capture of eleven Confederate cannon, being all the enemy's artillery save one piece, and a galloping pursuit of the defeated force continuing twenty 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
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
'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
's West Virginia
Division in the vicinity of Front Royal
, at the foot of the Blue Ridge
, and connecting with Merritt
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 Sheridan
to halt the Sixth Corps near Front Royal
to await developments.
At this juncture, Lieutenant General Grant
recommended 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
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 future operations.
Having decided not to attack Early
immediately in his strong position at Fisher's Hill
, and having no apprehension of his taking the offensive, Sheridan
started for Washington
, on the 16th, and, in order to improve the time 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
, on the evening of the 16th, Sheridan
received the following dispatch from Wright