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[87] while he continued to retire. Night coming on the combatants separated, Early bivouacking in the neighborhood of Winchester, while Sheridan crossed the Opequon.

About this time Lieutenant-General Anderson joined Early with one division of infantry, a division of cavalry, and a batallion of artillery, thus increasing his force to about twelve thousand men, while that of Sherdian exceeded forty thousand. Notwithstanding the great disparity of numbers, the campaign was characterized by a series of skilful movements and brilliant skirmishes, including a successful attack on the Eighth Corps of Sheridan's army, near Berryville, on the 3d of September by Anderson's command, which resulted on the 19th of September in the battle of Winchester, which had doubtless been hastened to a conclusion by the departure of Anderson from the Valley on the 15th with Kershaw's division and Cutshaw's battalion of artillery for Richmond. Anderson had no sooner turned his back on the mountains than Sheridan threw his whole force against Early at Winchester and defeated him, not so much by force of numbers, as by one of those chances of war which sometimes beset the ablest commander; for after having gallantly contested the field, and firmly maintained their position until near the close of the day, a portion of his troops was seized with a panic, which rapidly spread until the greater part of the infantry and cavalry fell into confusion, and troops who had never before turned their backs upon the enemy retired in disorder from the field. The artillery alone remained firm, and covered with distinguished gallantry the retreat of the other troops, until a place of safety was gained and order restored, and then retired fighting, step by step, until it extricated itself from overwhelming numbers, leaving heaps of dead to testify to its matchless conduct and power. Sheridan's forces were so shattered that he could not immediately avail himself of the success he had gained, and Early was permitted an uninterrupted retreat to Fisher's Hill.

Notwithstanding his force had been considerably weakened by its late disaster, Early determined to maintain his position on Fisher's Hill. He could not realize that every man was not as stout-hearted as himself, nor that the troops he had so often led to victory were not invincible; and, besides his reluctance to abandon the rich and beautiful Valley, there were other and stronger reasons for his decision. It was evident that, if left unopposed in the Valley, Sheridan would immediately concert a plan of co-operation with Grant, either by advancing directly upon Richmond or by operating on its lines of

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