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History of Cambria County, V.2

HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY. 135
the attack during a heavy rain which continued through the fight. Sigel's first position was just north of New Market where his left flank was overlapped by the enemy. Breckinridge forced it back until Thoburn made a charge from his right which checked the advance for a while. Sigel's artillery were using shell and canister with good effect, but his entire line was driven back and Breckinridge established his line across the pike in the town of New Market. In the second position Imboden discovered a little knoll on Sigel's left whereon he planted his battery and had a perfect enfilading fire on the Union line, especially on the Fifty-Fourth regiment at a very short range, which forced Sigel to retreat. He made a stand at Rude's Hill three miles in the rear but Breckinridge followed and attacked. Sigel re-crossed the Shenandoah river, burned the bridge and fell back to Cedar Creek, arriving there on the morning of the 17th.
    Gen. Sigel lost 120 men killed; 560 wounded and 240 missing, making a total of 920, and Gen. Breckinridge lost 405 in all. The revised figures of the troops engaged are, Sigel 5,150 with 22 guns. This does not include the 28th Ohio and the 116th Ohio, which did not participate in the battle, Breckinridge had about 5,000 men.
    Among the wounded were Lieut. Col. James P. Linton; Capt. Graham was shot through the head, the bullet entering his eye, and Capt. Bonacker was shot through the body. Both were left on the field and reported dead, but they survived for many years. The latter now resides in Florida. Capt. E. J. Geissinger, of Company H, and Capt. Newhard, of Company K, were killed, also, Lieutenant Kilpatrick.
    The Cadet Corps from the Virginia Military Institute, numbering 225, was under the command of Col. Ship, one of the professors. It was composed of students from sixteen to eighteen years of age, and of whom eight were killed and forty-six wounded.
    Gen. Breckinridge had expected Sigel to make the attack early in the morning, but when he did not, the former then determined to do so himself saying to Imboden, “We can attack and whip them here and I'll do it.” Gen. Imboden, in referring to the value of their victory of New Market, says: “If Sigel had beaten Breckinridge * * * there, Gen. Lee could not have spared the men to check his progress, as he did that of Hunter, a month later, without exposing Richmond to immediate, and


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Created: 19 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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Lynne Canterbury, Diann Olsen and contributors