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Chapter 15: Cedar Run.

While the army lay near Westover, resting from its toils, General Jackson called his friend, the Honorable Mr. Boteler, to his tent, to communicate his views of the future conduct of the war, and to beg that on his next visit to Richmond, he would impress them upon the Government. He said that it was manifest by every sign, that McClellan's was a thoroughly beaten army, and was no longer capable of anything, until it was reorganized and reinforced. There was danger, he foresaw, of repeating the error of Manassa's Junction; when the season of victory was let slip by an ill-timed inaction, and the enemy was allowed full leisure to repair his strength. Now, since it was determined not to attempt the destruction of McClellan where he lay, the Confederate army should at once leave the malarious district, move northward, and carry the horrors of invasion from their own borders, to those of the guilty assailants. This, he said, was the way to bring them to their senses, and to end the war. And it was within the power of the Confederate Government to make a successful invasion, if their resources were rightly concentrated. Sixty thousand men could march into Maryland, and threaten Washington City, producing most valuable results. But, he added; while he wished these views to be laid before the President, he would disclaim earnestly the charge of self-seeking, in advocating them. He wished to follow, and [487] not to lead, in this glorious enterprise: he was willing to follow anybody; General-Lee, or the gallant Ewell. “Why do you not at once urge these things,” asked Mr. Boteler, “upon General Lee himself?” “I have done so;” replied Jackson. “And what,” asked Mr. Boteler, “does he say to them?” General Jackson answered: “He says nothing.” But he added; “Do not understand that I complain of this silence; it is proper that General Lee should observe it: He is a sagacious and prudent man; he feels that he bears a fearful responsibility: He is right in declining a hasty expression of his purposes, to a subordinate like me.” The advice of Jackson was laid before the President. What weight was attached to it, is unknown; but the campaign soon after took the direction which he had indicated.

He was extremely anxious to leave the unhealthy region of the lower James, where his own health, with that of his command, was suffering, and to return to the upper country. He longed for its pure breezes, its sparkling waters, and a sight of its familiar mountains. Events had already occurred, which procured the speedy gratification of his wish. After the defeat of Fremont and Shields, the Washington Government united the corps of these Generals, of Banks, and of McDowell into one body, under the name of the “Army of Virginia.” These parts made an aggregate of fifty or sixty thousand men, who were now sent, under Major-General John Pope, upon the mission of making a demonstration against Richmond by the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, and thus effecting a diversion which would deliver McClellan from his duress. The former was directed to seize Gordonsville, the point at which the Orange and Central Railroads cross each other, and thus to separate Richmond from the interior. General Pope, who was supposed to have distinguished himself at New Madrid, on the Mississippi, was chiefly [488] noted for his claim of ten thousand prisoners captured from General Beauregard in his retreat from Corinth, where the former commanded the advance of the Federalists (a boast which was reduced, by the truthful statement of the Confederate General, to one hundred). He was the most boastful, the most brutal, and the most unlucky of the Federal leaders who had yet appeared in Virginia. In a general order issued to his troops, he ostentatiously announced his purpose, to conduct the war upon new principles. “He had heard much,” he said, “of lines of communication, and lines of retreat. The only line a general should know anything of, in his opinion, was the line of his enemy's retreat.” He declared also, that hitherto he had never been able to see anything of his enemies but their backs; and announced, that during his campaign, the Headquarters should be in the saddle. So coarse a braggart was sure to be in sympathy with the race for. which he promised to fight, and they did not need to wait for any deeds actually accomplished to proclaim him “the coming man” of his day. The reader may easily imagine the quiet smile with which Jackson would hear these shallow threats of his antagonist, and the silence with which he accepted them as auguries of a certain victory. General Pope's method of dealing with the people of Virginia was to be as novel as his strategy. He deliberately announced his purpose to subsist his troops on the country, and authorized an indiscriminate plunder of the inhabitants. His army was let loose upon them, and proceeded like a horde of brigands, through the rich counties of Fauquier and Culpepper, stripping the people of food, live stock, horses, and poultry, and wantonly destroying what they could not use. Their General also ordained, that all the citizens within his lines must perjure themselves by taking an oath of allegiance to Lincoln, or be banished South; to return no more, under the penalty of being executed as spies. [489]

Jackson was now moved toward Gordonsville, to meet this doughty warrior, who, as he left Alexandria to assume command of his army at Manassa's Junction, celebrated the triumphs to be achieved, before they were won, with banners and laurels. The corps returned from Westover to the neigborhood of Richmond, the 10th of July. There they remained until the 17th, preparing for their march; and it was during this respite that General Jackson first made his appearance openly, in the city which he had done so much to deliver. He gives the following account of it in a letter to his wife.

