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Had terrible time.

It must be remembered our army was but the remnants of the Second Corps, and other commands, men barefooted and ragged, and but half fed, and our horses broken down, with nothing but grass for food. The men had been on the move since 6 A. M., with no sleep for thirty hours, and it was not surprising they should straggle and plunder the enemy's well-supplied camps.

General Early followed Wright's army to the hills overlooking Middletown, and there calling a halt, he found but 5,000 men for duty, and in the woods north of Middletown there was the Sixth Corps (Sedgwick) in line of battle, protected by abattis work 10,000 strong, which had been removed from White Post during the night to this position. The officers of this corps had also succeeded in halting and reorganizing at least 10,000 of Wright's routed army.

As the fates had worked against him Early determined to hold his position and retreat under the cover of night, and here again he was disappointed, as Sheridan, about 4 P. M., moved [217] forward his command of 20,000 men, overlapping his left flank, which seen by Doles' brigade, they fled in a panic and without firing a gun from their position. The other commands followed, and Early was left with only Pegram and Wharton, less than 1,000 men, to combat this overwhelming force, which they did until they reached the bridge, and they, too, retreated in disorder, leaving Early's twenty-four pieces of artillery, also ambulances and ordnance train, at the mercy of Custer's Cavalry, which had struck our column at the Capon Road.

By 8 o'clock P. M., all was lost—Early fell back to New Market, and then in a few days his scattered forces were collected and reorganized, with the loss of but 2,860 men.

Thus ended one of the most brilliant, and stubbornly fought campaigns of the war, lasting four months. Sheridan's forces. in front of Early from August 2nd to November 1st, numbered over 50,000 men, and his losses, including those of Wallace, at Frederick City, on the 6th of July, and Crook at Winchester on the 24th, exceeded 20,000 men killed, wounded and prisoners.

Early's entire force from the 15th of June until November 1st, with all reinforcements, was but 20,000 men of all arms, and his entire losses in killed, wounded and captured, less than 9,000.

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Lynchburg Early (5)
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