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[273] cavalry, which had been sent forward to meet Hunter at Charlottesville and coperate with him in the attempt on Lynchburg. A few days later, General Early, with the Second corps, was detached and ordered in the same direction to ensure the defeat of Hunter. Hampton performed his work admirably, barred Sheridan's progress at Louisa Courthouse, and forced him to return, baffled, from a fruitless expedition. Breckinridge transferred his troops to Lynchburg to hold it as long as he might against Hunter. It was the 13th June that Early left General Lee's lines at Richmond, and on this day Hunter threw forward his advance from Lexington to Buchanan. Early made a rapid march, reaching Charlottesville, 80 miles distant, in four days. During the night of the 16th June, and the day of the 17th, he hurried his troops, by railroad, to Lynchburg. On the evening of the, 17th the advance of his infantry was thrown into the works on the Bedford road to support the troops who were delaying Hunter's advance. By the next day (18th) most of Early's infantry were at Lynchburg, and when Hunter attacked he was repulsed. The Federal army, of 18,000 men, was much superior to Early in numbers, but Hunter was far from his base and (he says) his supply of ammunition was limited, This, with the repulse on the 18th, caused him to retreat during the night. Early followed next day, overhauling the rear-guard under Averell and driving it through Liberty in the afternoon. Hunter reached Salem on the 21st, and here adopted a line of retreat as injudicious as had been his line of advance on Lynchburg. Though at the head of superior numbers, he declined to return down the Valley from fear of flank attacks, and decided to retreat through the mountains into West Virginia, by the shortest route. This retreat was really a flight, McCausland dashed in and captured eight of his guns. The Federal army hurried on almost in panic.

Mr. Pond says: ‘The retreat was continued through New Castle with the same headlong speed, not through fear of the enemy, but through necessity of reaching supplies. During the week that elapsed before these were obtained, the troops had no hard bread, and only one issue of six ounces of flour per man. But there was beef on the hoof, the cattle being driven by day and eaten the same night. Many horses and mules died for want of fodder and rest, and not a few wagons were burned for lack of animals to draw them.’ Hunter reached Gauley Bridge, June 27, with his army in a state of demoralization and exhaustion.

Early reached Salem on the 22d. He had moved 209 miles in

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