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[457] our guns in position to open on this part of their artillery which was now expecting our approach and was moving around to get in a piece of woods to attack. General Wickham arriving after we had started, ordered our guns to open before we had gotten near enough to accomplish anything, and the first shot from that gun had about the same effect that a stick in the hands of a mischievous boy, near enough to stir up a nest of wasps, would have had: they swarmed out and very soon were ready for us. Moving over to the Staunton pike, we soon learned that Wilson's division and Lowell's brigade had been sent to Staunton and Waynesboroa to destroy the iron railroad bridge at the latter place. General Wickham ordered me to move with my brigade to Waynesboroa and attack, saying General Pegram's brigade would follow me. Captain McClung's company of the First Virginia regiment came from this county-Augusta. I moved up to within half a mile of the enemy's pickets facing down the Valley, the direction they would expect us, and making a detour by a blind road used years before for the hauling of charcoal, passing in and around the foot-hills; this brought me out about a quarter of a mile from the mouth of the tunnel through the mountain, and between it and the railroad bridge, upon which the enemy were at work.

Two companies of boys and reserves from Staunton and Waynesboro, with a battery, had fallen back in front of Wilson's command to the mouth of the tunnel. Their pieces had been withdrawn to the top of the mountain. I sent a scout forward, who cut off the enemy's vidette and captured it. We had to wait a little time for our artillery to come up. The blind road was filled with fallen trees and logs, but that splendid battery could follow the cavalry anywhere, and overcome any reasonable obstacle. When well up, the First Virginia cavalry was dismounted and sent down the Chesapeake and Ohio railroads towards Waynesboro and the bridge over the Shenandoah. The Fourth Virginia, mounted, was ordered to charge the enemy's reserve picket. Capt. Johnston, commanding the battery (a gallant officer), was ordered to move up at a trot and occupy an elevated piece of ground with his guns, while the Third and Second, dismounted, supporting it and the Fourth Virginia. They were all pushed over across the Charlottesville and Staunton pike, south of and parallel with the railroad. This was promptly executed, and immediately after the move was started, the enemy started back. (Coming in behind their picket from the opposite direction from


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