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[148] the afternoon General Wright sent out General Wheaton with Bidwell's brigade of Getty's division, and Early's pickets and skirmishers were driven back a mile.

This small engagement had many distinguished spectators. Pond in “The Shenandoah Valley” thus describes the scene: “On the parapet of Fort Stevens stood the tall form of Abraham Lincoln by the side of General Wright, who in vain warned the eager President that his position was swept by the bullets of sharpshooters, until an officer was shot down within three feet of him, when he reluctantly stepped below. Sheltered from the line of fire, Cabinet officers and a group of citizens and ladies, breathless with excitement, watched the fortunes of the fight.”

Under cover of night the Confederates began to retrace their steps and made their way to the Shenandoah, with General Wright in pursuit. As the Confederate army was crossing that stream, at Snicker's Ferry, on the 18th, the pursuing Federals came upon them. Early turned, repulsed them, and continued on his way to Winchester, where General Averell, from Hunter's forces, now at Harper's Ferry, attacked them with his cavalry and took several hundred prisoners, two days later. The Union troops under Wright returned to the defenses of Washington.

The Confederate army now became a shuttlecock in the game of war, marching and countermarching up and down, in and across, the valley of the Shenandoah, in military maneuvers, with scarcely a day of rest. This fruitful valley was to be the granary for its supplies. From it, as a base of operations, Early would make his frequent forays — a constant menace to the peace of the authorities at Washington.

General Crook was sent up the Valley after him, but at Kernstown, near Winchester, on July 24th, he met a disastrous defeat and made his way to the north side of the Potomac. Early, now in undisputed possession of the Valley, followed him to Martinsburg and sent his cavalry across the

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