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[498] making some demonstrations, in the forenoon, with infantry on his right and center and cavalry his left. Late in the afternoon the enemy drove in the Confederate skirmish line on the middle road and gained possession of the end of a ridge, the summit of which was cleared, but which was screened in front from Early's view by a skirt of forest occupying the slope to Tumbling run. Upon this point, which commanded Early's position, Sheridan massed his artillery, protecting it with earthworks. Wickham, in command of Fitz Lee's cavalry, fell back from Front Royal, up the South Fork of the Shenandoah, to Milford.

The battle of Fisher's Hill, on the 22d of September, was opened by an advance of Sheridan's infantry, in line of battle, all along the Confederate front, at an early hour, and an engagement of skirmishers. At 9:30 a. m. the infantry contention was hot in front of the center; at 1 p.m. Sheridan advanced several lines of battle, close to the front of Ramseur, the left of Early's infantry line, but only succeeded in driving in his skirmishers; at 4:30 p. m. the enemy drove in Gordon's skirmishers, on Early's center, between the Manassas Gap railway and the Valley turnpike, and at the same time opened a heavy and most destructive fire from the commanding ridge on the bluff between the railway and the North Fork of the Shenandoah. At the same time Crook's corps of Federal infantry, having made a concealed detour, through the woods, westward, to the foot of the Little North mountain beyond the back road, formed in line of battle, and advancing, fell upon Early's left flank, which was extended beyond Ramseur's division by a weak body of cavalry, compelling that to retreat in confusion, and then pushing forward in attack on the. left and rear of Early's infantry. About 5:30 p. m. Early attempted to withdraw his whole line, especially retiring his left to meet this flank movement of the enemy; but Sheridan's attack was so rapid and vigorous, on both flank and front, that the left of the Confederates gave way in great confusion, and admitted Crook's corps to the rear of the whole line northwest of the railway. Under the overwhelming pressure of this attack the entire line gave way, and the whole army of the Valley, at about dark, retreated in great disorder, except some of Wharton's division which formed a rear guard, and some of the

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Jubal A. Early (6)
Philip H. Sheridan (4)
Ramseur (2)
Crook (2)
Williams Carter Wickham (1)
G. C. Wharton (1)
Fitz Lee (1)
John B. Gordon (1)
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September 22nd (1)
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