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[236]

I will now quote from the report of General Merritt, who commanded Sheridan's other cavalry division, and who secured position in front of Early's right at 10 A. M.:

‘Orders were sent to every brigade to press the enemy warmly. Never did men fight better. The line advanced nearly to Middletown. This advance was intended more as an offensive defense. The enemy withdrew from the open country. Sheltered by the woods and houses in our front, Kershaw (Wofford's Brigade) and Pegram continued a sharp skirmish, varied by attacks on both sides.’

Here we read a complete explanation of why Early's advance halted. The centre, which had its own troubles besides, could not go forward with the right-checked by Sheridan's 7,000 mounted men-halted. And it was when it had been halted, and a division of the 6th Corps had joined the cavalry, that Custer's division—not the whole cavalry force, as stated by General Gordon—was ‘sent back to Sheridan's right.’

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Sheridan (3)
J. Cabell Early (2)
Wofford (1)
George E. Pegram (1)
Merritt (1)
Kershaw (1)
John B. Gordon (1)
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