of the 3,400 infantry of my division at least 1,000
were killed, wounded, or missing..."
Cemetery, Culpeper, Va.
The resting place for the victims of the
Battle of Cedar Mountain and other conflicts. (The
large monument at the left is that of the 28th New
York of Williams' Division.)
blunted Jackson's attack and smashed the Stonewall
Brigade, but the cost had been ghastly especially among
his fellow officers. It was a depressing time for him and
a degree of cynicism surfaced. Yet he had little time to
indulge his sentiments. A day after the battle, he found
himself in command of the Corps.
Commenting on the
losses of his closest associates of his original brigade
in a bittersweet letter to his daughter he wrote:
my brigades were put in position, our cook got us up
a good lunch of coffee, ham, etc., and I invited many
field officers of my old brigade to join me. After
lunching, we all lay down under a shade [tree] and
talked over the events of the ten months we had been
together, and everybody seemed as unconcerned and
careless as if he was on the lawn of a watering place
instead of the front of a vastly superior enemy. Col.
Donnelly of the 28th New York, a great joker and full
of humor, was in excellent spirits and cracked his
jokes as joyously as ever.
and misfortune seemed far away and yet of all the
field officers of these three regiments (mine) not
one, five hours afterwards, was unhurt. Everyone was
either killed or wounded. Col. Donnelly, 28th New
York, mortally wounded; Col. Knipe, 46th
Pennsylvania, twice wounded and nearly insane from a
wound in the head; Col. Chapman, 5th Connecticut,
wounded and a prisoner; Lt. Col. Brown, 28th, New
York, lost his arm; Maj. Cook killed, and Lt. Col.
Stone, 5th Connecticut, killed; Maj. Blake, a young
man graduated at Yale last year, badly wounded and a
prisoner. Two of the adjutants were killed and one
wounded. Nearly all the sergeants killed. In the 28th
New York every officer in action was killed or
wounded. In the 46th Pennsylvania five lieutenants
only escaped, in the 5th Connecticut six lieutenants
10th Maine, a new regiment in this brigade, was
almost as badly cut up. In Goodwin's brigade the loss
was not so great, but in the 2nd Massachusetts, a
regiment whose officers are of the Boston elite, four
captains were killed outright, all of them young men
of great fortunes and of the highest standing. The
major was also wounded. Lt. Col. Crane of the 3rd
Wisconsin was killed. He was a most excellent man and
who received an injury when run against by a horse in the
skedaddle of the night, turned the command over to
Williams and left for town. It would turn out to be the
first of a number times when Williams would find himself
in command of an army corps.
all the disorganization from the loss of officers, we
found himself in a paper morass.
have since been incessantly at work till after
midnight. I contrived to finish a hurried letter to
Rene yesterday and now I am writing you at midnight.
The applications I receive from all sources for
everything, for telegraph, transportation,
protection, etc., and the thousand reports and
returns, the looking after the broken troops of two
divisions, the numberless papers to be endorsed and
forwarded, the hundreds of matters to be examined and
approved, you cannot imagine.
We have a new general, too,
who has new rules, with a new staff just from the
bureau that make all the trouble and vexation
possible. I pray for Gen. Banks to get well...
I was ordered with the
remnants of our corps into town on Wednesday last,
and have command of all the troops here and about.
How long we shall stay here I can't guess. A good
many troops are in advance, but not as many, I fear,
as the Rebels can bring up from Richmond. I hope to
see the day we shall meet them with at least equal
numbers, and on fair grounds. But our generals seem
more ambitious of personal glory [than] of their
country's gain, at least some of them...."