There were many instances of personal heroism and bravery displayed by both men and officers but to enumerate them would not only be impossible but would apparently cause injustice to be done in many instances which have not been brought to the notice of the division commander.
To Colonel Wells, commanding Second Brigade; Colonel Pennington, commanding First Brigade; Captain Peirce, commanding Batteries B and L, Horse Artillery, and to the officers and men of their commands, should all praise be given for their heroic conduct and untiring efforts in achieving this brilliant success over an enemy whose numbers were more than double their own, who were superior in artillery, allowed to choose their positions, a favorite leader, but were deficient in confidence, courage, and a just cause.
To the members of my staff I can only offer my grateful thanks for their zeal and energy in transmitting my orders, as well as for the personal gallantry displayed by each throughout the entire engagement.
G. A. CUSTER,
Brevet Major-General, Commanding.
Major WILLIAM RUSSELL, JR.,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Cavalry, Middle Military Division.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD CAVALRY DIVISION,
MIDDLE MILITARY DIVISION,
October 22, 1864
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the engagement of the 19th instant:
About 4 o'clock in the morning the pickets of the First Division, posted on Cedar Creek near Cupp's Mill, were suddenly and strongly attacked by a heavy force of infantry. My camp being within hearing of the musketry, I caused "to horse" to be sounded and my command got in readiness to move. The enemy having obtained possession of the ford at Cupp's Mill, seemed content, and for the time made no further disposition except to command the ford with artillery. Soon after daylight Captain Coppinger aide to the chief of cavalry, informed me of the disaster which had befallen the extreme left of our line; at the same time gave me an order from the chief of cavalry to move, place my command in position on the right of the infantry, and endeavor to check the farther advance of the enemy against our right flank. Executing this order as rapidly as possible, my command was soon in line of battle and my artillery playing upon the guns of the enemy, which were posted to the right of the pike and near the crossing of Cedar Creek. I also deployed a portion of my command in order to collect and reform the large number of our infantry, which were now falling back in disorder and without any sufficient or apparent cause. I was successful in accomplishing both of these objects. The enemy, seeing so large a body of troops formed in good order as if ready either to make or receive an attack, did not seem disposed to advance farther in that direction, but contented himself with using his artillery upon exposed columns. While the effect upon our broken masses of infantry was equally gratifying, they rallied and were soon engaged throwing up a breast-work of rails, from behind which a good defense could be offered. No sooner had this been accomplished than an order