Thursday, August 9, 2012

150-years-ago -- BATTLE OF CEDAR MOUNTAIN, Va.

Battle of Cedar Mountain map. (National Park Service)
Maj. Gen. John Pope was placed in command of the newly constituted Army of Virginia on June 26. Gen. Robert E. Lee responded to Pope’s dispositions by dispatching Maj. Gen. T.J. Jackson with 14,000 men to Gordonsville in July. Jackson was later reinforced by A.P. Hill’s division. In early August, Pope marched his forces south into Culpeper County with the objective of capturing the rail junction at Gordonsville. On August 9, Jackson and Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks’s corps tangled at Cedar Mountain with the Federals gaining an early advantage. A Confederate counterattack led by A.P. Hill repulsed the Federals and won the day. Confederate general William Winder was killed. This battle shifted fighting in Virginia from the Peninsula to Northern Virginia, giving Lee the initiative. (National Park Service)

Private Armelin Linscomb of Co. K,
10th Louisiana Infantry took part in the
Battle of Cedar Mountain as a 19-year-
old soldier. He is seen here in a post war
(Blog author's second great
grand uncle.)
(Excerpt from Lee's Foreign Legion: A History of the 10th Louisiana Infantry by Thomas Walter Brooks and Michael Dan Jones, Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada)

On August 9, 1862, at Cedar Mountain, also called Slaughter Mountain after the Slaughter family on whose farm the battle  was fought, [Stonewall] Jackson's vanguard ran in Brigadier General Alpheus Williams's 1st Division and  Brigadier General Christopher Augur's 2nd Division, of Major General Nathaniel Banks' 2nd Corps of John Pope's Army of Virginia. Pope's Army of Virginia should not be confused with Robert E. Lees Army of Northern Virginia.

Following a late morning cavalry encounter, a general engagement developed.

Jackson's forces were fed into the battle piecemeal as they camp up, and it was not until late  in the afternoon that Starke's Brigade of Louisianians arrive on the scene. Colonel Henry Forno of the 5th Louisiana, in command of that other brigade of Louisianians, Brigadier General Richard Tayor's command, was already heavily engaged when the 10th Louisiana made its appearance.

In the descending twilight, as the 10th Louisiana emerged from a wood lot, Federal artillery fire found the mark and a shell ploughed through Company 'C' killing four Irishmen, Patrick Feeny, Edward Martin, William Quinn, and Michael Slavin. Two other Irishmen in the company, Daniel Curran and Thomas Ford, were wounded.  There were less than a handful of casualties in the other nine companies.

Somehow the Regimental Sergeant Major, Leon Jazstremski, managed to get himself captured again. It was becoming embarrassing. He had only just returned to the regiment August 5 from his previous capture at Malvern Hill. Also captured was Juan Basqe, a Spaniard of Compay 'G'. Basque availed himself of the opportunity to take the  Oath of Allegiance to the United States and leave the war.

Cpl. Isaac Reeves, left, and Sgt. James Reeves,
of Co. K, 10th Louisiana Infantry. Isaac was killed
in action at Gettysburg and James at Chancellorsville.
The third Reeves brother, John, lost his eyesight at
Chancellorsville. All three were from Lake Charles,\
Louisiana. (Image from full plate tintype courtesy of
Anna Belle Reeves Morris)

No comments: