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as then approaching the Chickahominy.
The expeditionary force in the Shenandoah Valley and West Virginia was divided into two columns—one under Crook, consisting of a force of infantry and a division of cavalry under General Averill, to move by the Kanawha to operate against the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad; the other, under Sigel, to advance as far as possible up the Virginia Valley.
Both movements began the 1st of May.
Sigel moved up the Shenandoah Valley, met the enemy at Newmarket on the 15th, and, after a severe engagement, was defeated, with considerable loss, and retired behind Cedar Creek.
Sigel was then superseded by General Hunter, who immediately took up the offensive under instructions from General Grant to move on Staunton and destroy the railroad thence towards Charlotteville.
If he could reach the latter place, and thence move on Lynchburg, he was to do so. Hunter encountered the Confederates the 5th of June, at Piedmont, and, after an action of severa