We are remembering the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Cedar Creek, Virginia, on October 19, 1864. As future US President, Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes looked to the south, he saw an appalling sight. Out of the fog, driving a disorganized throng of half dressed Union stragglers before it - came a solid gray line of Confederates. These were General Gordon' s men advancing.
It was a strange retreat. The men were not frantic, remembered Captain S.E. Howard of the XIX Corps, "only stolidly, doggedly, determined to go the rear." A few units here and there paused to shoot back, but US General Crook's command had come completely undone. "The broad plain was a scene of rout," one of Crook's staff officers recalled, "wagons, ambulances, artillery, soldiers without commanders, commanders without soldiers, every fellow for himself, moving backwards in sullen discouragement in the faces of the yelling victors".