Sheridan pursued the Confederates south as far as Staunton. Convinced that Early was finished, the Federal commander ordered his army to return down the Valley, systematically burning the crops as they went.
No longer could the Confederacy rely on the Shenandoah Valley to feed its armies. In the course of three days, Sheridan had achieved a double victory at Winchester and Fisher's Hill. These victories, together with the fall of Atlanta, ensured the reelection of Abraham Lincoln.
| 1 he broad blue wave surged X forward with a yell which lasted for minutes. In response there arose from the northern front of the wood a continuous, deafening wail of musketry... But the yell came steadily on and triumphed gloriously over the fusillade... Presently, looking to the left, we saw that the Vermonters were charging, and we jumped forward with a scream, the officers leading and the men hard after."
John De Forest of the Twelfth Connecticut at the battle of Winchester.
Early retreated to a strong, defensive position on Fisher's Hill, hotly pursued by Sheridan. Two Federal corps made a feint attack against Early's entrenched line, descending into Tumbling Run Ravine and up Fisher's Hill while Crook's corps, aiming for the Confederate left, climbed the steep mountain paths. Appearing suddenly out of dense woodland, with the setting sun behind them, Crook's corps secured the Confederate entrenchments in their rear and flank. Once more, Early's Confederates were pushed southward (see map left).
Sheridan's wagon train advances up the Shenandoah Valley (below). Grant had ordered that the valley be stripped of it's wealth; everything that Sheridan could not carry away he must destroy, leaving nothing but "barren waste".
0 1 2 Miles
(T^J Oct 6: Sheridan withdraws down the Valley, burning the crops along the way
Cl] ^ Sheridan's cavalry routs the
Confederate horse soldiers at Tom's Brook
\ Oct 19: Early surprises the Federals and v— overruns their encampment along Cedar Creek s^s Feb 25: Sheridan breaks camp at
Brig. Gen. John B. Gordon (above) who commanded the attack on the Union left flank at Cedar Creek in the Early hours of October 19. In fact, Gordon was, largely responsible for the formation of the Confederate plan of attack, and was so confident of success that he agreed to accept all responsibility in the event of failure.
Conrad's store Sheridan's [ T~ * Shenandoa Returning demoralize thè Çonfea Union enc.
Port republic staun'
Our horses are worn down, and their is no source whence we can recruit. We have only pistols, sabers and old fashioned rifles, worn-out saddles, and none of the equipment in the way of portable furnaces, horse-shoes and other transportation requisite for efficient cavalry work; and above all, we have not enough food to keep the horses up."
A Confederate cavalryman of Rosser's command.
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