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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/69

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Battle of Winchester.

[From the Baltimore, Md., Sun, September 26. 1903.]



Formerly Captain Confederate States Army and Ordnance Officer of
General Rodes' Division, Army of Northern Virginia.

The battle of Winchester, fought on Monday, September 19, 1864, between General Sheridan, with over 45,000 men, and General Early, with less than 15,000 men of all arms, made General Sheridan a brigadier-general in the regular army and commander of the Middle Military Division, was hailed with salvos of 100 guns from each of General Grant's armies, and caused unspeakable rejoicing throughout the North. General Early has said (Early's Memoir, page 91, note): "I have always thought that, instead of being promoted, Sheridan ought to have been cashiered for this battle." Any military man, dispassionately reading an account of this battle, and rightly regarding the extreme disparity of force with which the battle was fought, will see what reason General Early had for making this remark, for expressing an opinion so contrary to that entertained by many.

Ten days after the battle of Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864, General Lee detached General Early, commanding the Second Corps (Ewell's), to overtake General Hunter, who had marched up the Valley through Staunton and Lexington and Lynchburg. Early reached Lynchburg in time to prevent an attack on that city, and was about to attack Hunter the next morning, when he retreated during the night and was pursued for three days to Salem, from which point he was compelled to retreat through the mountains of West Virginia to the Ohio river. General Early moved down the Valley, across the Potomac, fought the battle of Monocacy, in which he defeated General Lew Wallace, and threatened Washington. The troops of Early were too much fatigued with their long and hot march to attack on the day of their arrival before Washington, and the next day there were two corps in the fortifications—the 6th, under General Wright, having been detached by General Grant from his own army, and the 19th, under General Emory, having been sent up the Poto--