Richmond, July 14th.
Yesterday I heard Doctor M. D. Hoge preach in his church, and also in the camp of the Stonewall Brigade. It is a great comfort to have the privilege of spending a quiet Sabbath, within the walls of a house dedicated to the service of God. . . . .People are very kind to me. How God, our God, does shower blessings upon me, an unworthy sinner!

The manner of his entrance was this. He came tothe church without attendants; and just after the congregation was assembled, they saw an officer who was manifestly a stranger, in a faded and sunburned uniform, enter quietly, and take his seat near the door. The immediate commencement of the worship forbade any notice or inquiry; they could only observe that he gave a devout and fixed attention to the services. When they were concluded, it began to be whispered that he was General Jackson; but he scarcely gave them time to turn their eyes upon him, before he was gone, after modestly greeting one or two acquaintances. After visiting a mother, whose son had fallen in his command, he returned to his tent.

On the 19th of July, he reached Gordonsville with his corps, and took quarters in the hospitable house of Reverend D. B. [490] Ewing, where he had before found a pleasant resting place, when passing through the village. He appeared jaded by his excessive labors, and positively unwell; and said that he had not suffered so much, since his return from Mexico. But the rest, the mountain breezes, and the fresh fruits in which he so much delighted, speedily restored the vigor of his frame. He loved to refresh himself here, after the labors of the day were finished, with the social converse of the amiable family which surrounded Mr. Ewing's board, and with the prattle of his children. One of these, while sitting upon his knee, was captivated with the bright military buttons upon his coat, and petitioned that when the garment was worn out, he should give her one as a keepsake. This he promised; and months afterward, amidst all his weighty cares, he remembered to send her the gift; which she ever after hoarded among her treasures. It was his greatest pleasure to share the family prayers of this Christian household, and he did not refuse to take his turn in conducting them. His host remarks of these services: “There was something very striking inhis prayers-he did not pray to men, but to God. His tones were deep, solemn, tremulous. He seemed to realize that he was speaking to Heaven's King. I never heard any one pray, who seemed to be pervaded more fully by a spirit of utter self-abnegation. He seemed to feel more than any man I ever knew, the danger of robbing God of the glory due for our success.” Although he was incapable of making an ostentatious display of himself, and would never permit the interruption of business by society, yet when time sufficed for social enjoyments, he was easily approached by all who sought to know him, and was careful to contribute to their entertainment by bearing a modest part in conversation.

After a few days spent near Gordonsville, he retired southward a few miles into the county of Louisa, whose fertile fields [491] offered abundant pasturage for his jaded animals. Here he devoted himself to reorganizing his command, and recruiting his artillery horses, for the approaching service. It was at this time that he complained, in his letters to his wife, of being overbur, thened with cares and labors: blut he chided himself by referring to the Apostle of the Gentiles, who “gloried in tribulation,” and declared that it was not like a Christian to murmur at any toil for his Redeemer.

