American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle of Cedar Mountain
When Maj. General John Pope was placed in command of the newly constituted Army of Virginia on June 26, the Northern general vowed to bring the vagaries of war to the Southern populace. General Robert E. Lee responded to Pope’s threats against his home state by dispatching Maj. General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson with 14,000 men to Gordonsville in July. Jackson’s force was later bolstered by additional troops under A.P. Hill. In early August, Pope began his offensive into Culpeper County, hoping to capture the rail junction at Gordonsville. On August 9, Maj. General Nathaniel Banks’s advancing corps ran headlong into Jackson's troops at Cedar Mountain. Though the Federals gained an early advantage, a swift counterattack by A.P. Hill’s Confederates drove the Federals back and won the day. Confederate general Charles Winder was killed. Lee would use the success at Cedar Mountain as a springboard for further offensive operations in Northern Virginia.