laid down its arms and left its memory, without a stain, embalmed in the undying history of Virginia
and of the Confederacy
remained at New Market
until December 16th, when Wharton
's division fell back to near Mt. Crawford
's cavalry toward Swoope's, near Buffalo gap
, west of Staunton
, and Lomax
's cavalry to Swift Run gap.
's division, a mere regiment in numbers, the only infantry now left with Early
, went into winter quarters near Fishersville, between Staunton
, on the 19th; on which day two divisions of Federal cavalry crossed the Blue ridge
, at Chester gap
, near Front Royal
, and made demonstrations toward Gordonsville
The same day the signal stations reported an advance of the enemy up the valley to Woodstock On the 20th, Early
again started down the valley, with Rosser
in advance, followed by Wharton
, the former marching to Harrisonburg
, and the latter to Naked creek
beyond Mt. Sidney
The Federal cavalry came to Lacey's Springs.
On the 21st, through a blinding snowstorm, Early
moved forward to attack the enemy.
, marching at dawn, fell on Custer
's division, consisting of Pennington
's and Chapman
's brigades, at Lacey
's, or Big Spring
, on the Valley turnpike
, having, in crossing over from the middle road, struck the Federals
in flank, with Payne
's brigade in front, followed by Morgan
's, just as they were saddling their horses to advance on Wharton
routed their First and Second brigades, capturing 35 prisoners and their wagons and ambulances; but they rallied on their Third brigade, compelled him to fall back, and recaptured their wagons, when they at once retreated down the valley.
was unable to get his whole command together for this attack, and so had joined issue at a disadvantage.
was halted at the Big Spring
, some two miles southwest of Harrisonburg
On the 22d, Wharton
marched back to near Staunton
, as did also Payne
's and Wickham
On the 23d, two brigades of Wharton
's division took cars at Staunton
, to assist in repulsing the movement of cavalry that had crossed the Blue ridge
at Chester gap
, on the 19th. One of Wharton
's brigades went into its former camp at Fishersville.
On the 24th, the brigades of Jackson