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[506] 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 and Wharton 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 and Wharton 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. Rosser, 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. Payne'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 on the

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