We discovered that the hill on the northwest, which I had been ordered to occupy, had been fortified with works facing in the direction from which I would have to approach it, and that they were occupied.
It became necessary then to take this hill, which was the key to the position, by assault, and having discovered a ridge back of it from which it might be attacked, I was ordered to leave a brigade and some artillery, where I then was, to amuse the enemy in front, while I moved the rest of my command around by the left to the point from which I could make the assault, taking care to conduct my movement with secrecy so that the enemy would not discover it. I accordingly left Gordon
to occupy Bower's Hill
, and I left with him besides his own brigade the Maryland
battalion and battery, and another battery (Hupp
's) of Brown
's battalion, and with the other three brigades and the rest of the artillery I moved to the left, following the Cedar Creek pike
for a mile or two and then passing through fields and the woods, which latter was here sufficiently open to admit of the passage of the artillery, and crossing the Romney
road at Lupton's house, about three miles west of Winchester
, and half a mile from a point at which I was informed by Mr. Lupton
that the enemy had had a picket the night before, and probably had one then.
Leaving the 54th North Carolina Regiment of Hoke
's brigade at the point where I crossed the Romney
road, to watch my rear, I moved on along a small obscure road to the rear of the position from which I wished to assault the enemy's works, and I found it a very favorable one for the purpose.
My route had been a very circuitous one, in order to check the enemy's vigilance, and I was conducted over it by a very intelligent and patriotic citizen, Mr. James C. Baker
, who had a son in the service, and who had been made to feel the tyranny of Milroy
thoroughly understood the object in view, and fully appreciated the advantage of the position I was seeking to reach; and it was mainly owing to the intelligent