Learning that Pope was advancing toward the Rapid Ann River in great force, he called upon General Lee for reinforcements; and the division of General A. P. Hill was sent to join him. This fine body of troops continued henceforth to be a part of his-corps. On the 2nd of August, the Federal cavalry occupied the village at Orange Court House, when Colonel William E. Jones, the comrade of Jackson at West Point, commanding the 7th Virginia cavalry, attacked them in front and flank while crowded into the narrow street, and repulsed them with loss. They, however, speedily perceiving the scanty numbers of their assailants, returned to the charge; and threatening to envelop Jones, forced him back in turn. But he retired skirmishing with so much stubbornness, that they pursued him a very short distance, when they withdrew across the river. This affair occurred ten miles north of Gordonsville. Pope's infantry paused in the county of Culpepper, which lies over against Orange, across the Rapid Ann. He indiscreetly extended his army a few miles in rear of that stream, upon a very wide front, while some of the troops designed to serve under his orders were still at Fredericksburg, two marches below. This was an opportunity which the enterprise and sagacity of Jackson were certain to seize. He knew that the army of Lee, still detained to watch McClellan upon the lower James, could not come to his support before that of Pope would be assembled. The mass of [492] the latter would then be irresistible by his little army; and there Was reason to fear that Gordonsville would be lost, the railroad occupied, and a disastrous progress made by Pope before he could be arrested. He therefore determined to strike his centre immediately at Culpepper Court House, and to cripple him so that he would be unable to advance, before other dispositions could be made for resisting him. Another powerful reason dictated an attack. Jackson's soldierly eye had shown him that the line of the Rapid Ann was the proper one to be held by a defensive army guarding the communications at Gordonsville, and the centre of Virginia; for the commanding heights of the southern bank everywhere dominated over the level plains of the Culpepper border. This judgment was afterward confirmed by the high authority of General Lee, who selected that line for defence against Generals Meade and Grant; and, by its strength, baffled every attempt to force it in front. Pope, then, must not be permitted to occupy it; but it suited the temper of General Jackson to prevent it by an aggressive blow, rather than by a dangerous extension of his inadequate force upon it. Hence, on the 7th of August, he gave orders to his three divisions to move toward Culpepper, and to encamp on that night near Orange Court House.

It was on this occasion that the striking witness was borne by his African servant, Jim, to his devout habits, which was so currently (and correctly) related. Some gentlemen were inquiring whether he knew when a battle was about to occur. “Oh, yes, Sir,” he replied: “The General is a great man for praying; night and morning-all times. But when I see him get up several times in the night besides, to go off and pray, then I know there is going to be something to pay; and I go straight and pack his haversack, because I know he will call for it in the morning.” [493]

August 8th, the division of Ewell, which led the way, bearing off to the northwest, crossed the Rapid Ann at the Liberty Mills, as though to attack the extreme right of Pope. Tho other divisions crossed at Barnett's Ford, below; and Ewell, turning to the east, returned to their line of march, and bore toward Slaughter's Mountain. The division of A. P. Hill, delayed by the trains which followed the preceding troops, and by a misconception of orders, did not cross the river until the morning of the 91;h. This derangement of the march arrested General Jackson many miles from Culpepper Court House, and he reluctantly postponed his attack to the next day. On the morning of August 9th, having ascertained that A. P. Hill was now within supporting distance, he moved early; and, with his cavalry in front, pressed toward the Court House. About eight miles from that place, the advance reported the enemy's cavalry before them, guarding the roads, and manoeuvring in a manner which indicated a force behind them; and, a little after, the line of horse was discovered upon a distant ridge, drawn up as if for battle. A few cannon shot from a rifled gun dislodged them; but speedily the fire was returned by the Federal artillery from a distant position, and the line of cavalry re-appeared. General Jackson, convinced that he had a strong body of the enemy in his front, now made his dispositions for battle, a little after the middle of the day.

