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[666] gave way, and Kershaw's and Ramseur's did so also, when they found Gordon's giving way, not because there was any pressure on them, but from an insane idea of being flanked; some of them, however, were rallied, and, with the help of the artillery, the army was checked for some time; but a great number of men could not be stopped, but continued to go to the rear. The enemy again made a demonstration, and General Ramseur, who was acting with great gallantry, was wounded, and the left again gave way, and then the whole command was falling back in such a panic that I had to order Pegram's and Wharton's commands, which were very small and on the right, to fall back, and most of them took the panic also. I found it impossible to rally the troops; they would not listen to entreaties, threats, or appeals of any kind. A terror of the enemy's cavalry had siezed them, and there was no holding them back; they left the field in the greatest confusion. All the captured artillery had been carried across Cedar creek, and a large number of captured wagons and ambulances, and we succeeded in crossing our own artillery over, and everything would have been saved if we could have rallied 500 men; but the panic was so great that nothing could be done. A small body of the enemy's cavalry dashed across Cedar creek above the bridge, and got into the train and artillery, running back on the pike, and passed through our men to this side of Strasburg, tore up a bridge, and thus succeeded in capturing the greatest part of the artillery and a number of ordnance and medical wagons and ambulances. The men scattered on the sides, and the rout was as thorough and disgraceful as ever happened to our army. After the utter failure of all my attempts to rally the men, I went to Fisher's Hill with the hope of rallying the troops there, and forming them in the trenches; but, when they reached that position, the only organized body of men left was the prisoners, 1,300 in number, and the provost guard in charge of them; and I believe that the appearance of these prisoners, moving back in a body, alone arrested the progress of the enemy's cavalry, as it was too dark for them to discover what they were. Many of the men stopped at Fisher's Hill, and went to their old camps, but no organization of then could be effected, and nothing saved us but the inability of the enemy to follow with his infantry, and his expectation that we would make a stand there. The state of things was distressing and mortifying beyond measure; we had within our grasp a great and glorious victory, and lost it by the uncontrollable propensity of our men for plunder, in the first place, and the subsequent panic among

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