and wounded will be between 3,000 and 4,000. I am now sending to the War Department ten battle-falls. The loss of artillery in the morning was 7 from Crook, 11 from Emory, 6 from Wright. From all that I can learn I think that Early's re-enforcements could not be less than 12,000 men.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
CEDAR CREEK, VA., October 25, 1864.
I have found it impossible to move on the Central railroad as you desired. If I do so it must be up the Valley via Swift Run Gap, or Brown's Gap, or across via Front Royal and Chester Gap. To move up the Valley via the routes designated would be exceedingly difficult, on account of supplies and forage, and would demoralize the troops, now in magnificent trim. To move by Chester Gap I would have to leave at least 5,000 (the whole of General Crook's) in the Valley. To open the Orange and Alexandria Railroad would require a corps on it to protect it, which would leave me very little to operate with successfully. To advance against Gordonsville and Charlottesville with a line of communication up this valley and through the Blue Ridge is impracticable. I have been meditating cavalry operations against the Central railroad as soon as the necessary preparations can be made. The cavalry has lost largely in numbers by expiration of service, and is not half so strong as it was six weeks ago. The battle of the 19th still increases in results. We captured forty-eight pieces of artillery, caissons, horses, and all the appointments. Twenty-four of the above number were captured from us in the morning; these I returned, and, in addition, allowed the batteries to refit and exchange, and have left twenty-four pieces of rebel artillery, with caissons complete, which I will send to Washington to-morrow. All the ambulances of the Nineteenth Corps captured by the enemy were retaken, with fifty-six rebel ambulances in good condition, and as many more were destroyed. A number of wagons and ambulances were burned unnecessarily by the cavalry in the excitement; not less than 300 wagons and ambulances were captured or burned. The road between Cedar Creek and Fisher's Hill for three miles was blocked by captured artillery and wagons. The rebel army did not stop at Fisher's Hill, but continued to Mount Jackson on the night after the battle, and on to New Market next morning, and perhaps farther. The cavalry pursuit was kept up to a point between Edenburg and Mount Jackson. We captured fourteen battle-flags, ten of which I sent to the War Department and have four move yet to go. Persons who left the rebel army at Mount Jackson report it broken up and demoralized worse than it ever has been. Rest assured, general, I will strike, and strike hard, whenever opportunity offers. I am anxious to get the recruits and conscripts for this army. We are now reduced to an effective force of not over 22,000 infantry. From the accounts of officers, Early's infantry when he attacked me was 25,000; the number of cavalry not yet known.
P. H. SHERIDAN,