's left the country sloped off to the Red Bud
, and there were some patches of woods which afforded cover for troops.
To the north of the Red Bud
, the country is very open, affording facilities for any kind of troops.
Towards the Opequon
, on the front, the Berryville
road runs through a ravine with hills and woods on each side, which enabled the enemy to move his troops under cover, and mask them out of range of artillery.
Nelson's artillery was posted on Ramseur
's line, covering the approaches as far as practicable, and Lomax
's cavalry and part of Johnson
's was on the right, watching the valley of Abraham's Creek
, and the Front Royal
road beyond, while Fitz. Lee
was on the left, across the Red Bud
, with his cavalry and a battery of horse artillery; and a detachment of Johnson
's cavalry watched the interval between Ramseur
's left and the Red Bud
. These troops held the enemy's main force in check until Gordon
's and Rodes
' divisions arrived from Stephenson
's division arrived first, a little after ten o'clock A. M., and was placed under cover in a rear of a piece of woods behind the interval between Ramseur
's line and the Red Bud
, the detachment of Johnson
's cavalry having been removed to the right.
Knowing that it would not do for us to await the shock of the enemy's attack, Gordon
was directed to examine the ground on the left, with a view to attacking a force of the enemy which had taken position in a piece of wood in front of him, and while he was so engaged, Rodes
arrived with three of his brigades, and was directed to form on Gordon
's right in rear of another piece of woods.
While this movement was executed, we discovered very heavy columns of the enemy, which had been massed under cover between the Red Bud
and the Berryville
road, moving to attack Ramseur
on his left flank, while another force pressed him in front.
It was a moment of imminent and thrilling danger, as it was impossible for Ramseur