On the 7th of August, 1862, Crawford's Brigade was stationed at Culpepper Court House. The divisions of Ewell, and Stonewall Jackson, followed by that of Hill, a force twenty-five thousand strong, had already arrived upon the- Rapidan, and had commenced crossing, driving back the Union cavalry. On the 8th, Crawford was ordered forward towards Cedar Mountain, and on the following morning Banks followed with the rest of his corps, consisting of seven thousand men. Jackson, having pushed forward his columns with celerity, had taken position with his artillery on Cedar Mountain, at an elevation of two hundred feet above the surrounding plain, but had kept his infantry masked under the shadow of the forests. Four guns had been advanced, farther to the front, and lower down the side of the mountain. These, with the more elevated ones, opened on Crawford's Brigade, and at five o'clock P. M., the Union forces, in two columns, advanced to the attack. The position of the Forty-sixth fell opposite the enemy's advanced pieces, and upon these the men charged with desperate valor. But before reaching them, they had to pass an open field, now covered with shocks of full ripened wheat. Here they were fearfully exposed, and the enemy's artillery, and his strong lines of infantry concealed from view, poured in a merciless storm of shot and shell. Three times was it led to the charge across that fatal plain, when Colonel Knipe fell severely wounded, and the regiment was withdrawn.
" Had victory been possible,' says Greeley, " they would have won it. * * * The best blood of the Union was poured out like water. * * * General Crawford's Brigade came out of the fight a mere skeleton."
The loss in the Forty-sixth was thirty killed, thirty-four severely wounded, and six prisoners. Among the killed were Lieutenants Robert Wilson, S. H. Jones, and Wm. P. Caldwell, and among the wounded Colonel Knipe, Major Matthews, Captains Lukenbach, Brooks, and Foulke, and Lieutenants Selheimer, Caldwell, Craig, and Matthews.
List of Casualties:
Killed: 3 Off., 28 Enl., Wounded: 8 Off., 94 Enl., Captured/MIA: 7 Off, 104 Enl. Aggregate: 244
OR V12, Pt. 2, p. 137