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[499] artillery brigade, which continued fighting until Early ordered them to desist. The success of Sheridan's movement was greatly aided by the plunging fire of his massed artillery on the commanding ridge in front of Early's center.

A few infantry and some artillery rallied on the hill at theFour-mile house, not far back from Fisher's hill, and for a time checked the rather feebly sustained pursuit of the enemy. The Confederate army retreated rapidly, the enemy following to Tom's brook, some three miles in the rear of Early's position at Fisher's hill, where they were again checked by Smith's brigade, of Wharton's division, and gave up the pursuit. The retreat continued all night, the army reaching Mt. Jackson at an early hour on the morning of the 23d, where it remained in line of battle during the day, skirmishing some with the enemy's cavalry, which came up and threw a few shells, but made no earnest attempt to advance. The trains were sent across the North Fork of the Shenandoah, by a bridge that the engineering company of Captain Hart had completed the day before. After dark Early retired across the river and encamped at Rude's hill.

Forming a line of battle on Rude's hill on the morning of the 24th, Early remained there until noon, Averell's division of cavalry advancing to the river and throwing a few shells at Early's front, at the same time moving a large cavalry force up the opposite side of the river to turn Early's flank, his largely superior numbers enabling him to drive Early's cavalry rapidly back on the middle road. Early then withdrew in line and in column, and formed again in the rear of New Market, to meet this flank movement. In the same way, skirmishing and using his artillery, he took position as the enemy advanced, and fell back to Tenth Legion, where he formed a line of battle late in the afternoon, which he held until after dark, when, leaving Jackson's cavalry on picket, he followed his trains by the Keezletown road, Ramseur in front, five miles to Flook's, where he arrived and went into camp about midnight. The Federals pursued his cavalry to near Harrisonburg.

September 25th the trains moved on at an early hour, by way of Peale's cross roads and Port Republic, to Brown's gap, and at daylight the troops followed, with

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