War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0547 Chapter LV. THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY CAMPAIGN.

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wounded of both armies, and as our men gazed upon the naked forms of their dead and wounded comrades-the former entirely and the latter partially stripped by our inhuman foe-the deep murmurs that ran along the ranks foreshadowed the impetuosity of the coming charge. At this juncture the lines of both armies were a short distance to the left and front, in full view, and our infantry driving the enemy in fine style. All these circumstances combined awakened an enthusiasm and determination needing only the guiding hand to render terrible. At this time the lines of the enemy rested along our old breast-works on the north bank of Cedar Creek. The order given General Custer was to charge the breast-works, swing to the left, and secure what we could. Before this could be executed, so rapid was the movement of the enemy to the rear nearly all were over the creek; only a few were secured. Down a narrow, winding footpath, which led through the thick wood covering the bluff on this bank of the creek, we dashed across the creek,skirmishing until the advance reached a heavy stone wall about sixty rods from the crossing; here it was halted until the entire regiment could arrive. Just as I had completed the reforming of the regiment General Custer came upon with the Fifth New York Cavalry, which formed upon my left. Not a moment was to be lost. The thousand veteran infantry within a quarter of a mile and near a grove of heavy timber, although broken, might in a moment's time prepare to successfully resist a much heavier force. With the order "attention," I leaped my horse over the stones where the wall had been thrown down, and ordered the regiment "forward". Headed by the color bearer, with shouts, the presage of victory, they obeyed. For a moment the air seemed freighted with missiles of death, but a moment only. Confused and terrified the enemy threw down their arms and trampled upon each other in their frantic attempts to escape. My men rushed upon them as though they were the appointed avengers of their comrades slain. Considering our numbers, the slaughter was fearful. The enemy, dividing to the right and left, let my command through his center on to his artillery and train. Some we captured in good order, with cannon ears in their places, drivers on their horses; others entangled, upset, and abandoned; and, again, ambulances with their loads of wounded; horses, with their riders; cannoneers, with pieces; as if hurled together by some all-powerful agency, lay a mass of ruins.

Having received assurances from General Custer before starting of prompt support, I threw my entire command into the charge, and with care that no organized body of the enemy was near my flanks, my advance was not halted until we reached a small creek half a mile south of Strasburg, where several upset wagons had completely blockaded the passage, leaving the pike this side crowded with trains. Here, with only about twenty men, four miles from any organized support, surrounded with prisoners thrice our number and constantly augmenting, I was compelled to send captured ambulances and wagons without change of drivers, accompanied by small parties of prisoners, unguarded to the rear.

Support came, and midnight found my regiment again on the north bank of Cedar Creek, and daylight on the morning of the 20th found me still guarding the prisoners and captured property.

Of the gallant conduct of my officers and men no language is too strong. Sir, allow me to say that every officer and man under my command who participated in that charge conducted himself with such gallantry as to merit special mention.