reinforcements had not arrrived.
He did not intend to stand at this place, and while the Federal
corps were reaching the crossings of the Opequon
, the Confederates
were, as Torbert
discovered by encountering their cavalry in a severe skirmish on the Millwood pike
, hastening toward Strasburg
The Sixth Corps was now moved up the right bank of the creek to the Millwood Ford
, where it spent the night; the Nineteenth was between our corps and the Front Royal
road, and the Eighth was five miles east of Middletown
is nearly east of Strasburg
, and unless Early
retired beyond the latter place, a battle on the 12th was inevitable.
On the morning of that day, the Confederates
moved across Cedar Creek
, occupying the southern bank; later, their lines were established to extend from Little North Mountain
, the west wall of this part of the valley, over Fisher's Hill
, to the west fork of the Shenandoah
, which flows along the west base of the rugged Massanutten range,—a triple interloping spur that extends northward from the vicinity of Harrisonburg
half a hundred miles, terminating east of Strasburg
in grim old ‘Three Top,’ around whose foot the west branch of the river breaks away to Front Royal
, there to join the east fork.
On the morning in question, the three Federal corps were pushed forward to the north bank of Cedar Creek
, our corps being on the right of the line.
A skirmish line of the Sixth and Eighth Corps at once crossed the creek on either side of the valley pike, menacing the enemy's pickets until evening.
The following morning the cavalry reconnoitred the neighborhood of the town, by moving along the back road which runs west of and parallel with the great valley pike, and found that only pickets occupied Hupp's Hill
; so Gen. Wright
was ordered to move his skirmishers into Strasburg
, which he did, and occupied Hupp's Hill
The enemy was now signaling from Three Top, where he had a station; something of unusual importance was in progress.
What was it?
A message from the commandant at Harper's Ferry
to Gen. Sheridan
will perhaps explain.
‘I have information from a source always found reliable, that reinforcements under Hill
are moving up the valley that if attacked in his present position, Early
proposes to show fight and retire until a junction can be formed with the advancing forces.’