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[452] attack him in his position with the hope of driving him from it. An attack was determined upon by General Early, and, as he was not strong enough to assault the fortified position in front, he resolved to get around one of the enemy's flanks and attack him by surprise. His plan of attack is thus stated by him:
I determined to send the three divisions of the Second Corps, to wit, Gordon's Ramseur's, and Pegram's, under General Gordon, to the enemy's rear, to make the attack at 5 A. M., which would be a little before daybreak on the 19th; to move myself with Kershaw's and Wharton's divisions and all the artillery along the pike through Strasburg, and attack the enemy on the front and left flank as soon as Gordon should become engaged, and for Rosser to move with his own and Wickham's brigade on the back road across Cedar Creek, and attack the enemy's cavalry simultaneously with Gordon's attack, while Lomax should move by Front Royal, cross the river, and come to the Valley pike, so as to strike the enemy wherever he might be, of which he was to judge by the sound of the firing.

Gordon moved at the appointed time. At 1 A. M. Kershaw and Wharton, accompanied by General Early, advanced. At Strasburg Kershaw moved to the right on the road to Bowman's Mill, and Wharton moved along the pike to Hupp's Hill, with instructions not to display his forces, but to avoid notice until the attack began, when he was to move forward, support the artillery when it came up, and send a force to get possession of the bridge on the pike over the creek. Kershaw's division got in sight of the enemy at half-past 3 o'clock. He was directed to cross his division at the proper time over the creek as quietly as possible, and to form it into column of brigades as he did so, and advance in that manner against the left breastwork, extending to the right or left as might be necessary. At half-past 4 he was ordered forward, and, a very short time after he started, the firing from Rosser on our left and the picket firing at the ford at which Gordon was crossing were heard. Kershaw crossed the creek without molestation and formed his division as directed, and precisely at five o'clock his leading brigade, with little opposition, swept over the left work, capturing seven guns, which were at once turned on the enemy. At the same time Wharton and the artillery were just arriving at Hupp's Hill, and a very heavy fire of musketry was heard in the rear from Gordon's column. Wharton had advanced his skirmishers to the creek, capturing some prisoners, but the foe still held the works on our left of the pike, commanding that road and the bridge, and opened with his artillery on us. Our artillery was at once brought into action, and opened on the enemy, but he soon evacuated his works, and our men from the other columns rushed into them. Wharton was immediately ordered forward. Kershaw's division had

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John B. Gordon (7)
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Strasburg Kershaw (6)
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