Page:A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America.djvu/91

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87
BATTLE OF WINCHESTER.

had received the shock of the enemy's attack, and been forced back a little, but soon recovered itself. Lomax, on the right, had held the enemy's cavalry in check, and, with a part of his force, had made a gallant charge against a body of infantry, when Ramseur's line was being forced back, thus aiding the latter in recovering from the momentary disorder. Fitz Lee on the left, from across the Red Bud, had poured a galling fire into the enemy's columns with his sharpshooters and horse-artillery, while Nelson's and Braxton's battalions had performed wonders. This affair occurred about 11 A. M., and a splendid victory had been gained. The ground in front was strewn with the enemy's dead and wounded, and some prisoners had been taken. But on our side, Major General Rodes had been killed, in the very moment of triumph, while conducting the attack of his division with great gallantry and skill, and this was a heavy blow to me. Brigadier-General Godwin, of Ramseur's division, had been killed, and Brigadier-General York, of Gordon's division, had lost an arm. Other brave men and officers had fallen, and we could illy bear the loss of any of them. Had I then had a body of fresh troops to push our victory, the day would have been ours, but in this action, in the early part of the day, I had present only about 7000 muskets, about 2000 cavalry, and two battalions of artillery with about 30 guns; and they had all been engaged. Whartons division and King's artillery had not arrived, and Imboden's cavalry under Colonel Smith, and McCausland's under Colonel Ferguson, were watching the enemy's cavalry on the left, on the Martinsburg road and the Opequon. The enemy had a fresh corps which had not been engaged, and there remained his heavy force of cavalry. Our lines were now formed across from Abraham's Creek to Red Bud and were very attenuated. The enemy was still to be seen in front in formidable force, and away to our right, across Abraham's Creek, at the junction of the Front Royal and Millwood roads, he had massed a division of cavalry with some artillery, overlapping us at least a mile, while the country was open between this force and the Valley Pike, and the Cedar Creek Pike back of the latter; which