September.-Until September 19 the Army of West Virginia, General Crook commanding in person, with the Nineteenth and Sixth Army Corps, the whole under General Sheridan, remained in the vicinity of Harper's Ferry, but on that day the entire command moved forward, attacked the rebel army under General Early near the crossing of the Winchester pike with the Opequon River, and defeated it badly. Moving up the Shenandoah Valley, the rebels were again met at Fisher's Hill, where they were disastrously routed. Great numbers of prisoners and many pieces of cannon were captured, with but slight loss to ourselves.
In the western portion of the department nothing of particular moment occurred.
[October.]-During this month the Army of West Virginia, forming part of Major General Sheridan's command, fell back from Harrisonburg, to which point the whole command had advanced after the battle of Fisher's Hill, on September 22, to Cedar Creek. From this place a reconnaissance was made by the First Division, Army of West Virginia, on the 12th; our loss, about 300 men killed, wounded, and captured.
October 19.-Before daylight the enemy attacked our forces at Cedar Creek, driving them from their position. Until the middle of the day the game was completely in the enemy's hands, but our troops having been rallied and placed in position, and Major-General Sheridan appearing on the field about the same time, the tide was turned and the rebels were as completely defeated as they had been before victorious. Many guns and prisoners fell into our hands and the rebel power in the Valley was completely broken up.
In the western portion of the department nothing occurred worthy of special mention, except an attack by about 300 rebels, under Major Hall, on an outpost at Beverly, garrisoned by a detachment of the Eighth Ohio Cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Youart, of that regiment. After severe fighting of some hours' duration the rebels were compelled to abandon the attack, with a loss of their commander, mortally wounded, and 93 captured.
[November.]-During this month nothing worthy of special mention occurred except the surprise and capture on the 28th instant by 1,500 or 2,000 rebels, under Generals Rosser and Payne, of the post of New Creek, commanded by Colonel George R. Latham, Fifth West Virginia Cavalry. The rebels succeeded in taking prisoners about 400 of the garrison. They burned all the Government buildings at the post. A detachment went west as far as Piedmont, for the purpose of destroying the machine-shops of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company at that place, but were unable to accomplish their purpose, because of the gallant resistance made by Captain John Fisher, Company A, Sixth West Virginia Infantry, and a detachment of thirty-five men under his command. The whole rebel force retreated the same day up the New Creek Valley.
[December.]-During the month the First Infantry Division, Colonel T. M. Harris commanding, was withdrawn from the department by order of the War Department and ordered to the Army of the James. The Second Division was also withdrawn from the Valley preparatory to going into winter quarters; the headquarters established at Cumberland, Md. Major-General Crook, commanding the department, in accordance with orders from General Sheridan, commanding Middle Military Division, established his headquarters at Cumberland, Md. No movements of importance.