chiefly mounted, and that generally on farm work-horses.
My policy was to avoid a collision with any larger body of Hunter
's troops than his advance guard, and to inform the people that we were falling back slowly in expectation of large reinforcements then on their way to my support.
I knew that any such statement would be repeated to the enemy, and cause him to advance with great caution.
On the afternoon of the 2d we had our first skirmish near Lacy Springs, a few miles north of Harrisonburg
The next day, I was pressed so hard that I had to fall back to the south bank of the North
river, at Mount Crawford
, seventeen miles from Staunton
, losing a few men killed and wounded during the afternoon.
camped at Harrisonburg
I made a rather ostentatious display of a purpose to dispute seriously the passage of the river next day, by throwing up some works on the hill tops overlooking the bridge and felling trees in the fords for several miles above and below.
During the night about two thousand men, sent forward by General Jones
, joined me. To my dismay I found they were not generally organized in bodies larger than battalions, and in companies and fragments of companies hastily collected from Southwestern Virginia
, between Lynchburg
, and in large part indifferently armed.
Indeed, many of the men were convalescents taken from the hospitals, and furloughed dismounted cavalrymen who had gone home for a remount, and were taken possession of by General Jones
wherever he could find them, and hurried by rail through Lynchburg
to the front.
I spent the entire night of the 3d in obtaining a list of all these small bodies of men, out of which by daybreak on the 4th I had composed, on.paper, two brigades and assigned officers to their command.
arrived at my headquarters a little after sunrise, and on reviewing my operations on paper, he adopted them, and at an early hour in the morning the various detachments were aggregated in their respective temporary brigades.
During the day General Vaughan
, of Tennessee
, with from six hundred to eight hundred of his greatly reduced brigade, also joined us. We now had a force of something over four thousand men, including one regular and excellent six-gun battery, and one extemporized artillery company of “reserves,” from Staunton
, with five guns.
, with eleven thousand superbly-appointed troops of all arms, was only eight miles distant in our front, and Crook
, with seven thousand more, only two days march in our rear; the two bodies rapidly approaching each other, and we between them in the condition I have just described, and with no hope of further assistance.
Obviously our policy was