Southern Trails Genealogical Research Main Page
Copyright Randy Strickland, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

American by Birth -- Southern by the Grace of GOD!!
Main Menu
Rings Links Search Engines Dedication
My Artwork
Awards Won
General Jubal A. Early, CSA
General Jubal A. Early, CSA
This part of my site will be dedicated to discussing the Battle of Cedar Creek, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and the part in which the 18th Georgia Regiment of Volunteer Infantry played in that battle.

Our Great Great Grandfather,1st Lt George Right Smith had been hospitalized late July or early August 1864, in Petersburg, Va. However, on August 7th, 1864 the record shows he had rejoined the 18th Georgia Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, Company H (Rowland Highlanders), now assigned as part of Major General Joseph Kershaw's Division, as they were reassigned to operations against Union General Sheridan's Campaign in the Shenandoah Valley.

On August 16,1864...they were engaged at Cedarville, and Guard Hill (Front Royal), Virginia. They next saw action at Bunker Hill, West Virginia on September 2nd and 3rd, 1864. On September 19th, 1864...they saw action in the battles of Opequan and Winchester, Virginia. Three days later, on the September 22, 1864...the 18th Georgia saw action at the battles of Fisher's Hill and Woodstock, Virginia. And lastly, on October 19, 1864, the unit saw action in the battles of Cedar Creek, Middletown, and Belle Grove, Virginia.

As will be documented here, Confederate General Jubal A. Early's surprise attack at Cedar Creek is considered one of the most daring and successful uses of the combined arms of Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery and is still studied by military strategists and tacticians, today.

Reverse the Trenches by Keith Rocco
Reverse the Trenches by Keith Rocco
Part of Union General of the Armies Ulyses S. Grants five prong offensive was to make the Shenandoah Valley uninhabitable for either Army. His plans included the destruction of the Virginia Central Railroad, a primary transport which ferried food to the beseiged Army of Northern Virginia in and around Petersburg and Richmond, or whenever possible, to destroy the food supplies themselves.

In earlier operations Union Generals Franz Sigel and Hunter, had failed miserably in their campaigns in the Shenandoah Valley. However, in response to General Hunter's renewed campaign, in June of 1864, Confederate President Davis and General Robert E. Lee ordered General Jubal Early to move his II Corps to the valley and to press Union General Hunter northward, toweards the Potomac River, and if possible cross the Potomac into Maryland, threatening Washington D.C., and cause Generals Grant and Meade to weaken their stranglehold on Petersburg in order to meet the new threat of the Federal capital, Washington.

However, General Hunter unpredictaly retreated to the west, rather to the north as hoped, leaving an open rote to Maryland and then on to Washington. General Early immediately took advantage of this opportunity and quickly moved his Corps northward through the Valley, defeating Union General Lew Wallace who had organized a small force at the Monocacy River. While a victory, it was also a delay of his march on Washington and it gave badly needed time for the Union VI Corps to be placed in Washington, reinforcing its defenses. This tactical move of the Union commanders prevented any serious attempt, by General Early, to make any serious moves against the Capital. He then withdrew his exhausted Corps back to the Valley.

General Philip H. Sheridan, USA
General Philip H. Sheridan, USA
The command structure of the Union Army was a confused and complicated politically heated juggernaught. Because of that, no real pursuit was made to intercept or interdict General Early's withdrawing Corps. Therefore, unhenedered by Union troops, General Early took his time and chose his battles carefully. First moving against and defeating Union General George Crook's small corps at Kernstown. In so doing, his Confederates damaged railroads and looted and destroyed wagon convoys.

General Grant, looking for a way to handle the out of control Confederates, appointed his trusted Cavalry commander General Philip Sheridan to command the combined forces of General Crook's VIII Corps, General Horatio Wright's VI Corps, and General William Emory's XIX Corps along with three divisions of cavalry.

While General Grant's primary purpose was to destroy or control the Virginia Central Railroad, the foodbasket of the Shenandoah Valley destroyed and/or out of reach of the Confederate armies, and he also wanted this marauding Confederate corp of General Early's put out of action. General Sheridan was to take six weeks to know the capabilities of his new command and while playing a deadly tag with the Confederate force, often received different orders from Generals Grant, Halleck, and Stanton. He was to put General Early in check, defeat him of possible, but do not cause another embarrasment to the President during this time of re-election.

Around mid-September, General Kershaw's division, including the 18th Georgia Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, was recalled to the defenses of Petersburg. Soon after, General Sheridan moved against Winchester. General Early's troops were unprepared, and later that day General Crooks VIII Corps made a flanking movement routing General Early's soldiers and causing him to withdraw to Fisher's Hill.

On September 22, 1864...General Crook again made an end-a-round sweep and collapsed the already weakened left flank of General Early's Second Corps and drove them further up the Valley. Needing to reorganize and rest his beleagured Corps, General Early withdrew to just beyond Harrisonburg. however, General Sheridan slowly followed the Confederates and for nearly two weeks, sniped at and otherwise harrased the tired Confederate troops. While General Grant insisted on having General Sheridan hold General Early in check, while moving against the Virginia Central Railroad, General Sheridan complained that his supply lines were already over extended and difficult to protect, causing him great concern. This caused hom to fail in his primary mission and prompted General Grant to approve ogf General Sheridan's plan to withdraw from the Harrisonburg area and move back down the Valley, shortening his supply line. He ordered General Sheridan to "leave nothing for the subsistence of an army on any ground you abandon to the enemy".

Obeying this command, General Sheridan's troops burned over 2000 barns filled with food stuffs, hay and farming equipment; captured 4000 head of "contraband" cattle, and over 3000 head of sheep; destroyed over 70 mills and their stockpiled wheat and flour, and brought total war to the inhabitants of the Shenandoah Valley. These times are still known as "The Burning", today.

General George Crook, USA
General George Crook, USA
Disappointed in the lackluster performance of his trusted friend, General Grant also ordered General Sheridan to return as many of his troops as possible, to the Army of the Potomac, now in a siege of Petersburg. General Sheridan, preoccupied with his new command, became careless enough that he lost track of General Early and his small force. Once, he believed the Confederates to be fifty miles away, when in fact they were very close to General Sheridan's position.

General George A. Custer, USA
General George A. Custer, USA
Finally realizing his mistake, General Sheridan ordered his cavalry to turn around and hit the Confederate cavalry commanded by General Rosser. General Rosser's horse soldiers had been successfully nipping at the Union rear guard as they moved. On or about October 9, 1864, Union cavalry Generals Merritt and Custer easily crushed the Confederate cavalry at Tom's Brook, which only served to further convince General Early that his out numbered cavalry was useless.

General Jubal A. Early believed his mission was two fold, (1) hold all of the forces under General Sheridan in the Valley...unable to reinforce the Union troops at Petersburg; and (2) causing as great harm to these forces as possible, whenever presented the opportunity.

As the Union troops under General Sheridan's command went into camp along Cedar Creek, he ordered the VI Corps to start moving towards Petersburg. On October 13, 1864, General Early made a reconnaissance in force that resulted in a division sized fight. General Sheridan was so alarmed that he immediately recalled the VI Corps. This helped General Early to realize one of his mission responsibilities but precluded a decisive victory the next week. An example of the gamesmenship between these two wiley opponents was when General Sheridan sent two cavalry divisions to raid the Virginia Central Railroad, General Early allowed a fake message to be intercepted...speaking of the arrival of General Longstreet's I Corps...which caused General Sheridan to cancel the raid and recall his cavalry.

General Lee was growing as impatient as General Grant and wrote his Valley force commander: "I have weakened myself very much to strengthen you. It was done with the expectation of enabling you to gain such success that you could return the troops if not rejoin me yourself. I know that you have endeavored to gain that success, and believe you have done all in your power to insure it...With your united force it can be accomplished. I do not think Sheridan's infantry or cavalry numerically as large as you suppose." Like General Grant, General Lee was wrong in his long distance assessment of the situation.

Geberal Sheridan was called for a conference with Secretary of War Stanton and General Halleck to discuss the possibility of completing his objective of destroying the railroad or whether or not he should return his troops to Petersburg. He left his command for this conference on October 15, 1864...with the intent to returm on October 17th, 1864.

General Sheridan's army numbered approximately 30,000 troops and he had 90 pieces of artillery at Cedar Creek. The Confederate forces, while very difficult to substantiate, totaled only about 13,000 troops, with only 34 pieces of artillery. The desparity in numbers gave the Unionists a great advantage, as they outnumbered the Southerners by greater than two to one. General Sheridan placed General Crook's command to the east of the creek and south of the road running through the valley, with General Thoburn's division placed on a hill nearest the creek and General Rutherford B. Hayes' division on a separate hill behind General Thoburn.

General Emory's XIX Corps, made up of two divisions, were across the road, behind earthworks on high bluffs overlooking the creek. Spreading both north and east toward Belle Grove, a large stone plantation mansion which served as General Sheridan's headquarters. To the north, across Meadow Brook, was VI Corps' three divisions. Farther to the north were where Cavalry Generals Merritt's and Custer's troops were encamped. A strong force to be dealt with, the Union troops were stacked up behind one another from south to north, over a distance of about six miles.

The Federal left was anchored on Massanutten and the river, General Sheridan believed his only vulnerable spot was upstream on Cedar Creek, in the open area near Generals Custer and Merritt. As a result of pressure from his Commanding General, General Robert E. Lee, General Jubal Early began looking for an avenue of attack. General Gordon, on his own volition... accompanied by Colonels Jed Hotchkiss and Clement Evans climbed up to the signal station at the peak of Massanutten where they could see the entire Union army spread out below them. From this purch, they were able to view camps, firing positions, artillery, and pickets, and Colonel Hotchkiss carefully drew the Union positions ona map.

General John B. Gordon, CSA
General John B. Gordon, CSA
From this map, the Confederate commanders could easily determine that General Sheridan's troops were vulnerable on the left, if the Confederate troops could attack the Federal forces there between the mountain and the river. General Gordon convinced General Early, at the next morning's command meeting, that an attack on that flank would be successful. General Gordon was tasked with finding a route to move his divisions against those of General Sheridan. He found a difficult but passable route along the base of Massanutten, which led to fords that could be used to recross the Shenandoah, and move against the left flank of the Union army. General Gordon felt that three divisions could make this movement by marching all night.

