and about dark that stream, and other small ones on Gordon
's route, were bridged, and the path along and around the mountain was cleared out by the pioneers under Captain Hart
, and Gordon
commenced his march, across the river and around to a place in the woods near the end of the mountain, at 8 in the evening.
At midnight following October 18th, Kershaw
marched from Fisher's hill
along the turnpike to Strasburg
, where Kershaw
turned to the right along the byroad leading to Bowman's mill
, while Wharton
continued along the turnpike to near the crest of Hupp's hill
Before 5 a. m. of the 19th, Kershaw
were resting in their assigned positions, and Gordon
had been waiting for some time, not far from Bowman's ford on the south bank of the North Fork
of the Shenandoah
, opposite the Federal
cavalry picket guarding the road leading to the Belle Grove farm
and around to the flank and rear of the Federal
encampment, especially that of the Eighth corps, along which this byroad led, on to the east.
, with his cavalry, was also in position on the Back
road, and ready to attack.
As the hour appointed for the assault drew near, General Early
, who had accompanied Kershaw
's division, the head of which was resting on the bluff above the south bank of Cedar creek
, was considerably disturbed by a movement in the Federal
camp (the moving of a wagon train, as was afterward learned), which, unconscious of impending danger, lay before him, slightly concealed by the fog that was rising from Cedar creek
and from the river.
This stir in the camps led him to suspect that his movement had been discovered.
Fortunately, the appointed hour came at about this time, when, practically without further orders and with remarkable precision, the three prearranged simultaneous attacks began.
's cavalry dashed across the river, in front of Gordon
, and captured the outer pickets; Gordon
followed with the bold rush characteristic of the famous Stonewall brigade, which was in his advance, and soon fell on the rear of the encampment of the Nineteenth corps, with a line of battle having Ramseur
's division on the right and Gordon
's division on the left, supported by Pegram
's. At the same time Kershaw
's division fairly sprang down the steep slope of the south bank of Cedar creek
, rushed across that stream, and deploying, with Wofford