A modern Anteus.
[From the Chicago Times.]
In contemplating matters in the Shenandoah Valley, one will find himself at a less whether to most admire the vast number and extent of Sheridan
's victories, or the remarkable stolidity with which the rebel Early
endures frequent annihilation.
For the last two months the enemy have exhibited the remarkable peculiarity of being defeated overwhelmingly at very short intervals, and within a few days after each defeat presenting themselves in stronger force than ever to again undergo a defeat more disastrous than any of its predecessors.--There was once, in some olden fable, a dragon that possessed the somewhat singular power of producing a half dozen or more new heads whenever one of its old ones was chopped off; and in Early
we see the modern prototype of this fabled monster.
The more Sheridan
lops away his limbs, the greater becomes his task, for, from each bleeding stump springs a crop of new limbs, till the rebel chieftain now resembles the hundred-handed Briareus
Early was first routed at Winchester
, and a little later is found at Fisher's Hill
waiting to be routed again.
He is once more routed, with tremendous loss; and three days after, his demoralized cohorts present a firm array at Harrisonburg
From this place he is routed, with fearful slaughter, so that there is scarcely enough left to carry the tale of disaster to the rebel capital.
A little later, and Sheridan falls back to Strasburg
, but has hardly reached there ere Early
's broken legions precipitate themselves upon him with the fierceness of tigers.
Again are they routed with tremendous slaughter.
Sheridan falls back to Cedar creek
, and has but just gone into camp when the routed Early
is again upon him, drives him four miles, and captures twenty cannon.
But the success is only a momentary one, for the gallant Sheridan
dashes upon the field, reforms his broken regiments, and turns the tide of battle.
Again does the unlucky Early
undergo the crucifixion of being routed in a style which, for effectiveness, the record of defeats furnishes no parallels.
The worse Early
is routed, the speedier and deadlier is his next attack.
Like the old Antreas
, he only strikes the ground to arise a stronger, bigger giant than before.
The more violently he is hurled to earth, the higher is his rebound.
The more completely he is "settled" by Sheridan
, the less he will stay "settled," and the sooner he regains strength to be "settled" again.
Wonderful as is this recuperative power in Early
, it is not more so than his inexhaustible ability to furnish cannon.
He lost a large number of cannon when Sheridan
first "settled" him; and he lost a considerable larger number the second time that he was "settled" by Sheridan
A little later, and Sheridan
once more "settled" Early
and captured all his cannon.
Within a week he "settled" him again, and again captured a good many cannon.
Day before yesterday he once more "settled" the unfortunate Early
, and captured fifty cannon; and we have no doubt that to-morrow or the next day he will again "settle" Early
, and once more capture a great many cannon — probably not less than fifty or sixty.
The more cannon Early
loses, the more he seems to have left; so much so, that it Sheridan
keeps on "settling" him for six months longer, the Federal Government
will be able to stop all its foundries, having enough cannon for its own supply, and a large surplus for the next war with Canada
, or Great Britain
One would think that either Sheridan
would get tired of "settling" Early
, or Early
of being "settled." But they do not. Judging by the past, Sheridan
having routed Early
all the way from Staunton
to Cedar creek
, will continue routing and "settling" him from Cedar creek
to the Pennsylvania