Gen,. Sheridan's movements in the Shen Andoah Valley. |
halted, faced to the front, and gave three hearty cheers.
Five minutes later, that platoon had been swelled by other such to a battalion ; while Capt. Bradbury
, 1st Maine battery, had, by Grover
's order, posted two guns in a gap and opened on the exultant Rebels; who, charging to seize them, received a volley in the rear from the 131st N. York
, which Gen. Emory
had rallied and posted in a projection of wood, with orders not to fire till the enemy should have passed them.
As they staggered under this unexpected salute, a volley from the newly formed line in their front sent them pell-mell back across the fields to their original cover.
And now our shattered front, closing in from right and left, was reformed and advanced over most of the ground it had lost; the 1st division of the 19th corps--still glorying in its achievements at Port Hudson
and Pleasant Hill
— instead of following the 8th corps in the flank movement, as had been intended, was brought back and used to piece out and brace up the center; where desperate fighting, with little advantage to either side, and heavy loss at least to ours, was maintained till 3 P. M.
And now a shout from the far right, shut out from view by woods and hills, announced that the turning movement was effected — that our cavalry under Torbert
, and Crook
with his 8th corps (the “ Army of West Virginia
” that was), have struck the enemy's left in flank, and are charging it under a terrible fire.
Instantly, a redoubled fire breaks out along our central front, in spite of the general scarcity of cartridges; and, these being soon exhausted, Col. Thomas
, 8th Vermont, ordered his men to charge at double quick with the bayonet.
In vain general officers shouted “ Halt ” “ Lie down!”
“Wait for supports!” &c.; for, while some were still confused and vacillating, a staff officer from the right galloped in front, and pointed with his saber to the woods which sheltered the enemy.
At once, all dissent was silenced, all hesitation at an end; the whole center, as one man, swept forward, cheering, and plunged into the woods, meeting there Crook
's corps, charging from the flank.
All the Rebels
who could still travel were by this time going or gone.