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[292] surprising the enemy, whose entire attention at this point was engrossed by Gordon. In half an hour their battery was silenced, our artillery firing excellently; and General Hays moved quietly to within two hundred yards of their works, when our guns ceased firing, and he charged through an abattis of brushwood and captured the works, taking six rifled pieces, two of which were at once turned upon and dispersed the column that the enemy were endeavoring to press forward. The works to the left of the one taken were immediately abandoned, their defenders retreating to the main fort. It was now too late to do more than prepare to improve this important advantage promptly in the morning.

This result established the correctness of General Early's views as to the point of attack, and rendered the main fort untenable; and accordingly, anticipating the possibility of the enemy's attempting to retreat during the night, I ordered General Johnson with the “Stonewall,” Nicholls', and three regiments of Steuart's brigade and Dement's battery, with sections of Rains's and Carpenter's (the whole under Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews) to proceed to a point on the Martinsburg road, about two and one-half miles east of Winchester, so as to intercept any attempt to escape, or to be ready to attack at daylight if the enemy held their ground. Finding the road to this point very rough, General Johnson concluded to march via Jordan's Springs to Stephenson's Depot, where the nature of the ground would give him a strong position. Just as the head of his column reached the railroad, two hundred yards from the Martinsburg pike, the enemy was heard retreating down the pike towards Martinsburg. Forming line parallel with the pike, behind a stone wall, Steuart on the right and the Louisiana brigade on the left, twelve hundred men in all, and posting the artillery favorably, he was immediately attacked by Milroy with all his force of infantry and cavalry, his artillery having been abandoned at the town. The enemy made repeated and desperate attempts to cut their way through. Here was the hardest fighting that took place during the attack — the odds being greatly in favor of the enemy, who were successfully repulsed and scattered by the gallantry of General Johnson and his brave command. After several front attacks had been steadily met and repulsed, they attempted to turn both flanks simultaneously, but were met on the right by General Walker and his brigade, which had just arrived on the field (having been left behind by mistake), and on the left by two regiments of Nicholls's brigade, which had been held in reserve. In a few minutes the greater part of them surrendered--2,300 to 2,500 in number. The rest scattered through the

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Edward Johnson (3)
George H. Steuart (2)
Francis T. Nicholls (2)
James A. Walker (1)
Stonewall (1)
Rains (1)
Milroy (1)
H. T. Hays (1)
John B. Gordon (1)
Jubal A. Early (1)
Dement (1)
Carpenter (1)
R. Snowden Andrews (1)
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