country. I would have preferred sending troops to you by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad; it would have been the quickest and most concealed way of sending them. The keeping open of the road to Front Royal will require large guards to protect it against a very small-number of partisan troops. It also obliges me to have a pontoon train, if it is to be kept open, to bridge the Shenandoah and keep up communication with Winchester. However, in a day or two I can tell better. I sent a party of cavalry through Thornton's Gap, and directed the balance of the division of cavalry which I have left in the Valley to take position at Millwood, occupying Chester Gap, and directed the balance of the division of cavalry which I have left in the Valley to take position at Millwood, occupying Chester Gap and Front Royal. Thornton's Gap I have given up, as of no value. With this disposition of forces, I will move infantry round the mountains, via Strasburg, as soon as possible. To-morrow I will continue the destruction of wheat, forage, &c., down to Fisher's Hill. When this is completed the Valley, form Winchester up to Staunton, ninety-two miles, will have but little in it for man or beast. In previous dispatches I have used "lower Valley" when I should have said "upper Valley," or, in other woods, in my last dispatch I intended to say that the grain and forage from Staunton up to Lextington had been sent to Richmond, and that the grain and forage from Staunton to Strasburg had been left for the wintering of Early's army. Yesterday Colonel Powell captured a guerrilla camp on the mountains, with ten wagons and teams.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
STRASBURG, October 9, 1864 - 12 midnight.
In coming back to this point I was not followed in until late yesterday, when a large force of cavalry appeared in my rear. I then halted the command to offer battle by attacking the enemy. I became satisfied that it was only all the rebel cavalry of the Valley commanded by Rosser, and directed Torbert to attack at daylight this morning and finish this "Savior of the Valley." The attack was handsomely made. Curster, commanding Third Cavalry Division, charged on the Back road, and Merritt, commanding First Cavalry Division, on the Strasburg pike, Merritt captured five pieces of artillery. Custer captured six pieces of artillery, with caissons, battery forge, &c. The two divisions captured thirty-seven wagons, ambulances, &c. Among the wagons captured are the headquarters wagons of Rosser, Lomax, and Wickham, and Colonel Pollard [Munford?]. The number of prisoners captured will be about 330. The enemy after being charged by our gallant cavalry were broken, and ran; they were followed by our men on the jump twenty-six miles through Mount Jackson and across the North Fort of the Shenandoah. I deemed it best to make this delay of one day here and settle this new cavalry general. The eleven pieces of artillery captured to-day make thirty-six pieces of artillery captured in the Valley since the 19th of September. Some of the artillery captured was new and never had been fired before. The pieces were marked, "Tredegar Works."
P. H. SHERIDAN,