General N.P. Banks initiated the fight at Cedar Mountain, against Stonewall Jackson, and though his troops fought with incredible courage and achieved at first, remarkable success, the end result was devastating. His corps was essentially out of service for the next 3 weeks of the war until they were heavily re-enforced with new regiments. General Banks never wrote an official report on the battle he instigated. Banks was primarily a politician, and most concerned with his public reputation, which suffered after the battle. In December of 1864, while giving testimony in Washington, D.C. to the Committee on the Conduct of the War, regarding the Red River Expedition, he brought up of his own volition, the subject of his marching orders from General Pope, on the morning of August 9, 1862, the day of the battle of Cedar Mountain. His statement meant to justify his decision to attack Jackson. When General John Pope, who was serving in the West, accidentally learned of this testimony, he replied to the committee in the form of a long letter.
This post presents the testimony published in the following volume: “Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War: at the second session Thirty-eighth Congress;” by, United States Congress, Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War; Wade, B. F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1800-1878; Gooch, Daniel Wheelwright, 1820-1891; United States, Congress (38th, 2nd session: 1864-1865). Publication date 1865.
That said, these reports are difficult to locate. They are in the Miscellaneous Section (p. 44-54) at the end of the volume that contains the following reports: Sherman-Johnston. Light-Draught Monitors. Massacre of Cheyenne Indians. Ice Contracts. Miscellaneous.
Continue reading “The Controversy Over General Bank’s Orders”
Report of Lieut. William W. Rowley, Twenty-eighth New York Infantry, Acting Signal Officer, Second Corps.
Hdqrs. Signal Camp, Second Corps, Army of Va.,
Fairfax, August 16, 1862.
Sir: I have the honor to report that on Friday, the 8th day of August, 1862, the Second Corps, Army of Virginia, was encamped at Hazel River, 7 miles from Fairfax [Culpeper Court-House], on the Sperryville road. At this time we held communication with Thoroughfare Mountain and Culpeper, General Pope being at the latter place. About 1 p. m. a message was sent to General Banks through our lines from General Pope for him to start immediately with his command for Culpeper. Continue reading “No. 6. Lieut. William W. Rowley.”
Report of Brig. Gen. Alpheus S. Williams, U. S. Army, commanding First Division, Second Corps.
Hdqrs. First Div., Second Corps, Army of Virginia,
Near Cedar Run, Va., August 16, 1862.
Major: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the division under my command in the action at this place on the 9th instant:
My division, since the transfer of Geary’s brigade, is composed of the brigade commanded by Brigadier-General Crawford (Twenty-eighth New York, Colonel Donnelly; Forty-sixth Pennsylvania, Colonel Knipe; Tenth Maine, Colonel Beal, and Fifth Connecticut, Colonel Chapman), and of the Third Brigade, commanded by Brigadier-General Gordon (Third Wisconsin, Colonel Ruger; Second Massachusetts, Colonel Andrews, and Twenty-seventh Indiana, Colonel Colgrove). Continue reading “No. 7. Brig. Gen. Alpheus S. Williams.”
Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel W. Crawford, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade.
Hdqrs. First Brigade, First Division, Second Corps,
Army of Virginia, August 14, 1862.
Major: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operation of the force under my command in the recent engagement with the rebel forces near Cedar Mountain, Va.: Continue reading “No. 8. Brig. Gen. Samuel W. Crawford.”
Report of Col. George L. Andrews, Second Massachusetts Infantry, Third Brigade.
Hdqrs. Second Regt. Massachusetts Volunteers,
Camp near Slaughter Mountain, August 11, 1862.
In compliance with orders from brigade headquarters I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the Second Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, August 9: Continue reading “No. 9. Col. George L. Andrews.”