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Massanutten Mountain (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 48
audacity of spirit, without which cavalry is well-nigh useless-Sheridan's mounted force was at once the eye and the right arm of his fighting column. Cedar creek, flowing from the west and north, joins the North fork of the Shenandoah near Strasburg, on the Valley pike. About the same point the North fork turns sharply eastward toward the Blue Ridge, the two streams thus forming a partial line of defense nearly across the Valley. In the bend of the river rises the bold front of Massanutten mountain — the northern extremity of a subordinate range extending southward from this point parallel to the Blue Ridge, and dividing the Shenandoah Valley lengthwise. The Valley pike, the race-track of armies, and formerly one of the noblest highways of the continent, leads southward to Staunton and beyond, and northward through Winchester to the Potomac. After the ceaseless activity, watchfulness and fighting of the Valley campaign, then considered at an end, our troops found the quiet
Shenandoah (United States) (search for this): chapter 48
miles beyond the battle-field. The army then, unmolested, resumed its northward march, and crossed to the north side of Cedar creek, where it faced about toward the hypothetical enemy, and went into camp, the centre of the infantry resting on the Valley pike. The Sixth Corps continued on to Front Royal, on its way to join Grant at Petersburg. The three cavalry divisions took their positions as follows: Merritt's on the left (east) of the infantry, picketing the line of the North fork Shenandoah river; Custer's on the right of the infantry, picketing a line five or six miles in length, and extending to the western boundary of the Valley; Powell's West Virginia Division in the vicinity of Front Royal, at the foot of the Blue Ridge, and connecting with Merritt's left. On the 12th, our scouts reported that Early's reorganized infantry force had advanced to Fisher's Hill, their old Gibraltar, six miles south of our position at Cedar creek, which unexpected intelligence caused Sherida
Ohio (Ohio, United States) (search for this): chapter 48
inia; crisp and bright and still in the morning; mellow and golden and still at noon; crimson and glorious and still at the sun setting; just blue enough in the distance to soften without obscuring the outline of the mountains, just hazy enough to render the atmosphere visible without limiting the range of sight. As evening closed above the Valley the soft pleadings of some homesick soldier's flute floated out through the quiet camp, while around a blazing camp-fire an impromptu glee club of Ohio boys lightened the hour and their own hearts by singing the songs of home. An unusually large letter mail arrived that evening, and was distributed to the men, which reminds me that the First Connecticut Cavalry, belonging to Custer's Division, had a unique and pleasant manner of announcing the arrival of a mail; the regimental trumpeters, constituting a sort of a cornet band, would form in front of the colonel's tent and play Home, sweet home, sometimes following that immediately with The
Piedmont, Va. (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 48
o Augur, and may get additional news. Close in Colonel Powell, who will be at this point [Front Royal]. If the enemy should make an advance, I know you will defeat him. Look well to your ground, and be well prepared. Get up everything that can be spared. I will bring up all I can, and will be up on Tuesday, if not sooner. On the same night, after having thus provided for the safety of his army, Sheridan himself, escorted by the Second Ohio Cavalry from Custer's Division, passed on to Piedmont, east of the Blue Ridge, whence he took cars for Washington. On the return of the cavalry to the army, instead of being placed in its former position, the divisions of Merritt and. Custer, aggregating nearly eight thousand of the finest mounted troops in the world, were both ordered to the right of the infantry, where Wright anticipated attack, should any be made, while Powell's Division, instead of being closed in, as directed in Sheridan's last message, was left in the neighborhood of
Front Royal (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 48
try resting on the Valley pike. The Sixth Corps continued on to Front Royal, on its way to join Grant at Petersburg. The three cavalry divif the Valley; Powell's West Virginia Division in the vicinity of Front Royal, at the foot of the Blue Ridge, and connecting with Merritt's lepected intelligence caused Sheridan to halt the Sixth Corps near Front Royal to await developments. At this juncture, Lieutenant General Grag his absence, he took the bulk of the cavalry force with him to Front Royal, designing to send it on a raid against the Virginia Central Rairmy, which had been rejoined by the Sixth Corps. On arriving at Front Royal, on the evening of the 16th, Sheridan received the following disional news. Close in Colonel Powell, who will be at this point [Front Royal]. If the enemy should make an advance, I know you will defeat hicted in Sheridan's last message, was left in the neighborhood of Front Royal, near the eastern margin of the Valley-its attenuated line of pi
