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[176] under an annoying fire. Upton's brigade,1 moving forward into the woods, delivering heavy volleys into the lines of the advancing ranks of the enemy, caused him to fall back; so the whole division was enabled to gain a position which it held without difficulty till late in the afternoon. During this last action fell the gallant commander of the First Division, the hero of Rappahannock Station, Gen. David Russell.

There was now a period of seeming inaction, a lull, but only on the surface. Crook's corps was now sent to strike the Confederate left, which it did simultaneously with the cavalry of Averill and Merritt. The latter charging around the enemy's left flank, he began to give way. The brigades of Thoburn and Duval charged, by the direct command of Sheridan himself, through the woods in their front, and broke Gordon's division, which was at this point. In the meanwhile the Sixth and Nineteenth, as soon as firing in the rear of the enemy's left was heard, advanced on their fronts, driving the force before them wellnigh into the town.


The exposure of our infantry line was such, at the outset, that the ranks were fearfully thinned, and the movement forward to fill the gaps in the line was attended with considerable loss of officers and men. But such was the vim of the regiments, seemingly inspired by the presence, here and there, of the little dark man on horseback, that the enemy were driven steadily westward. The advance of our lines showed that a serious loss in killed had been sustained by the Confederates, and in wounded who were prisoners, not less than one thousand.

They now seemed resolved to contest the ground between this field and Winchester; and with that dash and energy so often previously exhibited by them, even sought to recover the line they had yielded. Now for an hour the contest raged upon the plateau east of Winchester, artillery sweeping the enemy's flanks, and a steady infantry fire from our side. Now and again a dropping of infantry lines, and a discharge of cannon shot over their heads. During this time their loss must have reached a thousand more, and there was a gradual, but sure, retrograde movement of their lines. Then, Torbert's cavalry coming in upon their left flank with a sweep, drove in several hundred prisoners, and caused a

1 Aided by the Fifth Maine Battery.

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E. O. Upton (1)
A. T. A. Torbert (1)
Thoburn (1)
Phil Sheridan (1)
David Russell (1)
Merritt (1)
James S. Gordon (1)
Duval (1)
Crook (1)
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