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‘ [112] Staunton, ninety-two miles, will have little in it for man or beast.’ Early also is a witness to the success of the policy. On the 9th of October, he complained bitterly to Lee: ‘Sheridan has laid waste nearly all of Rockingham and Shenandoah, and I shall have to rely on Augusta for my supplies, and they are not abundant there. Sheridan's purpose under Grant's orders has been to render the Valley untenable by our troops, by destroying the supplies.’ That purpose was effected. After the battle of Cedar Creek, no rebel army could subsist in the region: ‘I found it impossible,’ said Early, ‘to sustain the horses of my cavalry and artillery where they were, and forage could not be obtained from elsewhere. I was therefore compelled to send Fitz-Lee's two brigades to General Lee, and Lomax's cavalry was brought from across the Blue Ridge, where the country was exhausted of forage, and sent west. . . . Rosser's brigade had to be temporarily disbanded, and the men allowed to go to their homes. . . Most of the guns which were without horses were sent to Lynchburg by railroad. This was a deplorable state of things, but it could not be avoided, as the horses of the cavalry and artillery would have perished, had they been kept in the Valley. Two small brigades of Wharton's division and Nelson's battalion, with the few pieces of artillery which had been retained, were left as my whole available force.’1

This was the origin of the complaint, and the cause of the outcry. The enemy felt that the

1 Early's Memoir, pp. 121 and 122.

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P. H. Sheridan (2)
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