Cedar Creek (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 48
eutenant General Early: Be ready to move as soon as my forces join you, and we will crush Sheridan. Longstreet, Lieutenant General. This dispatch, translated by our signal officers from the rebel signal flag on Three-Top mountain, whether genuine or a ruse, seemed to betoken activity of some sort on the part of the Confederates. Sheridan attached to it sufficient significance to induce him to abandon the raid on Charlottesville, and to order all the cavalry back to the army at Cedar creek, with the following message to General Wright, dated the evening of the 16th: The cavalry is all ordered back to you; make your position strong. If Longstreet's dispatch is true, he is under the impression that we have largely detached. I will go over to Augur, and may get additional news. Close in Colonel Powell, who will be at this point [Front Royal]. If the enemy should make an advance, I know you will defeat him. Look well to your ground, and be well prepared. Get up everythi
Frederick Junction (Maryland, United States) (search for this): chapter 48
to invade the North by way of the Shenandoah Valley, threaten Washington from the rear, and, if possible, compel Grant to retreat from the James, as McClellan had been forced to do two years before. Hunter's failure at Lynchburg, and his painful retreat through the wilderness of West Virginia, had left a virtually open road for Early's force to the boundary of Pennsylvania, if not to Washington, and this open road Early was not slow to travel. The defeat of the Union provisional force at Monocacy, the appearance of the rebel infantry before the western defenses of the National Capital on the 12th of July, and the subsequent burning of Chambersburg by Early's cavalry, under McCausland, had produced a very considerable civilian panic, attracted the anxious attention of the whole country, and convinced Grant, before Petersburg, that decisive measures were required in the neighborhood of the Potomac if he was to retain his grip on the rebel capital. Accordingly, two small-sized infantr
Strasburg, Va. (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 48
scipline of Sheridan. With their Spencer repeating-carbines, their expertness in transforming themselves on occasion from troopers into foot soldiers, not unfrequently fighting rebel infantry behind breastworks-added to the celerity of movement and audacity of spirit, without which cavalry is well-nigh useless-Sheridan's mounted force was at once the eye and the right arm of his fighting column. Cedar creek, flowing from the west and north, joins the North fork of the Shenandoah near Strasburg, on the Valley pike. About the same point the North fork turns sharply eastward toward the Blue Ridge, the two streams thus forming a partial line of defense nearly across the Valley. In the bend of the river rises the bold front of Massanutten mountain — the northern extremity of a subordinate range extending southward from this point parallel to the Blue Ridge, and dividing the Shenandoah Valley lengthwise. The Valley pike, the race-track of armies, and formerly one of the noblest hig
Chambersburg, Pa. (Pennsylvania, United States) (search for this): chapter 48
Clellan had been forced to do two years before. Hunter's failure at Lynchburg, and his painful retreat through the wilderness of West Virginia, had left a virtually open road for Early's force to the boundary of Pennsylvania, if not to Washington, and this open road Early was not slow to travel. The defeat of the Union provisional force at Monocacy, the appearance of the rebel infantry before the western defenses of the National Capital on the 12th of July, and the subsequent burning of Chambersburg by Early's cavalry, under McCausland, had produced a very considerable civilian panic, attracted the anxious attention of the whole country, and convinced Grant, before Petersburg, that decisive measures were required in the neighborhood of the Potomac if he was to retain his grip on the rebel capital. Accordingly, two small-sized infantry corps (Wright's Sixth and Emory's Nineteenth) were dispatched to Washington via Fortress Monroe, and were soon followed by two divisions (the First an
Charlottesville (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 48
ended that a part of Sheridan's force should establish a strong position in the vicinity of Manassas gap, from which a fresh campaign against Gordonsville and Charlottesville could be executed. To this Sheridan demurred, and, on the 13th of October, he was summoned to Washington, by Secretary Stanton, for a conference about futureime during his absence, he took the bulk of the cavalry force with him to Front Royal, designing to send it on a raid against the Virginia Central Railroad at Charlottesville. General H. G. Wright, as the senior officer, was left in command of the main army, which had been rejoined by the Sixth Corps. On arriving at Front Royal, seemed to betoken activity of some sort on the part of the Confederates. Sheridan attached to it sufficient significance to induce him to abandon the raid on Charlottesville, and to order all the cavalry back to the army at Cedar creek, with the following message to General Wright, dated the evening of the 16th: The cavalry is
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