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Gen, Custer's Strategy

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The following account exhibits Um admirable tnuniior in whiuh Gen. Custer eztriuated Lis coinmand from a periloua situaüon : Thu utter impracticnbility of reaching Charlottsvilie with hiri inflignifiont)t f'oree being apparent, Gen. Custer retired lus oolumD up the Sumnardsville road, balling hoos nfter dusk to feed ihe horses, jaded by thcir march oiovcr j forty milos. Severa] faint oharges werc made ou our rear guard b' h small piirsuing party, but no casuslttea vvero BüBtained by 'iur men. Owing to the hilly nature of tho country and the bad condition of tho roads, it was fouud necessary to halt lor the night eignt miles aouth of Stannurdsville, iu order to recupérate the exhausted artillei-y borso. Lieuienant Colonol Stedman, of the Sixth ühio, commanding the detaohment of five huiidred uien f rom Geneial Gregg's división, being in advanoe of the main body and gnorant o( the faot that the column hud balted, coDtinued the rnarch toward MadigOD Court House, arriviog tliero some time duriog the night. Orderlies were dispatched by Gen, Custer to Col. Stedman, directing him to return, but owing to the daiknes.-i ot the night and the distiince Cplonel S. hud advanced beyoud the main column, they were unable to intercept him. By tti i.-t Geiieral Custor was left witta only 1,000 raen, ncarly tweniy miles fruin uny iiii'antry support, and in extreme dauger "t being out oQ by a vastly superior l'urce of the enetny. Und. rstanding th peril of this isolated conditioo, General Ouster, was prepared i'or any eergency whieh might arise. Sjiould lie be intercepted and find himself unable to retire by the road he went out, he was piepared to strike to the northward into the Luray Valloy, roturniog tbrough one of the gapa of tho Blue Ridge, ïhe ekilll'ul manner in wliich he subsequently completely outgeneraled the enemy, rendurctl this route annecessary. Eurly in the morning the oolanin began its march toward Madison Oourt House, btiing but sligbtly barrassed by the enoiny, who seerned to bu uianoeuvering nut for tlie specific purpose oí fightiug, but with the rnteiitioo of' surjouiKiing and capturing Gèo. Custer's whole party. A short distanoe bt-low Buoks' Mills, tho point at which Gen. Guster iotended to recrofs tbe IVpidun, is Burton's Ford, (rom' which is a road running rwrthwest, atrd atriking tho Stï.uardsville road two miles trom the river, At the junction oí these roade, on uïi etniuence, :i largo furce of rebel cavaliy was discovered potited. They were imiuediatoly charaed and driven back in coDfusiun, on Ihe Burton'sFord Road, wbile our aiülieiy, whioh was eoon placed in position on tho hill tormerly oocupied by tbotn, poured in a well directed firo upon thum, the tirt íhell killing thiee of tlio etieiny. In the fii'8t charge thirty rebel prisonerg were taken who stüted that the wholu ol Wiokhfitn's brigade, couiuian dtíd by Stuurt in persou, was in our f ont, the innjor portion being at liankB1 Mills Ford, awaiting Custer's approach. Without a moment1 hesitation, General Custar oouceived and ex eculfd a plan for bis extricution trom his periloud situation. Ordering Hiiother cbarge upon tho enemy on tho Bur ton Ford road, and landing it in person, as no is wout to do, he agaiu drovo back the rebels etill further toward the ford, until tlieir allieu at Banks' Mills, eomprehending the danger of their friendi' positioD, und üeliuving Custur dotermined to cíoss at Burtoo'e Fórd, carne do un the [ver to their suppurt. - It was tben thal Custer's táctica becianiü apparent to the sstonished enemy. Faeing his battle lines by tbe flank, bis vvhole forcé was alinust DBtantly uiovin down the road with the speed ot the wind toward the Stannardsvjlle road wliioh, striking, he wheeled to the left, and rea;hng Banlss' Mills Ford, reciossed the rivtr, thus complétely eludiog the raass of the enemy, wlio seemed eoiifident of ll gobbling " his whole command. The tactioal ability displayed by Gen. Cu?ter, is opoken ol in the most coinpüinentary terrns.


Old News
Michigan Argus