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[283] small, but ever vigilant force of cavalry, so skillfully and manfully handled by Brigadier-General John McCausland, who had shortly before been transferred from the command of an infantry to a cavalry brigade.

Imboden, with a small body of cavalry, which had escaped from the battle of Piedmont, and which was badly mounted and equipped, had crossed the Blue Ridge and was energetically attempting to defend the Orange & Alexandria Railroad (now the Southern), in Nelson and Amherst counties, from a heavy detachment from the column of General Duffie, sent by Hunter to destroy that road for the purpose of cutting off reinforcements from Lynchburg.

After the death of General Jones and the defeat of his little army, Hunter blew his trumpets with boastful triumph. Staunton, of course, forthwith fell into his hands, which was the occasion for another blast. General Hunter, in his report of the battle of Piedmont, written on June 8, says, with pride, that his ‘combined force, now in fine spirits and condition, will move, day after to-morrow, toward the accomplishment of its mission,’ which was the capture of Lynchburg, and the destruction of its bridges and stores. (70 War of Rebellion, 95.)

The plan of campaign which General Averell had suggested and Hunter had adopted, was a movement up the Valley to Buchanan in four columns, each column composed of a division, commanded respectively by himself, Crook, Sullivan and Duffie. The last-named division was to march in the same direction on the western slope of the Blue Ridge, sending raiding parties through the gaps to destroy the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, and was finally to move through White's Gap to Amherst Courthouse, whence it was to march toward the James river, cross it below Lynchburg, cut the James River & Kanawha Canal, destroy the Southside Railroad, and then move up the river and join in the attack upon the objective point of the campaign. (70 War of Rebellion, 146.)

For the purpose of carrying out this plan, General Hunter left Staunton on the 10th of June, with his army marching in four columns, as suggested by Averell. Drums were beating, flags were flying and triumphant bulletins flashed over the wires to announce to the Secretary of War the great deeds which were soon to astonish the nation.

On the day Hunter left Staunton with so much pomp and circumstance, the city of Lynchburg was resting quietly, guarded only by the convalescents from the hospitals, and the halt and the maimed

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