Monday, August 9, 2010

"Providence has kindly blessed our arms"

Today at Cedar Mountain: August 9, 1862

A portion of a letter from Jed. Hotchkiss to his wife. It can be found on UVA's Valley of the Shadow web site.

My Dr. Wife:
"... Then we were up by day the next morning, poking along through towards Culpeper C.H. driving the Yankee picket before us, and camping along the road for several miles last night -- in fact reaching some 6 miles, the Division of Gen. A.P. Hill being in the rear. The enemy attempted to fall upon our rear last night, with a strong cavalry force, but they "caught a Tartar," finding us ready for them, & were repulsed, we taking some 15 prisoners, at one point, and they attacked at another point & met the same fate -- we have taken some 350 of Pope's Cavalry, now, some officers that we shall hold as hostages for the treatment of our people by Pope -- ...I resume my writing on a hill top, in full view of several thousand of the enemy cavalry that have been drawn up all day in the hot sun, -- while we are maneuvering to take them, have been sitting round here all the evening -- trying to find out the enemy's position 4 P.M. the battle has opened -- ... -- it is about 6 miles west of Culpeper C.H. -- Sunday 6 A.M. -- the firing has opened again We had a bloody day yesterday -- as desperate a fight as I ever saw -- but we drove the enemy away from the battle field, took 12 leads of ammunition, 1 large piece of artillery, some 400 prisoners, one Brig. Gen. & a good many officers. The fight continued until 9 P.M. Our Gen. Winder was killed & we had a good many others killed & wounded -- We lost a good many men & killed & wounded large numbers of the enemy most of which they left on the battle field.... Providence has kindly blessed our arms & spared most of us -- May He still be near us.
I will write this evening May God bless you all
Your Aff husband
Jed. Hotchkiss

Hotchkiss is of course referring to the Battle of Cedar (or Slaughter's) Mountain. Jackson's victory here in southern Culpeper County is considered the beginning of the Second Manassas Campaign.

General Winder is Charles Sidney Winder, a native Marylander. He died while in command of the Stonewall Brigade. Winder was working the guns of an artillery battery, and not with his command, when a federal shell ripped through the left side of his body. He lingered for a time, conscious of his fate and was lucid, talking of his family. Winder died so quietly that according to Lt. McHenry Howard, "you could scarcely note the time of death."

No comments:

Post a Comment