This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 he applied the torch to the hay, and the coal oil at once flashed up in a furious blaze. Captain St. Clair ran up the river bank, and the enemy was so occupied in the effort to kill him that they did not see McCausland, who escaped in a small boat under the burning bridge, and was not again under their fire until he was climbing up the opposite bank of the river. This thoughtful and gallant conduct of McCausland delayed Hunter's column for a whole day, thus giving Lynchburg a better chance for defence and rendering Hunter's raid ineffectual. In Early's dispatch reporting the battle at Lynchburg an expression is used which implies a doubt as to whether the cavalry would do its duty. Never did cavalry do better service than did that under McCausland, both as Hunter advanced and as he retreated. Had McCausland had the full command of the cavalry on the retreat, Hunter's wagon train and artillery would have fallen into the hands of the Confederates; but for some reason, which is now unnecessary to explain, great opportunities were permitted to pass without advantage being taken of them. McCausland at Hanging Rock with his force was in a position to have attacked the retreating column of the enemy and to have cut off his wagon train and many of his guns. He begged to be allowed to attack, but was told to await the arrival of the infantry. While he waited the enemy discovered his position and so far withdrew that when the inhibition was withdrawn the great opportunity was gone, though, despite the delay, a number of guns, wagons and supplies were captured by his force. During the second day that Hunter was in the lines around Lynchburg McCausland made a raid around his rear and attacked his train at Forest Depot, driving a guard of one regiment of infantry and one of cavalry back to the Salem pike. This gave Hunter much apprehension and threw his force into confusion; how much it contributed to his rapid flight that night can never be known. Due credit was not given McCausland for this, nor for many of his other valuable services. Lynchburg owes much to Ramseur's Division of the Second Corps and to the men who occupied the lines when Hunter arrived, but it was the skill of McCausland and Peters and the unflagging energy and courage of their officers and men, which so retarded Hunter's movements that when he did arrive there was force enough on our line to prevent his capturing the city. McCausland and his command
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.