War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0327 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

Search Civil War Official Records

time to call in all his pickets and give the notice needed to concentrate the army on the point threatened by the enemy.

This was on the day of your arrival at Culpeper. The order given by you to King, as soon as news of the enemy's advance became known, found him just returned with a large part of his division (including all of his cavalry) from a demonstration made in compliance with your orders, on the line of the enemy's railroad communications between Richmond and Gordonsville; and though his men were weary, and would have much killed rest before beginning this march, they set forth at once, and made a forced march of 40 miles in thirty-six hours, during oppositely hot weather. The First and Second Corps were between the Blue Ridge and Culpeper, upon which they were directed by your orders. Crawford's brigade, of Banks' corps, had been occupying the town of Culpeper, and being nearest the enemy, was sent by you on the 8th to support Bayard, and joined him that evening at Cedar Run, a small stream running past the eastern base of Cedar Run (or Slaughter) Mountain. Colonel Duffies, First Rhode Island Cavalry and Colonel Allen's First Maine Cavalry, which had been guarding the fords on the Rapidan below Bayard, also joined him to aid in holding the enemy in check till the army should be sufficiently massed to offer battle. Thus far this had been done by Bayard's brigade, and now the duty devolved on Crawford, who joined him with infantry and artillery.

General Banks, arriving at Culpeper in the evening of the 8th with the remainder of his corps, was sent by you on the 9th to join his advanced brigade, then operating with the cavalry of my corps, holding the enemy in check. The orders were that General Sigel's corps (the First) should follow and support General Banks; Rickett's division, of my corps, which had been moved to the southwest of the town, to be in reserve, King's division being more than two days' march distant.

The cannonading of the 8th had been resumed on the 9th, and was kept up more or less throughout the day. The reports from the front sent in to me and from General Banks to your headquarters (were by your direction I had been throughout the day) were to the effect that the enemy did not yet seem to be in great force, showing his cavalry somewhat ostentatiously, and using his artillery only; and these reports continued to be of this character throughout the day, and gave the assurance the enemy would not be able to bring up his main force till our army should have been sufficiently concentrated and got in good condition for battle.

General Sigel's corps having arrived at Culpeper after a forced march, much of it during the night previous, and being reported without provisions and not in a condition to immediately follow General Banks, by your order I directed subsistence to be given General Sigel's men from my supply train, and instantly took Rickett's division, accompanied by you, to the front, to join General Banks, without waiting to follow General Sigel, as had been before ordered.

When the order was given me to take Rickett's division to the front it was not known General Banks had attacked the enemy, or that he purposed doing so, or that the enemy was in sufficient force to attack him; but the cannonading having become more continuous, I was sent forward as a precautionary measure, and to allow General Sigel's men some rest. When between 2 and 3 miles from Cedar Mountain we began to meet the evidences of the battle which General Banks had fought at its base - stragglers, singly and in groups, and soon companies, battalions, and batteries moving to the rear. General Banks had left the position where he had drawn up his troops and moved them forward