previous next

[288] at that point. Rodes demanded the right to be sent forward with his division ahead of Ramseur, on the ground that he should be called upon to defend his native city. This privilege, from some unaccountable reason, was denied him, a denial which led to high words between Early and himself.

General Early was on board the first train, but so indifferent was the motive power, and so bad the condition of the track, that he and the first half of his corps did not reach Lynchburg until the afternoon of the 17th, and the rest of his small army did not arrive until nearly night the next day—too late to take part in the engagement. Early found Breckinridge in bed suffering from the injury to which reference is made above, and as Breckinridge could not go out to reconnoitre, he had called upon General D. H. Hill, who happened to be in the city, to ascertain and define the best lines of defence. This duty was performed by General Hill, with the assistance of General Harry T. Hays, of Louisiana, who was also in town disabled by a wound received at Spotsylvania Courthouse. Hill established the line close to the city in breastworks, which had been thrown up on College Hill. These were at once occupied by the disorganized infantry force which had been defeated at Piedmont under Jones, the Virginia Military Institute Cadets, and the invalid corps. To this was added Breckinridge's small command, when it arrived on the 16th, and Douthat's Battery.

Early, on his arrival, thought this line too near the city for the main defence. He feared that in case of battle the shot and shell of the enemy would do damage to the property and the people of the town; consequently a new line, further out, was established, to which were taken the troops with Early, Breckinridge's men and the artillery.

When he reached the field on the afternoon of the 17th, Early found Imboden with his small remnant of cavalry, and McCausland with his little brigades, occupying the hill at the old Quaker Meeting House, on the Salem Turnpike. This cavalry, with their gallant leaders, was holding the enemy in check, which was a great achievement, and was one absolutely essential to the safety of the city. They were, however, very slowly driven back as the main body of Hunter's army advanced.

The small force under Ramseur, which arrived on the evening of the 17th, was at once thrown forward and occupied the new line established by Early, across the Salem Turnpike, about two miles

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
A. Early (5)
John C. Breckinridge (4)
Stephen D. Ramseur (2)
D. H. Hill (2)
R. E. Rodes (1)
John McCausland (1)
W. E. Jones (1)
Imboden (1)
David Hunter (1)
Daniel H. Hill (1)
Harry T. Hays (1)
H. C. Douthat (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
17th (3)
16th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: