War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0018 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

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side, and across the Millwood and Front Royal pikes, toward Stephensburg or Newtown. General Merritt at this time was ordered to strike the enemy's column on the Strasburg road, at Stephensburg, and force him still farther westward, or oblige him to give battle. In this movement General Merritt encountered Gordon's division, repulsed an attack made by it at 6 o'clock this p. m., and made a bold push to get between the enemy and Strasburg, and thereby compel him to fight. This plan, however, was frustrated by a precipitate retreat, a portion of the enemy's forces passing over into Back Creek Valley. I will continue the pursuit in the morning. The stories of plunder taken from Maryland are all humbugs. They have but very little, just enough to subsist upon, no more, most of which has been taken from this valley. My casualties to-day will number about 125 cavalrymen. the infantry has not yet had an opportunity of being engaged. I have ordered the telegraph from Harper's Ferry to Cumberland repaired and the railroad to be put in running condition. I am as yet unable to state the exact number of prisoners taken to-day. Please telegraph this to General Grant.

Yours, respectfully,

P. H. SHERIDAN,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Chief of Staff, Washington, D. C.

(Copy forwarded to General Grant.)

HEADQUARTERS MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,

Camp at Cedar Creek, August 12, 1864 - 12 midnight.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report the following operations of my command to-day:

In my dispatch of last evening I reported my advance near Stephensburg or Newtown. This morning at 5 a. m. I resumed the march on Middletown, near Cedar Creek, the cavalry and Sixth Corps passing through Newtown, the balance of the command marching across the country direct on Middletown, the whole command concentrating on Cedar Creek, near where the Strasburg pike crosses the creek, the enemy moved last night across Cedar Creek to Strasburg. All his trains were moved around by the Back Creek Valley road, crossing Cedar Creek high up and moving on Strasburg or Woodstock. A portion of my cavalry was detached at Stephensburg and struck the Back Creek Valley road, and followed the trains to the crossing of Cedar Creek, but did not succeed in capturing them. the enemy have made some show of resistance in front of Strasburg. I am yet unable to determine its character, and could not get my command sufficiently in hand to attack him this evening. I will have to make a slight delay here to get up my supply trains from Harper's Ferry. They should reach Winchester to-night, coming here to-morrow forenoon. I regret that Grover's division was not permitted to come to Harper's Ferry, as I intended to use it as a strong guard for the subsistence trains. As they are now, the trains will be under the escort of Brigadier-General Kenly's brigade (which is very small) as far as winchester, and one of General Wright's brigades from Winchester here. The prevailing report is that Longstreet's corps is marching from Staunton to support Early, and Grover should have been permitted to have come out. General Duffie has not