General John Pegram, CSA
General John Pegram, CSA
General Early was convinced of success and assigned General Gordon to command 5500 troops combined of troops from Generals Ramseur's, Pegram's divisions, as well as from his own division. General Pegram, who had proposed an attack on the opposite flank, returned from his own reconoiter of the Union positions and reported Union General Crook's soldiers were busy building new earthworks. General Early wisely acted on this information and adjusted the plan to have General Kershaw move through Strasburg to a ford across the creek, from which he could attack the Union position there, directly. This maneuver would in effect creating an envelopment on General Crook. Further, he instructed General Wharton to move up the pike with artillery as soon as both attacks commenced, to provide a third prong to the attack. As a diversionary, Rosser's cavalry was assigned to attack along the Back Road on the far west of the field, and to push hard enough to tie up Generals Merritt and Custer, and prevent them from coming to the support of the Union infantry. Lomax's cavalry was ordered to move about ten miles east through Front Royal to cross the river and return back to the pike attacking the rear of the Unionists. Setting the plan in motion, Hotchkiss took Ramseur's pioneers back to construct a wagon bridge over the Shenandoah for the first crossing, and to clear and mark a trail for the attacking column.

On the Union side of the creek, the unsuspecting troops had enjoyed a break from the hectic pace of the past weeks, resting during the beautiful autumn weather. As a large resupply convoy arrived in their camp, with commissioners from many states to conduct their troops' voting in the Presidential election, the troops were preoccupied and gave but little thought to the war. Most were of the opinion that General Early's Confederates were too weak to go on the offensive.

Confederate General Gordon's column of three divisions started out from Fisher's Hill at 8:00 PM for a hard night's march, stripped of everything that may make noise. The soldiers moved carefully, in a single file, sometimes through areas that were mere trails for farm animals. The going was rough as the ground they covered was strewn with fallen logs, stones and other obstacles. By 4:00 AM, General Gordon's divisions were in position within just yards of Union cavalry videttes, who were sitting in the River.

General Joseph Kershaw's Division, of which the 18th Georgia Regiment of Volunteer Infantry was a part, left at 1:00 AM for a shorter route through Strasburg, and was in sight of Thoburn's campfires at 3:30 near his ford over the creek. Everything was in the Confederate's far. Now, even the the weather was cooperating, as a dense fog formed over the entire area in the predawn coolness. General Kershaw was ordered to move his troops across the creek a few minutes ahead of schedule. Further downstream, General Gordon's combined column also moved to cross the river. One Confederate trooper would later write, "Well do I remember how we plunged into the icy waters of the Shenandoah as day was beginning to dawn, the struggle to get to the bank on the other side, and the effort to reach the top of the high embankment, now made slick by our wet clothing; how some comrade jostled me just as I reached the top and I slid back into the cold water and had to try it all over again." General Gordon's flanking force then quickly marched the mile-and-a half to the assault point.

General Kershaw's supporting troops had only a short distance to cover after crossing the creek before coming to the steep hill on which the Union troops to his front were posted. The attack started there, about 5 AM. One of General Kershaw's officers would later describe the assault, "As we emerged from a thicket into the open, we could see the enemy in great commotion, but soon the works were filled with half-dressed troops, and they opened a galling fire upon us. The distance was too great in this open space to take the works by a regular advance in line of battle, so the men began to call for orders to 'charge'. Whether the order was given or not, the troops with one impulse sprang forward."

General Joseph B. Kershaw, CSA
General Joseph B. Kershaw, CSA
Darkness, combined with the early morning fog aided the attack. Capt. DuPont, General Crook's artillery commander, loaded his guns with canister... but could see no enemy in the dense fog, but his batteries began firing blindly toward the sounds. In the opening action, Union General Thoburn was killed, and his division was swept back in only a few minutes. Captain DuPont position was overrun and he lost an entire battery, which was quickly turned around and deftly used by the Confederates.

General Rutherford B. Hayes, USA
General Rutherford B. Hayes, USA
General Crook's second division, under General Hayes, who was positioned on a separate ridge behind that of General Thoburn, could easily tell the Confederate troops were coming and started to form his troops and facing them in that direction. However, by this time, General Gordon's troops had reached the Cooley family farmhouse, earlier established as his launching point for his part of the attack. General Gordon quickly wheeled his line of battle to the northwest, head-on into General Hayes' left flank and rear. The troops being pushed back by General Kershaw's attack, combined with the shock of General Gordon's attack, caused General Hayes' Federal division to lose cohesion and fall back across the pike toward Belle Grove. General Horatio Wright, standing in for General Sheridan in his abscence, fevorosly tried to order units of the VI Corps forward to General Hayes' support, but he was too late. It was now about 5:45 AM, early daylight.

Generals Kershaw and Gordon's forces were loosely combined as they swung northwest to approach the General Emory's Union XIX Corps. General Emory said, "The fog was so dense that it was impossible to see the position of the enemy or the direction of his advance; but, guided by the firing, I ordered Second Brigade, First Division, to cross the pike and occupy a wooded ridge in order to support General Crook." An 8th Vermont company conmmander described the fight for the ridge, "The skirmish line had not advanced a hundred yards when it ran in the darkness plump into a body of the enemy; in an instant the timber was in a blaze of light from the fought hand-to-hand...Three color bearers were killed...In a moment, without warning,...we were being swept back, every man for himself, and the enemy on every hand. I had received two severe wounds...the 8th Vermont had lost more than two-thirds of all the men engaged...of the sixteen officers at our campfire the evening before, thirteen had been killed and wounded on this horrible hill of sacrifice."

However, the sacrifice of the Union troops bought time for General Horatio Wright to begin to reform his line a half-mile back (northwest), behind Belle Grove and Meadow Brook, on Red Hill. Each piece of terrain was the scene of struggle, as General Emory's XIX Corps pulled back, including a stony hill near the creek and another small knoll in front of Belle Grove. It was now about 6:45 AM, as the corps fought its way back to take position on the VI Corps' right (western) flank. Generals Kershaw and Gordon now owned the pike north of the creek.

As Colonel Hotchkiss would later write in his detailed journal, "Gordon was on the left, near Stickley's; then Kershaw came across the ridge; then Ramseur down the slope to Meadow Run; Pegram from that up to the turnpike; Wharton to right with Wofford's brigade, of Kershaw's division, on his right at the angle of the Cedarville and Buckton roads; then Payne's cavalry extending to the woods. Rosser had driven the enemy by the Grove road and was to the left and in advance. We lay there some time, using some artillery on the right and left and advancing our skirmishers a little, but making no decided move. We skirmished with the cavalry on the right and they charged our lines several times, but were repulsed. Thus we lay until 4 p.m., making a few efforts to get off the immense captures we had made of artillery and everything else. We had some twenty-three guns."

The Confederate success along their original lines of attack, also meant that Confederate units were becoming tangled, as they crossed one another. Time was taken to straighten and reorganize the lines. Having criss-crossed, General John Gordon's Division was on the far left, with Generals Kershaw, Ramseur, and Pegram to his right. So far, the Confederates had defeated General George Crook's two divisions separately, and then had combined Generals Kershaw and Gordon's four divisions to push Emory back.

At this point, they faced the combined forces of Generals Emory and Wright's five divisions. Quoting General Early: "There was now a heavy fog, and that, combined with the smoke from the artillery and small arms, so obscured objects that the enemy's position could not be seen...Generals Ramseur and Pegram...informed me that their divisions were in line confronting the VI Corps."

The VI Corps' 3rd Division, General Warren Keifer commanding, was nearest the creek, backed up by General Wheaton's 1st Division, and General Getty's 2nd Division. With the rolling terrain, dense fog, and the smoke of battle, they were effectively separated from one another and fought separate battles from 6 AM to 9 AM. One Federal soldier would later describe the situation: "The newly risen sun, huge and bloody, was on their side in more senses than one. Our line faced directly to the east, and we could see nothing but that enormous disc, rising out of the fog, while they could see every man in our line, and could take good aim."

Generals Keifer and Wheaton faced east as Confederate Generals Kershaw, Ramseur and Pegram pushed beyond Belle Grove down the hill to Meadow Brook and up toward Red Hill. A Union artillerist remembered: "when the rebs came down out of the fog to the little brook to get behind the stone wall, I shouted to my comrades, 'Shoot down that flag', and we shot it down four times in less than seven minutes, and then they lay behind the wall to hold it up."

The fighting, confused and complicated, continued for nearly two hours. Units fought assaults in front of them, and then on their flanks. General Wright asked one of his staff officers to ascertain whether or not the troops occupying a bluff, left of his position...were friend or foe. As the staff officer approached the strange troops, they opened fire on him causing him to barely escape with his life. With all the confusion, units were repeatedly flanked, but increasingly effective artillery fire from Union guns on the pike forced the attacking Confederates to gradually move northeast.

Under orders from General Horatio Wright to move to the pike, General Getty had moved his 2nd Division into a position to the left of the others, and for a time had held a grove of trees across Meadow Brook. He moved back across the brook and into line on top of a ridge near the small cemetery just outside Middletown. In one of the key actions of the day, General Getty's troops repulsed three terrific assaults on their position, by forces led by Generals Pegram, Ramseur, and Wharton. One participant related that three times"Getty's veterans coolly held their fire until the enemy was close upon them, then delivered it in their very faces, and tumbled the shattered ranks down the hill." Losses were heavy on both sides. By now, however, Carter had nearly 20 Confederate guns positioned on the pike near Middletown, and his concentrated fire made the cemetery line untenable. About 9:30, Union General Getty began to slowly withdraw along Meadow Brook, taking a position on the pike about a mile northeast of the town. General Wright ordered the rest of VI Corps and XIX Corps to align themselves to General Getty's right. General Merritt's cavalry had come into position at this point along the pike, having been ordered by General Wright to move there with General George A. Custer. They joined Moore's cavalry brigade which had pulled back from its picket duty on the river to stake out and hold a position on the pike, making a major contribution to the Federals' attempt to stop the Confederate advance.


