Hunter's deeds were those of a malignant and cowardly fanatic, who was better qualified to make war upon helpless women and children than upon armed soldiers. The time consumed in the perpetration of these deeds was the salvation of Lynchburg, with its stores, foundries and factories, which were so necessary to our army at Richmond.There was, however, another more potent influence which stayed Hunter's advance. General John McCausland had been operating against the enemy in Southwest Virginia with a body of cavalry. When Hunter reached Staunton he was ordered across the country to meet him. When near Staunton, McCausland was joined by a a small brigade under the command of Colonel William E. Peters, now Professor of Latin at the University of Virginia, who was then Colonel of the Twenty-first Virginia Cavalry. These two brigades, aggregating some sixteen hundred men, under McCausland's leadership, ably seconded by Peters, at once commenced to worry Hunter and to keep his whole force in a constant state of alarm. This force was so ubiquitous that it was estimated by the enemy as being five times its real size. Amongst the officers in the force under Colonel Peters was his nephew, and our fellow-citizen, Major Stephen P. Halsey, who did good service and distinguished himself for his active gallantry. As Hunter moved from Staunton to Lynchburg these brigades were ever in his front, one hour fighting and the next falling back as the main column would appear, but ever causing delay and apprehension. The tireless little band performed deeds of gallantry as they hung upon Hunter's front, which entitled every officer and man to a cross of honor. When Hunter's army reached Buchanan McCausland had been hovering in front of his vanguard for many miles. There was a bridge at this point across James river, over which Hunter expected to cross. McCausland sent his men over the bridge, and from the south side of the river they opened fire on the head of Hunter's column as it appeared in sight, and thus checked their advance. Mc-Causland had caused hay to be piled on the bridge, much of which was wet with coal oil. He, with Captain St. Clair, of his command, had remained on the north side for the purpose of setting fire to the bridge. The Federal cavalry charged up very close to him before McCausland applied the match, as he was desirous that every man of his command should get safely over. As fire was opened on him
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