His army had by this time fallen into the main road, leading northeastward to Culpepper Court House; and to this quarter his front was directed during the remainder of the day. The neighborhood around him was a region of pleasant farms, of hills and dales, and of forests interspersed. But parallel with the road which he was pursuing distant about a mile on his right, was an insulated ridge, rising to the dignity of a mountain, running perfectly straight from southwest to northeast, and [494] dropping into the plain as suddenly as it arose. This is called by the country-people, Slaughter's Mountain. The fields next its base are smoother and more akin to meadows than those along the highway at the distance of a mile. Across the northeastern end of the ridge, flow the rivulets which form, by their union, Cedar Run, and make their way thence to the Rapid Ann. General Early's brigade of Ewell's division, which held the front, was ordered to advance along the great road and develop the position of the enemy, supported by the division of Jackson, commanded by Brigadier-General Winder. The remainder of Ewell's division, consisting of the brigades of Trimble and Hays, (lately Taylor's) diverged to the right, and skirting the base of Slaughter's Mountain, by an obscure pathway, at length reached the northeast end, whence, from an open field elevated several hundred feet above the plain, they saw the whole scene of action unfolded beneath them. The battery of Lattimer, with half that of Johnson, was drawn up to this promontory, and skilfully posted, so as to cover with its fire the whole front of the Confederate right and centre. It was to the promptitude with which General Jackson seized this point, and the adroitness with which he employed its advantages, that he was chiefly indebted, in. connection with the bravery of his troops, for his victory. The guns of Lattimer and Johnson, in consequence of the elevation of their position, commanded a wide range of the country below, and were themselves secure from the fire of the enemy. Every shot aimed at them fell short, and buried itself, without ricochet, in the hill-side beneath them; while their gunners, in perfect security, and in a clear atmosphere above the smoke of the battle-field, played upon the enemy with all the deliberation and skill of target practice. Thus the level and open fields next the mountain, which otherwise were most favorable to the display of the Federalists' superior numbers, were effectually barred [495] [496] from their approach; or, if they braved the fire of the mountainbattery, the two brigades of Ewell lay hid in the dense pine thickets which clothed the side of the ridge, ready to pour upon their flank a crushing fire from superior ground. These dispositions at once decided the security of Jackson's right wing for the whole day. He placed no troops in the meadows next the mountain-base; for on this ground the artillery of the enemy could play with best effect. But though this marked hiatus in his line seemed to invite attack, none was seriously attempted; the disadvantage imposed upon the assailants revealed itself to them so powerfully, at their first approach, that they observed the deadly trap afterward with respectful avoidance.

Before these dispositions upon the right were completed, General Early had become engaged with the enemy. Throwing his brigade into line of battle across the road, he advanced obliquely to the right, scouring the woods before him with his skirmishers and driving back the observing force of cavalry. A march of a half-mile brought him to the top of a gentle hill where the road emerged from the forest, and ran forward for a third of a mile farther, between the wood and a large pasture field of undulating ground. In other words, the open ground here cut into the forest by an angle, so that the traveller advancing thenceforward had the field upon his right, and the wood upon his left, for that distance. There the wood terminated, upon the brow of a hillock overlooking the rivulet; and there were open fields upon both sides of the highway. That on the right was covered, for a great extent, with a tall growth of Indian corn in all its summer glory. That on the left was a stubble field of narrow extent, with wheat in the shock; and still farther to the left of this, was another piece of ground of about. equal size, which had been denuded of its timber. but was now densely overgrown with brushwood of the height of a man's shoulders. The stubble [497] feld and the clearing, together, constituted in fact but a species of bay, penetrating the surrounding forests to the left of the main road; for on their farther side the woods commenced again. The cornfield, the stubble field, the brushwood, and the angle of forest on the Confederate side, were destined to be the Aceldama. By the time General Early had reached the rear angle of the great pasture field just described, his whole line was, in consequence of his oblique advance, on the left of the road, and was soon, by his farther advance, separated from it by a considerable space. Sweeping the Federal skirmishers before him, he pushed his line, in perfect order, to the front of the declivity which descended to the rivulet and the Indian corn. Several batteries on his right and in front were now opened on him, and the wheatfield on the left of the highway was observed full of squadrons of cavalry. Withdrawing his men into a slight depression behind the foremost crest of the hill, he obtained partial shelter from the enemy's artillery, and brought up four guns from the batteries of Captains Brown and Dement, to a favorable position upon his right, whence they engaged the opposing batteries with great credit. But no line of infantry was yet visible before him, for it was masked in the thick corn.

