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[727] fashion. Gregg's cavalry was first assailed by this force, and pushed back to Hatcher's run; Ayres's division, which was hurrying up to the support of Crawford, was next stricken in flank while marching, and pushed back; when the blow fell on Crawford, who was likewise driven, with heavy loss. Following up their success quite too eagerly, the Confederates now attacked Humphreys's (2d) corps, which had had time to intrench, and which promptly sent them to the right about. The loss in this affair on our side was nearly 2,000; that of the Rebels was about 1,000. The ground taken by the 2d corps was held, and our left thus permanently extended to Hatcher's run.

The Rebels in Northern Virginia evinced the greater activity during the Winter. Aside from sundry inconsiderable but annoying dashes through our lines at several points, by the alert, ubiquitous guerrilla, Moseby, Gen. Rosser, with a mounted force, slipped across the main range of the Alleghanies into West Virginia; surprising Beverly, Randolph county; which was held by a garrison of 700, who were caught1 sound asleep, with pickets only 300 yards from their camp; 400 of them made prisoners, the residue dispersed, and much spoil secured in the shape of horses, commissary's and quarter-master's stores. All that could be carried off in their haste was taken; the residue destroyed.

Lt. McNiel, with a squad of Rebel cavalry, dashed into Cumberland, Md., about 3 A. M.;2 seizing Maj.-Gens. Kelley and Crook in their beds, mounting them on horses, and hurrying them off to Richmond. The loss was small; but the impunity with which it was inflicted argued extreme looseness and inefficiency in the picketing and guarding of our lines. Of course, such an enterprise was not attempted without preconcert with traitors on our side.

Gen. Sheridan, still in command in the Valley, was instructed by Gen. Grant to open the campaign of 1865 in Virginia by a magnificent and daring cavalry raid aimed at Lynch-burg and the Rebel communications generally, but with liberty to Sheridan to move southward until he reenforced Sherman — still deficient in cavalry — if that should seem advisable. Sheridan left3 Winchester with 10,000 men — all mounted — and moved so rapidly as to save the bridge at Mount Crawford across the middle fork of the Shenandoah; passing through Staunton,4 and hurling himself on Early, who had made a stand in his intrenchments at Waynesboroa, at the head of some 2,500 men; who were almost instantly routed, with a loss of 1,600 prisoners, 11 guns, 17 flags, and 200 loaded wagons. In fact, there was little left of Early's force but Early himself. The prisoners were sent to Winchester, guarded by 1,500 men; while Sheridan, destroying the railroads, proceeded to Charlottesville;5 which succumbed without a blow: and here he spent two days destroying Rebel depots, manufactories, bridges, &c. By this time, Lynch-burg had taken the alarm, and was too strong for his depleted force: so, dividing it, he struck for the James: one of his two columns destroying the canal from Scottsville to New-market,

1 Jan. 11.

2 Feb. 21.

3 Feb. 27.

4 March 2.

5 March 3.

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