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[660] by destroying the supplies. My infantry is now in good heart and condition, and I have sent a special messenger to you to get your views. Without Kershaw, I would have about six thousand muskets.

Very respectfully,

J. A. Early, Lieutenant-General. General R. E. Lee, commanding Army of Northern Virginia.

General Early to General Lee.

Headquarters, Valley District (New market), October 9, 1864.
General R. E. Lee:
General: In advance of a detailed report, I have determined to give you an informal account of the recent disasters to my command, which I have not had leisure to do before.

On the 17th of September, I moved two divisions-Rhodes's and Gordon's—from Stevenson's depot, where they, together with Breckenridge's division, were encamped (Ramseur's being at Winchester, to cover the road from Berryville), to Bunker Hill; and, on the 18th, I moved Gordon's division, with a part of Lomax's cavalry, to Martinsburg, to thwart efforts that were reported to be making to repair the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. This expedition was successful, and the bridge over Back creek was burned by a brigade of cavalry sent there. On the evening of the 18th, Rhodes was moved back to Stevenson's depot, and Gordon to Bunker Hill, with orders to start at daylight to return to his camp at Stevenson's depot, which place he reached at a very early hour next morning. About the time of Gordon's arrival on that morning, firing was heard in Ramseur's front; and now a report reached me that the enemy's cavalry had appeared on the Berryville road. I ordered Rhodes, Gordon, and Breckenridge to have their divisions under arms ready to go to Ramseur's assistance, and rode to his position to ascertain the extent and character of the demonstration. On getting there, I found Ramseur's division in line of battle, and the enemy evidently advancing with his whole force. The other divisions were immediately ordered up, and the trains all put in motion for their security. Rhodes and Gordon arrived just before the enemy commenced advancing a heavy fire in Ramseur's left for the purpose of overwhelming him; and, when their columns commenced advancing on Ramseur, I attacked them with Rhodes and Gordon's divisions, and drove them back with great slaughter, the artillery doing most splendid service, Braxton's battalion driving back, with canister, a


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