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[87] the capture of his command that had been planned. General Imboden, at Bridgewater, hearing of Averell's advance, moved toward Huntersville, when he was informed of the battle and retired to Covington, where he checked a detachment which Averell sent out against the furnaces in Rockbridge county. Averell then returned to his post on New creek, the great object of his raid, the destruction of a part of the Virginia & Tennessee railroad, having been defeated by the gallant stand made by Echols, Jackson and Patton at Droop mountain. The battle, though a technical defeat, was a tactical victory.

On November 17th a Federal cavalry expedition left Charlestown with 700 men under Col. W. H. Boyd, encountered Confederate skirmishers at Edenburg, who contested their advance, and at Mount Jackson, in the Shenandoah valley, had a sharp fight with Maj. Robert White commanding his battalion, a portion of Gilmor's battalion, Captain Davis' company, and a section of McClanahan's battery. Major White then took position on Rude's hill and the enemy was handsomely repulsed, after which Davis pursued the Federals and compelled them to break camp near Woodstock. On the same day, the 16th, Captain McNeill, with his own indomitable company and a detachment from the Sixty-second regiment, in all 100 men, attacked a train of eighty wagons near Burlington, en route to Averell, whipped the escort of 100 infantry, and brought away 25 prisoners and 245 horses, though hotly pursued by 600 cavalry. This caused a Federal court-martial.

Early in December another movement against the Virginia & Tennessee railroad was ordered by Halleck, the Federal commander-in-chief, Sullivan (9,500 strong) to advance up the Shenandoah valley to threaten Staunton; Averell's brigade (5,000) to move by Monterey, to destroy the railroad in Botetourt or Roanoke county; while Scammon's division was to make a feint toward

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