Cedar Creek Report, Commander, 4th Brigade, 2d Division, 19th Corps (OR, 43, 347-8)


Cedar Creek, Va., October 24, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of my command in the engagement on the 19th of October, instant:

On the evening of the 18th instant I was ordered to move forward on the following morning (19th) at 5 o'clock and occupy the works of the First and Third Brigades, who were ordered on a reconnaissance in the direction of Fisher's Hill, where the enemy were encamped. Accordingly, at that hour my command was under arms, when heavy musketry firing was heard on our left in the direction of the Eighth Corps, and. I was ordered to move by the left to protect the flank, which I immediately did, my right resting near the left of the Third Brigade, the line extending diagonally across the pike, the right regiment (Eighth Indiana) supporting Battery D, First Rhode Island Artillery. In consequence of the dense fog, which existed at the time, the enemy advanced on the battery and were within a short distance of it before we could distinguish whether they were friends or foes, the more so, as we Supposed them to be a portion of the Eighth Corps, and notwithstanding we received a very heavy fire from that direction we did not reply to it until they charged directly on the battery. Five pieces were with. drawn successfully, and while attempting to save the last one Major Hart (of General Grover's staff), Capt. William D. Watson, and Lieut. George W. Quay (both of Eighth Indiana) were killed, and Lieut. Col. A. J. Kenny (commanding Eighth Indiana) severely wounded. By this time the left had entirely given way and the enemy's line was on my flank and rear, when I fell back about 500 yards and took position with my line facing the pike, and held it. until the enemy in large force had -crossed the pike, when to avoid being cut oft I again fell back, passing to the west of the stone house (General Sheridan's headquarters) to a point nearly half a mile north of it, when I halted, formed line on the left of First Brigade (General Birge's), and remained until ordered to move by right of regiments to the rear, which I did, taking position on the right of the Sixth Corps as supporting column of Second Brigade (Colonel Molineux's), where we formed a temporary breast. work of fence rails. One regiment of my command (Twenty-fourth Iowa) was here, by order of General Emory, moved to the right of the First Division to protect the right flank, and did not rejoin me until we moved forward and had advanced some distance. At 3.30 p. m. we assumed the offensive and advanced upon the enemy, steadily driving them from every position, until we again had possession of the campground occupied by us in the morning; here we halted. About 8 p.m. in obedience to an order from General Birge (commanding division), moved forward to near Strasburg to support First Division, Nineteenth Army Corps, and under order from General Dwight bivouacked for the night without fires, the men suffering severely for want of blankets and proper clothing to protect them from the excessive cold. On the following morning (20th) the Second Division moved up and I rejoined it with -my command.

It would appear invidious to mention individual cases of gallantry during the day where all, both officers and men, did their whole duty. I can only refer to A. J. Kenny, lieutenant-colonel, commanding Eighth Indiana; W. S. Charles, lieutenant-colonel, commanding Eighteenth Indiana; J. Q. Wilds, lieutenant-colonel, commanding Twenty-fourth Iowa; B. W. Wilson, lieutenant-colonel, commanding Twenty-eigbth Iowa, who were wounded early in the engagement, while bravely leading their men against the enemy; Ira Hough, private, Company E, Eighth Indiana; Richard Taylor, private, Company E, Eighteenth Indiana., who each captured a battle-flag from the enemy.

My brigade captured during the day 42 prisoners.

The casualties in my command were 28 officers and 304 enlisted men killed, wounded, and missing.

I cannot close this report without referring to the bravery of the lamented Major Hart (of General Grover's staff), who was killed while cheering on the men in their attempt to save the last; gun of Battery D, First Rhode Island Artillery. In him we have lost a noble, brave, efficient officer.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Eighth Indiana, Commanding.

Capt. E. A. FISKE,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. Gen. , Second Div., Nineteenth Army Corps