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‘ [454] of Fitz. Lee's division, and then fell back towards Front Royal, until after they learned of our success at Fisher's Hill. Had they been able to move the day before across the South Fork through Massanutten Gap, a powerful body of horse would have been in the rear of the enemy upon their line of retreat; but Early was fully alive to this danger and had guarded against it with Wickham's force.’

A powerful body of horse were held by two small brigades whom Sheridan has already said he could not get at, and that they were in a poor condition!

On page 190 Pond says: ‘After the cavalry action at Millford on the 22d, Early had sent in haste for a brigade of Wickham's force to join him at New Market, through the Massanutten Gap. Torbert fell upon the other brigade, Payne's, drove it from Millford, compelled it to retreat again near Luray, Custer capturing about seventy prisoners; thence crossing through the Massanutten Gap to New Market, he proceeded up the pike to Harrisonburg, while Powell's cavalry had gone forward to Mount Crawford.’

These are the facts according to my recollection.

The morning after General Early's retreat from Fisher's Hill, he sent for a brigade of Wickham's command. When that order came two divisions of the enemy's ‘powerful horse’ were active and demonstrating in our front, hoping to do what Sheridan had suggested and ordered, and which they should and could have done had they been willing to make the costly ‘sacrifice’ to accomplish it. The idea of two divisions, six thousand strong, of magnificently-mounted cavalry, allowing two skeleton brigades and a battery ‘in poor condition’ to hold them for three days, needs no commentary. When our cavalry was in condition, General J. E. B. Stuart carried it wherever General R. E. Lee sent him, and left very few of them behind. The cavalry that Sheridan had should have been able to go from one end of Virginia to the other at will, and would have gone had Hampton had them! I have digressed. Wickham left me in command and went in person to see General Early, across the mountain. In his route he met couriers, and sent them to me to move with my brigade and join him; but Torbert was now very active, and doing his best to move my command. I knew, with his numbers, if he once got us started, I could do nothing, and determined to hold the advantage I now possessed, and replied to Wickham by the same couriers that it would not be safe to General Early; that Early could not know what was in our front, and that I would not move under present pressure; that as long as we could hold this part of the enemy's cavalry, Early was

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Fishers Hill (Virginia, United States) (4)
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