On the 20th Early took position at Fisher's Hill
, and on the 22d Sheridan
again attacked him, Crook
's Corps getting in rear of his
left flank and his whole army retiring in conclusion.
But the artillery again distinguished itself by great courage, fighting to the last, and Early
had to ride to some of them and order withdrawal of their guns before they would move.
Their pertinacity in holding out led to the loss of eleven guns.
Otherwise the loss was not great, but Lieutenant-Colonel A. S. Pendleton
, the distinguished and gallant adjutant-General of the corps, who had served so long with Jackson
, fell mortally wounded, leaving a vacuum which it was indeed difficult to supply.
Early slowly retired down the Valley
to Rude's Hill
, between Mount Jackson
and New Market
, in line of battle, checking the enemy as he advanced, the troops behaving admirably.
's Cavalry followed as far as Staunton
, but Early
had simply stepped aside to Port Republic
, while they passed on, and then moved to Waynesboroa on the 30th of September.
In early October he is moving down the Valley
again and meditates attacking the enemy at Harrisonburg
on the 6th, but he in turn retires.
By the 13th he is again at Fisher's Hill
and Hupp's Hill
, and finds Sheridan
posted on the north bank of Cedar creek
, and there boldly defies him on the field of his late reverses.
The enemy, sending a division across the creek, is met by Conner
's Brigade and repulsed, losing their division commander, Colonel Wells
, and the gallant and accomplished General Conner
on our side losing a leg. On the 15th General Early
remains at Fisher's Hill
and sends Rosser
on a cavalry reconnoissance.
On the 17th he displays his full force in front of the enemy's lines to cover Rosser
's return, but he is without provisions, and he must either retreat or fight.
Well did he appreciate the inspiration of being the assailant, and he determined to assail.