General Horatio G. Wright, USA
General Horatio G. Wright, USA
General Jubal Early wrote "The fog soon rose sufficiently for us to see the enemies position on a ridge to the west of Middletown, and it was discovered to be a strong one." He countered by moving General Pegram into position on the pike, and Generals Wharton with Wofford's Brigade (the 18th Georgia Regiment of Volunteer Infantry was one regiment in this brigade) across the pike. These forces would be in constant contact with each other through the remainder of the day.

General Wofford's Brigade of Georgians had been on this part of the battlefield for some time, when General Kershaw attacked the forces under General Thoburn. In support, General Wofford had his troops move through the camps of Union Generals Hayes and Kitching, inthe wake of the assault on the Union Second Corps. Here, they fell in behind the troops of General Peagram and General Ramseur. There was a slight respit in their part of the battle and they were able to get some rest and were able to forage through the abandoned Union camps, for at least two hours.

In addition, strong artillery duels occurred along the pike between Carter's guns, who fought superbly all day, and Federal guns led by DuPont, who earned a Medal of Honor for his day-long efforts. It was now about 10:30 AM. General Early entered Middletown at about this time, finding Gereals Pegram's, Wharton's and Wofford's troops actively engaged with the Union cavalry. A number of artillery batteries were deployed behind the Confederate infantry, adding what it could to assist the troops in their fight with the Union cavalry. General Early felt that the Union cavalry was threatening his right flank.

At about this same moment General Philip Sheridan arrived at General Getty's position. Here he found that his stand-in, General Horatio Wright, had ordered the re-forming the Union army troops, which was well underway. General Sheridan let these orders stand, but sent General Custer back to the right flank.

General Sheridan then rode the full length of his army's line, having a terrific effect on the morale of the pressed troops. General McMillan, who commanded the 1st Division, in General Emory's XIX corps, later wrote "Major General Sheridan made his appearance, and was most heartily cheered along the whole line, as far as I could observe. The officers and men seemed at once to recover from a kind of lethargy".

At approximately 1:00 PM, Confederate General John Gordon directed his Confederate troops on the far left to test the Union XIX Corps position. The Confederates were quickly repulsed. As the Confederates of three divisions advanced, artillery rumbled in support. General Sheridan, who had been expecting this movement for the past two hours, shifted the Vermont brigade from their position by General Gettys and sent them to fill the threatened position, near that of Emory's reorganized corps and Wheatons's division.

The Confederate thrust, which amounted to little more than a reconnaissance in force, was quickly and easily repulsed. The Union line, which was deeply set in thick woods, was practically inpenetrable. Their superior numbers, earthworks and superior position caused General Gordon to recall his troops and prevent a further needless sacrifice of his troops. Falling back to more than half the distance of their original starting position, the troops were deployed behind stonewalls and near the residence of D. J. Miller.

General Early's tired Confederates' main line was now along the road leading northwest from Miller's Mill, about a half mile north of Middletown. General Sheridan planned a general counter attack for around 3:00 PM. However, he then postponed it for an hour, based on a false report of a Confederate force approaching the Union left flank from Front Royal, Va. While this could have been possible, as General Early had ordered General Lomax to make such a demonstration but he failed to do so. In fact, he and his troops never took part in the battle at all, nor did his counterpart on the other end of the line, General Thomas Rosser. This lack of support only served to bolster General Early's negative opinion of the cavalry.

General Sheridan's plan for the counter attack was to cause a left wheel movement of the entire line. Sweeping the Confederates from the field as his Unon troops advanced. One of General Emory's staff officers would later recall, "The whole line will advance. The XIX Corps will move in touch with the VI Corps which will be the pivot. The right of the XIX will swing toward the left so as to drive the enemy down upon the pike."

Cedar Creek Battlefield Map, October 1864
Cedar Creek, October 1864
However, as the Union line moved forward, it was only able to so so enmasse for about a mile, before being taken under fierce fire from the Confederates, all across the line. The fighting went back and forth, as both sides grew more and more stubborn, fiercely defending each stone fence, woods, and open fields. The battlefield was so confused, as units on both sides would surge ahead, they would quickly be flanked, forcing them to pull back before trying again. One of General Wright's VI Corps officers would later remember, "Everything appeared to be at a deadlock, with heavy firing of artillery and musketry." A Confederate officer in General Kershaw's Division wrote, "Where the Mississippi brigade stood, the fighting was at close quarters, and on the field in our front the dead and wounded lay thick."

The tide began to turn against the Southerners when General Gordon's far left brigade which was facing the XIX Corps, was separated from the rest of the line. Union General McMillan's Brigade was able to wheel to the right, moving directly against the separated Confederates, driving them out of the fight. The union brigade was then wheeled back and found they were squarely on the end of the rest of General Gordon's line, flanking the Confederates. General Sheridan then ordered General Custer to coordinate his attack with the infantry. The Union brigade was reinforced and now up to division strength, they moved against the exposed Confederate flank. General Custer's cavalry, supporting the infantry, swept past that flank, later describing the fight said,"...Being compelled to advance over an open plain and in full view of the enemy, our intentions were fully and immediately comprehended by him. The effect of our movement was instantaneous and decisive. Seeing so large a force of cavalry bearing rapidly down upon an unprotected flank and their line of retreat in danger of being intercepted, the lines of the enemy now gave way in the utmost confusion."

As Colonel Hotchkiss described in his journal "The enemy having had time to rally, had collected in rear of the large body of woods in our front and formed a line of battle and advanced at 4.30 p.m. obliquely to the left, and struck our left, or rather between the two brigades on the left, where the line was weak, and it gave way with little resistance, and was followed by all the rest of the line toward the left, and soon everything was in full retreat toward Cedar Creek. The artillery nobly fell back fighting and kept the enemy in check, and everything was getting off well, when Rosser, having fallen back, the Yankee cavalry crossed by Hite's old mill and came up to Stickley's and fell on our train and artillery just after dark, on Hupp's Hill, and dashed along, killing horses and turning over ambulances, caissons, &c., stampeding the drivers, thus getting 43 pieces of artillery, many wagons, &c., as there was nothing to defend them and we had no organized force to go after them."

The Confederate line crumbled from left to right, as General Sheridan ordered his entire Union line to press the assault. Generals Kershaw and Ramseur fell back a quarter mile, their troops methodically retreating while giving full measure to the advancing Union troops. Near Miller's Mill, General Ramseur had two horses shot from under him and was mounting his third as he himself went down with his second wound. His troops then gave way.

Across the Pike, Union cavalry General Merritt's troops had finally broken the Confederate line after several assaults, so the entire Confederate line was now in retreat. General Robert Johnston's brigade of General Pegram's Division stayed on the pike and fought a stubborn rear-guard movement. This bought valuable time for the retreating Confederates trying to get across the creek. Confederate officers tried to rally small groups of soldiers wherever they could to put up a delaying action, but their troops were now in full retreat. One Confederate veteran later remembered, "We ran. Yes, we struck the ground in high places only."

General Stephen D. Ramseur, CSA
General Stephen D. Ramseur, CSA
General Custer crossed the Creek with two regiments upstream from the bridge and as his troops cut into the confused masses on the pike, General Merritt pushed directly down the pike, taking prisoners and capturing munitions, cannons and wagons as they went. A small wagon overturned on a bridge just beyond Strasburgh, blocking it entirely. Unable to move, a large number of Confederate wagons and much needed artillery pieces were stalled helplessly and captured. General Ramseur, mortally wounded, was hidden in one of the captured wagons. Once found, his wagon was turned back to Belle Grove. Once his classmates from West Point heard of his situation, Union Generals DuPont, Merritt, and Custer, came during the night to visit him before he died.

The Confederate defeat was now complete. At the plantation of Belle Grove there was a scene of Union celebration. Unit commanders presented their captures to General Sheridan, more than 300 Confederate wagons, all 24 of their own guns which had been lost in the morning plus an additional 25 Confederate guns, 1,600 rifles, and eleven captured Confederate battle flags.

Confederate losses were over 2,900, including 320 killed. Union losses were over 5,600, with 644 killed.

Headquarters, General Jubal Early
NEW MARKET, October 20, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,

Commanding Army of Northern Virginia.

The Sixth and Nineteenth Corps have not left the Valley. I fought them both yesterday. I attacked Sheridan's camp on Cedar Creek before day yesterday morning, and surprised and routed the Eighth and Nineteenth Corps, and then drove the Sixth Corps beyond Middletown, capturing 18 pieces of artillery and 1,300 prisoners; but the enemy subsequently made a stand on the pike, and, in turn, attacked my line, and my left gave way, and the rest of the troops took a panic and could not be rallied, retreating in confusion. But for their bad conduct I should have defeated Sheridan's whole force. On the retreat back to Fisher's Hill the enemy captured about thirty pieces of artillery and some wagons and ambulances. The prisoners were brought off. My loss in men was not heavy. General Ramseur was seriously wounded while acting with gallantry, and was captured by the enemy.



Headquarters, General Jubal Early
NEW MARKET, October 21.1864.
GENERAL: The telegraph has already informed you of the disaster of the 19th; I now write to give you a fuller account of the matter.

Having received information that the enemy was continuing to repair the Manassas road, and that he had moved back from Fisher's Hill, I moved on the 12th toward Strasburg for the purpose of endeavoring to thwart his purposes if he should contemplated moving across the Ridge or sending troops to Grant.

On the 13th I made a reconnaissance in force beyond Strasburg, and found the enemy on the north bank of Cedar Creek and on both sides of the pike. This was too strong a position to attack in front. I therefore encamped my force at Fisher's Hill and waited to see whether the enemy would move, but he commenced fortifying.

