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[88] commander of the department, took General Loring by surprise. Having been his superior in rank in the old army, he could not suppress a feeling of jealousy General Lee was accompanied by his aides-de-camp, Colonel John A. Washington and Captain Walter H. Taylor. After remaining several days at Huntersville without gaining any positive information from General Loring in regard to the time of his probable advance, he proceeded to join Colonel Gilliam at Valley Mountain. He took with him Major Lee's cavalry, not as an escort, but for the purpose of scouting and reconnoitering. It had now been eight or ten days since Colonel Gilliam first arrived at Valley Mountain Pass. At that time he learned from the inhabitants and his scouts that the road to Beverly was unoccupied. But within the last day or two, a force of the Federals had advanced within less than a mile of his front, and then retired. General Lee at once busied himself about gaining information respecting the position of the enemy. He soon learned that the Federals had taken possession of a strong Pass, ten miles in front of Valley Mountain, and were actively engaged in fortifying it. When General Loring arrived, about the 12th of August, the Federals had been reinforced, and this position had been so greatly strengthened that General Lee deemed it unadvisable to attempt a direct attack, so the only course now to be pursued was to gain the Federal flank or rear, and strike them when they least expected an attack.

General Lee had been distinguished in the Mexican war as a reconnoitering officer, and General Scott had been mainly indebted to his bold reconnoissance for the brilliant success of his Mexican campaigns. Rank and age had not impaired the qualities that had formerly rendered him so distinguished. He brought them with him to the mountains of Virginia. There was not a day when it was possible for him to be out, that the General, with either Colonel Washington or Captain Taylor, might not be seen crossing the mountains, climbing over rocks and crags, to get a view of the Federal position. Ever mindful of the safety of his men, he would never spare himself toil or fatigue when seeking the means to prevent unnecessary loss of life. By way of illustrating his boldness as a reconnoitering officer, I will relate an anecdote told me by Captain Preston, Adjutant of the Forty-eighth Virginia Regiment (Colonel Campbell's). The regiment being on picket, seeing three men on an elevated point about half a mile in advance of the line of pickets, and believing them to be Yankees, he asked his colonel to let him capture them. Permission being obtained, and selecting two men from a number of volunteers who had offered to accompany him, he

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