Between 7.30–9.30 am on 19 October, Confederate divisions advanced northwards, through fog, pushing seven Union divisions to northwest Middletown (near Cedar Creek). Meanwhile, Confederate soldiers formed an attack force to the east, with Generals Getty and Wheaton’s Union divisions facing Generals Pegram and Ramseur. Confederate Generals Kershaw and Evans took on Colonel Keifer, but fell back when charged by cavalry. The theatre of fighting shifted to the northwest Middletown ridge, and was targeted at Getty, supported by Union General Wheaton’s smaller unit. Confederate Generals Pegram and Ramseur failed to take Getty, despite several attacks; occupying high ground gave Getty the advantage. Getty, meanwhile, took command of the Sixth Corps after its commander, General Ricketts, was wounded. Confederate Lieutenant General Early, in overall charge, ordered a third assault on Getty and Wheaton’s divisions: this time using his reservists, under General Wharton. Wharton’s men were decimated but, as the fog cleared, Union forces retreated, concerned that Generals Kershaw and Evans’ divisions were at their flank.
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