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[308]

At 3:30 o'clock in the morning Early, with Kershaw's Division, came in sight of the enemy's fires, and, as the moon was shining, their sleeping camps were in plain view. At 4:30 o'clock, the word forward was given, and Kershaw crossed the creek at Bowman's Hill, and at exactly 5 o'clock, swept over the enemy's works, taking seven guns, which were at once turned upon them. Rosser was now heard opening on the left, and as Early, with Wharton's troops, came hurrying to Hupp's Hill, according to appointment, the musketry of Gordon broke out in the enemy's rear; and presently Early and Gordon met in the enemy's camp, for success so far had crowned every effort. Payne's troops followed by Gordon's infantry, had swept through the camp, driving and capturing the panic-stricken enemy, for they and Kershaw had been alike victorious. The Nineteenth and Crook's Corps, upon which they had fallen, were in complete rout and flying the field, abandoning their equipments, with many small arms, and over forty pieces of artillery. As the sun rose, Early, contemplating the wreck, exclaimed: ‘There is the sun of Middletown.’

The Sixth Corps, perhaps the steadiest body in the Federal army, however, had gotten under arms, and could be seen like a long, black serpent, moving slowly to the rear. Pegram, attacking one of its divisions, was checked; Wharton's Division was also thrown into some confusion, but Colonel Carter, chief of artillery, concentrated upon it twenty guns, and soon it was in full retreat, Ramseur and Pegram advancing to the position from which it was driven. Some sixteen hundred prisoners had now been taken, and Early was anxious to press forward.

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Zzzgeneral Early (4)
Kershaw (3)
Charles George Gordon (3)
Wharton (2)
J. W. Pegram (2)
Thomas L. Rosser (1)
Ramseur (1)
William H. Payne (1)
Crook (1)
T. H. Carter (1)
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