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[140] about his 50,000 men, ‘some not very reliable,’ that Early tried so hard to get at, when behind their works at Charlestown, and Early only had, say 14,000? ‘Fitz. Lee's contingent had strengthened it, but the battle of Winchester and the subsequent defeat at Fisher's Hill, in both of which the cavalry held the flanks that were turned by Crook, had again greatly dispirited it. (Fitz. Lee's division, please remember, was alone in the Luray Valley.) I do not know, of my own knowledge, anything about Fisher's Hill or Cedar Creek. The arrival of Rosser had revived the hope of restoring the cavalry to a passable efficiency, for this officer possessed more dash than discretion. * * The assurance with which Rosser challenged Custer all the way from Harrisonburg showed that he had no conception of Sheridan's mounted strength, though this fatal zeal was probably due in part to the excitement of his men at seeing their farms and houses in flames—for many of Rosser's men were from that region—their eagerness to exact retribution, brought upon them double mortification and suffering, and the disaster of Tom's Brook crushed all hope of efficiency with the Confederate cavalry and almost dazed Rosser's immediate command.’

[My brigade, I trust, will be exonerated from sharing in these feelings, we were only temporarily connected with Rosser, or he with us. Rosser, as the Colonel of the Fifth Virginia, had served in our brigade, and was well understood by the troops.] ‘The chief value of Sheridan's victory was not evident until ten days later at Cedar Creek, where the Union cavalry flushed with success, developed great staunchness, while Early's horsemen proved fatally weak.’ [If they only developed staunchness at that stage of the war, we will say that neither our Lieutenant-General, or Major-General Hampton, or Fitz. Lee were there to take command of our cavalry.] ‘If they were fatally weak,’ Sheridan's physical strength was their weakness. I did not intend to say one word about other cavalry brigades, except as far as was necessary to keep up a connected story. If I could, it would give me infinite pleasure to add to the beauty of their splendid efforts.

But I will say that Lomax's division had never been used much as cavalry, they were armed with miserable guns for the service exacted of them, and for that reason never had a fair show; but under fair circumstances would show themselves equal to any emergency. It was mounted infantry, and their necessities were not supplied, and it could not do impossibilities.

I have given both sides of the Tom's Brook fight, because of a

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Thomas L. Rosser (6)
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J. A. Early (3)
Lindsey Lunsford Lomax (1)
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