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[429] near Fairfield, Pennsylvania, and on the Cavetown road from Hagerstown — the Sixth and Seventh Virginia cavalry being particularly distinguished. Accounts of these will be found in the reports of Brigadier-General Jones and Colonel Baker.

It soon became apparent that the enemy was moving upon our right flank, availing himself of the swollen condition of the Shenandoah to interpose his army, by a march along the east side of the Blue Ridge, between our present position and Richmond.

Longstreet's corps having already moved to counteract this effort, enough cavalry was sent, under Brigadier-General Robertson, for his advance guard through Front Royall and Chester gap, while Baker's brigade was ordered to bring up the rear of Ewell's corps — which was in rear — and Jones' brigade was ordered to picket the lower Shenandoah as long as necessary for the safety of that flank, and then follow the movement of the army. Fitz. Lee's, W. H. F. Lee's, and Jenkins' brigades, by a forced march from the vicinity of Leetown through Millwood, endeavored to reach Manassas gap, so as to hold it on the flank of the army; but it was already in possession of the enemy, and the Shenandoah, still high, in order to be crossed without interfering with the march of the main army, had to be forded below Front Royal. The cavalry already mentioned, early on the 23d, by a by-path reached Chester gap, passing on the army's left, and, with great difficulty and a forced march, that night bivouacked below Gaines' cross-roads, holding the Rockford road and Warrenton turnpike, on which near Amissville the enemy had accumulated a large force of cavalry. On the 24th while moving forward to find the locality of the enemy, firing was heard towards Newling's cross-roads, which was afterwards ascertained to be a portion of the enemy's artillery firing on Hill's column marching on the Richmond road. Before the cavalry could reach the scene of action, the enemy had been driven off by the infantry, and on the 25th the march was continued and the line of the Rappahannock resumed.

In taking a retrospect of this campaign, it is necessary, in order to appreciate the value of the services of the cavalry, to correctly estimate the amount of labor to be performed, the difficulties to be encountered, and the very extended sphere of operations, mainly in the enemy's country.

In the exercise of the discretion vested in me by the Commanding-General, it was deemed practicable to move in the enemy's rear, intercepting his communications with his base — Washington — and

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