Report of Brig. Gen. Isaac R. Trimble, C. S. Army, commanding Seventh Brigade.
Headquarters Seventh Brigade,
August 14, 1862.
General: In compliance with your request I submit a statement of the operations of the Seventh Brigade on the 9th instant in the battle of Slaughter Mountain (Cedar Run):
On the morning of the 9th, being in view of the enemy’s cavalry, I was directed to approach under cover and occupy a pine thicket about three-quarters of a mile from the enemy’s picket. This was done successfully undiscovered by the enemy, and a company ordered to support a battery placed on our right, which opened and drove back the cavalry scouts, who reformed again and returned to their first position after the artillery ceased firing.
About 2 o’clock I was ordered to advance through the woods on our right along the slope of Slaughter Mountain and occupy a favorable position. About 3 o’clock the brigade reached the northwest termination of the mountain, in an open space elevated about 200 feet above the valley below, and distant from the position of the enemy’s batteries about 1 ¼ miles, where we remained concealed from view. Having sent for you to examine this point, you decided to drag up Latimer’s battery, of my brigade, and place it in position, which was done promptly about 3.30 p.m., and fire opened with effect on the enemy’s batteries, which drew their fire from the front upon us.
At 5 p.m. we first heard our musketry across the valley on our left (General Early’s advance). About 5 o’clock some batteries were advanced within half a mile of the enemy in our front and opened a brisk fire. Latimer’s battery, admirably served, drew throughout the action the attention of the enemy’s chief of batteries, and thus aided materially in deciding the result of the day. At 5 p. m. the Fifteenth Alabama Regiment was sent out as skirmishers on the right, with orders to advance on the enemy’s flank. On seeing this movement a battery was turned on them for the rest of the day. About sunset, the action appearing to be general in front, by your orders the Twenty-first Georgia and Twenty-first North Carolina Regiments were ordered to advance, and gained the clump of woods in the valley 400 yards from the battery on the Federal left, followed by the Fifteenth Alabama. I here determined to charge the battery, but Latimer’s shot and shell, directed against it, was falling thick in the open space over which we had to pass, and I sent back Lieutenant McKim to direct him to cease his fire on this battery that we might charge it. While Lieutenant McKim was gone I sent two companies of skirmishers up the road, who deployed to the right along a fence and opened fire on the battery; soon after which the brigade advanced to capture it, but found on reaching the top of the hill that the guns had been moved off a few minutes before. It is to be regretted that the short delay in making the charge, caused by our own fire, enabled the enemy to get off his guns. The battery and troops in its support were, however, driven off by the advance of the brigade, and thus the left of the Federal forces completely tuned.
At dark we had possession of the ground occupied by the Federal left, and soon after took possession of and removed some ambulances and ammunition wagons abandoned by the enemy, the remainder of which were removed the next day. The Seventh Brigade, with the army, followed the enemy 1 mile or more from the field, and bivouacked for the night on their former camp ground.
Subjoined is a list of the killed and wounded. The small loss sustained by the brigade was in consequence of the positions selected throughout the day, which screened the men most of the time from the view of the enemy, even while advancing upon their battery on their left. Latimer’s battery was also protected from loss under a several hours’ incessant fire from three batteries of the enemy by the judicious position in which it was placed by you, preventing entirely the enemy’s shot from the effects of ricochet shot.
|15th Alabama Regiment||1||7||8|
|21st Georgia Regiment||3||3|
|21st North Carolina Regiment||2||2|
The only officers included in the above are the following: Twenty-first Georgia Regiment, Third Lieut. John F. Irvin, Company I, wounded; Courtney Artillery, First Lieut. R. H. Vaughan wounded.
I. R. TRIMBLE,
Maj. Gen. R. S. Ewell,
Commanding Third Division.