Rally on the Battery
Middletown Cemetery - Battle of Cedar Creek 1864
Size: 17 in. x 30 in.
Size: 14 in. x 24 in.
One of the most critical and stirring moments of the battle occurred near the Middletown Cemetery (modern Mt. Carmel Cemetery). There, a small part of the Union army conducted a determined holding action against overwhelming odds. This included a desperate hand-to-hand struggle over Battery M, 5th United States Artillery, which is vividly described in the following Union account:
"[The Confederates were] coming on . . . there was an officer leading them, and I distinctly hear him shout: "Rally on the Battery! Rally on the Battery!" . . . in a second they were amongst us, amid smoke, fog wreck, yells, clash and confusion which no pen can depict and no pencil portray. It was now man to man, hand to hand, with bayonet and musket butt on their side and revolvers, rammer heads and handspikes on ours! "But just at this supreme moment their advance line reeled and wavered, 80 or 100 of the Vermonters charged in and drove the enemy out of the Battery at the point of the bayonet . . . . ."
It is this critical moment which the painting depicts. The men of the battery tenacioiusly cling to their guns while Confederates begin to overrun the battery. At that same moment the famous Vermont Brigade can be seen rushing over from the right (just above the limber in the foreground) to begin their counterattack.
This painting appears on site just outside of the Mt. Carmel Cemetery, and will help interpret the 1864 view shed, which is now obscured by the growth of non-historic vegetation.