Walk the ground where “Stonewall” Jackson snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, in a short but bloody prelude to the Second Battle of Bull Run.
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The Battle of Cedar Mountain (aka Slaughter’s Mountain) was fought on August 9, 1862 between Union forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks and Confederate forces commanded by Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson in Culpeper County, Virginia during the American Civil War. In what was also known as the Battle of Slaughter’s Mountain, Confederates snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, resulting in 3,691 total casualties.
In July 1862, Union Maj. Gen. John Pope’s newly formed 51,000-man Army of Virginia was spread out in three corps across northern Virginia. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln had appointed Pope to lead this new army after Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan’s disastrous Peninsula Campaign earlier that summer, and Pope intended to distract Confederate forces to cover McClellan’s withdrawal.
Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee sent Maj. Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson north with over 14,000 men to confront this new threat. He was later joined by Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill’s division with an additional 10,000 men. Jackson intended to strike Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks’ II Corps while it was isolated, but Banks struck first. On August 9, Banks’ 8,000-man force attacked Confederate Brig. Gen. Charles S. Winder’s division northwest of Cedar Mountain after a long artillery duel. Winder was mortally wounded and in the confusion, his men fled.