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[295] the Valley across the Potomac at Leesburg or at or near Harper's Ferry, as he might deem most desirable, and threaten Washington city. General Breckinridge was to co-operate.

The battle-scarred and battle-worn veterans destined for this undertaking contained the men who, under Stonewall Jackson, had won the name of the Foot Cavalry of the Valley. During the month of May, Major-General Edward Johnson and a large part of his division had been captured at Spotsylvania; Major-General Early had succeeded Lieutenant-General Ewell, who had become an invalid, and Major-General Rodes was the only officer above the rank of brigadier who remained in his place. Of the twelve brigadiers but one of them was still at the head of his brigade, for Gordon and Ramsey had succeeded Early and Edward Johnson; Stafford, J. M. Jones, Doles and Junius Daniel had been killed; Pegram, Hays, James A. Walker and R. D. Johnston had been wounded, and George H. Steward had been captured.

The staff had been cut to pieces, many field officers had fallen, and the rank and file of the corps was now reduced to 8,000 muskets.

An hour ahead of time—at 2 o'clock on the 15th of June—General Early moved from Cold Harbor, Hunter being then within forty miles and he within 140 miles from Lynchburg, which was Hunter's objective point. On the 16th Early was at the Rivanna, near Charlottesville, having marched over eighty miles in four days, and there he received a telegram from General Breckinridge, at Lynchburg, that Hunter was at Liberty, in Bedford county, about twenty-five miles from that place. On the morning of the 17th Early seized a train at Charlottesville, pushed Ramseur's Division and a part of Gordon's on board, Rodes and the rest of the corps and the artillery moving along the railroad to meet the train, which was to return after it had delivered the foremost troops in Lynchburg.

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