So vigorously indeed was the invader followed and pressed, that of the 2,000 horses that he was reported to have hurried into Virginia
among other trophies of his raid, very many were found hidden here and there in the mountains, doubtless to be recovered after the expected departure of the Federals
We saw many a fine steed which had been intended to replenish the stock of the Confederate
On the 18th, Gen. Wright
instructed Gen. Crook
to move through Snicker's Gap, where his advance was, and the Sixth Corps was in motion for the same mountain pass.
On this afternoon, from the summit of the ridge, the enemy could be seen on the high ground beyond the river.
How strong in position there, and what part of his force remained, was yet uncertain.
's division to a ford below Snicker's, and one of the brigades of this division did charge across Island Ford
, capturing some skirmishers.
From this party it was learned that Early
's whole force was within a couple of miles.
Sending back this intelligence to Gen. Crook
, Gen. Thoburn
was directed to form a line with his brigades and await the arrival of a division of the Sixth Corps Infantry.
Before its arrival, however, the cavalry was attacked by Breckenridge
, and forced back upon the east side of the river with a loss of over 400.
When the Third Division of the Sixth came up, the division commander did not think it prudent, under the circumstances, to cross his men, and the remaining troops fell back in good order.
It was as dark as Egypt
as we threaded our way through the trees and among the stumps and rocks to a bivouac ground on the crest, having climbed the east slope about sundown and passed through the gorge.
We left the rough, winding road by the north side, and traversed the side of the mountain for a mile or more before we halted for the night.
The moon at length rose soft and clear above the summit of the Blue Ridge
, its light disclosing a high, rugged wilderness overlooking the valley of the Shenandoah
Here we remained during the day and night of the 19th.
During the day, as we have previously remarked, many horses which had been stampeded across from Maryland
, having been sought out in the mountains where they had been hidden, were appropriated by our troops.
That night the Confederates