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[301]

Zzzsecond invasion and its sequel.

The ‘foot-cavalry’ paused near Leesburg, July 14th and 15th, and soon ‘march and fight’ is again the watch-word. Their situation is perilous, for a column, commanded by General H. G. Wright, consisting of the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps, is moving on their rear from Washington, while Hunter's army, which had returned from the Ohio river by railroad, has united with Sigel at Harper's Ferry, and this force has moved under Major-General Crook, down into Loudoun county. To slip between them is the problem. Early solved it. On the 16th of July he moved through Snicker's Gap to the Valley, crossing the Shenandoah on the 17th, and taking position on the 18th, near Berryville, skirmishing successfully, and repelling the advance of Wright's column at Castleman's Ferry. On the 20th, Ramseur had an affair with Averill's cavalry, which was threatening our trains from Stevenson's Depot, and was badly worsted, losing four pieces of artillery, General Lewis and Lilly being wounded, and Colonel Board, of the Fifty-eighth Virginia, being killed. Grant now wrote Halleck to send back to him the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps, before Early could get back to Lee: but Early was too quick for him.

On the 22d Early posted himself across Cedar Creek near Strausburg. On the 23d news came which proved to be correct, that Wright's column had returned to Washington, where transports were ready to convey them to Grant at Petersburg and that Crook and Averill had united at Kernstown.

Quick as an eagle swoops upon its prey, Early leaped upon Crook, who commanded the Army of West Virginia, consisting of Hunter's and Sigel's forces and Averill's cavalry, and there where Jackson and Shields had such rough work, he rolled up Crook's flanks, drove him from the field, Colonel Mulligan, a division commander being killed, between two and three hundred prisoners taken, and twelve caissons and seventy-two wagons either burned or captured, and the whole army being driven across the Potomac to Maryland Heights and Harper's Ferry, in the tracks of Bank's frequent evolutions before Jackson.

This flying and broken army six weeks before had defeated and killed General Jones, of Piedmont. It had now had a second defeat from Early's hands; and when Grant heard the news he sent another division of the Nineteenth Corps to Washington, instead of the troops there continuing their movements to return to him.

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Zzzgeneral Early (4)
Crook (4)
H. G. Wright (3)
Leroy D. Grant (3)
Averill (3)
Sigel (2)
Stonewall Jackson (2)
David Hunter (2)
William H. Shields (1)
Ramseur (1)
Mulligan (1)
Lilly (1)
Ernest Lewis (1)
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J. M. Jones (1)
Halleck (1)
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July 16th (1)
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