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 was no good excuse, though it was plead. (See General Bradley T. Johnson's Report, 90 War of Rebellion, 7.) General Early has been severely criticised for permitting the escape of Hunter. It is always much easier to criticise than to accomplish; to point out how a thing should have been done, after we know the result of what was done, than to do it at the time. The facts heretofore stated can leave no doubt that all was done, as far as the prompt pursuit of Hunter is concerned, which could have been done. Early's line of defence, owing to the smallness of his force, was not only thin, but was short; he had, therefore, to keep in a such a condition that by changing front rapidly with the troops he had, he could supply the place of those he did not have. Hence, when he noticed Hunter moving away from his immediate front, he did not suppose he was retiring, but merely withdrawing for the purpose of making his attack at another point, and prudence demanded that he should keep his troops in hand until the enemy's purpose was developed. To do this the delay until daylight was essential. It is a subject of remark that with Hunter's army there were two men who very faithfully discharged their duties as soldiers and subsequently became Presidents of the United States—one Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes, who commanded a brigade, and the other Major William McKinley, who was a staff officer. The loss on neither side was very heavy, but it was very much greater on that of the invader than upon ours. Hunter left his dead on the field to be buried by his enemy, and his wounded in a field hospital; facts which show how precipitously he departed. The Federal line of battle was formed on the left, directly through the yard of the residence of the late C. H. Moorman, whose farm lay on both sides of Blackwater creek, and occupied most of what is now called West Lynchburg. When it was known that Hunter was approaching, Mr. Moorman packed several wagons with provisions, and, with his negroes and stock, moved down toward the Staunton river, leaving his house in charge of his young, unmarried daughter (now Mrs. Hurt), his wife, an old negro man and several negro women. Before Mr. Moorman cleared his own plantation, which was large, he found it necessary to lighten his load, and to that end selected a spot and buried his supply of well-cured and much prized hams. It turned out that the line of battle of Crook's division ran across the spot, and the buried treasure was discovered, much to the delight of the troops, who greatly enjoyed a very fine
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