This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 of the army was steadily driven back, although there was no confusion or general breaking up; the men held to their colors and every brigade and regiment retained its formation. Thoburn himself was killed. The 6th Corps (including the 7th, 10th and 37th Mass.) checked for a time the advance of the enemy, but the battle closed with a defeat so complete that the Union force had been driven back from one to four miles, when the sudden arrival of Sheridan turned defeat to victory and gave one of the most striking instances in all history of the extraordinary power sometimes condensed into a single man. Sheridan himself thus briefly describes it, in his despatch to Grant: ‘I hastened to Winchester, where I was on my return from Washington, and found the armies between Middletown and Newton, having been driven back four miles. I here took the affair in hand and quickly united the corps,—formed a compact line of battle just in time to repulse an attack of the enemy.’12 But a more vivid description is that of Col. B. W. Crowninshield of the 1st Mass. Cavalry: ‘One thing struck me as curious,—that the stream of men was now going towards Middletown. Astonished, I left Wheaton and galloped over to the pike, where I learned that Sheridan had just passed up,—as well as can be ascertained, it was half-past 11 o'clock,—and directly after, meeting General Forsyth, chief of staff, I received orders to go to Newtown, form a guard, and collect all the stragglers I could and bring them up to the front. This I proceeded to do, and finally collected about two thousand men of all corps, and brought them up and turned them over to the command of General Crook, then on our extreme left and rear. From the time the 6th Corps became engaged, at about 9 A. M., until Sheridan came up, about noon, the attacks of the enemy were on the whole feeble and ineffective ... Sheridan rode along his line, seeing for himself all his troops, and saying a word or two as he went along to encourage them, to which they responded with cheers.’ As a result, all that had been captured was recaptured, except the 1,429 prisoners whom Early had sent to the rear, these being balanced by some 1,200 taken by Sheridan, with twenty-four guns, fifty-six ambulance and many battle flags. The losses of the Massachusetts regiments were considerable, especially from the 26th, 30th, 34th and 38th Infantry and the 2d and 3d Cavalry. They included Lieuts. Lyman James of the 3d Cavalry,
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.