When driven from Winchester
(see Winchester, battle of
did not halt until he reached Fisher's Hill
, beyond Strasburg
, and 20 miles from the battle-field.
It was strongly fortified, and was considered the most impregnable position in the valley.
In his despatch to the Secretary of War
(Sept. 19, 1864) Sheridan
wrote: “We have just sent the enemy whirling through Winchester
, and are after them to-morrow.”
He kept his word, and appeared in front of Fisher's Hill
on the 22d.
was strongly intrenched.
's corps to gain the left and rear of the position, and advanced to the attack of the left and front, with Wright
's and Emery
The assault began at four o'clock. The Confederate line was soon broken, and the entire force retreated in disorder up the valley, leaving behind them sixteen guns and over 1,000 men as prisoners.
Early's army was saved from total destruction by the holding in check of Torbert
's cavalry in the Luray Valley
, and the detention of Wilson
's cavalry, who fought at Front Royal
the day before (Sept. 21). Sheridan
to Port republic
(q. v.), where he destroyed the Confederate
train of seventy-five wagons.
Thence his cavalry pursued as far as Staunton
, where the remnant of Early
's army sought and found shelter in the passes of the Blue Ridge
National cavalry destroyed a vast amount of supplies at Staunton
, passed on to Waynesboro
, and laid waste the Virginia Central Railway.
's whole army went down the Shenandoah Valley, making his march a track of desolation.
He had been instructed to leave nothing “to invite the enemy to return.”
placed his forces behind Cedar Creek
, halfway between Strasburg
's cavalry had rallied, under Rosser
, and hung upon Sheridan
's rear as he moved down the valley.
and his cavalry turned upon them (Oct. 9) and charged the Confederates
, who fled, leaving behind them 300 prisoners, a dozen guns, and nearly fifty wagons.
They were chased 26 miles. Three days later Early
attempted to surprise Sheridan
, while resting at Fisher's Hill
, when the Confederates
were severely chastised.