U. S. CIVIL WAR
Confederate artillery firing from the mountain as well as from a small wooded
knoll known afterward as the Cedars, and from a gate where the Crittenden
House lane met the main road, dueled with Union artillery posted on the Mitchell
Station Road. One Confederate thought the gunnery was "the prettiest artillery
duel ever witnessed during the war."
During the spectacular but inconclusive shelling both Stonewall Jackson and
division commander Brigadier General Charles S. Winder tried their hand as
gunners. Soon Winder was carried off of the battlefield mortally wounded when a Northern
shell tore away his side.
The battle entered its most furious phase shortly after 5 p.m. when the Federal commander, Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, launched two attacks against the Confederate line. Union infantry waded through a cornfield heading for the Southern guns at the Cedars, while a second group of Northerners advanced toward the guns planted by the Gate.
The Confederate guns at the Gate, and the Cedars retreated while much of their infantry support fled from the Union onslaught. Jackson rode into the center of the storm waving his word with the scabbard still tightly rusted to it. Defying fire from three sides, Jackson brandished his "sword" and a battle flag, and banked on his name to rally the troops. One witness wrote later, "the escape of Jackson from death was miraculous. He was in the thickest of the combat, at very long range." The famed leader arrested the panic and restored order. A.P. Hill's timely arrival established a stronger line and sent the Federals reeling back across the fields. A small battalion of the 1st Pennsylvania Cavalry galloped into the teeth of the Confederate counterattack to buy time for the retreating Federals. As darkness fell, Jackson embarked on a concerted attack that swept Banks from the field.
Jackson's 22,000 Confederates came dangerously close to defeat at the hands of the Banks' inferior but aggressive force of about 12,000 Federals. Cedar Mountain was the only battle in which Stonewall Jackson attempted to draw his sword and lead his troops by example. Swayed by his personal involvement, Jackson later asserted that Cedar Mountain was "the most successful of his exploits."
Two days after the battle Jackson withdrew to meet Robert E. Lee, and begin the campaign leading to the battle of Second Manassas and the demise of John Pope. Once joined with Lee, Stonewall Jackson never again directed a campaign as an independent commander.
(Text Source: U.S. Gov't, National Park Service)
Federal battery fording a tributary of the Rappahannock River on the day of battle.
Parson Slaughter's house on Slaughter's (or Cedar) Mountain. Site of a Confederate battery. ["Slaughter Mountain" seems more appropriate -Ed]
|Except for the items provided with permission to the author of this Site, this complete Site is Copyright ; 2000 - 2017. All Rights are Reserved. No portion of this site, including this index page and any of the separate pages, may be copied, retransmitted, reposted, duplicated or otherwise used without the express written permission of USA Civil War.com.|