War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0047 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

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supported by the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps, both of which moved across country to the same crossing of the Opequon. Crook moved across country, to be in reserve at the same point. Wilson, with McIntosh's brigade leading, made a gallant charge through the long canon, and meeting the advance of Ramseur's rebel infantry division, drove it back and captured the earth-work at the mouth of the canon; this movement was immediately followed up by the Sixth Corps. The Nineteenth Corps wa directed for convenience of movement to report to General Wright on its arrival at Opequon Creek. I followed up the cavalry attack, and selected the ground for the formation of the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps, which went into line under a heavy artillery fire. A good deal of time was lost in this movement through the canon, and it was not till perhaps 9 a. m. that the order for the advance in line was given. I had from early in the morning become apprised that I would have to engage Early's entire army, instead of two divisions, and determined to attack with the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps, holding Crook's command as a turning column to use only when the crisis of the battle occurred, and that I would put him in on my left and still get the Valley pike. The attack was, therefore, made by the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps, in a very handsome style and under a heavy fire from the enemy, who held a line which gave him the cover of slight brushwood and corn-fields. The resistance during this attack was obstinate, and as there were no earth-works to protect, deadly to both sides. The enemy, after the contest had been going on for some time, made a counter-charge, striking the right of the Sixth Corps and left of the Nineteenth, driving back the center of my line. It was at this juncture that I ordered a brigade of Russell's division, of the Sixth corps, to wait till the enemy's attacking column presented its flank, then to strike it with vigor. This was handsomely done, the brigade being led by General Russell, and its commander, Upton, in person. The enemy in turn was driven back, our line re-established, and most of the 2,000 or 3,000 men who had gone to the rear brought back. I still would not order Crook in, but placed him directly in rear of the line of battle; as the reports, however, that the enemy were attempting to turn my right kept continually increasing, I was obliged to put him in on that flank, instead of on the left as was originally intended. He was directed to act as a turning column, to find the left of the enemy's line, strike it in flank or rear, break it pu, and that I would order a left half-wheel of the line of battle to support him. In this attack the enemy was driven in confusion from his position, and simultaneous with it Merritt and Averell, under Torbert, could be distinctly seen sweeping up the Martinsburg pike, driving the enemy's cavalry before them, in a confused mass through the broken infantry. I then rode along the line of the Nineteenth and Sixth Corps, ordered their advance, and directed Wilson, who was on the left flank, to push on and gain the Valley pike, south of Winchester; after which I returned to the right, where the enemy was still fighting with obstinacy in the open ground in front of Winchester, and ordered Torbert to collect his cavalry and charge, which was done simultaneously with the infantry advance, and the enemy routed.

At daylight on the morning of the 20th of September the army moved rapidly up the Valley pike in pursuit of the enemy, who had continued his retreat during the night to Fisher's Hill, south of Strasburg. Fisher's Hill is the bluff immediately south of and over a little steam called Tumbling Run, and is a position which was almost impregnable to a direct assault, and as the valley is but about three miles