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[664] force at Fisher's Hill, and waited to see whether the enemy would move; but he commenced fortifying. On the night of the 16th, Rosser, with two brigades of cavalry and a brigade of infantry mounted behind his men, was sent around the left to surprise what was reported by his scouts to be the camp of a division of cavalry; he found, however, that the camp had been moved, and he only found a picket, which he captured. As I could not remain at Fisher's Hill, for want of forage, I then determined to try and get round one of the enemy's flanks, and surprise him in camp. After ascertaining the location of the enemy's camps, from observations from a signal station on Massawattan mountain, I determined to move around the left flank of the enemy. I selected this flank from information furnished by General Gordon and Captain Hotchkiss, who had gone to the signal station, and because the greater part of the enemy's cavalry was on his right, and Rosser's attempt had caused that flank to be closely picketed. To get around the enemy's left was a very difficult undertaking, however, as the river had to be crossed twice, and between the mountain and river, where the troops had to pass to the lower ford, there was only a rugged pathway; I thought, however, the chances of success would be greater, from the fact that the enemy would not expect a move in that direction, on account of the difficulties attending it, and the great strength of their position on that flank.

The movement was, accordingly, begun on the night of the 18th, just after dark, Gordon's, Ramseur's, and Pegram's divisions being sent across the river and around the foot of the mountain, all under the command of General Gordon, and late at night I moved with Kershaw's division through Strasburg, towards a ford on Cedar creek, just above its mouth, and Wharton was moved on the pike, towards the enemy's front, on which road the artillery was also moved. The arrangement was for Gordon to come around in the rear, for Kershaw to attack the left flank, and for Wharton to advance in front, supporting the artillery, which was to open on the enemy when he should turn on Gordon or Kershaw, and the attack was to begin at 5 A. M. on the 19th. Rosser was sent to the left to occupy the enemy's cavalry, and Lomax, who had been sent down the Luray valley, was ordered to pass Front Royal, cross the river, and move across towards the Valley pike. Punctually at 5, Kershaw reached the enemy's left work, attacked and carried it without the least difficulty, and very shortly afterwards Gordon attacked in the rear, and they swept everything before them, routing the Eighth and Nineteenth corps completely, getting

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