artillery, caissons, &c. The enemy did not halt his main force at Fisher's Hill, but continued the retreat during the night to New Market, where his army had, on a similar previous occasion, come together by means of the numerous roads that converge to this point.
This battle practically ended the campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. When it opened we found our enemy boastful and confident, unwilling to acknowledge that the soldiers of the Union were their equal in courage and manliness; when it closed with Cedar Creek this impression had been removed from his mind, and gave place to good sense and a strong desire to quit fighting. The very best troops of the Confederacy had not only been defeated, but had been routed in successive engagements, until their spirit and esprit were destroyed. In obtaining these results, however, our loss in officers and men was severe. Practically all territory north of the James River now belonged to me, and the holding of the lines about Petersburg and Richmond by the enemy must have been embarrassing, and invited the question of good military judgment.
On entering the Valley it was not my object by flank movements to make the enemy change his base, nor to move as far up as the James River, and thus give him the opportunity of making me change my base, thereby converting it into a race-course as heretofore, but to destroy, to the best of my ability, that which was truly the Confederacy-its armies. In doing this, so far as the opposing army was concerned, our success was such that there was no one connected with the Army of the Shenandoah who did not so fully realize it as to render the issuing of congratulatory orders unnecessary. Every officer and man was made to understand, that when a victory was gained, it was not more than their duty, nor less than their country expected from her gallant sons.
At Winchester, for a moment, the contest was uncertain, but the gallant attack of General Upton's brigade, of the Sixth Corps, restored the line of battle, until the turning column of Crook, and Merritt's and Averell's divisions of cavalry, under Torbert, "sent the enemy whirling through Winchester." In thus particularizing commands and commanders, I only speak in the sense that they were so fortunate as to be available at these important movements. In the above-mentioned attack by Upton's brigade the lamented Russell fell. He had been previously wounded, but refused to leave the field. His death brought sadness to every heart in the army.
It was during a reconnaissance to Fisher's Hill, made on the 13th of October, 1864, that Colonel George D. Wells, commanding a brigade in Crook's corps, was killed while gallantly leading his men.
At Fisher's Hill it was again the good fortune of General Crook's command to start the enemy, and of General Ricketts' division, of the Sixth Corps, to first gallantly swing in and more fully initiate the rout.
At Cedar Creek Getty's division, of the Sixth Corps, and Merritt's and Custer's divisions of cavalry, under Torbert, confronted the enemy from the first attack in the morning until the battle was decided, still none behaved more gallantly or exhibited greater courage than those who returned from the rear determined to reoccupy their lost camp. In this engagement, early in the morning, the gallant Colonel Lowell, of the regular brigade, was wounded while in the advance in echelon of Getty's division, but would not leave his command, remaining until the final attack on the enemy was made, in which he was killed. General Bidwell, of the Sixth Corps, and Thoburn, of Crook's command, were also killed in the morning while behaving with conspicuous gallantry.