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[179] with the aid of the three rifle batteries of the corps, driven in the enemy's skirmish line. The other two divisions of the Sixth, with their artillery, were now moved to the right and front, being closely connected, our battery being in the centre of the line of artillery of the Sixth Corps. The line thus gained on the ridge overlooking the ravine was less than 3,000 feet from the trenches on the slope of Fisher's Hill. But our commander-in-chief designed to repeat the tactics so successfully employed upon the 19th of September, and to flank the Confederate position by its left, in spite of the argus eyes on Three Top looking down on both camps. Having sent Torbert with his cavalry up Luray Valley with the design of crossing the Massanutten, and gaining the enemy's rear, he had directed Crook with his Eighth Corps to move along Little North Mountain under cover of the woods, till he should gain the rear of the Confederates. This required for its accomplishment nearly all day; but at six o'clock, having reached, without the Confederates having the faintest suspicion of his presence, the rear of their left flank, his divisions swept along, taking the Confederate line ‘in reverse,’ drove the astonished cavalry, which was dismounted, before them, and rushed into the intrenchments.

Says one of Crook's officers, ‘Had the heavens opened, and had we been descending from the clouds, no greater consternation would have been created.’

Now the Nineteenth and the Sixth (Ricketts having joined his right to Crook's left), took up the charge, descended into Tumbling Run, made a precipitous dash over rocks and walls, and scrambled up the height which an hour ago seemed impregnable. Sheridan and his staff were ubiquitous, the general shouting: ‘Go on! Don't stop! Go on!’ The whole Confederate line broke from its trenches. They had not time to get their guns which commanded the pike out of position; sixteen of them were captured by our forces. Our loss was not more than 400; the Confederate loss, over 1,300. Comrade Longley of our battery received a scalp wound.

In his report three days afterward, Gen. Early said: ‘My troops are very much shattered, the men very much exhausted, and many of them without shoes.’ In his report, the Federal commander spoke in the highest terms of his lieutenants, Generals Crook, Wright, and Emory. On receipt of the news of this victory, Gen. Grant ordered a salute of 100 guns, in the Army of the Potomac.

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