網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

supported by Field's brigade, with directions to feel the Federal position with artillery; and the battery suddenly opened, throwing the Federal forces into great confusion. They rapidly ran three or four batteries into position, and replied with a heavy fire. A cannonade then commenced, and continued for some time, when the Federal fire having become very severe, Pegram was ordered to withdraw his guns. Colonel Jones, of the cavalry, having made a reconnoissance in front and toward the right of the Confederate lines, and ascertained that Federal rečnforcements had arrived, Jackson considered it imprudent to continue the forward movement in the darkness, and ordered a halt for the night. This terminated the fighting for that day. A gentleman serving on Jackson's staff at this time gives the following glimpse of him after the action. It may interest those readers who are fond of personal and familiar details. On the night of the battle, Jackson was excessively fatigued and terribly hungry. His headquarter wagons rarely kept up, and to find them was always a sore labor with him. It frequently happened, indeed, that from simple want of food he would stop at some camp-fire, share the rations of the men, and after a familiar talk, go on his way. On this night he sought in vain for his wagons, and rode about from camp to camp until he was wearied out. Passing near the bivouac of the Stonewall Brigade, they recognized his figure by the moonlight; and starting to their feet, the men greeted him with enthusiastic cheers. From this he soon escaped, and returning to the subject of rations, declared that if he only had some milk, of which he was very fond, he would be happy. None could be procured, the wagons were not found, and worn out with fatigue, the General wrapped himself in his old cloak, stretched himself flat on his breast under a tree, and instantly fell asleep. On the following morning it began to rain, and suspecting that the enemy had been heavily reënforced during the night Jackson determined not to undertake a further advance. He accordingly gave directions for his wounded to be sent to the rear, the dead to be buried, and the arms abandoned by the enemy in their flight to be collected from the battle-field. In the course of the morning General J. E. B. Stuart arrived, and, at Jackson's request, took command of the cavalry, and made a reconnoissance. The result of this, and information from other sources, convinced Jackson that the enemy had been strongly rečnforced. He therefore determined not to hazard another battle in his weakened condition, and after remaining long enough to make all his preparations, retire. The Federal commander seemed in no haste to renew the conflict; and on the 11th–nearly two days after the battle—sent a flag of truce, requesting permission until two o'clock to bury such of his dead as the Confederates had not interred. This was granted, and the time afterwards extended, at General Pope's request, to five P. M. The Confederate forces remained in position ready to repulse any attack until night, when Jackson fell back toward the Rapidan. He recrossed that river, and on the 14th of August—“to render thanks to God for the victory at Cedar Run, and other past victories, and to implore His continual favor in the future— Divine service was held in the army.” On the plains of Orange, as amid the blue ranges of the mountains after McDowell, the men bent their bronzed faces in prayer to the Giver of Victory. On the 11th of August, while in front of the enemy, some one said: “General, you have sent no despatch announcing your victory.” Jackson at once took a pencil, and wrote on his knee some lines which he handed to the speaker, with the question: “How will that do?” “Well, General,” was the reply, “it is pretty much a repetition of your other despatches; but this battle is a repetition of the others too, and I suppose it will do.” The despatch was as follows:

HEADQUARTERs WALLEY District, August 11th–6:15 A.M. Colonel : On the evening of the 9th instant God blessed our arms with another victory. The battle was near Cedar Run, about six miles from Cul. pepper Court-House. The enemy, according to statements of prisoners, consisted of Banks', McDowell's, and Sigel's commands. We have over four hundred prisoners, including Rrigadier-General Prince. Whilst our list of killed is less than that of the enemy, yet 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 at the head of his command, which was the advance of the left wing of the army. We have collected about 1,500 small-arms and other ordnance stores. I am, Colonel, your obedient servant, T. J. JACKSON, Maj.-Gen. Commanding. Colonel R. H. Chilton, A. A. G.

General Pope's was in these words:

HEADQUARTERs ARMY of VIRGINIA, CEDAR MoUNTAIN, August 12th–7:30 A.M. To Major-General HALLEck:

The enemy has retreated under cover of the night.

His rear is now crossing the Rapidan toward Orange Court-House.