On the night of the 16th Rosser, with two brigades of cavalry and a brigade of infantry mounted behind his men, was sent around the left to surprise what was reported by his scouts to be the camp of a division of cavalry. He found, however, that the camp had been moved, and he only found a picket, which he captured. As I could not remain at Fisher's Hill, for want of forage, I then determined to try and get around one of the enemy's flanks and surprise him in camp. After ascertaining the location of the enemy's camps from observation from a signal station on Massanutten Mountain, I determined to move around the left flank of the enemy. I selected this flank from information furnished by General Gordon and Captain Hotchkiss, who had gone to the signal station, and because the greater part of the enemy's cavalry was on picketed. To get around the enemy's left was a very difficult undertaking, however, as the river had to be crossed twice, and between the mountain and river, where the troops had to pass, to the lower ford there was only a rugged pathway. I thought, however, the chances of success would be greater from the fact the fact that the enemy would not expect a move in that direction on account of the difficulties attending it and the great strength of their position on that flank. The movement was accordingly begun on the night of the 18th just after dark, Gordon's, Ramseur's, and Pegram's divisions being sent across the river and around the foot at night I moved with Kershaw's division through Strasburg toward a ford on Cedar Creek just above its mouth, and Wharton was moved on the pike toward the enemy's front, in which road the artillery in the rear, for Kershaw to attack the left flank, and for Gordon [Wharton?] to advance in front, supporting the artillery, which was to open on the enemy when he should turn on Gordon or Kershaw, and the attack was to begin at 5 a.m. on the 19th. Rosser was sent to the left to occupy the enemy's cavalry, and Lomax, who had been sent down the Luray Valley, was ordered to pass Front Royal, cross the river, and move across toward the Valley pike. Punctually at 5 Kershaw reached the enemy's left work and attacked and carried it without the least difficulty, and very shortly afterward Gordon attacked in the rear, and they swept everything before them, routing the Eighth and Nineteenth Corps completely, getting possession of their camp and capturing 18 pieces of artillery and about 1,300 prisoners. They moved across the pike toward the camp of the Sixth Corps, and Wharton was crossed over, the artillery following him, but the Sixth Corps, which was on the enemy' extreme right of his infantry,was not surprised in camp, because Rosser had commenced the attack on that flank about the same time as the attack on the other, and the firing on the left gave that corps sufficient time to form and move out of camp, and it was found posted on a ridge on the west of the pike and parallel to it, and this corps offered considerable resistance. The artillery was brought up and opened on it, when it fell back to the north of Middletown and made a stand on a commanding ridge running across the pike. In the meantime the enemy's cavalry was threatening our right flank only Lomax's old brigade, numbering about 300 men, it became necessary to make dispositions to prevent a cavalry charge, and a portion of the troops were moved to the right for that purpose, and word was sent to Gordon, who had got on the left with his division, and Kershaw, who was there also, to swing round the advance with their divisions, but they stated in reply that a heavy force of cavalry had got in their front, and that their ranks were so depleted by the number of men who had stopped in the camps to plunder that they could not advance them. Rosser also sent word that when he attacked the cavalry he encountered a part of the Sixth Corps supporting it; that a very heavy force of cavalry had massed in his front, and that it was too strong for him, and that he would have to fall back. I sent word to him to get some position that he could hold, and the cavalry in front of Kershaw and Gordon having moved toward Rosser, they were moved forward and a line was formed north of Middletown facing the enemy. The cavalry on the right made several efforts to charge that flank, but was driven back. So many of our men had stopped in the camp to plunder (in which I am sorry to say that officers participated), the country was so open, and the enemy's cavalry so strong, that I did not deem it prudent to press farther, especially as Lomax had not come up. I determined, therefore, to content myself with train to hold the advantages I had gained until all my troops had come up and the captured property was secured. If I had but one division of fresh troops I could have made the victory complete and beyond all danger of a reserve. We continued to hold our position until late in the afternoon, when the enemy commenced advancing, and was driven back on the right center by Ramseur, but Gordon's division, on the left, subsequently gave way, and Kershaw's and Ramseur's did so also, when they found Gordon's giving way, not because there was any pressure on them, but from an insane idea of being flanked. Some of them, however, were rallied, and with the help of the artillery the army was checked for some time, but a great number of the men could not be stopped, but continued to go the rear. The enemy again made a demonstration, and General Ramseur, who was acting with great gallantry, was wounded, and the left again gave way, and then the whole command, falling back in such panic that I had to order Pegram's and Wharton's commands, which were very small and on the right, to fall back, and most of them took the panic also. I found it impossible to rally the troops. They would not listen to entreaties, threats, or appeals of any kind. A terror of the enemy's cavalry had seized them, the there was no holding them. They left the filed in the greatest confusion. All the captured artillery had been carried across Cedar Creek, and a large number of captured wagons and ambulances, and we succeeded in crossing our own artillery over, and everything would have been saved if we could have rallied 500 men, but the panic was so great that nothing could be done. A small body of the enemy's cavalry dashed across Cedar Creek above the bridge, and got into the train and artillery running back on the pike, and passed through our men to this side of Strasburg, tore up a bridge, and thus succeeded in capturing the greater part of the artillery and a number of ordnance and medical wagons and ambulances. The men scattered on the sides, and the rout was as thorough and disgraceful as ever happened to our army.

After the utter failure of all my attempts to rally the men I went to Fisher's Hill with the hope of rallying the troops there and forming them in the trenches, but when they reached that position the only organized body of men left was the prisoners, 1,300 in number, and the provost-guard in charge of them, and I believe that the appearance of these prisoners moving back in a body alone arrested the progress of the enemy's cavalry, as it was too dark for them to discover what they were. Many of the men stopped at Fisher's Hill and went to their old camps, but no organization of them could be effected, and nothing saved us but the inability of the enemy to follow with his infantry and his expectation that we would make a stand there. The state of things was distressing and mortifying beyond measure. We had within our grasp a glorious victory, and lost it by the uncontrollable propensity of our men for plunder, in the first place, and the subsequent panic among those who had kept their place, which was without sufficient cause, for I believe that the enemy had only made the movement against us as a demonstration, hoping to protect his stores, &c., at Winchester, and that the rout of our troops was a surprise to him. I had endeavored to guard against the dangers of stopping to plunder in the camps by cautioning the division commanders and ordering them to caution their subordinates and take the most rigid measures to prevent it, and I endeavored to arrest the evil while in progress without avail. The truth is, we have very few field or company officers worth anything, almost all our good officers of that kind having been killed, wounded, or captured, and it is impossible to preserve discipline without good field an company officers.

I send you a map* of the battle-field with the surrounding country. You will see marked out on it the different routes of the several columns. The plan was a bold one and was vigorously pursued by the division commanders, and it was successful, but the victory already gained was lost by the subsequent bad conduct of the troops. The artillery throughout, from first to last, in this as well as in all the actions I have had, behaved nobly, both officers and men, and not a piece of artillery has been lost by any fault of theirs. I attribute this good conduct on their part to the vast superiority of the officers. Colonel Carter and all his battalion commanders richly deserve promotion. They not fought their guns gallantly and efficiently, but they made the most strenuous efforts to rally the infantry.

It is mortifying to me, general, to have to make these explanations of my reserves. They are due to no want of effort on my part, though it may be that I have not the capacity or judgment to prevent them. I have labored faithfully to gain success, and I have not failed to expose my person and to set an example to my men. I know that I shall have to endure censure from those who do not understand my position and difficulties, but I am still willing to make renewed efforts. If you think, however, that the interests of the service would be promoted by a change of commanders, I beg you will have no hesitation in making the change. The interests of the service are far beyond any mere personal considerations, and if they require it I am willing to surrender my command into other hands. Though this affair has resulted so disastrously to my command, yet I think it is not entirely without compensating benefits. The Sixth Corps had already begun to move off to Grant and my movement brought it back, and Sheridan's forces are now so shattered that he will not be able to send Grant any efficient aid for some time. I think he will be afraid to trust the Eight and Nineteenth Corps.

The enemy's loss in killed and wounded was very heavy, and we took 1,300 prisoners, making, with some taken by Rosser, and others taken on the day of reconnaissance, over 1,500. My loss in killed and wounded was not more than 700 or 800, and I think very few prisoners were lost. A number of my men are still out, but they are coming in. Except for the loss of my artillery the enemy has far the worst of it. We secured some of the captured artillery, and our net loss is twenty-three pieces. I still have twenty pieces besides the horse artillery. The enemy is not pursuing, and I will remain here and organize my troops.



Journal of Captain Jed. Hotchkiss,
Topographical Engineer,
Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia (Valley District),
of operations August 4-December 31.

Thursday, August 4.-We started at sunrise and went to Shepherdstown via Leetown. Breckinridge went the same way. Rodes and Ramseur went by Martinsburg to near Hainesville. Headquarters at Mrs. Bedinger's. Pleasant.

Friday, August 5.-We crossed the river to Sharpsburg and had engagement with Coke's cavalry and drove them away, and then encamped near there. General Early and myself rode over part of the battle-field of Sharpsburg, and I sketched, by his order, the position of his brigade there. General Ransom accompanied us. Rodes and Ramseur encamped at Claggett's Mill. A warm day.

Saturday, August 6.-We marched to Tilghmanton and the cross-roads beyond toward Hagerstown, and then went to Williamsport and strong pickets across the Valley to the Back road; cavalry in front, McCausland at the foot of Three Top Mountain, Jackson on the Middle road and Johnson on the Back road. We spent the day on the lines. The troops fortified them. Very warm.

Sunday, August 14.-We spent the day on the lines, staying under a tree by the roadside. Had a little skirmishing with the enemy. Most of them remained on the north side of Cedar Creek. Our signal men were driven off the point of Three Top Mountain, but Captain Keller and his sharpshooters drove the Yankees off and killed 2 and captured 3.

Monday, August 15.-Spent the day on the lines and at Breckinridge's headquarters. In the p.m. we drove the enemy back to Cedar Creek Hill and found them in the same position. A very warm day. It rained late in the p.m. and at night. Major Jones spent the night with me. General Lomax came to-day.

Tuesday, August 16.-Sketched the country between the river and Massanutten Mountain and along the foot of Fisher's Hill. Quite warm. Fitz Lee came to see General Early, his cavalry being at Front Royal. Anderson had a fight with the Yankee cavalry at Guard Hill, in which he got the worst of it.

