War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0428 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

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the day the Third Division (Brigadier-General Wilson) fought gallantly, doing wonders, driving a division of rebel infantry from different positions, and clearing he way for our infantry to form. On this occasion Brigadier-General McIntosh, commanding Second [First] Brigade, Third Division, suffered the loss of a leg, and Brigadier-General Chapman, commanding First [Second] Brigade of same division, was slightly wounded. No one could have acted with more coolness and gallantry than did Brigadier-General Merritt, Wilson, Custer, McIntosh, Chapman, and Brevet Brigadier-General Devin and Colonel Lowell. Too much praise cannot be given the cavalry for the active part they played on this memorable occasion. At daylight on the 20th the army started in pursuit of the rebel army, Brigadier-General Averell's division of Merritt on the Valley pike to Cedra Creek, and Brigadier-General Wilson, via Stephensburg and Cedarville, on the Front Royal pike. The enemy were overtaken posted in a strong position at Fisher's Hill above Straburg, Va. The infantry coming up relieved the First Division (Brigadier-General Merritt), in front of the enemy, and this division was then placed on the right of the infantry near Strasburg. Brigadier-General Averell's division was moved across Cedar Creek, and placed on the right of Brigadier-General Merritt's division on the Back road.

The next day, the 21st, Brigadier-General Wilson, commanding Third Division, drove Wickham's division of rebel cavalry from Front Royal back toward Luray six miles. On the same day Brigadier-General Merritt's division, with the exception of Brevet Brigadier-General Devin's brigade, which was left at Cedar Creek (in rear of the main army), marched across the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, at Buckton Ford, through Front Royal, and encamped about a mile and a half beyond. Brigadier-General Wilson was now about miles in advance. the enemy having halted in a very strong position on the south side of Gooney Run. At 2 a. m. the next day (22nd) the First Brigade, First Division (Brigadier-General Custer), moved across the ford, over the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, near Front Royal, with orders to move up and recross the Shenandoah at McCoy's Ford, two miles in rear of the enemy's position. The enemy, fearing or knowing this move, commenced to evacuate at about 10 p. m. the previous night. At daylight the 22nd the balance of the command moved up the valley. About 11 a. m. that day the advance came upon the enemy posted in as till stronger position on the south bank of Milford Creek, their left resting on the Shenandoah, which runs so close under the mountain it was impossible to turn it, and their rested against a high mountain. The length of their line was very short, and the banks of the creek so precipitous it was impossible of the men to get across in order to make a direct attack. In addition to their naturally strong position they were posted behind loop-hole breast-works, which extended clear across they valley. Not knowing that the army had made an attack at Fisher's Hill, and thinking that he sacrifice would be too great to attack without that knowledge, I concluded to withdraw to a point opposite McCoy's Ferry. The next day, the 23rd, Brigadier-General Wilson's division moved across at McCoy's Ford and proceeded to Buckton Ford, on the North Fork of the Shenandoah; Brigadier-General Merritt's division went through Front Royal, crossing hat Shenandoah and stopping at Cedarville, in the meantime having a skirmish with Mosby's guerrillas at Front Royal, killing two officers and nine men. About 4 p.m. that day news was received of the victory at Fisher's Hill, and direc-