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[281] time. The achievements of both Generals upon this day entitle them to high praise, Early for the audacity of his plan, and the skill with which it was carried out, Sheridan for the cool judgment with which he took in the situation, and the readiness of resource he displayed in converting a disastrous defeat into a great victory.

Sheridan was satisfied with the results of this day, and did not push Early up the Valley again. The latter rested and recruited at New Market, and on November 12th was again able to confront Sheridan at Middletown. The Confederate cavalry having again been worsted on the flanks, Early retired on the night of that day, no engagement of the infantry having taken place. For some weeks after this the Confederates remained at New Market, when it being manifest that important operations in the Valley were at an end for the season, the mass of Early's troops were withdrawn by General Lee to Petersburg. About the same time General Grant withdrew a large part of Sheridan's infantry to the same place. Early removed his headquarters to Staunton, and kept his cavalry busy during the winter in making dashes at exposed posts and at the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. He also checked effectually the cavalry expeditions sent out by Sheridan.

Matters were now rapidly hastening to an end. Late in February Sheridan set out from Winchester with ‘10,000 sabres,’ and moved up the Valley. Early attempted, with the 1,200 or 1,300 men he had, to stop him at Rockfish Gap. The Federals attacked the Confederates, however, at Waynesboroa before they had fallen back into the gap, and quickly routed, rode down and captured the greater part of this handful of troops.

Sheridan's command in the Valley was marked by excessive barbarity. Not only was Grant's order for the wholesale destruction of private property carried out, but, like Hunter, Sheridan took occasion to improve upon his superior. On one occasion a young Lieutenant (Meigs) upon his staff, having been shot while on a reconnoissance, by a Confederate scout, he ordered all the houses within five miles of the spot to be burned. This illustration is by no means an isolated one of the savage mode in which he carried on the war.

Early has been severely criticised, and naturally so, for in war success is with the mass the sole test of merit, and many disasters marked the latter part of his campaign. As time goes on, however, and the truth becomes more clearly seen, history will do justice to the vigor which drove Hunter almost in panic out of the Valley, to the

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