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[477] of June. Just preceding this date, two Federal armies—one under Hunter, coming up the Shenandoah valley, and another, under Crook, coming from the Kanawha from the west by way of the White Sulphur Springs—had made a junction at Staunton and moved up the valley to Lexington. Hunter had, on the 5th of June, encountered and defeated a small Confederate force, under Jones and Imboden, at Piedmont, a hamlet some fourteen miles northeast of Staunton, on the road leading to Port Republic. The force that was there defeated fell back to and held Rockfish gap, of the Blue ridge, where the Virginia Central railroad runs through a tunnel, and thus diverted Hunter's army from going in that direction toward Richmond to join Grant, and decided him to follow up the Valley to Lexington, where he had skirmishes with the cadets of the Virginia military institute and with a small force of Confederates that had fallen back as he advanced. Thence, after burning the Virginia military institute and committing other deeds of barbaric vandalism, he moved on to Buchanan, where he had another skirmish, June 14th, after which he turned across the Blue ridge toward Lynchburg, in front of which he appeared on the 17th of June; thus menacing not only Lee's communications with one of his principal bases of supplies, but also the rear of his army.

On the 13th of June, Lieut.-Gen. Jubal A. Early, who had been promoted and put in command of the Second corps, was detached from the army of Northern Virginia, and marched, at 3 a. m., by way of the Mountain road, to Auburn mills, on the South Anna, where he encamped that night. On the 14th, he marched to Gardiner's cross roads; on the 15th to the vicinity of Trevilian's, and on the 16th to the vicinity of Charlottesville. Thence, on the 17th, a portion of his command was taken by the trains of the Orange & Alexandria railroad to Lynchburg, and a portion of it marched to North Garden depot, whence, later, it was carried to Lynchburg by rail. Arriving at Lynchburg with Ramseur's and Gordon's divisions at 1 p. m., of the 17th, Early at once marched out on the Salem road, and taking command, put his men in position with those of General Breckinridge's command, consisting of Wharton's division of infantry, King's artillery, and Jackson's, Imboden's, McCausland's and Jones' brigades of cavalry, which he found holding

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