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[727] confusion to the creek, where, owing to the difficulties of crossing, his army became routed.

Custer finding a ford on Cedar creek west of the pike, and Devins, of Merritt's division, one to the east of it, they each made the crossing just after dark, and pursued the routed mass of the enemy to Fisher's Hill, where this strong position gave him some protection against our cavalry; but the most of his transportation had been captured, the road from Cedar creek to Fisher's Hill, a distance of over three miles, being literally blocked by wagons, ambulances, artillery, caissons, &c.

The enemy did not halt his main force at Fisher's Hill, but continued the retreat during the night to Newmarket, where his army had, on a similar previous occasion, come together by means of the numerous roads that converge to this point.

This battle practically ended the campaign in the Shenandoah valley. When it opened we found our enemy boastful and confidant, unwilling to acknowledge that the soldiers of the Union were their equal in courage and manliness; when it closed with Cedar creek, this impression had been removed from his mind, and gave place to good sense and a strong desire to quit fighting.

The very best troops of the Confederacy had not only been defeated, but had been routed in successive engagements, until their spirit and esprit were destroyed; in obtaining these results, however, our loss in officers and men was severe. Practically all territory north of the James' river now belonged to me, and the holding of the lines about Petersburg and Richmond, by the enemy, must have been embarrassing, and invited the question of good military judgment.

On entering the valley it was not my object, by flank movements, to make the enemy change his base, nor to move as far up as the James' river, and thus give him the opportunity of making me change my base, thereby converting it into a race-course, as heretofore, but to destroy, to the best of my ability, that which was truly the Confederacy — its armies; in doing this, so far as the opposing army was concerned, our success was such that there was no one connected with the army of the Shenandoah who did not so fully realize it as to render the issuing of congratulatory orders unnecessary; every officer and man was made to understand that, when a victory was gained, it was not more than their duty, nor less than their country expected from her gallant sons.

At Winchester, for a moment the contest was uncertain, but the gallant attack of General Upton's brigade of the Sixth corps restored the line of battle, until the turning column of Crook's and Merritt's and Averell's divisions of cavalry, under Torbert, “sent the enemy whirling through Winchester.”

In thus particularizing commands and commanders, I only speak in the sense that they were so fortunate as to be available at these important moments.

In the above-mentioned attack by Upton's brigade, the lamented Russell fell. He had been previously wounded, but refused to leave the field. His death brought sadness to every heart in the army.

It was during a reconnoissance to Fisher's Hill, made on the thirteenth of October, 1864, that Colonel George D. Wells, commanding a brigade in Crook's corps, was killed while gallantly leading his men.

At Fisher's Hill it was again the good fortune of General Crook's command to start the enemy, and of General Ricketts' division of the Sixth corps to first gallantly swing in and more fully initiate the rout.

At Cedar creek, Getty's division of the Sixth corps, and Merritt's and Custer's divisions of cavalry, under Torbert, confronted the enemy from the first attack in the morning until the battle was decided, still none behaved more gallantly, or exhibited greater courage than those who returned from the rear, determined to reoccupy their lost camp.

In this engagement, early in the morning, the gallant Colonel Lowell, of the Regular brigade, was wounded while in the advance en echelon of Getty's division, but would not leave his command, remaining until the final attack on the enemy was made, in which he was killed.

Generals Bidwell of the Sixth corps, and Thoburn of Crook's command, were also killed in the morning, while behaving with conspicuous gallantry.

I submit the following list of the corps, division, and brigade commanders, who were wounded in the campaign, the killed having already been especially noticed, regretting that the scope of this report will not admit of my specifying by name all the many gallant men who were killed and wounded in the numerous engagements in the Shenandoah valley, and most respectfully call attention to the accompanying sub-reports for such particulars as will, I trust, do full justice to all.

Generals H. G. Wright, J. B. Ricketts, Grover, Duval, E. Upton, R. S. McKenzie, Kitchen (since died of wounds), J. B. McIntosh, G. H. Chapman, Thomas C. Devins, Penrose, Colonels D. D. Johnson, Daniel McAuley, Jacob Sharpe.

From the seventh of August, the Middle Department, Department of Washington, Department of the Susquehanna, and Department of West Virginia, were under my command, and I desire to express my gratitude to their respective commanders, Major-Generals Lew Wallace, C. C. Augur, Couch, and Cadwallader, and to Major-Generals Hunter and Crook, who at separate times commanded the latter Department for the assistance given me.

General Augur operated very effectively with a small force under his command, the reports of which were forwarded direct to the War Department.

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