the pike to make the enemy develop the force which had been following him during the day, and at the same time he sent two brigades to attack the enemy's column which had been following the Third Division was drawn in and camped near Brook Creek, three miles south of Strasburg. The Second Division West Virginia Cavalry (Colonel Powell) moved from Mildford Creek to Front Royal, holding Chester and Manassas Gaps.
The next day (the 9th) I had received orders from Major-General Sheridan to start out at daylight and whip the rebel cavalry or get whipped myself. My command was disposed as follows: Brigadier-whipped myself. My command was disposed as follows: Brigadier-General Merritt, commanding First Division, was on the Valley pike at Brook Creek, at the foot of Round Top Mountain; Brigadier-General Custer, commanding Third Division, was on the Back road at Tumbling Run-these two roads as a general thing are parallel and from two and a half to three miles apart. Brigadier-General Custer,being about six miles from Brok Creek and the enemy,was directed to move about 7 a. m., one brigade on the pike and two brigades between the roads, and connect with Brigadier-General Custer and the brigade on the pike. The enemy's force was as follows: On the Back road, under General Rosser, three brigades, from 3,000 to 3, 5000 men; one the pike, under Generals Lomax and Bradley Johnson, 1,000 to 1, 5000 men. Brigadier-General Custer's guns were heard early in the morning on Brook Creek, and Brigadier-General Merritt moved to the attack and to make a connection with Brigadier-General Custer. Colonel Lowell, commanding Reserve Brigade, First Brigade, First Division, moved on the right to connect with Brigadier-General Custer and to attack the enemy on the right flank; the Second Brigade, First Division, moved in the center. After a spirited engagement for about two hours, the enemy seeing that they were being flanked and severely pressed in front, gave way in great confusion, which was immediately taken advantage of by both division commanders. The enemy endeavored to rally several times, but were unable to stand the desperate charges made by my men, and they were driven in a perfect rout for twenty miles, the First Division (Brigadier-General Merritt), on the pike, pursuing them beyond Mount Jackson, the Third Division (Brigadier-General Custer), on the Black road, pursing them beyond Columbia Furnace. The First Division (Brigadier-General Merritt) captured five pieces of artillery (all they had on this road except one), their ordnance, ambulance and wagon train and sixty prisoners; the Third Division (Brigadier-General Custer) captured six pieces of artillery (all they had on the Back road), all of their headquarters wagons, ordnance, ambulance and wagon trains; there could hardly have been a more complete victory and rout. The cavalry totally covered themselves with glory, and added to their long list of victories the most brilliant one of them all and the most decisive the country has ever witnessed. Brigadier-Generals Merritt and Custer and Colonels Lowell and Penington, commanding brigades, particularly distinguished themselves-in fact, no men could have rendered more valuable service and deserve higher honor from the bands of the Government. My losses in this engagement will not exceed 60 killed and wounded, which is astonishing when compared with the results. The First Division (Brigadier-General Merritt) re-