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[450] themselves to rectify our infantry lines. We could see our cavalry were moving up to meet a very large force who were coming down the pike. Two divisions of cavalry, Averill's and Torbert's, were now just ahead and in sight. Averill had sent a mounted regiment to take Fort Hill, to the north of Winchester, and a very commanding position to the west of the pike. General Early had no idea of allowing him to hold it, as that covered the pike below, and sent orders to me to take it and hold it. Up the hill we went and at them, followed by two guns of our horse artillery. We drove them from the hill, ran the two pieces in the fort, dismounted the First, Second and Fourth Virginia cavalry, giving the Third Virginia the protection of the led horses, and we had just gotten well into the fort when Averill charged to recapture it; but we gave them a rough welcome, and sent them back faster than they came up. A second charge was made with the same result, during which time our two guns had been doing splendid service. They had opened with such precision upon the cavalry below that it checked them. Looking below to our right we could see our infantry falling back rapidly and in some disorder, and our little battery was now to catch it. Three of the enemy's batteries from below opened upon us with a terrific fire. I ordered our guns to retire; they limbered up and had moved out, when a shell from the enemy's battery took off the head of one of our cannoniers. Sergeant Hawley, in charge of that piece, stopped it, and as it was shotted, unlimbered and fired it while the dead man was being strapped on the limberchest, and then moved off. A cavalry regiment charged us again feebly, but were repulsed. From my position I saw General Sheridan's army form in the plateau below us to the right, and looking to the southeast I could distinctly see Wilson's division of cavalry. Why this great body of horse were not hurled upon General Early's army is a mystery to me; why they did not run over my brigade is incomprehensible! I retired to the southwest through the outskirts of Winchester, but was not pressed, and when I arrived at Mil! Creek, one mile south of Winchester, where I supposed we would be in the ugliest kind of a place, I got at within one hundred yards of Wilson's command before they saw us. I charged and drove those off in front of us. We exchanged a few shots and moved on and joined General Early at New Town. Our battery at the fort had done magnificent execution. Was it that our cavalry were in the fort dismounted that Sheridan could not get at us? Is not this a singular fact? General Early says that Wickham's brigade covered

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