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[243] of Stonewall Jackson than for the ardent patriotism of its men and the devotion and sacrifices of its women to the cause of the South. It was here that Jackson, with a little army of thirteen thousand men, defeated and drove from the valley Milroy, Fremont, Banks and Shields, whose combined forces were four times as great as his own, besides capturing vast quantities of much needed commissary arid ordnance stores and large numbers of prisoners. After the battle of Cold Harbor the Second corps, composed of Ramseur's, Rode's and Gordon's divisions, were placed under the command of Early, and directed to proceed to this valley, with instructions to capture or destroy the army of Hunter, a recreant Virginian, who was marching in the direction of Lynchburg, destroying the country as he moved along. Attached to this corps was Nelson's and Braxton's battalions of artillery, together with a division of cavalry. At this time Breckinridge, who, in a brilliant engagement, had recently defeated Sigel, was at Lynchburg awaiting our arrival. Our troops were transported by rail. Ramseur's and Gordon's divisions were sent forward as soon as they were ready. They arrived at Lynchburg about 4 o'clock P, M., on the 17th of June. Here they united with Breckinridge and the troops of Major-General Ransom, who was in command of the whole cavalry in the valley. Hunter was in camp near the city of Lynchburg. In a letter to me, General Ransom says that at this time ‘he (Ramseur) and I reconnoiterd the right flank of Hunter's army and found it could be most advantageously assailed, and in person reported the fact to General Early, who said he would not attack until the whole of Rodes' division had arrived from Richmond. The opportunity to destroy Hunter's army was then lost.’ Hunter took council of his fears and advantage of the cover of night and darkness to make a hasty retreat. Early on the morning of the 19th we commenced a pursuit, and just before night overtook the enemy's rear at Liberty, when Ramseur's division moved on it and drove it through the place. It was now ascertained that Hunter had not taken the route that we anticipated, but had retreated by way of Beauford's Gap, where, the next day, he was found occupying a commanding position on the crest of the mountain. After our arrival we spent the afternoon in efforts to secure a position from which to successfully assail him the following day. Hunter, by our failure to promptly pursue at daylight, made his escape, and being in the mountains further pursuit was useless. Early, in his report, says: ‘By mistake of the messenger who was sent with orders to General Rodes to lead the next morning, there ’

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