releasing prisoners, and burned the railroad bridge.
Such exploits retained in this region large bodies of Federal troops sorely needed by Grant
in the Wilderness
Early in May important operations began, which involved the West Virginia
soldiers, but which were conducted mainly in the Shenandoah valley and southwest Virginia
. Gen. U. S. Grant
, ordering a forward movement in all parts of the South
simultaneous with his crossing of the Rapidan
, directed Sigel
to move two divisions of his army down the Shenandoah valley to Cedar creek
, while Averell
should make a dash into southwest Virginia
, destroy New river
bridge, work eastward to Lynchburg
if possible, and in that case return to Staunton
, where Sigel
would meet him with supplies.
The forces under Breckinridge
by two brilliant battles, one won and the other lost, defeated the full carrying out of this plan.
set out with his division in the last of April, marching 6,155 men by way of Fayetteville
, while Colonel Tomlinson
's regiment, with Blazer
's scouts, was sent by Lewisburg
At the same time Averell
with 2,000 men was sent by way of Logan Court House to Saltville, Va.
, thence to strike Dublin Depot.
On May 6th, Princeton
was occupied with skirmishing.
On the 7th, having entered Giles county
, a Confederate force was found posted at the gap of Walker mountain
but forced to withdraw.
On the following day in a skirmish on Back creek
, Captain Harman
, the famous partisan, was killed.
, who had only 200 men with him, took a position on Cloyd
's farm, at the base of Cloyd
's mountain, commanding the road to Dublin
, and about 5 miles from that place, where he was joined by McCausland
's brigade, fortunately just arrived at Dublin
en route to Staunton
, and by Browne
's Forty-fifth regiment from Saltville
's battery and the Botetourt artillery.
The battle began early on the 9th with a Federal attack on the right.
while a fierce artillery duel was opened at