Wednesday, August 17.-We found the enemy gone this morning and the smoke rising from all parts of the Lower Valley from the burning of barns and hay and wheat stacks by the retreating Yankees. We followed, Gordon in advance; then Wharton, Ramseur, and Rodes. McCausland went down the Valley pike, Jackson on the Middle, and Johnson on the Back roads. We did not get up with the enemy until we reached Kernstown; there drove in the skirmishers, and found the cavalry posted on Bower's Hill. I took Forsberg's small brigade to the Middle road and threw them out to the left and drove the enemy from the hills in front and to the left of Bell's, Johnson's cavalry being there on our left; then reported, and Wharton's division was sent there. I put in it line to advance against Bower's Hill. Then saw it go in and take the hill. Ramseur's sharpshooters advanced at the same time. I watched the left of the line and the advance of Johnson's cavalry, then reported to General Early after dark. Gordon crossed from Kernstown to the Front Royal road and came into Winchester from that way. We lost some killed and wounded, and inflicted some loss on the enemy and drove them through the town. We got the town just after dark. We encamped at Pritchard's, near Kernstown. We took 200 prisoners. The day was pleasant and cloudy; part of it very hot. Anderson marched up to the Opequon.

Thursday, August 18.-We moved our camp to the yard of Mrs. Wood, near the Town Spring, at Winchester. Rodes moved out a mile or so on the Berryville road, Ramseur on the Martinsburg road, and Gordon and Wharton remained on Abraham's Creek, near Hollingsworth's Mill. General Anderson came up with Kershaw's division and Fitz Lee's cavalry and encamped near the Opequon, on the Front Royal and Millwood roads. It rained most of last night and half of to-day quite steadily. Oltmanns finished a map of the Valley, which I sent to General Lomax, and corrected some maps.

Friday, August 19.-We moved at an early hour to Bunker Hill, Ramseur in advance, followed by Rodes and Breckinridge. All encamped in the vicinity of Bunker Hill. Anderson and Fitz Lee remained at Winchester. Lomax and his cavalry went to vicinity of Martinsburg and helt the line of the Opequon all along. A fine day. Slight showers. Cool evening. Lomax went to Martinsburg and Shepherdstown.

Saturday, August 20.-We spent the day in camp. I corrected some maps. Oltmanns copied part of battle of Monocacy and Robinson copied a Valley map. It rained and misted most of the day. We had some skirmishing with the enemy along the Opequon. Camps as yesterday.

Sunday, August 21.-We moved toward Charlestown at an early hour. Drove the enemy from the Opequon. Met their infantry skirmishers at Aldridge's about 9.30 a.m. Rodes was in front and threw out his skirmishers and drove the enemy to the vicinity of Charlestown. Ramseur was put on his right and advanced to near the Summit Point road. Anderson came by the old Winchester and Charlestown road and Fitz Lee by the Berryville road. They had some fighting near Summit Point. We advanced by Smithfield. It threatened rain some, but cleared off by noon. Lomax, with Vaughn, Johnson, and Jackson, advanced by Leetown and then toward Summit Point with part of his force from Smithfield. Gordon was put on the right and Wharton on the left of the pike in reserve. We skirmished with the enemy during the p.m. and used some artillery. They made some advances, but were repulsed. We encamped some two and a half miles from Charlestown. A fine day. I reconnoitered positions, &c.

Monday, August 22.-We advanced at an early hour and found the enemy gone, leaving only cavalry behind. We soon drove them off, and three miles beyond Charlestown. Anderson and Fitz Lee came to vicinity of Charlestown, and our cavalry was thrown out toward Shepherdstown and toward the Shenandoah. It rained very hard for several hours in the p.m. I dined at Mr. Strider's. Robinson copied map for General Kershaw in p.m. and night. Headquarters near Davenport's.

Tuesday, August 23.-The army remained in front of Charlestown. Made some few movements to thwart moved of the enemy, moving more to the left. I sketched the portion of country that we fought over on Sunday. There was a dense for in the morning, but it cleared off and became quite warm. Headquarters at Davenport's.

Wednesday, August 24.-Still at same place. Enemy drove in our pickets toward Harper's Ferry and created some stir, which was soon quelled. Quiet the rest of the day. I rode over to Rock's Ford, on the Shenandoah, to view the country. Dined with Major Adams at Osborne's. Very warm day.

Thursday, August 25.-We started at an early hour for Shepherdstown, via Leetown, Wharton in front, followed by Gordon, Rodes, and Ramseur. Fitz Lee went by Smithfield to Leetown and Lomax collected his at the same place, and all went on to Martinsburg and Williamsport. We met the enemy's cavalry advance about one mile and a half from Leetown and had quite a heavy skirmish with them. Wharton's division was thrown out and engaged, most of it on the left of the road. Gordon was moved to the right and Rodes to the left. We soon drove the enemy off, with considerable loss on both sides. they made another stand near Shepherdstown on the Charlestown road, which Gordon repulsed with Terry's brigade on the left, then York and Evans on the right. Quite a lively skirmish ensued, in which Gordon was wounded in the head, but he gallantly dashed on, the blood direction, and encamped at night near Shepherdstown. Headquarters at Boteler's house. A stampede of ambulances when the firing began came near causing a stampede of Wharton's division. We lost a good many. The Yanks had started on a raid and had three days' rations with them. Very warm. The cavalry is opposite Williamsport to-night.

Friday, August 26.-We spent about half the day at Shepherdstown, then marched back to Leetown, Ramseur in advance, followed by Rodes, Gordon and Wharton. Our cavalry came to the vicinity of Shepherdstown, having found the enemy in force to oppose their passage at Williamsport. They had an artillery duel in the morning. Anderson had a fight near Charlestown in the p.m. Headquarters in the orchard at the old General Lee house. Colonel Boteler spends the night with me. Robinson and Oltmanns worked awhile at maps. Fine day. Windy and some rain at night.

Saturday, August 27.-We continued our march back to our old camp at Bunker Hill. Rodes went by Dandridge's and the Sulphur Springs, the rest by Smithfield. Ramseur followed by Gordon and Wharton. Anderson came from Charlestown by Smithfield, and went on to Stephenson's. Pleasant, but quite cool in the p.m. We also found the cavalry falling back, but General Early ordered McCausland back to Charlestown, and he went beyond toward Harper's Ferry. Fitz Lee and Lomax remained near Shepherdstown.

Sunday, August 28.-We spent the day in camp at Bunker Hill, and had preaching in some of the divisions. The enemy's cavalry advanced on ours, and we had some fighting near Smithfield, especially Harry Gilmor, but our cavalry retired, Lomax toward Bunker Hill, and Fitz Lee toward Brucetown. The enemy occupied Smithfield, burning three houses there. Some infantry marched toward the Opequon, but was not engaged. The day was quite cool. Robinson made a map for General Wickham.

Monday, August 29.-The enemy's cavalry advanced this morning and drove our across the Opequon. Ramseur was marched out by the turnpike and advanced to drive them back. Gordon moved by a road to the right to turn the enemy's left flank. The artillery was also advanced. After some brisk commanding across the creek, and skirmishing, we drove the enemy through Smithfield and two miles and a half beyond, then returned to our old camps again. Rodes help the road toward Martinsburg. We lost 10 killed and 75 wounded. Late in the p.m. our cavalry was again driven across the Opequon by the enemy. I went to General Anderson in the morning to apprise him of the situation, then came back and witnessed most of the apprise him of the situation, then came back and witnessed most of the advance. Pleasant day. Cool in morning and evening. Robinson and Oltmanns worked at maps. I sent Green's baggage to Winchester.

Tuesday, August 30.-Spent the day in camp, not feeling very well, but worked some at maps. Robinson and Oltmanns copying maps of the Valley. Fine day; cool night; all quiet.

Wednesday, August 31.-I sketched the road to the Opequon and back. The Yankee cavalry made some advances toward Winchester. Came to the Opequon. Anderson moved back to near Winchester. Our cavalry was moved to meet them, but they went back in the p.m. and the usual quiet prevailed. Fine day; cool at night. Rodes' division went to Martinsburg and back.

Thursday, September 1.-I rode up to Winchester in the a.m. and brought back some dispatches for General Early. Oltmanns copied map of the Valley. Robinson finished reducing Adams County, Pa. A very fine day.

Friday, September 2.-Dispatches came in the morning stating that the enemy was moving toward Berryville in force. So we moved across the country toward Stone Chapel by Fry's Ford, Gordon in advance, followed by Wharton and Ramseur. We got nearly to Stone Chapel when Vaughan's brigade of our cavalry to stampeded at Bunker Hill and ran away, leaving the wagons and Johnson's brigade to take care of themselves. A few hundred cavalry took fourteen wagons and some men and compelled us to turn back. Rodes had been left near Stephenson's. He turned back and drove the enemy nearly to Bunker Hill. We turned back through Brucetown, Ramseur in advance, and encamped between Brucetown and Stephenstown's. Our wagons went from Stephenson's nearly to Summit Point ahead of the army, but all got back safely to Stephenstown's about midnight. The enemy retired and Fitz Lee reported that the enemy had gone to City Point. Anderson and Fitz Lee moved toward Berryville.

Saturday, September 3.-The enemy's cavalry appeared at White Post this morning threatening to come to Newtown. Fitz Lee moved toward Newtown and Anderson toward Berryville. He met the enemy near there in the p.m. and drove them from a line of works with small loss. The cannonading kept up until 9 p.m. Rodes started in the morning for Bunker Hill, to be followed by the rest of the corps; but he alone went on and had a skirmish with the enemy there after the cavalry fight, in which Harry Gilmor was wounded. Ramseur remained in camp guarding some roads. At night Gordon moved to Winchester, his men in high spirits. It rained in the night; began just about dark. I went to Winchester to attend to some business.

Sunday, September 4.-We were roused up very early to go to Berryville, Ramseur in front, followed up Wharton and Rodes (Gordon remained at Winchester). We found Anderson in line of battle in front of Berryville and joined on to his left. He was skirmishing some with the enemy. Their cavalry soon passed back from Millwood. We marched to find the enemy's right flank. Went as far as Sidney Allen's. Found them well fortified, so skirmished with them until night and then withdrew to a line parallel with the Winchester and Berryville roads, and there spent the night. Headquarters at Russell's. A fine day. It rained some at night.

