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[507] right, Humphreys in the center and Bryan, with Conner in echelon, on the left, charged rapidly up the long slope north of the creek, captured the battery that crowned its summit, turned its guns upon the as yet profoundly sleeping Eighth corps, rushed upon its flank, then bore to the left, and crossing the Valley turnpike fell upon the flank of the Nineteenth corps, there encamped on the Belle Grove farm. By these rapid and nearly simultaneous advances Kershaw's command and that of Gordon were, practically, brought into line of battle, with Gordon on the right and Kershaw on the left, that swept like wildfire through the camps of the Eighth and Nineteenth corps, routed the sleeping soldiers from their tents, and drove them, some half-dressed and all dazed, to retreat in wild confusion or to promptly surrender, and giving little opportunity for any rally except by some of those in the more distant parts of the encampment, who were quickly aroused and formed by their officers, and who, with desperate courage, vainly strove to check the onrushing tide of the victorious Confederates.

When the sun rose and tempered the sharp air of that frosty October morning, it beheld Kershaw and Gordon in full possession of the camps and earthworks of the Eighth and Nineteenth corps of Sheridan's army and the captors of a large number of prisoners, many pieces of artillery, most of the camp equipage and the trains belonging to these two large bodies of infantry, and preparing to attack the Sixth corps, which was encamped farthest to the enemy's right and on high ground beyond Meadow branch, a tributary of Cedar creek, that, running from the northeast and on the western side of the Valley turnpike, enters the former stream at Hottle's mill, where several roads converge to a ford across Cedar creek.

As soon as the Valley turnpike was uncovered by the movements of Kershaw and Gordon, and the way was clear, Wharton's division moved forward, and the artillery galloped rapidly across Cedar creek and along the turnpike, and was soon ready to join in, on the right, in the attack on the Sixth corps, which had already been begun by Kershaw, Ramseur and Pegram in that order from the left. The gallant and indomitable Col. Tom Carter soon had his own and some of the captured artillery playing on the Sixth corps and its batteries, that

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