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[285] ammunition. Douthat's object was to reach the Tye river bridge before the Federal troops and save it from destruction. This he did, and, breaking open the ordnance boxes, armed his men with muskets and forty rounds of ammunition, and then, at a double quick, crossed the Tye river, and got into position to defend the bridge.

When the Federal videttes came in contact with what seemed a heavy infantry picket they retired and reported a large infantry force on hand, and the whole raiding party at once withdrew and the bridge was saved. Had it been destroyed, Lynchburg must have fallen, as reinforcements could not have come up in time to protect it.

The sound judgment and prompt and bold action of Captain Douthat and the gallantry of his men on this occasion is worthy of all praise—yet, strange to say, as he was unattached at the time, there is no official report of this valuable service.

The battery, after this, was unable to continue its journey to Staunton, as the railroad had been much damaged, and it therefore fortunately returned to Lynchburg and took a very active part in the defence of the city. It aided in the repulse of Duffie's Division on the Forest road, one section of two guns being stationed at the old soapstone quarry on that road, on the crest of the hill beyond the road to Tate's Spring. These two guns protected the railroad bridge over Ivy creek and drove the Federal cavalry from it whenever they approached. The other four were on the other side of the road, supporting the brigade under Colonel Forsberg, and kept up a very heavy fire on the enemy during his stay. Our comrade and fellow-citizen, Mr. A. H. Plecker, was a gunner in this battery, and for his gallant services was tendered a commission. This he declined on the ground that he could do better service as a gunner, in the discharge of which duty he had won much reputation.

The arrival of these different detachments of troops gave much comfort to Nicholls, and they were at once placed in position. There were still, however, so few of the Confederates on the ground that they counted more as a picket than as a regular line of battle.

To add to the general confusion incident to this campaign which had been inaugurated in General Lee's rear, it must be remembered that General Sheridan, with a large body of well-equipped and well mounted cavalry, had, on the 7th of June, crossed the Chickahominy, and on the 10th had struck the Virginia Central Railroad (now the Chesapeake & Ohio), with the intention of joining Hunter in his march on Lynchburg. He was met on the 11th and 12th of

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