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[284] who were there congregated in invalid camps. A gallant and appropriate leader was found for this anomalous force in General Francis T. Nicholls, who was in command of the post. He had left a leg and an arm, respectively, upon two different battle-fields, but he still managed to mount his horse and do heroic service. He heard of Hunter's movements as soon as a start was made, and commenced organizing his sick and wounded into an army of occupation. From his trenchant dispatches it seemed that he had determined to hold the town with his cripples against Hunter's whole force. (70 War of Rebellion, 760.)

The little remnant of the detachment which had been defeated under Jones at Piedmont was then along the line of the Orange & Alexandria Railroad, and near Charlottesville, under General Vaughan, much demoralized and short of ammunition and supplies. It came by forced marches, however, to the aid of Lynchburg, where it was under the immediate orders of General John C. Breckinridge, the commander of the Confederate Department of Southwest Virginia. Unfortunately General Breckinridge, though in Lynchburg, was an invalid in bed, having been injured when his horse was shot under him at Cold Harbor. Some of the troops which had fought under him around Richmond were en route to the Valley, and, their destination being changed, they reached Lynchburg before Early's Corps, or any part of it, came up.

There was also another small but efficient force which, by almost an accident, was added to the troops defending Lynchburg. The Botetourt Artillery, a battery of six guns, under Captain H. C. Douthat, had been operating in Southwestern Virginia. On the fifth of June it was ordered to the Valley, via Lynchburg, to the command of General W. E. Jones. It reached Lynchburg as soon after receiving the order as transportation could be afforded, and reported to General Jones by the wires. He directed the battery to remain in Lynchburg until further orders.

The battery was on the 11th of June ordered to Staunton, and it and its men, about one hundred in number, were at once put on a freight train on the Orange & Alexandria Railroad and started, despite rumors of raiding parties, on its proposed route.

At New Glasgow Station the conductor was notified that a large raiding party was at Arrington Depot, and the smoke disclosed the fact that the depot buildings were being destroyed.

Captain Douthat at once pushed forward with the train, upon which there happened to be a car-load of muskets, with suitable

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