completely checking the enemy's advance. The fight was raging fiercely, and our men in high spirits, when suddenly, and without any warning whatever, a murderous fire was poured upon us from the rear, at least a brigade of the enemy having passed through the woods and reached within twenty or thirty paces of us. We had supposed that our rear was protected; why it was not, is not for me to say. About this time, Lieutenant-Colonel Cunningham appeared at the left of the line, and gave some command, which, amid the firing, I could not understand. I ordered those near me, however, to about-face; some obeyed, but many others were so intent upon firing at the enemy before them, and so little apprehensive of danger from the rear, that they seemed not to understand the command. Colonel Cunningham again gave some command, which, owing to the circumstances, I could not distinctly hear. He waved his hand toward the fence rather to the right, and, after several times ordering it, I got the men to start in that direction. In making the movement, they became somewhat scattered and confused, some going fast, while others would load, turn, and fire as they went. To add to the confusion of the moment, in addition to the many other brave men and officers who fell at this point, our gallant and beloved leader, Lieutenant-Colonel Cunningham, fell mortally wounded; the Adjutant was taken by the enemy, though he afterward escaped; the Sergeant-Major was shot down; the flag-bearer was shot dead; a corporal of the color-guard, seizing the colors, shared the same fate; and a private, who next raised them, fell, wounded in three places. Under these unfavorable circumstances, a portion of the regiment rallied, and formed at the crest of the hill, not more than one hundred and fifty paces from the road. Here, some troops, which had fallen back, rallied, and joined us, and after a spirited contest of ten or fifteen minutes, drove the enemy, who had advanced into the road and field, back into the woods. We then turned our fire upon the enemy's line of battle in the meadow, which soon broke and began to retire. From this we pushed forward wherever the fight seemed thickest, assisting in the repulse of the cavalry charge, and mingling in the fire upon the retreating foe, till he had entirely disappeared from the field. No troops, in my opinion, could have behaved with more daring and obstinacy than those of the Twenty-first. There were instances of individual heroism, which I refrain from mentioning, lest injustice should be done to others. Before concluding this report, I deem it my duty to bring to your notice a fact which shows the barbarous and brutal manner in which this war is being conducted by our enemies. Second Lieutenant Thomas M. Brown, of company K, was taken prisoner at the time our regiment left the woods. He was afterward found in the woods mortally wounded, and, before dying, stated to Lieutenant Roach, of the Twenty-first, and Captain Turner, of the Irish battalion, that he was taken unhurt, but when the enemy were forced to retreat, they knocked him down with their guns, and bayoneted him in several places. He was in his proper mind at the time of making this statement, and died the same night. Accompanying this report I forward a list of casualties.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. A. Witcher, Captain, commanding Twenty-first Virginia Regiment.

Report of Major Seddon.

headquarters First Virginia battalion. Second brigade, First division, A. V. D., August 14, 1862.
Lieutenant-Colonel T. L. Garnett, commanding Second Brigade on the evening of the ninth instant:
Colonel: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the First Virginia battalion during the late engagement with the enemy near Cedar Creek, on the evening of the ninth instant:

The First Virginia battalion, under my command, was marched, with the rest of the Second brigade, through a body of woods, and was drawn up in line of battle, with inverted front, on the extreme left of the brigade in the wood, with a small wheat-field in our front. The woods were so dense that no other portion of our brigade could be seen from our position. We took up our position about a quarter past four o'clock P. M. At about a quarter to six o'clock, a large brigade of the enemy emerged from the woods beyond the wheat-field, and advanced against our line, in fine order, at a double-quick. A cornfield on the right, and a brush-field on the left of the wheat-field, prevented me from seeing either wing of the enemy, which seemed to extend indefinitely in both directions. By order, the battalion fired as the enemy came within one hundred

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