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[456] Payne was the Colonel of the Fourth Virginia cavalry of my brigade, detailed to command Lomax's old brigade. Later Payne was commissioned Brigadier-General, and for gallant services which had been well won, given that brigade.) I movd back with my brigade to join Wickham, whom I met at the gap at the top of the mountain. It was then too late to get to Early, as his infantry had passed New Market. We could see that he was retiring in line of battle, and Sheridan following him in line. Wickham was much excited, and wanted to know ‘why I had not promptly obeyed his orders.’ He had been momentarily expecting me to join him, and as the enemy were getting too close to New Market for us to gain that place, he was uneasy lest we be caught up on the mountain. Explaining what had occurred, he promptly accepted it as the best that could have been done under the circumstance, especially as the enemy had retired.

We countermarched, and moved back down the mountain and turned up towards Luray, having gone a mile or more, when couriers came dashing up, saying the enemy had returned in force and had run over Payne's little command, and that he was being pressed. Fortunately for Payne, he was able to get back beyond the road that passed through the Massanutten Gap, which the enemy was now making for. Their main body pushed over that route, and only a part of it followed us. We halted and had some skirmishing, but no serious engagement. We had been continuously engaged since the battle of Winchester, our wagons had gone up the main Staunton pike with General Early's train, and we were getting very short of ammunition and had been pinched for rations for men and horses; yet our men were cheerful and ready and willing to do all that in them lay. On the 25th we moved up to near Port Republic, where we joined General Early. There we again met the enemy's cavalry, and with them had some sharp skirmishing. General Early was now expecting reinforcements.

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