Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 22.djvu/301

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<>f Gen. Jubal A. Earl;i. 289

first, then against two, and at last had it out with Sedgwick 30,000 strong. The latter, by a sudden rush in the afternoon, captured Marye's Hill, but at dawn next day Early straightened that fence, and later joined in the assault at Salem Church, which led to the discomfiture and retreat of the enemy.

On the isth of June, 1863, Lee telegraphed from his headquarters "A dispatch from Ewell dated 5 A. M. to-day states that Early's Division stormed the enemy's works at Winchester, capturing their cannon, etc., with little loss on our side." This is the brief summary of the flank movement and brilliant assault suggested and executed by Early, and of the splendid victory that sent Milroy routed to Harper's Ferry and cleared the path for our northern march.


Early commanded the vanguard of the Army of Northern Vir- ginia that now penetrated Pennsylvania. It was his division that made the decisive charge in the first day's battle at Gettysburg when the scales were trembling in the balance; it was he, who, when that charge had so largely contributed to win us the victory with 5,000 prisoners of war, urged that our forces should pursue the attack; it was his division that took Cemetery Hill in the second day's assault with the batteries that defended it, and had to give back because others failed. This division was the rear-guard that covered Lee's retreat, and I have never seen it present a sterner front than that 4th of July morning, 1864, when it stood ready to meet Meade on Semi- nary Ridge. In this campaign a part of Early's infantry, under Gordon, but Early himself being present, went farther north than any troops of the South during the conflict, and at Wrightsville, on the Susquehannah, June 29, 1864, the Confederate war shot forth its pinnacle of flame.


At the Wilderness, May 5, 1864, Grant made his first assault on Lee. It fell suddenly at our extreme left on General Edward John- son's Division of the Second Corps, and it was pressed back in con- fusion. There were no reinforcements on the field. The fate of Lee's army was imperilled. Happily, Early had ridden ahead of his troops which were marching in the direction of the sudden battle; and he sent post haste for Gordon's Brigade, the nearest at hand. At double quick it came; under Early's eye it was formed amidst