War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0198 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

No. 36. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Edwin G. Lee, Thirty-third Virginia Infantry.

CAMP GARNETT, VA., August 13, 1862.

CAPTAIN: In obedience to orders just received I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by me in the action of August 9 at Cedar Run:

On the morning of that day, at sunrise, the brigade left the bivouac, about a mile from the left bank of the Rapidan River, and marched, with many interruptions, some 6 or 7 miles on the road to Culpeper Court-House. About midday we were halted in a wood on the left of the road while a light cannonade was going on some distance in front. After remaining quiet about an hour and a half we were again moved forward perhaps a mile or two and halted in another wood, from which we moved about 4 p.m. in the direction of the enemy, keeping the woods, by order, to avoid raising the dust. The cannonade had become the brigade was halted, ordered to load, and form in line of battle, my regiment being next to the Twenty-seventh Virginia, which occupied the right. In this order we were moved forward a short distance, and then formed in column of regiments, right in front, still marching. In a short time this column was deployed upon the leading regiment and a halt ordered at a fence directly in front of us, which, by order of the colonel commanding, was leveled. Here we lay for some twenty minutes under very a sharp fire of shell and spherical case, which, fortunately, occasioned me no casualties. At the end of this time the brigade was again moved forward in line of battle over a stubble-field flanked on either side by woods; the left wing of my regiment was in the field, the right in the woods, and the Twenty-seventh entirely in the woods on my right. After having advanced about 125 yards the command was given to charge, when the whole line moved at a double-quick, the colonel commanding leading in person. Almost simultaneously with this movement a few shots from our left drew the fire from the line of the enemy, who were well posted in a woods abut 250 yards off, and who being able to see only a part of our force, on account of a slight hill over which the Fifth, Thirty-third, and Twenty-seventh had to pass, had also commenced to advance. Here for the first time I discovered the Federals in sight, and giving the command to my men, they poured a steady fire from the left wing into the enemy's ranks. My horse becoming unmanageable I dismounted, and in common with other regimental commanders urged the men forward. Our line steadily advanced, slowly driving our opponents, until I reached the corner of the woods on my right, where the right of the enemy. The firing was now general, but in front of me the enemy for some time were quite steady, and commenced to flank my right, getting upon that flank in the woods within forty steps of Company A. I sent the adjutant to see if the Twenty-seventh was aware of this movement and to urge their active assistance. He reported that the Twenty-seventh was not there, and I then directed the fire of the three right companies (A, F, and D) against the flankers, whose shots already enfiladed us. In a few moments the ground was dotted with their blue informs, and the rest retreated more rapidly than they advanced. I now observed the fine effect of the fire in front and pushed the men forward. I had previously informed Colonel Ronald of the attempted flank movement, and almost immediately