I have just received a telegram, sent yesterday, from Gen. Sheridan. His army was attacked and partially routed, but he was able to rally them, counter-attack and score a decisive blow against the enemy. He writes,
CEDAR CREEK, October 19, 1864 – 10 p. m.
I have the honor to report that my army at Cedar Creek was attacked this morning before daylight and my left was turned and driven in confusion; in fact, most of the line was driven in confusion, with the loss of twenty pieces or artillery. I hastened from Winchester, where I was on my return from Washington, and joined the army between Middletown and Newtown, having been driven back about four miles. I here took the affair in hand and quickly united the corps, formed a compact line of battle just in time to repulse an attack of the enemy’s, which was handsomely done at about 1 p. m. At 3 p. m., after some changes of the cavalry from the left to the right flank, I attacked with great vigor, driving and routing the enemy, capturing, according to last reports, forty-three pieces of artillery and very many prisoners. I do not yet know the number of my casualties or the losses of the enemy. Wagon trains, ambulances, and caissons in large numbers, are in our possession. They also burned some of their trains. General Ramseur is a prisoner in our hands, severely, and perhaps mortally, wounded. I have to regret the loss of General Bidwell, killed, and Generals Wright, Grover, and Ricketts wounded – Wright slightly wounded. Affairs at times looked badly, but by the gallantry of our brave officers and men disaster has been converted into a splendid victory. Darkness again intervened to shut off greater results. I now occupy Strasburg. As soon as obtained I will send you further particulars.
P. H. SHERIDAN,
I wrote Sec. Stanton,
CITY POINT, VA., October 20, 1864-7 p. m.
Honorable EDWIN M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
I had a salute of 100 guns from each of the armies here fired in honor of Sheridan’s last victory. Turning what bid fair to be a disaster into glorious victory stamps Sheridan, what I have always thought him, one of the ablest of generals.
U. S. GRANT,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 12, p 328-9
O.R., I, xliii, part 1, p 32-3
O.R., I, xliii, part 2, p 423