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Fitzhugh Lee, General Lee, Chapter 6: the campaign in West Virginia. (search)
e down the Tygart's River valley upon the forces of the enemy stationed there. The attack on these troops, however, was to depend on the successful assault of the fortified position on Cheat Mountain. It was an admirably conceived plan. The key point was first to be carried; the report of the guns of the troops engaged there was the signal for an assault in front, while a force was thrown in the rear of both positions to cut off retreat. General Loring issued his order of attack on September 8, 1861. General Lee issued an order approving it on the same date, telling his troops that the safety of their lives and the lives of all they held dear depended upon their courage and exertions. Let each man, said he, resolve to be victorious, and that the right of self-government, liberty, and peace shall in him find a defender. The movement was to begin at night, which happened to be a very rainy one. All the troops, however, got in the positions assigned to them without the knowledge o