Report of Brig. Gen. Christopher C. Augur, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.
Washington, D.C., September 10, 1862.
Major: I desire respectfully to submit the following report of the operations of my division in the battle of Cedar Mountain up to 7 o’clock p. m., the time I was wounded and left the field:
My division consisted of Generals Geary’s, Prince’s, and Greene’s brigades, composed as follows: Geary’s brigade, of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, detached during the march to Cedar [Thoroughfare] Mountain and not engaged in that affair; the Fifth, Seventh, Twenty-ninth, and Sixty-sixth Ohio Volunteers, and Knap’s battery; total enlisted men 1,121. Prince’s brigade –– battalion of Eighth and Twelfth Regulars, One hundred and second New York Volunteers, One hundred and ninth and One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, the Third Maryland Volunters, and Robinson’s battery, Fourth Maine; total enlisted men, 1,435. Greene’s brigade, of the Third Delaware Volunteers, detached at Front Royal; the Purnell Legion, Maryland Volunteers, detached at Warrenton and Warrenton Junction; the Sixtieth New York, detached at Warrenton Springs, leaving only the Seventy-eighth New York Volunteers and a battalion of the First District Volunteers, and McGilvery’s battery, Sixth Maine, engaged in the battle; total enlisted men, 457. The number of enlisted men of the division actually on the field was therefore about 3,013.
As my division came upon the field I was directed to place it on the left of Crawford’s brigade and toward Cedar Mountain. Subsequently Crawford’s brigade joined his division on the right of the line, and I was directed to move my command to place it in two lines, with its right resting on the road leading to Orange Court-House and its left extending in the of Cedar Mountain. Knap’s battery retained its original position near the center of the line. McGilvery’s battery was planted on the extreme left of the line, and Robinson’s intermediately. My command kept this position during the severe artillery fire of the afternoon, the infantry only taking advantage of the ground in the vicinity to cover itself from the enemy’s shell. The ground from this position to the front was open, with an occasional corn field and clumps of underbrush, and gradually rising fore nearly a mile. On the right of the Orange road was a forest, extending perhaps for a quarter of a mile along the road, and behind which was massed the infantry of the enemy’s left. On the left was Cedar Mountain, so that in advancing my division would pass between the two.
I had previously caused Captain Pitcher’s battalion of the Eighth and Twelfth Regulars to deploy as skirmishers and cover the front of the whole division, to advance continuously, discover the enemy’s position, and annoy him as much as possible. How well this was done will be seen from the following extract from a letter from General Prince, written on the 16th of August from Richmond. Speaking of Pitcher’s battalion he says:
Their part I have occasion to know excited the admiration of the enemy, who inquired if they were not regulars, as they had never seen such skirmishing. They were out during the whole battle, and penetrated even to the enemy’s position, and annoyed him so as to turn the attention of his guns away from more distant firing with shot and shell, and caused him to waste canister upon the ground of the skirmishers.
When the infantry of Williams’ division on our right advanced and became engaged I was ordered to cause my batteries in front to cease firing and to advance my infantry. Leaving Greene to support McGilvery’s battery on the left and to hold that positon, I caused Geary’s brigade to advance, which it did steadily and quickly, and when within range opened a regular and well-directed fire upon the enemy. I then caused Prince’s brigade to advance in like manner upon the left, which it did under its gallant leader handsomely and in good order, and when in position opened its fire.
Meantime the enemy had gotten a battery and a body of infantry in position on our left, evidently by having gone around Cedar Mountain, and were in position to annoy us extremely, but McGilvery’s battery gave them ample occupation and prevented their advance. Our right, too, as it advanced and became uncovered by the wood mentioned on the right, was exposed to a flank fire from the enemy’s infantry on the left. Williams’divison, however, kept them well occupied, and knowing him to be there, I was afraid of directing a return of the fire that came from that direction. As our front lines became weakened by their losses I caused the second lines to advance, which they did in good order.
Meantimee the enemy had placed a section of artillery in front, evidently for the purpose of using grape upon our advancing infantry. I saw, too, a large body of infantry collecting for its support. I sent immediately for a section of Napoleon guns to act upon this body, and selected its position in front. Before its arrival my horse was shot, and a moment after I was wounded myself and rendered unable to keep the field. I learn that this section of artillery did most efficient service under its gallant commander, Lieutenant Cushing, Fourth Artillery, who, when deficient in men, dismounted and assisted to work his own guns. General Geary had been previously wounded severely while gallantly and efficiently attending to his brigade. I sent my adjutant-general, Captain Halstead, to report to General Prince, and say that he was in command of the division.
The subsequent operations of the division will be reported by General Greene, who, with his little command, so persistently held the enemy in check on our left, and who, after the capture of General Prince, succeeded to the command of the division. I am most happy to report that up to the time I left the field I saw no instances of bad conduct on the part of the officers or soldiers; that, quite to the contrary, I saw nothing but coolness and determination. To Generals Geary, Prince, and Greene I am under great obligations for their intelligent and active co-operation, and for the skill and gallantry with which they managed their commands. General Geary was severely wounded; and General Prince, after losing his entire staff, and being the only mounted officer near him, went to another part of the field for orders, was surrounded and captured by the enemy. To Captain Pitcher, Eighth Infantry, great credit is due for his skillful and effective management of his battalions of skirmishers, which, as have been seen, were of so serious an annoyance to the enemy. He was severely wounded in the knee. I respectfully recommend him to the favorable consideration of the general commanding and of the Government.
Of my own staff I cannot speak too highly. Captain Halsted, assistant adjutant-general, after being of the greatest service to me during the day, reported when I left the field to General Prince, and was subsequently captured. To Captains Cutting and Shaw, my aides-de-camp; to Captain Hodge, assistant quartermaster, and Captain Woodruff, commissary of subsistence, who, in addition to their proper duties, which were efficiently performed, acted as my aides-de-camp on the field, I am greatly indebted for their activity and for their intelligent transmission of orders throughout the day. Exposed to every variety of fire as their duties required, they labored faithfully, actively, and efficiently to aid me in every possible way. To the commanders of batteries, Captain Knap, Pennsylvania; McGilvery and Robinson, Maine, great credit is due for their skillful and active management of their respective batteries. Captain Knap testifies to the skill and bravery of Lieutenant Geary, Pennsylvania, and Lieutenants Cushing and Howard, Fourth Artillery, and of his men generally. Captain Robinson speaks particularly of the good conduct of his first sergeant, H. C. Haynes, and Captain McGilvery speaks the same of his officers and men. Captain Anderson, Twelfth Infantry speaks in the highest terms of the conduct of Captain Quimby, Twelfth Infantry, severely wounded; Lieutenant Andrews, Eighth Infantry, slightly wounded; Noble, Eighth Infantry; Perkins and Fisher, Twelfth Infantry. He also especially desires to call attention to the gallant services of Sergeants Higgins, McMenamir, Lathrop, and O’Connor, Eighth Infantry, and Sergeants Liscum and Lawrence, Canavan and Byrne, of the Twelfth Infantry. General Greene makes especial mention of the efficient services of his assistant adjutant-general, Capt. C. P. Horton, and of his aide-de camp, Lieutenant Shipman, Sixtieth Regiment New York Volunteers. General Prince speaks in the highest and most feeling terms of his staff, two of whom were killed (Captains Green and Tennatt), and the other, Captain Haskell, severely wounded.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. C. AUGUR,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.
Maj. Louis H. Pelouze, A. A. G., Hdqrs. Banks’ Corps.