The division of Winder had now arrived, and its commander was posting several of its best batteries in echelon along the road in the rear of Early's left, whence they delivered a most effective oblique fire toward the right and front. The second brigade of the division was advanced on the left of the road, to the further edge of the wood, presenting a convex line toward the cornfield and the stubble field; the third brigade was left in column parallel to the road and in rear of their artillery: and the first, or Stonewall Brigade, was disposed as a reserve to support the left. A rapid and continuous thunder of artillery now began on both sides, which was prolonged for two hours. Distant [498] spectators perceived that the aim of the Confederates was much more accurate than that of the enemy. While the shells of the latter mostly exploded high in the air and above the treetops, those of the former were seen ploughing the ground among the guns of their adversaries, and throwing the dust, with their iron hail, in their midst. But one fated shot from the Federal batteries robbed the patriots of one of the chief ornaments of their army. While General Winder was standing beside the guns of Poague and Carpenter, directing their working with his customary coolness and skill, a shell struck him upon the side, dashed his field-glass from his hand, and inflicted a ghastly wound, of which he died three hours after. No more just or graceful tribute can be paid to his memory, than that of General Jackson's report. “It is difficult within the proper reserve of an official report, to do justice to the merits of this accomplished officer. Urged by the medical director to take no part in the movements of the day, because of the enfeebled state of his health, his ardent patriotism and military pride could bear no such restraint. Richly endowed with those qualities of mind and person, which fit an officer for command, and which attract the admiration and excite the enthusiasm of troops, he was rapidly rising to the front rank of his profession. His loss has been severely felt,” Succeeding General Richard Garnett in the command of the Stonewall Brigade, after the battle of Kernstown, and coming to it wholly a stranger, he had unavoidably inherited some of the odium of that popular officer's removal. During the first two months of his connexion with it, he was respected and obeyed; for his dignity, bearing, and soldierly qualities were such as to ensure this everywhere; but he inspired no enthusiasm. It was at Winchester, when General Jackson assigned him the command of his left wing, that his prowess broke forth to the apprehension of his men, like the sun bursting through clouds. The [499] heroism with which he shared their dangers, and the mastery with which he directed their strength, placed him thenceforth in their hearts.

At five o'clock in the afternoon, the struggle began in earnest, by the advance of the Federal infantry against Early, through the Indian corn. This General, handling his regiments with admirable coolness and daring, held the heavy masses in his front at bay, with slight loss to himself. Soon after, the enemy advanced a strong force of infantry to turn his right; but just as the movement was endangering the guns of Brown and Demenit, a brigade was seen advancing rapidly to their support. It was the command of Thomas (from the division of A. P. Hill, who had now arrived upon the scene); which, with two additional batteries, took post upon Early's right. The Confederate line of battle was thus extended within a half-mile of the mountain, and all the efforts made against it on this side were hurled back with loss. But, upon the other extremity of the field, grave events were occurring. It has been related, how the second brigade of the division of Winder, under Colonel Garnett, had been stationed on the left of the great road, with its line conformed to the convexity of the wood. The Stonewall Brigade, which was its reserve, was, unhappily, too far to the rear to give it immediate support. One moment it was declared that there was no hostile infantry visible in its front; but the next, the men at the extreme left beheld a formidable line, whose length overlapped them on either hand, advancing swiftly from the opposite woods, and across the stubble field, to assail them. The battalion at that end of the line, seeing themselves thus overmatched, fired a few ineffectual volleys, and gave way; the Federal right speedily swept around, entered and filled the woods, and even threatened the rear of the batteries of the division, from which the third brigade of Taliaferro had a little. [500] before been removed to the front, to fil the interval between the second, and that of Early. The whole angle of forest was now filled with clamor and horrid rout. The left regiments of the second brigade were taken in reverse, intermingled with the enemy, broken, and massacred from front and rear. The regiments of the right, and especially the 21st Virginia, commanded by the brave Christian soldier, Colonel Cunningham, stood firm, and fought the enemy before them like lions, until the invading line had penetrated within twenty yards of their rear. For the terrific din of the musketry, the smoke, and the dense foliage, concealed friend from foe, until they were only separated from each other by this narrow interval. Their heroic Colonel was slain, the orders of officers were unheard amidst the shouts of the assailants, and all the vast uproar; yet the remnants of the second brigade fought on, man to man, without rank or method, with bayonet thrusts and muskets dubbed, but borne. back like the angry foam on a mighty wave, toward the high road. The third brigade, also, upon the right of the second, was broken; and on both sides of the way the enemy made a vast irruption, in which half of Early's brigade was involved. On his extreme left, next to Taliaferro stood the famous 13th Virginia, which, under the gallant leading of its sturdy Colonel, J. A. Walker, still showed an unbroken front, and fell back, fighting the flood of enemies. The right regiments of Early, under the immediate eye of their veteran General, held their ground like a rampart. But the Federalists were fast gaining their rear in the open field.

