evening of the 20th, Sheridan
went into position on the heights of Strasburg
, and at once determined to use Crook
as a turning column again, and strike the enemy in left and rear, while the remainder of the army made a left half wheel in his support.
This manoeuvre, however, demanded secrecy, and the rebels had a signal station in the mountains, from which every movement of national troops by day could be observed.
was therefore concealed in the forest on the 21st, while the main national line moved up in front of the rebel position.
At the same time Torbert
, with the greater part of the cavalry, was sent up the Luray valley
on the left, and ordered to cross the mountains, and intercept the enemy at Newmarket
, twenty miles in Early
Before daylight on the 22nd, Crook
marched to Little North mountain, the western boundary of the Valley
, and massed his troops in the heavy woods along its face.
The Sixth and Nineteenth corps were then moved up opposite the rebel centre, while Ricketts
's division with Averill
's cavalry ostentatiously advanced towards Early
The enemy's attention was thus attracted, and when a general firing had begun, Crook
suddenly burst from the woods on the hillside, striking the rebels in flank and rear, doubling up their line, and sweeping down behind the breastworks.
's main line at once took up the movement, first Ricketts
swinging in and joining Crook
, and then the remainder