Monday, September 5.-We remained in front of Berryville until 2 p.m., then withdrew and returned to Stephenson's Depot by the way of the Burnt Factory, Jordan Springs, &c. Rodes was in front, followed by Wharton and Ramseur. Anderson moved back to Winchester in the morning. Our cavalry had a skirmish with the enemy below Stephenson's and was falling back when Rodes' advance came there, just before dark, and threw out a brigade to the right of the pike and advanced rapidly and drove Averell's cavalry some three miles, inflicting some damage. It rained very hard late in the p.m. and also after dark. Headquarters at Mrs. Stephenson's.

Tuesday, September 6.-We spent the day in camp, and it rained and misted most of the time. I corrected maps and wrote some letters. Gave Colonel Smith a map of the northeast of Virginia.

Wednesday, September 7.-I rode over a back road to Winchester on the left of the pike and back by one of the right and sketched them. A fine, clear day. Enemy's cavalry made a demonstration near Brucetown; also near the Yellow House on the Martinsburg road, and also on the Millwood and Front Royal roads not far from Winchester, and were repulsed at all points. The general went to Winchester.

Thursday, September 8.-I went to Newtown to-day to see Lieutenant Koerner. Met him and we went to Major Jones' and spent the night. It rained most of the day; began at 10 a.m. We changed camp and went back of Mrs. Stephenson's.

Friday, September 9.-It cleared off and we had a fine day. Koerner and myself came back to camp, then went over to Breckinridge's and fixed to have his engineer company go and aid in the survey of the country. The enemy came to the Opequon and burned some mills. Wharton went to meet them.

Saturday, September 10.-We moved down to Bunker Hill, Rodes in front, followed by Ramseur. Some of Lomax's brigade preceded us. We had a very hard rained in the morning, with thunder and lighting. We marched through. Our infantry marched just beyond Darkeville. Our cavalry drove the Yankees through Martinsburg after the infantry had started them from Darkesville. All the enemy went south of that stream. We came back to our old camp at Bunker Hill. Ramseur and Rodes came there. Lomax remained at Darkeville. The day became pleasant.

Sunday, September 11.-It began to rain about 11 p.m. last night and rained very hard until 7 this morning, with thunder and vivid lightning. The infantry moved back to Stephenson's to-day. I went with Captain Wilbourn by the Back road to our old camp at Stephenson's. The cavalry remained at Darkeville. There were several hard showers during the day, accompanied by thunder and lightning. We dined at Mr. Abbott's.

Monday, September 12.-Spent the day in camp preparing to go to Staunton. All quiet. A fine day; showery. Cool morning and evenings. Major Jones dined with us.

Tuesday, September 13.-I left for home. Went to the engineer camp, seven miles southwest of Strasburg, and spent the night. There was heavy cannonading near Brucetown when I left. A fine, cool day. The enemy advanced on the old Charlestown road. We broke up camp at Stephenson's at 2 p.m. The general spent the day at Carpenter's battery on the left of the road near the Opequon. We skirmished across the creek. Carpenter had 2 guns disabled, 3 men killed, and 5 wounded. Gordon on the left. Ramseur on the right. Enemy left. Headquarters at same place at night.

Wednesday, September 14.-I rode as far as Mr. Cowan's, near Tenth Legion. It rained very hard most of the day. Cold and chilly. Colonel Boteler left for Winchester. Anderson took his division away to Culpeper Court-House via Front Royal.

Thursday, September 15.-Went on home by way of Mossy Creek. Dined at Mr. Craun's and called at Major McCue's. A fine, cool day. The people are busy sowing grain. Grass is growing finely. Otlmanns made copy of map of Virginia. Lieutenant Boyd came to headquarters to report to Lieutenant Koerner.

Friday, September 16.-Went to Staunton by the way of E. Geeding's. Looked some for supplies. Got maps and sent some down to camp. A fine day. Cool in evening. Lieutenant Koerner sent Boyd and Chichester to the west of Winchester to survey.

Saturday, September 17.-Rode around among my neighbors to buy supplies for the year. Had some difficulty, but got along well. Fine, bracing day. They had dinner in camp at 1 p.m. and two days' rations were ordered, and moved at 3 p.m. to Bunker Hill, Gordon in advance, preceded by Jackson and followed by Rodes. Camped at Bunker Hill.

Sunday, September 18.-I spent the day at home, as it portended rain and rained some in the a.m. Henry Sieg and others called to see me. Fine day. At 3 a.m. Gordon marched for Martinsburg. Cavalry met enemy's pickets at Big Spring and drove them through town of Martinsburg.

Two brigades of Gordon went to the left of Martinsburg, and one (York's) to the right. Destroyed Tuscarora bridge, took 21 men and horses, 5 wagon loads of coal, and 5 coils of telegraph wire. Left at 4 p.m. and came back to Bunker Hill; headquarters at Stephenson's. Rodes came to Stephenson's. Grant said to be at Harper's Ferry.

Monday, September 19.-I started back to camp by the way of Staunton. Passed through Harrisonburg, where there was a large crowd at court. Came to Big Spring and spent the night at Lincoln's. Fine, warm day. Enemy came on by the Berryville road and Ramseur engaged them three miles from Winchester, at right angles to the road, from 3 a.m. Lomax, Johnson, and Jackson on the right. Rodes came up at 10 a.m. and formed on Ramseur's left, and Gordon came about noon and formed on Rodes' left. Wharton came up and fought along the Martinsburg road to Gordon's rear. He drove the enemy's cavalry back several times. The infantry fighting became heavy about noon. General Rodes was killed between 1 and 2 p.m. Enemy advanced several times. Were repulsed with very great loss. The Yankee cavalry made a dash on our left at 1 p.m. and were driven back, but at 4 p.m. they turned our left and fell on our rear and made our men give way in great confusion, coming to the suburbs of Winchester. Then Gordon's line gave way and we were compelled to retreat about sundown. This was effected with little loss. The enemy's cavalry come on to Kernstown, but were chekced by Ramseur. We fell back to Newtown, Gordon in front and Ramseur in the rear. Camped about midnight. We took 400 prisoners and inflicted a loss of 8,000 or 10,000 on the enemy. Our loss about 1,500. Fine day. Chilly night.

Tuesday, September 20.-Started early for camp. When I got to New Market heard that we had a disastrous battle and General Rodes had been killed, and at Rude's Hill I met his body. A severe loss, his men along the road lamenting it deeply. Soon met trains of ambulances, and troops of wounded and stragglers filled and road all the way to Fisher's Hill, where I found the army in its old position. Our losses were heavy yesterday. A fine, warm day. The army came to Fisher's Hill at daylight. Ramseur was put in command of Rodes' division and Pegram of Early's division, which Ramseur has been commanding this summer. We lost 3 pieces of artillery at Winchester. Rodes is much lamented by the army. Wharton is now on the right of the turnpike, then Gordon across to the Middle road, then Pegram and Ramseur, with Lomax on the left, ont the Back road, except McCausland's brigade, which is across the river opposite Strasburg. Wickham, of Fitz Lee's division of cavalry, fell back to Front Royal. Only one division of the enemy's cavalry followed us. The enemy came to Strasburg. Headquarters at Fisher's Hill.

Wednesday, September 21.-We spent the day in line of battle and fixing our works. The enemy's infantry in front and cavalry on the left made some demonstrations. Late in the p.m. they drove in our skirmish line on the Middle road, and got a hill there which they fortified. Wickham had to fall back to Milford. Breckinridge and staff left to-day. I watched the movements of the enemy. A fine, warm day. We had some artillery fighting.

Thursday, September 22.-The enemy advanced a line of battle in front at an early hour, and engaged our skirmishers, but did not push forward much. At 9.30 a.m. they engaged our skirmishers quite earnestly, and, at 1 p.m., advanced several lines of battle in front of Ramseur, but did not come far, and only drove in our skirmish line. At 4.30 p.m. they drove in the skirmishers in front of Gordon and opened a lively artillery duel. At the same time a flanking force that had come on our left, near the North Mountain, advanced and drove away the cavalry and moved on the left flank of our infantry-rather beyond it. The brigade there (Battle's) was ordered to move to the left, and the whole line was ordered to extend that way, moving along the line of the breast-works. But the enemy attacking just then (5.30 p.m.) the second brigade from the left, instead of marching by the line of works, was marched across an angle by its commander. The enemy seeing this movement rushed over the works, and the brigade fled in confusion, thus letting the enemy into the rear of Early's division, as well as of Gordon's and the rest of Rodes'; our whole line gave way toward the right, offering little or no resistance, and the enemy came on and occupied our line. General Early and staff were near by, and I with others went after Wharton, to [the right], but it was too late. Our whole line had retreated before he got on the turnpike. The enemy opened a furious cannonade on him. Our men came back in a perfect rout, and so rapidly that the enemy was crossing the railroad before the head of the column got into the pike, even. It was then getting dark. I hastened back to try and stop the mass of fugitives on the top of the hill near Mount Prospect. General Gordon, General Pegram, and Colonel Pendleton with others came up. Colonel Pendleton and myself had gotten a few men to stop near a fence, there, and also two pieces of artillery, which were opened on the enemy. By the combined efforts of all a few men were induced to stop. The artillery was opened on the woods where the enemy was advancing and it checked them for the moment, but most of our men went on, officers and all, at breakneck speed. Wharton came along parallel to the pike and on the left, and kept some of his men together. He checked the enemy some, and a rear guard was formed from his division which made a stand at Tom's Brook, and gave the enemy a volley which made them desist from pursuit. Battle's brigade moved to the left and came out intact. Colonel Pendleton was mortally wounded soon after we made a stand on the hill. The rout of wagons, caissons, limbers, artillery, and flying men was fearful as the stream swept down the pike toward Woodstock, as many thought the enemy's cavalry was aiming to get there by the Middle road and cut us off. I became alarmed for the bridges, lest they should be broken and stop the retreat, so I hastened along as best I could and checked the sapped of the train, which was fairly flying. I finally got to the head of the train at Hawkinstown and advised Major Harman to park beyond Mount Jackson. Then I went to the river, beyond Mount Jackson, and got Captain Hart, of the Engineer Company, to put out guards and stop the fugitives, a duty which he and Lieutenant Boyd nobly performed. I then laid down which he and Lieutenant Boyd nobly performed. I then land down and slept two hours and fed my horse. I got there about 1 a.m. A fine warm day. We lost some eighteen pieces of artillery and about 600 or 800 men.