It was at this fearful moment that the genius of the storm reared his head amidst the tumultuous billows; and in an instant the threatening tide was turned. Jackson appeared in the mid torrent of the highway, his figure instinct with majesty, and his face flaming with the inspiration of battle; he ordered the [501] batteries which Winder had placed to be instantly withdrawn, to: preserve them from capture: he issued his summons for his reserves; he drew his-own sword (the first time in this war), and shouted to the broken troops with a voice which pealed higher than the roar of battle: “Rally, brave men, and press forward! Your general will lead you. Jackson will lead you. Follow me!1” The fugitives, with a general shame; gathered around their adored general: and rushing with a few score of them to the front, he posted them behind the fence which bordered the roadside, and received the pursuers with a deadly volley. They recoiled in surprise; while officers of every grade, catching the generous fervor of their commander, flew among the men, and in a moment reinstated the failing battle. The fragments of Early and Taliaferro returned to their places, forming around that heroic nucleus, the 13th Virginia, and swept the open field clear of the enemy. The Stonewall Brigade had already come up and changed the tide of battle in the bloody woodland, for some of the regiments sweeping far around to the left through the field of brushwood, had taken the Federalists, in turn, upon their flank, and were driving them back with a fearful slaughter into the stubble field. Scarcely was this Titanic blow delivered, when the fine brigade of Branch, from the division of A. P. Hill, hardly allowing itself time to form, rushed forward to second them, and completed the repulse.

The Federal commander, loth to lose his advantage so quickly, now brought forward a magnificent column of cavalry, and hurled it along the highway, full against the Confederate centre. No cannon was in position to ravage their ranks; but, as they forced back the line for a little space by their momentum, the infantry of Branch closed in upon their right, and that of Taliaferro and Early upon their left. Especially did the 13th Virginia [502] now exact a bloody recompense of them for all their disasters. Wheeling instantly toward the left, they rushed to the fence beside the road; and, just as the recoil of the shock began, poured a withering volley into the huddled mass from the distance of a few yards. On both sides of the devoted column, the lines of Branch and of Taliaferro blazed, until it fled to the rear, utterly scattered and dissipated. And now Jackson's blood was up; and he delivered blow after blow from his insulted left wing, with stunning rapidity and regulated fury. Scarcely was the charge of this cavalry repelled, when he again reinforced the ranks of Branch in front of the bloody stubble field, with the brigades of Archer and of Pender, from the division of Hill, extending them far to the left. These fresh troops, with the remainder of the first and second brigades of Jackson's division were ordered by him to advance across the feld, throwing their left continually forward, and attack the enemy's line in the opposite wood. They advanced under a heavy fire, when the foe yielded the bloody field, and broke into full retreat. The brigade of Taliaferro also charged, bearing toward the right, and pierced the field of Indian corn in front of General Early, where they captured four hundred of the enemy, with Brigadier-General Prince.

The two brigades which had hitherto remained with General Ewell upon the mountain now advanced also upon the right, turned the left flank of the Federalists, and captured one piece of artillery. Thus, at every point, the foe was repulsed, and hurled into full retreat. When night settled upon the field they had been driven two miles, Jackson urging on the pursuit with the fresh brigades of Stafford and Field. It was his cherished desire to penetrate to Culpepper Court House, for he would then have struck the centre of Pope's position, and his chief depot of supplies; whence he hoped to be able to crush the fragments [503] of his army before the corps of McDowell could reach him. With this object, he purposed at first to continue the pursuit all night. Ascertaining by his scouts that the enemy had paused in their flight just in his front, he now placed the battery of Pegram in position, and opened a hot fire upon them at short range. This new cannonade threw them for a time into great confusion; and had the darkness of the night permitted the victor to see distinctly where his blows should be aimed, he would probably have converted the retreat of the Federals into a disastrous rout; But, after a time, three batteries began to reply to Pegram with such vigor as plainly indicated that Pope had received some fresh supports since the night fell. The indefatigable Colonel William E. Jones also, returning with his regiment of cavalry from a fatiguing expedition, had passed to the front, and ascertained the arrival of the remainder of the corps of Fremont, now commanded by Sigel. The General therefore determined not to hazard more in the darkness of the night, and commanded the troops to halt and bivouac upon the ground which they had won.

