Cedar Creek After Action Report, Commander, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Sixth Corps (OR, 43, 167-168)


October 25, 1864. 

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to forward the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the action of the 19th instant.

  On the morning of the 19th of October the enemy commenced an attack upon the extreme left of our lines. At the first alarm the brigade was quickly out and under arms, and immediately afterward received an order from Brigadier-General Wheaton, commanding the division, to move across the creek, on our left, and form in line of battle on a high hill, on the opposite side of the stream, to support the Eighth Corps, which had been heavily attacked. Before we could execute the movement the order was countermanded and we recrossed the creek and took up position a considerable distance to the rear and left of our former camp. The line was formed in the following order: Fourth New Jersey Volunteers on the right, Tenth New Jersey Volunteers in the center, and Fifteenth New Jersey Volunteers on the left. We had been in line but a short time when some of the troops on our right supporting the batteries began to give way in considerable disorder, deserting the guns, which they had been placed there to protect. Colonel Penrose immediately changed front to rear with his brigade and moved up to the support of the batteries. It was at this time that he was wounded and obliged to leave the field. The command then devolved upon Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell, who was soon after wounded, and the gallant Major Boeman, commanding Tenth New Jersey Volunteers, killed, while endeavoring to save a piece of artillery, which had been captured by the enemy. At this time we received an order from Brigadier-General Wheaton to move to the rear by the right of battalions. We fell back slowly and took up position on a crest about 300 yards to the rear of our former position. A few moments after we had taken up position on the crest spoken of we were ordered to move still farther to the rear, which we did, and took up a line about 2,000 yards beyond. After we had reformed our lines the order to continue our movement to the rear was received. We fell back in good order for about two miles, when we were faced about and advanced a mile. We formed in line in a woods to the right of the Third Division, and with the One hundred and twenty-first New York formed second line of our corps, and in rear of a portion of the division. Lieutenant-Colonel Olcott, Second Brigade, was assigned to the command of that line. We remained in this position until 3 o'clock in the afternoon. At that time we moved forward under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry, and gained a crest about 400 yards in advance of the woods, driving the enemy in disorder from it. The brigade halted under the crest for nearly half an hour, owing to the troops on the left not coming. up. While in this position we were subject to a most galling fire front both artillery and musketry. As soon as the troops on our left commenced to advance, or rather prepared to advance, our brigade, to with the Second Brigade, was pushed forward with alacrity, leaving the troops on our right and left far in the rear. The enemy broke in confusion and scattered in all directions. We did not allow them time to reform, but followed them so closely that they were able to make but trifling resistance. At dark the enemy were driven from the field and we occupied the camps we had been forced to abandon in the morning.

  Out of 28 officers and 598 enlisted men, which we took in the action we lost in killed, wounded, and missing 10 [11] officers and 154 enlisted men.

BALDWIN HUFTY, Captain, Commanding Brigade

[Capt. S. W. RUSSE11,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.]