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‘ [92] meet the emergency. One victory will put all things right. You must do all in your power to invigorate your army. Manoeuvre so, if you can, as to keep the enemy in check till you can strike him with all your strength. . . You must use the resources you have so as to gain success. The enemy must be defeated, and I rely upon you to do it.’ Spurred on thus by every motive, personal and military, by ambition, hope, revenge, and desperation, as well as by unflinching loyalty to his cause, Early made one more effort to overthrow his redoubtable antagonist. He had, besides, the very practical incentive of utter lack of supplies. ‘I was now,’ he says, ‘compelled to move back for want of provisions and forage, or attack the enemy in his position with the hope of driving him from it, and I determined to attack.’

Cedar Creek empties into the North Fork of the Shenandoah river about two miles east of Strasburg. At this point the creek runs nearly south and the river east, but in both streams there are many windings. The national army lay entrenched on the eastern bank of the creek and north of the Fork, with its left about a mile from the junction,— an exceedingly strong position. The rebels were encamped at Fisher's Hill, five miles away. On the night of the 16th of October, Early sent Rosser with two brigades of cavalry, and one of infantry mounted behind the horsemen, to make a reconnoissance of the national right. The position, however, was found well guarded, for it was here that Wright apprehended an attack;1 and Early accordingly

1 See page 90.

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