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[501] in position for a surprise, when the artillery, without orders from Early, opened prematurely upon the enemy's camp. Thus warned, they fled precipitately, pursued by the cavalry, with which their rear skirmished, toward Mt. Meridian. A portion of the enemy fled across North river toward Cross Keys, followed by Pegram, who crossed that river and joined with Gordon and Ramseur in the pursuit, damaging the enemy considerably with artillery from the hill above Port Republic, as they fled across North river. Returning, the army took Jackson's old camp between the rivers, except Kershaw, who remained in Brown's gap.

On the morning of the 28th, after some delay from a misunderstanding of orders, Early marched for Waynesboro, the enemy having gone thither by way of Staunton. The trains crossed South river at Patterson's ford and went up the east side of that stream, with Ramseur in front, followed by Gordon. Pegram marched on the right flank by the Waynesboro road, from Mt. Meridian, turning by the Dogtown road, five miles from Waynesboro. Early, with Kershaw's division, followed by Gordon, marched by the way of New Hope and Hermitage, striking the outpost of the Federal cavalry at the latter place and driving it in toward Dogtown. Pegram also encountered the enemy, about four miles from Dogtown, and drove them to that place, then formed a line, after dark, and pursued them to the Waynesboro and Staunton road and toward Fishersville, the Confederate cavalry having previously gone, by a byroad, to near the tunnel of the Virginia Central railroad through the Blue ridge, which the Federal cavalry was seeking to destroy, and driven it back across South river and through Waynesboro to where Pegram struck its camp. The army encamped, after dark, in the vicinity of Waynesboro, where it remained on the 29th and 30th, while the engineer troops and pioneers were rebuilding the Central railroad bridges across South river and Christian's creek, which the enemy had destroyed. The Federal cavalry, which had been routed near Waynesboro, retreated through Staunton, Spring Hill and Mossy creek near Mt. Crawford, wantonly burning barns, mills, factories, grain and hay ricks, and driving all the live stock they could find before them, as they went, in obedience to Sheridan's orders to destroy the Valley ‘so that even a crow traversing ’

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John Pegram (4)
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