Sunday, August 12, 2012

August 11, 1862

August 11, 1862:  At Cedar Mountain, the two armies still face each other in the aftermath of the battle.  Gen. Pope has arrived, and his army is concentrating.  By this date, he outnumbers Jackson by more than 2 to 1, although he accepts the inflated figures of the confederates that McClellan believes in---making Jackson’s force nearly doubled in his calculation.  During a truce to bury the dead, Jackson begins to send his troops back down the road to Gordonsville.

---Confederate artilleryman George Michael Neese writes in his journal of the aftermath of Cedar Mountain:

August 11 — Remained inactive all day. The Yanks came over under a flag of truce, asking permission to bury their dead, which was granted; and their burial parties were at work on the field under the friendly flutterings of a white flag, packing away their comrades for dress parade when Gabriel sounds the great Reveille.

Ah, my silent friends! you came down here to invade our homes and teach us how to wear the chains of subordination and reverence a violated constitution. In the name of Dixie we bid you welcome to your dreamless couch under the sod that drank your blood, and may God have mercy on your poor souls and forgive you for all the despicable depredations that you have committed since you crossed the Potomac.

Our troops are gradually falling back toward the Rapidan.

---Oliver Willcox Norton, a soldier in the 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, writes home about his regiment’s experience being sent over the James River to secure the area against a Rebel attack.  He goes into details about the troops being allowed to “forage” from the neighboring farms:

Ruffin’s plantation is next above the burned house. We spent most of the week on it or in the vicinity. He had a beautiful situation and an excellent farm. There are acres of corn there eighteen feet high—the largest corn I ever saw. Apple and peach orchards breaking down with their loads of fruit stand ripening in the southern sun, and southern sun means something, too. The thermometer was up to 109 last Friday, and Thursday was hotter still. We lived while we were over there. Guarding secesh property is played out and we had full liberty to “acquire” anything we could find to eat. Pigs and poultry were plenty and we could have lived on them if we had taken salt with us, but salt could not be found. Flour and meal were found, though, and if we didn’t have pancakes and hoecakes and apple sass, peaches and plums, and new potatoes and green corn, it was because we were too lazy to get them. We slept in the woods.

---Gen. Alfred Pleasonton, commanding cavalry in the Army of the Potomac, writes to Gen. Marcy, McClellan’s chief of staff, that the Confederates have no more than 36,000 men at Richmond, and that now is the time for a Union assault on the city.

---First Battle of Independence, Missouri:  A motley collection of 700-800 bushwhackers, guerillas, Missouri State Guard, and Confederate troops---including irregulars under William Quantrill---under command of Col. John Hughes, attacks the small Federal garrison of Independence, about 344 men from several Missouri regiments, under command of Lt. Col. Buel.  In the early morning attack, two columns of Rebels converged, entering town on two different roads, burst upon the Federal camp, killing soldiers still asleep.  While the Rebels looted the camp, Federal troops deployed behind a stone wall, and several Rebel attacks on it resulted in the death of Hughes and Col. Hays, his second in command.  Col. Thompson succeeded Hughes in command, and finally forced Buel’s surrender.  Most of the Federal command is captured, but some escape.  Confederate Victory.

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