Our cavalry and artillery are in pursuit.
JOHN POPE, Major-General, &c.

CHAPTER XI.
LEE ADVANCES FROM THE RAPIDAN.

JACKsoN thus retired before the enemy toward Orange CourtHouse, and the Federal cavalry contented themselves with hovering on his rear and observing his march. The significance of his retrograde movement was doubtless well understood, and was justly regarded as the drawing back of the arm about to strike a heavier blow.

The result of the battle of Cedar Run seems to have convinced the Federal authorities that to make any headway in the new field of operations on the Rappahannock, it would be necessary to concentrate in that region all the troops operating in Virginia. A brief period only had therefore elapsed before a fleet of transports appeared in James River, proceeded to Harrison's Landing, and took on board the entire remnant of General McClellan's army, which had remained there under protection of the gunboats since the defeat on the Chickahominy. The plan of the Federal authorities was to unite General McClellan's forces with those of General Pope; to hurry forward from Fredericksburg the troops under General Burnside, and, forming one great army of these three distinct bodies, concentrate them between the Rappahannock and the Rapidan, with a view to penetrate the heart of Virginia, cut the communications of the Confederate capital, and either drive the Government from the State, or reduce it to submission. This design was energetically undertaken, and the Confederates were promptly called on to decide whether they would stand on the defensive, for the protection of Richmond against this new attack, or advance upon the enemy, and “carry the war into Africa.” The latter determination was speedily arrived at; offensive operations were decided upon; and no sooner had General Lee satisfied himself that General McClellan was evacuating his position on James River, than he hastened to put his troops in motion to attack General Pope before the expected reënforcements reached him. The Confederate forces were accordingly concentrated in the neighborhood of Gordonsville; and on the 15th of August Jackson advanced, passed Orange Court-House, and camped on the same evening near Mount Pisgah Church. The force under his command at this time consisted of Ewell's Division—embracing the brigades of Lawton, Early, Trimble, and Hays (Colonel Ferno commanding the latter); with the batteries of Brown, Dement, Latimer, Balthus, and D'Aquin. A. P. Hill's Division—embracing the brigades of Branch, Gregg, Field, Pender, Archer, and Thomas; with the batteries of Braxton, Latham, Crenshaw, McIntosh, Davidson, and Pegram. Jackson's (old) Division, Brigadier-General W. B. Taliaferro commanding—embracing the brigades of Winder (Colonel Baylor), Campbell (Major Seddon), Taliaferro (Colonel A. G. Taliaferro), and Starke; with the batteries of Brockenbrough, Wooding, Poague, Carpenter, Caskie, and Raines. The Old Division was thus commanded by a brigadier-general, and its brigades by colonels and majors—a significant commentary upon the gallantry of its officers, who had been terribly thinned out in the fierce encounters through which it had passed. “Major-General Stuart,” says Jackson, “with his cavalry coöperated during the expedition, and I shall more than once have to acknowledge my obligations for the valuable and efficient aid which he rendered.” Jackson remained at Mount Pisgah until the 20th, General Longstreet not having completed his preparations to advance; but all being at last ready, the army moved across the Rapidan on that day, and the campaign began. General Lee appears to have designed an attack on General Pope's left flank and rear, with a view to cut off his retreat to the Rappahannock by the line of the railroad, when the whole Federal army would either be forced to fight at a disadvantage, or surrender themselves prisoners of war. With this end in view, Longstreet moved by way of Raccoon ford, and Jackson by way of Somerville ford, on the Rapidan. Once beyond the river, Jackson pushed on without delay, and on the same night reached Stevensburg, a little village on the main road from Culpepper Court-House to Fredericksburg, and almost opposite the left flank of the enemy. It may interest some of our readers to have a glimpse of the Southern troops upon the march. History deals in generalities; but the actual picture, however homely, is more interesting, if not as valuable, as the “official statement.” From the journal of an eye-witness we extract the following paragraphs relating to the movements of the troops: “August 20.—Army crossed the Rapidan, the water thighdeep. Scene exciting and amusing. + + # # “August 21.—The enemy in close proximity, and we have to move cautiously. * * * From a hill on the other side of the Rapidan we have a magnificent view for miles. Three col

« 上一頁繼續 »