The long day, sultry with an August sun, and with the heats of battle, had now given place to a night, moonless but placid. Jackson at length gathered his wearied Staff about him, and rode languidly back through the field of strife, lately so stormy, but now silent, save where the groans of the wounded broke the stillness, seeking a place of repose. Applying at two or three farm-houses for shelter, he was informed that they were full of wounded men, when he persistently refused to enter, lest he should be the occasion of robbing some sufferer of his restingplace. Resuming his way, he observed a little grass-plot, and declared that he could go no farther, but must sleep then and there. A cloak was spread for him upon the ground, when he prostrated himself on it upon his breast, and in a moment forgot his toils and fatigues in deep slumber. [504]

The morning of the 10th of August, General Jackson withdrew his lines a short distance, and proceeded to bury his dead, and collect from the field the spoils of his victory. These consisted of one piece of artillery and three caissons, three colors, and five thousand three hundred small arms. The loss of the Confederates in this battle was two hundred and twenty-three killed, one thousand and sixty wounded, and thirty-one missing, --making a total of one thousand three hundred and fourteen. General Jackson modestly estimated the loss of his enemy as double his own. How moderate that estimate was will appear in the sequel. The Federalists, according to their own returns, had thirty-two thousand men engaged in this battle. The numbers of General Jackson were between eighteen and twenty thousand. The prisoners captured from the enemy were chiefly from the corps of General Banks; but a few from those of Sigel and McDowell showed that parts of their commands were also engaged. On the 11th of August, Pope requested, by flag of truce, access to the field to bury his dead. This privilege was granted to him; and General Early was appointed commandant of the field, to enforce the terms of the temporary truce. Soon the ground was covered with those who had lately been arrayed against each other in mortal strife, mingling unarmed. While the burying parties collected their bloody charge, and excavated great pits in which to cover them, the rest were busy trading their horses with each other, arguing upon the politics of the great controversy, and discussing the merits of their respective Generals, The Federals, with one consent, were loud in their praises of Jackson; and declared that if they had such Generals to lead them, they also could win victories and display prowess. Not a few of them were prompt to draw parallels between the simplicity, self-reliance, and courage of the Confederate Generals, and the ostentation and timidity of their own, little complimentary to [505] them. “See old Early,” they said, “riding everywhere, without a single guard, among his enemies of yesterday. If it were one of our mutton-headed Generals, he must needs have half a regiment of cavalry at his heels, to gratify his pride, and defend him from unarmed men” General Early saw them bury seven hundred corpses. How many were borne from the field by them during the progress of the battle, cannot be known. If they, like the Confederates, had five wounded for every one slain (the usual ratio), then their total loss was, at the least, four thousand six hundred. While the field of Indian. corn was sprinkled over with dead, the most ghastly accumulation was in the stubble field and the brushwood in front of the Confederate left; which one of their own Generals (taking his metaphor from his own former trade) denominated “the slaughter-pens.” The battle of Cedar Run, like all those where Jackson was the assailant, was remarkable for the narrowness of the front upon which the true contest was enacted.. A space of a mile in width here embraced the whole of the ground upon which his centre and left wing had wrestled, for half a day, against thirty thousand men. When it is remembered that these were enough to man a line of battle, six miles long, this fact will appear a singular evidence of the incompetency of the Federal tactics,--that their boastful commander should have accepted defeat with all the advantage of his superior numbers, in an open country, without effecting any more extended development of his lines, or resort to the resources of manoeuvre. General Jackson, on his part, pronounced this the .most successful of his exploits. But he announced it to his superior, General Lee, in these devout and modest terms:--

August 11th, 6. A. M.
On the evening of the 9th instant, God blessed our arms with another victory. The battle was near Cedar Run, about [506] six miles from Culpepper Court House. The enemy, according to statements of prisoners, consisted of Banis's, McDowell's and Sigel's commands. We have over fear hundred prisoners, including Brigadier-General Price. Whilst our list of killed is less than that of the enemy, we have to mourn the loss of some of our best officers and men. Brigadier-General Charles S. Winder was mortally wounded whilst ably discharging his duty atthe head of his command, which was the advance of the left wing of the army. We have collected about 1500 small arms, and other ordnance stores.

