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 see every road and defile as I write. To our right flows, at the base of the Massanutten Mountain, the north branch of the Shenandoah River, with no road between the river and the mountain, and in our front is the village of Strasburg (where I had gone to school), and just beyond flows Cedar Creek, upon whose banks was camped Sheridan's Army. The great question was: How can an army of ten thousand men surround one of forty thousand, well armed and entrenched? And yet, the task was undertaken and with more success than one would have supposed. On the night of October 18th our Division (Pegram's), with Gordon's and Ramseur's, were on the march. Crossing the river at George A. Hupp's two miles south of Strasburg, we moved cautiously to the edge of the mountain, and after a few minutes rest we started in single file along the mountain side, which was only a pig's path, climbing over logs, stones, and many other obstacles. We pressed on as rapidly as possible and came out at Pitman's, just at the foot of the high peak of Massanutten Mountain, upon which we had a signal station. We were then on Sheridan's left flank, but the river flowed between us and had to be forded, so we continued our march upon a well-beaten road leading from Front Royal to Strasburg. Every tree was familiar to me, because as a boy I walked and rode almost daily over this section. We continued our march to Hite's lane, and here again I was on still more familiar ground—only a mile from this lane my mother and family lived. Just upon the hill in front stood my uncle John Buck's residence (where my wife was reared), and where so many of my earlier, happy days were spent. Now, I passed these dear old places without even stopping. Where I then used to hunt squirrels and birds, I now hunted men, and ‘the game’ was plentiful. Here we halted for the men to ‘close up,’ and as soon as this was accomplished we hurried to the ford (Hite's ford, or Bowman's ford, as then known). Our cavalry charged across, captured the pickets, and the infantry followed, hurriedly, having quickly waded the river. Gordon's men struck the extreme left of the enemy's line so suddenly that men were captured in their beds, not knowing or even supposing that we were nearer than Fisher's Hill. Gordon and Ramseur were in front, while we (Pegram's Division) were in reserve. Naturally, the enemy was demoralized. Gordon and Ramseur were driving everything before them, and while this was being done ‘Old Jube’ Early had worked his way close to the enemy's front on Cedar Creek, and at daylight he struck them a tremendous
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