cavalry (Brigadier-Generals Merritt and Custer), remained in camp, and the captured property, sent to the rear. The Second division, West Virginia cavalry (Colonel Powell), was ordered from Front Royal, through Chester gap in the Blue Ridge to Sperryville, and obtained important information. October eleventh.--The First and Third divisions (Brigadier-Generals Merritt and Custer) moved back to the north side of Cedar creek, taking position as follows: The First division (Brigadier-General Merritt) on the left of the army, and the Third division (Brigadier-General Custer) on the right of the army. The Second division, West Virginia cavalry (Colonel Powell), marched to Arnisville. October twelfth.--I sent reconnoissauces from the First and Third divisions (Brigadier-Generals Merritt and Custer) up the Valley pike and the back road for ten or twelve miles, but could find no signs of the enemy. October thirteenth.--All quiet during the day until about two P. M., when the enemy advanced a strong infantry force in the Valley pike and commenced an attack on the pickets, at the same time they appeared in strong cavalry force on our right, opposite the Third division (Brigadier-General Custer). They succeeded in driving part of the cavalry pickets across Cedar creek, and advanced about a mile. Brigadier-General Custer moved out promptly and drove the enemy back across the creek and held that line. When the attack commenced, Brigadier-General Merritt put his division (First) in the saddle, and late in the afternoon the First division (Brigadier-General Merritt) was moved on the right of the army and to the left of the Third division (Brigadier-General Custer). October fourteenth.--The First and Third divisions (Brigadier-Generals Merritt and Custer) were in camp on the right of the army, covering the country for five or six miles to the right of the infantry. Brigadier-General Custer sent reconnoissances out on the back road and found the enemy had retired to the line of Fisher's Hill. October fifteenth.--Remained in camp. All quiet. The Second division (Colonel Powell) was still near Front Royal, covering the line of the Shenandoah from the left of the infantry to beyond Front Royal. After dark the First division (Brigadier-General Merritt) was ordered to move to Front Royal. The Second division (Colonel Powell) was ordered to concentrate at the same point. Both of these divisions being designed for a raid on Charlottesville and Gordonsville, I moved to the Shenandoah near Front Royal in the afternoon to go in command of the expedition, which was to start on the morning of the sixteenth. During the night of the fifteenth I received orders suspending the expedition. October sixteenth.--The First division (Brigadier-General Merritt) was ordered back to the army, and took position on the right of the infantry. The Second division (Colonel Powell) was ordered to resume its old position, and I returned to the army on Cedar creek. Brigadier-General Custer made a reconnoissance in his front, but could find no enemy outside of their lines on Fisher's Hill. October seventeenth.--Just before daylight the rebel General Rosser, with one brigade of infantry and three brigades of cavalry, the infantry riding behind the cavalry, attacked Brigadier-General Custer's extreme right picket from the rear, and succeeded in capturing the right reserve of a major and twenty-five men, and then fell back rapidly, evidently frightened from his original designs, whatever they may have been, as he had made a circuit of thirty-two miles in the night to get in rear of our picket line. The same day one brigade of Second division (Colonel Powell) was moved nearer the infantry and posted at Buckton ford on the Shenandoah river, connecting their pickets with the left of the infantry. October eighteenth.--All quiet, and cavalry in same position. Reconnoissances showed no enemy in their immediate front. While the Second division (Colonel Powell) was at Front Royal, the rebel General Lomax with his division was at Millford creek, up Luray valley, about fourteen miles distant, and did not come out. October nineteenth.--Before daylight the enemy made a vigorous attack, having surprised and turned the left of the army. The cavalry was immediately put in the saddle, and the First and Third divisions (Brigadier-Generals Merritt and Custer) put in position on the right of the infantry. The, trains were then sent to the rear. The First brigade, Second division (Colonel Moore commanding), being at Benton's ford on the Shenandoah, was by this move cut off from the main army, and Colonel Moore (Second Ohio) immediately passed around the enemy's right, and came up on the left of our army at Middletown, on the valley pike, having previously sent his trains to Winchester. This brigade immediately attacked the enemy and held them in check on the pike until they could be reinforced. At daylight in the morning the enemy made his appearance in front of Brigadier-General Custer's pickets, on the extreme right, but the gallant men of the Third division prevented their further advance. A great portion of the army, being badly broken, was going to the rear by thousands; to check this stream of stragglers I deployed my escort (First Rhode Island cavalry), as did Brigadier-General Merritt his (Fifth United States cavalry). After an hour or two's work it proved to be a fruitless effort. The escorts were drawn in, and officers sent further to the rear to form the men. By this time the enemy had come near enough for the cavalry batteries to open upon them, which they did. The enemy did not bring their lines in the open country between them and the cavalry, but kept under cover of the woods. Between nine and ten o'clock I was ordered by General
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Table of Contents:
Doc . 16 . operations in Tennessee .
Doc . 19 . the siege of Suffolk, Virginia .
Doc . 36 . General Rousseau 's expedition.
Doc . 59 . battles of Spottsylvania , Va: battle of Sunday , May 8 , 1864 .
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