The battle of Cedar Mountain.
's official report has reached us through late Northern journals.
It will be seen that he confesses to a heavy loss in the brigade which he commanded:
Hdq'rs 3d Brigade, in the Field, Camp at Cedar Mountain, Va.,
Aug. 11, '62. Brigadier-General A. S. Williams
, commanding 1st division 2d army corps, Army of Virginia:
--I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by my brigade in the recent battle of Saturday, August 9th, at Cedar Mountain
, three miles from Culpeper Court-House, with the enemy under Gen. Jackson
At 9 A. M. on the 9th, after a hurried march of the day before, which was prolonged until 12 o'clock at night, I received orders to remove my brigade from the town of Culpeper
, where we were in bivouac, rapidly to the front, as Gen. Crawford
(commanding 1st brigade, 1st division) had been attacked and needed assistance.
My brigade was put in motion at once, and reached the position of Gen. Crawford
at about 12 M. I was directed by Gen. Roberts
, of Gen. Pope
's staff, to take position on the extreme right, which I occupied with my command of three regiments and two batteries.
Until 4 P. M. only a few discharges from the enemy's guns announced his presence.
At this hour a severe cannonading began, extending from the left of our line across the road upon which our centre rested.
Our batteries, served with great vigor, responded manfully, and with such success that the whole of our left, consisting of General Augur
's division, advanced considerably from our first position, not withstanding the enemy occupied a height which gave him advantages of a plunging fire.
Until 5½ P. M., this artillery practice continued with unabating severity.
At this hour I heard quite a rapid musketry firing in my front, behind a range of timber, distant about one-third of a mile from my position.
I was ordered by you, sir, to move at once with my brigade and support Gen. Crawford
, who was engaging the enemy's left.
I moved at once from my well chosen and exceedingly strong position, gaining the scene of action as briefly as a double-quick movement could carry me. I led into action the 2d Massachusetts regiment, Col.
G. L. Andrews
; 3d Wisconsin regiment, Col. Ruger
, and the 27th Indiana regiment. Col. Colgrove
I should state that five companies of the 3d Wisconsin regiment, previously deployed as skirmishers in this same timber, had been ordered by you to join Gen. Crawford
's command, which, after engaging the enemy with much gallantry, had been compelled to retire.
I arrived in the timber as Colonel Ruger
was rallying his men, and added them to my command.
The enemy were posted in the edge of the woods, on the opposite side of a newly mown wheat field; distance across the field two hundred yards. As I approached the opening the enemy, with his concealed position, received me with a rapid and destructive fire, but my regiments, particularly the Second Massachusetts and Third Wisconsin, coolly took their assigned places and replied with commendable coolness.
For at least thirty minutes this terrible lies continued.
Companies were left without officers, and men were falling in every direction from the fire of an enemy which largely outnumbered my brigade.
Still, there was no general falling back.
Some disgraceful instances of cowardice there were, but these only served to show in bolder relief the majesty of the courageous bearing of others.
The enemy having gained my right and rear, which, by their superior numbers, they were enabled to do without a check from me, poured in a destructive fire from this new direction.
The fire from the front had not been diminished.
It was too evident that the spot that had witnessed the destruction of one brigade would be in a few moments the grave of mine.
I had resisted the suggestions of a staff officer of your command to withdraw when the contest seemed hopeless; but now my duty had been performed, as the reports will show.
I had lost more than thirty in every hundred of my command; I therefore reluctantly withdrew, assembled my distinctive numbers between the timber and my first position, and fell back to the right of the line which I had held since the morning.
This position I occupied until relieved, at a late hour of the night by troops from General McDowell
There we slept upon our position.
We had not driven the enemy from his; further than that, if he has anything of which to boast, it is not in his numerous dead which fell before the rifles of the First and Third brigades of the First division.
With my shattered brigade I occupied the front of the centre of our line of battle until near daylight.
In conclusion, I ought — as I thus do — to mention the names of Col. Andrews
, 2d Massachusetts regiment; Col. Ruger
, 3d Wisconsin regiment, and Col. Colgrove
, 27th Indiana regiment, as deserving praise for gallant conduct.
I by no means limit my commendation to the names mentioned.
I would add the names of many commissioned and non-commissioned officers of my command.
The dead, the honored dead, speak for themselves; they gave up their lives for their country's sake.
The living yet live for their country, and the wounded, in their suffering, may be cheered by the consciousness that all this, and more, they can bear for the cause of American freedom.
Among the killed are Lieut. Col. Crane
and Capt. O'Brien
, 3d Wisconsin regiment; Capt. Cary
, and Goodwin
, and Lieut. Perkins
, of the 2d Massachusetts.
These are some of the names to be remembered as heroes — men who have died that our country may survive.
I carried into action less than 1,500 men. I lost in about thirty minutes 466 killed, wounded and missing. I refer specially to the reports of Colonels
of regiments appended.