Whilst General Jackson was engaged on the 10th, caring for his killed and wounded, he caused careful reconnoissances to be made under the care of General J. E. B. Stuart, who providentially visited his army on that day, on a tour of inspection. He was convinced by this inquiry, that the army of Pope was receiving constant accessions, and that before he could resume the offensive, it would be swelled to sixty thousand men. The bulk of the forces of McDowell, was upon the march to join the enemy, by a route which seemed to threaten his rear. He therefore determined that it was imprudent to hazard farther offensive movements. Having sent back all his spoils and his wounded, he retired from the front of the enemy the night of August 11th, and returned unmolested to the neighborhood of Gordonsville, hoping that Pope's evil star might tempt him to attack his army there, where the proximity of the railroad would enable him to receive adequate re-inforcements.

A part of the leisure of his day of truce was employed in writing to Mrs. Jackson a letter, from which the following extract is taken.

On last Saturday our God again crowned our arms with [507] victory, about six miles from Culpepper Court House. All glory be to God for his unnumbered blessings.

I can hardly think of the fall of Brigadier-General C. S. Winder, without tearful eyes. Let us all unite more earnestly in imploring God's aid in fighting our battles for us. The thought that there are so many of God's people praying for His blessing upon the army, which, in His providence, is with me, greatly strengthens me. If God be for us, who can be against us? That He will still be with us, and give us victory after victory, until our independence shall be established, and that He will make our nation that people whose God is the Lord, is my earnest and oft-repeated prayer. Whilst we attach so much importance to being free from temporal bondage, we must attach far more to being free from the bondage of sin.

His report of the battle is closed with these words:

In order to render thanks to God for the victory at Cedar Run, and other past victories, and to implore His continued favor in the future, divine service was held in the army on the 14th of August.

This battle was claimed by the Federalists, with their usual effrontery, as a victory; under the pretext that General Jackson had after two days retreated and recrossed the Rapid Ann. Had these measures on his part been caused by anything that was done upon the battle-field by the forces engaged against him August 9th, that pretext would have worn the color of a reason. But since his withdrawal was caused by the arrival of fresh troops in great numbers, after the battle was concluded, it might with as much truth be said that any other victory in history was a defeat, because the material resources of the two parties were afterwards modified or reversed.

The opinion has been expressed that although Jackson fought well at Cedar Run, it would have been better not to have fought [508] at all; because his victory, while glorious, was without other result; and thus the brave men lost were made a useless sacrifice. This criticism should be met by two answers. The battle was not without solid result, for it arrested the career of Pope until the army of Northern Virginia arrived, and prevented his gaining positions decisive of future operations. It must be remembered that on the 2nd of August, the vanguard of the invading army had crossed the Rapid Ann, and penetrated with it twelve miles of Gordonsville. The troops which came to gspport Jackson did not move against the enemy from that place, until August 16th. What disastrous progress might not the invaders have made within that time, if Jackson had not arrested them by his timely blow? But second: designs, which must necessarily be made in advance, are entitled to be tried, when the question is of the wisdom of him who formed them, not by the strict rule of the actual event, but by the milder one of the probable result. General Jackson proposed to strike the enemy, not at Cedar Run, but at Culpepper Court House; and not upon the 9th, but the 8th of August. The space to be traversed to effect this, was not unreasonable, (but one day's rapid marching) and the blunder by which it was prevented was unforeseen. Had his wishes been attained, it is not unreason able to say, that his victory would have been so much more complete as to silence every charge of fruitlessness. For we have seen that the supports which saved Pope from destruction only arrived at nightfall upon the 9th. [509]

1 His own words, as repeated by a member of his staff, who was present.

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