Friday, September 23.-The troops marched all night. The enemy only came to Tom's Brook. We got to Mount Jackson at an early hour. All the wagons got there safely, except a few that were overturned. They were this morning all sent across the river to Rude's Hill. We spent the day in line of battle, Wharton on the left and Ramseur on the right, in front of Mount Jackson, just beyond the hospitals, and Gordon and Pegram between Mount Jackson and the river. The enemy's cavalry came up and threw a few shells, but no advance was made. After dark we came across the river. We had our headquarters just back of Rude's Hill and all spent the night near there. Some rain; cool.

Saturday, September 24.-We formed a line of battle on Rude's Hill in the morning, Wharton on the left and Ramseur on the right, in front, and Pegram on the right and Gordon on the left, in the rear, and remained there until noon. The enemy came on and threw a few shells and began to move up the opposite side of the river on our left flank. We then fell back to near New Market, then gradually, in line of battle and by the flank, skirmishing and using artillery, to Tenth Legion Church, where we formed a line and kept the enemy at bay until after dark. The enemy drove our cavalry rapidly on the Back and Middle roads. Wickham brought his cavalry across the Massanutten enemy followed him closely. I took orders to Major Harman about the wagons, and then aided in getting them off the pike and onto to Keezletown road. After dark the infantry retired to Flook's, eighth miles from Tenth Legion, on the Keezletown road, getting there about midnight, Ramseur in front, followed by Gordon, Wharton, and Pegram. I remained and posted Jackson's cavalry brigade. Our cavalry was driven in great confusion nearly to Harrisonburg. We rested at the wagons at Flook's until the moon rose. A fine day. Cool in p.m. and some rain.

Sunday, September 25.-We started the wagons on toward Port Republic at 1 a.m. At daylight the army came on, Pegram in rear, by Peale's Cross-Roads, Meyerhoeffer's Store, &c. Wharton preceded Pegram. I came to Port Republic to guide the head of the train. It went on to Brown's Gap. Harman and Allan were with me. I rode on to Staunton to look after my map box. Got there by noon. Found much excitement. They were evacuating the place. I dined at Major Harman's. Got back to camp by 10 p.m., having ridden forty miles to-day. A fine warm day. The enemy did not follow. Their cavalry came to Harrisonburg. We got out whole commanding into Brown's Gap, except the cavalry. Left them north of the South River. Headquarters at Mount Vernon Furnance.

Monday, September 26.-Kershaw's division came up from Saint Run Gap. Joined us about noon. The Yankee artillery fired a few shots at it as it turned off at Lewis' to come to Brown's Gap, and a few cavalry went down the river to attack his trains. Kershaw got some men and artillery in position and gave them a warm reception. The Yankee cavalry drove ours across the river and came up to our lines. Pegram's division was marched out on the Cave road, and skirmished some with them near the angle of the road, and repulsed several charges of their cavalry, using artillery. The enemy also advanced on the turnpike, and Ramseur drove them back from there. Wharton moved out in rear of Ramseur, and Gordon in rear of Pegram. I showed Kershaw the way up, and carried some orders. Oltmanns copied a map of the Valley. A fine, warm day. Enemy reported up South River, and Wickham moved to near Patterson's, on South River. My horse was killed by a bullet in the Yankee charge.

Tuesday, September 27.-Wickham crossed the river at Patterson's, and Gordon followed him with artillery, &c. Ramseur followed Gordon. We attacked the Yankee cavalry encamped near Weyer's Cave and drove them away from between Middle and South Rivers, and also from the vicinity of Port Republic, giving them some help with our artillery as they went toward Harrisonburg. Pegram pushed forward shaw held the front of Brown's Gap. Wharton followed Pegram. We surprised the Yankees, but an untimely opening of artillery advised them of our approach. We brought our camp to opposite Weyer's Cave. The army (except Kershaw, who remained at the Furnace) encamped between the rivers. I suggested the routes of the army and guided movements. Pleasant day.

Wednesday, September 28.-We started at an early hour to go to Waynesborough, but a report of an attack on Pegram's pickets turned us back for a time. Then we had to wait for Kershaw's train to pass by. Then a misunderstanding of orders caused delay at Mount Meridian. The train went up South River and crossed at Patterson's Ford, Ramseur in front. Pegram, followed by Wharton, went by the Waynesborough road from Mount Meridian. Five miles from Waynesborough Wharton took the River road and Pegram kept on to Dogtown. I guided Kershaw by Mount Meridian to New Hope. A mile beyond New Hope we took the Waynesborough road. We encountered the enemy's cavalry pickets near the Hermitage, five miles from Waynesborough, and drove them rapidly forward. Pegram drove them to Dogtown by dark, and attacked them there just after Wickham drove them through Waynesborough from toward Rocksfish Gap, whither he had gone by the south bank of South River. Pegram drove them to Dogtown by dark, and attacked them there just after Wickham drove them through Waynesborough from toward Rockfish Gap, whither he had gone by the south bank of South Riveer. Pegram had driven the Yanks three miles and a half. He gallantly attacked them after dark and drove them toward Fishersville and encamped where they had had their camp on the Staunton road. Gordon followed Kershaw. All encamped in the vicinity of Waynesborough at a late hour. Headquarters at Gallagher's. A fine day. Some rain in p.m.

Thursday, September 29.-WE moved our camp to the southwest of Waynesborough and spent the day cleaning up. I rode around the lines with the general in the a.m. The enemy went toward Mossy Creek at a rapid rate. They made the night light with burning barns, hay stacks, &c., during the day and night. I went to the tunnel in the morning to see if any damage had been done there; also examined the track of the railroad and got the pioneers and engineer troops at work on the bridge across South River, which the enemy had burned. Showery day. Rained hard at night. Quite warm.

Friday, September 30.-We spent the day at Waynesborough. It rained and misted in the morning, but got quite pleasant in the p.m. The Yankees went to Bridgewater yesterday. Our cavalry went up to Staunton and put pickets out to Middle River. A great deal of burning going on to-night toward Rockingham-mills, barns, &c.

Saturday, October 1.-We oven to near Mount Sidney. I guided Gordon, Kershaw, and Pegram by the road from Waynesborough to the Willow Pump and took them three miles beyond Mount Sidney on the Valley turnpike. Ramseur and Wharton went by the Mount Meridian road, then to New Hope, and thence to Mount Sidney. Three miles from Mount Sidney, near the river, they encamped. Our cavalry pickets were moved to Pleasant Grove Church and some cavalry went to Centerville. It misted and rained all day quite hard, and was cold and unpleasant. Hard marching. I stooped at Mr. Guy's a few moments. Headquarters at the angle of the Valley pike and Keezletown road.

Sunday, October 2.-We spent the day in camp. The enemy pushed up on the pike and drove in our pickets. The "Stonewall" Brigade marched out and drove the enemy across the river at Mount Crawford. Had some skirmishing and some artillery firing. We got 2,000 bushels of wheat from Grattan's mill. The cavalry had some fighting at Bridgewater. Sent Robinson to my house and let William go home. I went and hear Mr. Bowman preach. A fine, warm day.

Monday, October 3.-Spent the day in camp. Army quiet, save some skirmishing with Yankee cavalry along North River. It misted and rained during the day and rained hard at night. General Rosser came yesterday, and to-day reconnoitered the front. The enemy holds the line of North River. Sent map of Southeastern Virginia to General R. E. Lee.

Tuesday, October 4.-Spent the day in camp. Oltmanns went to Staunton. Robinson copied map of Valley. It cleared off and was a fine day. All quiet. Rosser's cavalry encamped near Staunton; came from Lynchburg and Richmond. The enemy burned barns, &c., at night.

Wednesday, October 5.-Spent the day in camp drawing-Robinson reducing Pennsylvania maps, Otlmanns copying Valley map. Gordon moved camp to vicinity of Naked Creek. Rosser moved to Landes' Mill, on road from Stone Church to Mossy Creek. Cars ran to Smith's to-day, two miles and a half from Staunton. We have rebuilt the bridges over South River and Christian's Creek. About two miles of track are to be railed. Enemy still near Harrisonburg. The general rode along the lines to-day. Fine day. Lieutenant Boyd dined with us.

Thursday, October 6.-The enemy left Harrisonburg last night. We followed early this morning [with] our cavalry. The infantry started at 11 a.m. Gordon, in front, went a mile beyond Harrisonburg. Kershaw, Pegram, Wharton, the artillery, and Ramseur followed. All encamped near Harrisonburg, all around it. Our headquarters about two miles southwest. Lomax went to Peale's Cross-Roads, Rosser to near Timberville. The enemy did a vast amount of damage in Rockingham. A good many Dunkers left the county and went with the Yankees. They burned some of the houses they deserted. Rosser fell on Averell's (Custer's) cavalry at Brock's Gap and routed it. A very fine day. I directed the repair of the telegraph line and put Chichester in charge of the party. Got it to Mount Crawford to-day. Cool in evening. It rained some.

Friday, October 7.-We moved on as far as New Market. Got there at an early hour. The troops came on in good time, Pegram in advance. He encamped near the river on the Timberville road and Wharton near him. Kershaw and the artillery on the Luray road, Gordon and Ramseur on the Forestville road. Headquarters near town. Dined at Doctor Strayer's. Our cavalry went to Stony Creek, driving the enemy's with loss. Quite cool.

Saturday, October 8.-We remained in camp. It hailed and snowed some and was quite windy and cold. Rosser on the Back road drove the enemy's cavalry to near Round Hill, encamping at Tom's Brook, and Lomax did the same on the pike. Worked some, but it was too cold to do much.

