, deeming the position on Cedar Creek
untenable, resolved to retire to the Clifton-Berryville
position which we had occupied on the 10th.
Besides, reinforcements were on their way through Snicker's Gap to join us. The subsequent glorious successes of the Federal
Army of the Shenandoah justified this last retrograde movement.
The enemy perceiving from Three Top that Sheridan
had retired, pursued.
A sharp engagement occurred on the 21st.
Our cavalry pickets on the Opequon
having been driven in, the divisions of Rodes
fell upon the Sixth Corps, gaining, however, no permanent advantage, while Anderson
, who had later moved from Winchester
, was repulsed by Merritt
The next day the army was established at Halltown
, with one flank on the Shenandoah
and the other upon the Potomac
, the best defensive
position in the valley.
Early now spent several days in demonstrating against the Federal
position, and then moved off to the northwest, as if designing to cross the Potomac
Had he commenced such operation, an opportunity to strike his divided forces would have been eagerly embraced by Sheridan
The enemy, however remained on the south side of the river, and posted his forces west of the Opequon
On the 26th and 27th he had resumed his old position occupied by him prior to his retirement to Strasburg
on the 11th and 12th; i. e. at Bunker Hill
, with his cavalry on either flank.
This was the signal for us to move forward to re-occupy the position which we left on the 11th to reach the crossings of the Opequon
Marching early on the 28th we made a gradual advance by easy stages, and with commendable caution, the enemy's designs yet unknown, while the character of the face of the country readily betrayed our own. We gained the old line on the 3d of September, within a week after our departure from Halltown
; i. e. the Sixth Corps was at Clifton
on the right of the line, the Eighth at Berryville
on the left, and the Nineteenth between them.
The time thenceforth until the battle of the 19th of September, was employed by Gen. Sheridan
in reorganizing his army and in preparing for a campaign that was practically to end the war in northern Virginia
A remarkable coincidence, illustrating that the thoughts of great minds flow in the same channels, here looms up to the