March 18 — Everything was quiet in front until the middle of the afternoon. Then a report reached camp that the Yanks were advancing. We were ordered to pack up as quickly as possible and get ready for action. The enemy advanced rapidly, and we were ordered to Cedar Creek to oppose their onward march. We put our guns in position about half a mile from the creek on the west side of the pike, on a hill which commanded the bridge and its approaches.
The enemy advanced with artillery, cavalry, and infantry. When they came within a mile of our position we opened fire on them with our rifled guns. Their artillery wheeled four guns into battery immediately after we opened and returned our fire. Both sides thundered with a lively exchange for about twenty-five minutes. Then the battery ceased, either to change position or seek a more sheltered one, as the one they occupied was on the exposed face of the hill, and we had the range of their position, and perhaps we hurt somebody on their side of the creek.
When they ceased firing we held our position a few moments, when, in consequence of approaching night, we fell back to Strasburg, which is four miles from Cedar Creek and eighteen from Winchester. We quartered in a house on Main Street till midnight, when a report from the front reached us that the Yanks were advancing. We rolled up our blankets and had everything ready to march at the word “Forward.” We left the house and moved about two hundred yards south of town, and lay there on the roadside until day.
Our men burnt the Cedar Creek bridge to-day before we turned the creek over to the Yanks. The bridge was burning when we were firing on their battery.