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[257] and the Rapidan. Before reaching the foot of this hill the road followed by Banks, along which he was to encounter Jackson, descends into the deep ravine of Cedar Creek; it then ascends a bare hillock stretching from south-east to north-west, and connecting again by a semicircular ridge of wooded hills with the spurs of Slaughter Mountain. The road forks on the hillock; to the right it passes among the wooded hills leading to Madison Court-house, beyond the Rapidan; the other branch, which leads to the railway bridge on this same river, descends into a second valley, of less depth than the first, then makes a detour to the left around the east side of the mountain. On the west slope there is a cross road, which diverges from the main route at a point where it inclines to the left. Three roads, therefore, coming from the south, through which the Confederate forces could pass, converge upon the hillock.

Crawford's Federal brigade had occupied the plateau situated at the north and in the rear of Cedar Creek since the day previous. But when Banks came to join him on the 9th, he learned that several of the enemy's batteries had appeared on Cedar Mountain, above the angle of the road. Anxious to engage the battle, he sent a few troops to support the skirmishers stationed on the hill, and followed soon after with the main body of his small army. He extended his line to the left as far as the second valley, resting it upon the woods which reach down from the mountain on that side. His centre, drawn up across the road, followed the rounded summit of the hill through fields of wheat and corn. The right occupied woods, beyond which extended a large clearing bounded by other woods. The heat was intense, the sun scorching, the dust suffocating, and water scarce all along the road. As soon as Banks and Jackson found themselves, however, in presence of each other, both made preparations for an attack, each believing that he had merely a vanguard to contend with. Banks placed Augur's division on the left, Green's brigade at the extremity of the line on Cedar Mountain, Prince across the road, with Geary on his right. Williams' division took position still farther to the right, Crawford's brigade near Geary, and Gordon's, with the cavalry, on the extreme right. It was half-past 4 o'clock when these dispositions were completed. Precisely at this moment

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