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[312] avoided them. He was never dilatory or belated in execution of an order. He never clamored for reinforcements when he knew there were none to send. He detached troops obediently, without complaint, when he knew the peril to which it subjected him. He was never chided, reproved or blamed by his superiors.

No better fighing was ever done than that of Early at Winchester; no more brilliant plan was ever conceived than that at Cedar Creek. Nothing could have shown more boldness than Early's giving battle at Winchester, nor more cool deliberation than his steady retirement. ‘He deserves,’ says Pond, the Federal historian, ‘the credit of great vigor and skill in fighting the battle forced upon him, and in moving his trains and his army out of the ruin his opponent had prepared for him.’ (Page 172.)

That he rallied so speedily after Fisher's Hill, and struck so splendidly at Cedar Creek, and that he always came back with unrelenting and elastic courage is as true a picture of a great man struggling with the storms of fate as the heroic tragedy of human nature has ever presented.

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