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[237] victory by misconduct. In his report it is charged that ‘so many of our men had stopped in the camp to plunder, in which I am sorry to say that officers participated.’ In the order referred to, which may be found in the old Richmond files of newspapers, he was much more severe. In it he said, as recalled in substance by memory, that ‘the general officer who details a guard over a captured sutler's wagon is as guilty as the private who plunders a knapsack.’ This reference applied to a certain case reported by the officer of the quartermaster's department who was ordered to bring off the captured wagons, supplies, etc., which was well calculated to anger General Early. But I am sure that he was mistaken as to the plundering. This did not go to the extent of materially weakening the battle line. As to Kershaw's division, I speak from knowledge. Moving to the attack on the Nineteenth corps after the rout of Crook, its line of battle swept through the deserted camps, abounding in all that our soldiers lacked, without a man leaving ranks. General Early spoke in heat, and much allowance is due him. His brilliant victory had been thrown away, and his reputation ruined by the panic of the evening.

Covered as he was with the cloud of defeat, a popular hue and cry was raised against General Early which resulted in his loss of popular confidence. But among the officers and soldiers of Cedar Creek there was a strong feeling that fate had dealt most unjustly with him. This was my belief then, and it has been changed to positive conviction by reading the reports of the record. It was, certainly, the common opinion among the officers and men of Kershaw's division, which had its full share of the fighting. The 21st Mississippi, to which I belonged, suffered more heavily than any. Of one hundred, rank and file, seventeen were buried on the field, thirty-four wounded and nineteen missing. Few, if any, of our command considered Early culpably responsible for the defeat. After the close of the fighting in the morning, he rode across our brigade front with Kershaw, our gallant and trusted division commander. In the cheering with which they were greeted, Kershaw's name was called. Drawing rein and turning to the line, he pointed to Early and said: ‘There is the man entitled to your cheers.’ For fair and dispassionate judgment of Cedar Creek, testimony from Kershaw's division possesses peculiar value. It did not belong to the 2d Corps, but was sent from Richmond as a reinforcement in the Valley operations. After a month's stay, it was ordered back. But, overtaken at Culpeper by news of the Winchester defeat, it

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