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Page:A narrative of service with the Third Wisconsin Infantry.djvu/55

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CEDAR MOUNTAIN

left large numbers of their wounded in our hands. General Sigel pursued them to the Rapidan, while our Corps returned to Culpeper for a much-needed rest.

A great deal of criticism has been heaped upon all those who were prominently connected with this battle. Banks has been assailed for fighting the battle at all. It has seemed to many, an inexcusable piece of folly that he should have ordered the attack in such apparent ignorance of the position and strength of the enemy, and so near sun down that even if he had been successful, he could not have reaped any advantage. I have, however, doubted whether he ever made the order; but when once it had been made, he was obliged to put in his whole command or abandon everything that had been gained. Captain Wilkins who brought the order for our charge, later wandered into the Confederate lines while carrying orders, and I never heard of him again.

Pope has been criticized for not seeing that Banks was properly supported; but all the evidence obtainable shows that Pope did not wish or expect to fight a battle at that time. McDowell

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