hand, and demonstrating under appearance of power that he had completely pulled the wool over Sheridan
's eyes, and made him believe that he was far stronger than the reality.
I felt at the time that as soon as Sheridan
was satisfied of the fact that Kershaw
was gone and that Early
's display of force had been more seeming than real, he would lead his heavy force against him. Grant
was expecting it, and was constantly prodding Sheridan
to go forward.
The administration at Washington
, which had supplied him with an overabundance of men and resources, also expected it, and as soon as Sheridan
got intelligence of the true condition he did advance.
His timidity, however, which he himself acknowledged later, was manifested by his plan of battle, and had he not felt misgivings he would have thrown his cavalry corps on Early
's right across the Valley Pike
and pressed his battle in that direction.
Had he done so and sustained his assault with sturdiness, it looks as if he ought to have captured all of Early
On the contrary, he felt his way forward with extreme caution, and up to 4 o'clock in the afternoon, notwithstanding his overwhelming force, he was checked and beaten by Early
in the battle, which for sturdy valor has no superior in the whole war.
, on our right, held his own against Sheridan
's assault most gallantly.
came in and drove the enemy's front, a splendid achievement.
The battle ‘trembled in the balance,’ as Colonel Thomas H. Carter
says, and the artillery, of which he was the chief, rolled back in disaster and dismay the assaults made upon it. The turn of the battle came about the time the Eighth Corps and Torbet
's whole corps of cavalry, with the exception of Wilson
's division (which had been thrown to our right and held in check by Lomax
), advanced, overlapping the small commands of Fitz Lee
a mile in distance and seeming to cover the whole face of the earth with their massive numbers.
Just at that juncture Rodes
fell, while directing his division with great skill and energy, and but for this deplorable misfortune it is far from certain that the Confederates
would not have prevailed.
But the two things came at once, the enemy's reinforcements and the fall of Rodes