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[479]

Hunter's army now disposed of and sent in disastrous defeat through the mountains to the Kanawha, and the Valley of Virginia now cleared of the enemy, Early started on June 23d, by easy marches, for Staunton, whither he had been ordered by Lee, there to await further instructions. He encamped the night of the 23d at Buchanan, and that of the 24th at Buffalo creek. On the 25th, reaching Lexington, he divided his command; one portion followed the Middlebrook road and encamped at Brownsburg, and the other the Greenville road and encamped at Midway, both of these roads leading to Staunton. A portion of the army marched to Middlebrook on the 25th. Ransom's cavalry had proceeded from Fincastle across to Clifton Forge, to intercept a possible turning of Hunter to the eastward, and thence, by way of Lucy Salina furnace, across the North mountain, and encamped at Collierstown on the 24th, then had marched to Middlebrook for the night of the 25th, thus covering widely the flank and front of the infantry movement against any possible attack by a force of the enemy coming in by any of the great highways leading from the west to Early's line of march. On the 26th, the cavalry continued along the highway on the western side of the Shenandoah valley and encamped near Buffalo gap and Churchville, covering the two great highways leading from Staunton toward the west and northwest. The same day the infantry reached Staunton, where it rested and refitted during the 27th.

Having received instructions from General Lee to march down the Shenandoah valley and make demonstrations toward Washington, General Early lost no time in obeying his orders, and on the 28th, took up his line of march down the Valley turnpike, with most of his command, and encamping that night near North river, while the remainder of his infantry, taking the Keezletown road at Mt. Sidney, encamped on the south bank of the same North river at Rockland mills. The cavalry followed the back road parallel to and on the left of the infantry advance. On the 29th, a long march was made, through Harrisonburg and Keezletown, to Sparta, where the command was reunited and encamped.

The troops, animated by the familiar scenes of the Shenandoah valley and inspired by these with the remembrance of their famous exploits under Stonewall

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