Sunday, October 9.-We spent the day in camp until about 4 p.m., when a stampede of the cavalry rushing back as far as New Market, and Ramseur and Kershaw were marched to Rude's Hill to meet any further advance of the enemy, but they only came to Mount Jackson. The Yanks moved on Rosser on the Back road, at Fisher's Hill, and drove him back, capturing 5 pieces of artillery and some wagons; then turned on Lomax, on the pike, and drove him to Mount Jackson, and took 3 pieces of artillery. Rosser rallied and drove the enemy back and established his pickets at Stony Creek. Lomax fought stubbornly at Woodstock. We came back to camp late in the evening. It was very chilly all day. Mr. Landstreet preached in the a.m. Monday, October 10.-We spend the day in camp. I started parties to fix the telegraph from Harrisonburg to New Market. Had Robinson copy Yankee map of battle of Winchester and reducing Pennsylvania maps. Otlmanns copying map of Georgia. Very heavy frost. Pretty day. Cavalry on Stony Creek. Church at night.

Tuesday, October 11.-Troops remained in camp. A lovely day. I looked after telegraph. Had two parties at work-Gordon's and Ramseur's pioneers. Took Kershaw's pioneers late in the day and went and built a bridge over river at Mount Jackson for infantry. Lomax's division went to Page Valley late in the p.m.

Wednesday, October 12.-We marched at sunrise, Ramseur in front, followed by Gordon, Kershaw, and Pegram. Ramseur encamped southwest of Narrow Passage, and Gordon and Kershaw between there and Woodstock, and Wharton ---. Headquarters two miles southwest of Woodstock. The cavalry on the Back road came from Timberville to Columbia Furnace. Lomax's old brigade preceded us and went beyond Woodstock to Pugh's Run. Cool. Some rain in p.m. and at night.

Thursday, October 13.-Moved on at 6 a.m., Gordon in advance. Got to Hupp's Hill by 10 a.m. and moved Gordon's division into the woods on the left of the pike, concealed from the enemy, and got the other divisions in line under the brow of the hill. Only showed a few cavalry and some artillery. The enemy was encamped north of Cedar Creek. We opened the artillery on one of their camps and made them run off and leave it. We opened first on a brigade on picket near Hite's house and scattered them. The flight from the camp was a perfect stampede. Then a column of Yankees came down from Hite's house to the bridge across the bottom. We played on them and scattered them some. They crossed the bridge and formed at right angles to the pike and advanced. Conner's brigade, of Kershaw's division, was advanced on the right of the pike to meet them. They moved forward in fine style and driving the enemy back, the artillery playing on the enemy at the same time. We also suffered some from the Yankee artillery. Gordon's and Wharton's skirmishers also advanced on the left, and we drove the enemy in confusion across the creek, advancing to Stickley's house, where we were exposed to the fire of their batteries. Wharton was formed on Gordon's left. Ramseur came up in rear of Kershaw. Rosser advanced to Cedar Creek on the Back road. Lomax's old brigade, Payne commanding, was our advance on the pike. Lomax's division came down Luray Valley. The day was windy and quite cool. We moved back to Fisher's Hill late in the p.m. Headquarters at Funkhouser's. General Conner was badly wounded. We took 65 prisoners, and killed and wounded a good many. Our loss, 22 killed and 160 wounded.

Friday, October 14.-We spent the day on Fisher's Hill. Enemy's cavalry came this side of Strasburg, and we sent out Gordon's and Wharton's skirmishers and drove them back to Hupp's Hill. No loss. Wharton was put on the right at Fisher's Hill, then Kershaw, Gordon, Pegram, and Ramseur to the left, and Rosser on the Back road. Lomax came to near Front Royal yesterday and drove the enemy's pickets to Guard Hill. The force of the enemy that had been destroying at Front Royal went toward Winchester. A pleasant day.

Saturday, October 15.-We spent the day at Fisher's Hill. Some of our skirmishers went to Hupp's Hill. Enemy on north bank of Cedar Creek fortifying. We rode along the lines some. Windy and cool.

Sunday, October 16.-All quiet. Yanks fortifying. We went on Round Hill in the morning and looked at them. Then Colonel Allan,General Pegram, and myself rode down the Back road Lebanon Church, then back by the Middle road. A few Yanks had been there and left. Pleasant. Made and sent Rosser a map of country.

Monday, October 17.-The troops were marched out a mile or so in front of Tumbling Run in the a.m., as Rosser's brigade of cavalry, with Grimes' brigade of infantry behind it, went yesterday to surprise a Yankee camp near Petticoat Gap, and was to come back this a.m. The Yankee camp had moved, but they captured a picket of 50 men. He went by Snarr's Store and back of North Mountain. Ramseur held the left of the line on the Back road, Pegram advanced on the Middle road, Kershaw to the right of the Middle road, Gordon on the ridge west of the pike, and Wharton held the right. General Pegram reconnoitered some in his front toward Cedar Creek in the p.m., and General Gordon, General Evans, and myself, by direction of General Early, went to the end of Three Top Mountain and examined the position of the enemy around Belle Grove with reference to an attack. I made a map of the position, and General Gordon and myself fixed upon a plan of attack to suggest to General Early, which we discussed fully as we came back. General Gordon was to propose it to General Early. We had an arduous journey, and it was after dark when we got back. I supped with General Gordon. Reported the state of things to General Early when I got back. A fine day.

Tuesday, October 18.-General Pegram came up to report to General Early, urging a movement by the line he had examined. I told him General Gordon had a plan to propose, and stated the substance of it to General Early and showed him the map, as I did not with his judgment to be forestalled by General Pegram. Soon all the division commanders, Generals Gordon, Pegram, Ramseur, Wharton, Rosser, and Kershaw, and Colonel Carter, of the artillery, and Payne, of the cavalry, came, and there was a conference at headquarters at Round Hill. General Early decided to go by the route recommended by General Gordon and myself, and decided on a plan of attack to which all agreed. General Gordon, in command of the Second Corps (Gordon's, Ramseur's, and Pegrams' divisions), was to cross the river at Fisher's Hill and go round the end of the mountain and cross again at Bowman's Ford, turn the enemy's left and press on the pike to his rear. Kershaw was to go through Strasburg, to got Bowman's Mill near the mouth of Cedar Creek, and cross and advance over the front of the enemy's line of breast-works. Wharton, followed by the artillery, was to go along the turnpike to Hupp's Hill and cross after the others and press up the pike. Rosser was to cross Cedar Creek at Mohamy's Mill and engage the Yankee cavalry. Payne was to precede Gordon and try to capture Sheridan at Belle Grove. This plan having been decided on, Generals Gordon, Ramseur, and myself went to examine the route around the mountain, going almost to Water Lick. General Pegram went to the top of the mountain. We selected a route; got back late in the p.m., when I took the pioneers of Rodes' division and went over the route and made bridges and cut out trees, &c. Got back after dark, expecting to meet the column, but found the generals waiting for General Pegram, who had gone to General Early to report some new works that he thought he had discovered from the mountain on the enemy's left, and he rather opposed the movement, but General Early held firm; said he saw no occasion to change his plans, and General Gordon started at 8 p.m. We slept until midnight, then started along the turnpike, Kershaw and Wharton having gone before. The general found some stragglers who had been after whisky, and stopped and poured it out as we passed. A fine day. Cool at night.

Wednesday, October 29.-We went through Strasburg and took Kershaw to his position on the top of the hill above Bowman's Mill. He was there by 5 a.m. Wharton was also in position on Hupp's Hill. The hour fixed for Rosser, then Gordon, and then Kershaw to attack. Page and myself examined the route ahead, and I urged the moving of Kershaw nearer. A light mist hung over the creek and river. Soon we heard Rosser driving in the pickets on the left, then Gordon on the right, then Kershaw advanced across Cedar Creek in gallant style, and in almost a moment he was going up the hill and over the breastworks. A few flashes of musketry, a few shots of artillery, and he had the works, guns and all, surprising the enemy, though they had sounded the reveille in many parts of their camps before we attacked. Then, in conjunction with Gordon, Kershaw swept over the Eighth and Nineteenth Corps, and drove them in wild confusion across Meadow Run, upon the Sixth Corps and through Middletown, Colonel Payne at the same time charging their train, &c., along the pike and helping the confusion and capturing wagons, &c. Wharton and the artillery came up and helped across Cedar Creek. Our troops then formed and drove them from their camps northwest of Meadow Run to the ridge in front of Middletown, where the Sixth Corps made a stand and drove Wharton and Pegram back. Then we had the artillery brought up to near Middletown and massed it on them and drove them from the ridge. The fog concealed the enemy some time. The vigorous use of the artillery and advance of the infantry drove the enemy beyond Middletown, and by 10 a.m. we had formed a new line, extending through Middletown at right angles to the pike and along the Cedarville road on the right and the Furnace road on the left. Gordon was on the left, near Stickley's; then Kershaw came across the ridge; then Ramseur down the slope to Meadow Run; Pegram from that up to the turnpike; Wharton to right with Wofford's brigade, of Kershaw's division, on his right at the angle of the Cedarville and Buckton roads; then Payne's cavalry extending to the woods. Rosser had driven the enemy by the Grove road and was to the left and in advance. We lay there some time, using some artillery on the right and left and advancing our skirmishers a little, but making no decided move. We skirmished with the cavalry on the right and they charged our lines several times, but were repulsed. Thus we lay until 4 p.m., making a few efforts to get off the immense captures we had made of artillery and everything else. We had some twenty-three guns. The enemy having had time to rally, had collected in rear of the large body of woods in our front and formed a line of battle and advanced at 4.30 p.m., obliquely to the left, and struck our left, or rather between the two brigades on the left, where the line was weak, and it gave way with little resistance, and was followed by all the rest of the line toward the left, and soon everything was in full retreat toward Cedar Creek. The artillery nobly fell back fighting and kept the enemy in check, and everything was getting off well, when Rosser, having fallen back, the Yankee cavalry crossed by Hite's old mill and came up to Stickley's and fell on our train and artillery just after dark, on Hupp's Hill, and dashed along, killing horses and turning over ambulances, caissons, &c., stampeding the drivers, thus getting 43 pieces of artillery, many wagons, &c., as there was nothing to defend them and we had no organized force to go after them. Only a few Yankee cavalry......

My Home Page