Report of Maj. John Seddon, First Virginia Battalion.
August 14, 1862.
Colonel: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the First Virginia Battalion during the late engagement with the enemy near Cedar Creek on the evening of the 9th instant:
The First Virginia Battalion, under my command, was marched with the rest of the Second brigade through a body of woods, and were drawn up in line of battle with inverted front on the extreme left of the brigade, in the wood, with a small wheat field on our front. The woods were so dense that no other portion of our brigade could be seen from our position. We took up our position about 4.15 p. m.
At about 5.45 o’clock a large brigade of the enemy emerged from the woods beyond the wheat field, and advanced against our lines in fine order at a double-quick. A corn field on the right and a brush field on the left of the wheat field prevented me from seeing either wing of the enemy, which seemed to extend indefinitely in both directions. By order, the battalion fired as the enemy came within 150 yards of our position, with very little effect. We fired two more scattering volleys, all with little effect. By this time the enemy were close upon our front and had closed in upon our left flank. Seeing this, the battalion gave way, and retreated rapidly and in great confusion. Being on the extreme left of the brigade, we were the first to see the flank movement of the enemy and by the rapid retreat were prevented from being surrounded.
All the officers of the battalion strove most gallantly to hold the men to their position, and made the most heroic endeavors to rally them after they had broken. Falling in this, some of the officers and men joined in with the reserves and took part in their successful advance.
Second Lieutenant Alexander, Company A, was disabled by a server wound in the left thigh about the time the battalion gave way.
It may be proper to add that Lieutenant White, acting aide-de-camp to Colonel Garnett, informed me just as the enemy advanced from the woods that the Tenth Virginia Regiment occupied our left.
Accompanying this you will please find a list of casualties.*
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major, Commanding First Virginia Battalion.
Lieut. Col. T. S. Garnett,
Commanding Second Brigade on the evening of the 9th instant.
*Embodied in No. 27.