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[536] create the impression that his force was much larger than it really was, and he instructed him to put on a bold front and do the best he could in holding Sheridan at bay.

In consequence of a great drought, during the summer of 1864, the corn crop in the Valley was a short one, and Sheridan had destroyed much of the crops of small grain and hay. This scarcity of subsistence compelled Early to send Fitz Lee's two brigades of cavalry and part of his artillery to General Lee at Petersburg, and King's battalion of artillery to southwest Virginia. Subsequent withdrawals left Early's army consisting of two small brigades, less than a full regiment in numbers, of Wharton's infantry division, Nelson's battalion of artillery, and the cavalry of Lomax and Rosser.

Early established his headquarters in Staunton, placed his artillery in a camp near Waynesboro, cantoned Wharton's infantry near Fishersville, and widely and far to the front distributed his cavalry—practically almost disbanded it—on outpost duty, in Piedmont, in the Valley and in Appalachia, in camps where forage could be obtained for their horses. Wickham's brigade of cavalry at Barboursville, held the line of Robertson river from its head near Milam's gap, and down the Rapidan to the vicinity of Raccoon ford. Rosser's brigade, with headquarters at Swoope's, eight miles west of Staunton, had its advanced pickets at Milford, in the Page valley of the Shenandoah, on the line of Stony creek near Edenburg, in the main Shenandoah valley, at Harper's Ferry, on Lost river, and on the South Fork of the Potomac, some miles south of Moorefield, while on the west it occupied McDowell. Imboden's brigade, with headquarters at the Upper Tract in Pendleton county, some ten miles north of Franklin, picketed the South Branch of the Potomac, well toward Moorefield, and the North Fork of the Potomac, on the road leading northwest from Franklin. William L. Jackson's brigade, with headquarters at the Warm Springs, picketed the line of Jackson's river, at Hightown and points to the south of that, Cheat mountain, on the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike, near the Big Spring beyond Marlinton, and points in the upper Greenbrier valley. McCausland's brigade, with headquarters at Callahan's, west of Covington, had a camp of observation near the White Sulphur Springs and picketed at Lewisburg. Lomax had his headquarters at Millboro,

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