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[322] the road along which they traveled, strewn with the wrecks of abandoned wagons and other evidences of a hasty flight.

Thus was the Valley a second time recovered and abundant supplies secured to the army. For a fortnight or thereabouts it remained at rest near Martinsburg, picketing with cavalry well up to Harper's Ferry; the only active operations being McCausland's raid into Pennsylvania, in which he burned Chambersburg in retaliation for the barbarities of Hunter at Lexington and along his whole line of march in the Valley.

In the meantime the Federal forces were preparing for an advance. General Sheridan had been detached from the army operating against Richmond, and had arrived at Harper's Ferry, with heavy reinforcements, both of infantry and cavalry. Early's force had previously been outnumbered nearly two to one, and now that Wright's (Sixth) corps was added to the enemy in front, it seemed impossible longer to remain in the Valley. With the advance of Sheridan, General Early fell back and again took position on Fisher's Hill. He was followed immediately by Sheridan, who then began to carry out his instructions towards leaving the Valley in a condition so barren that a crow flying over it would have to carry his rations. It was on this retreat that General Breckinridge and General Early were riding along together very moodily at the prospect, both of the Valley campaign and the general cause of Southern independence, when General Early spoke up quizzically and said: “Well, Breckinridge, what do you think of our rights in the territories now?” The inquiry was so humorous and in a vein so much in contrast with the gloomy feelings of the company, that General Breckinridge and all present were thrown into good spirits at once. Early was an old Whig, and up to the breaking out of the war a violent Union man, always the antipodes of Breckinridge in politics.

The army had not been but a day or two at Fisher's Hill before it was confronted by Sheridan's whole force, and the indications were that there would be an early engagement. But, unexpectedly, General Anderson, who had succeeded to the command of Longstreet's corps after the wounding of the latter in the Wilderness, had been sent by General Lee with one division of infantry to reinforce General Early, and arrived in the Luray Valley, six or eight miles east of us, before we were aware of his coming. His approach was known to Sheridan before it was to us, and an enterprising officer would have profited by the knowledge in falling at

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Sheridan (5)
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