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[155] induced Gen. R. E. Lee, the Confederate general-in-chief, to take the field in person and give general oversight to military affairs on the Kanawha and Beverly lines, by each of which Federal armies were overrunning a large and important portion of Virginia and persistently pressing toward Staunton and the center of the State. He first gave attention to the Beverly line. Reaching Staunton the last of July, accompanied by his aides, Col. John Augustine Washington and Capt. Walter H. Taylor, he promptly rode forward, 47 miles, to Monterey, where he spent a day conferring with Gen. H. R. Jackson and inspecting the troops there encamped, and then rode on to Huntersville, which he reached the 1st of August. At that point he remained for several days, conferring with General Loring, and, in his polite, suggestive way, urging him to advance on the enemy by way of Valley mountain. Not succeeding in this, or in gaining the information he desired in reference to the enemy in Tygart's valley, he again rode forward, 28 miles, to Valley mountain, at the head of Tygart's valley, which had been occupied by Colonel Gilham's command for over a week, and there established his headquarters on the 8th of August. Maj. W. H. F. Lee accompanied him with his battalion of cavalry, which was at once put on outpost duty. Without delay, General Lee hastened to inform himself, by personal reconnoissances and through scouts, concerning the condition of affairs in the Federal army in his front and the topographic conditions of the immediate field of action; at the same time taking general oversight of operations on the Kanawha line by constant correspondence with Generals Wise and Floyd, who were there in command.

General Loring joined General Lee at Valley mountain about the 12th of August, and as he was in immediate command of the troops on the Monterey line and on the Huntersville line, which formed his division, he also proceeded to inform himself concerning the field of operations, and addressed himself to the task of preparing to dislodge Reynolds, the capable Federal commander, from his strongholds at Elkwater and on Cheat mountain, by bringing his men to the front and gathering supplies for an advance. His hesitating disposition led to delays, for one purpose and another, but he was completely baffled by the prevailing conditions of the weather. The Cheat

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