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[328] and Cow Pasture Rivers. Little Calf Pasture itself, it was evident from the condition of the very small streams at Buffalo, would be impassable where there were no bridges, and there was no bridge over the Cow Pasture, quite a large river, on this route. It was, therefore, impossible for him to go the direct road, but being informed by him that there was a bridge over the Cow Pasture not far above its junction with Jackson's River, which could be reached by going through Rockbridge, and avoiding the other streams, I ordered him to take that route, which was by the way of Brownsburg.

The infantry brigades I determined to move back to Staunton, to be used for the defence of that place in the event of Averill's moving that way, as it was useless to be sending them after cavalry over such a track of country. Colonel Wm. L. Jackson was at Jackson's River Depot at the termination of the Central Railroad, with about five hundred men of his brigade dismounted, and that covered a route by Clifton Forge from Fincastle up the river to Covington. Railroad communication with him was cut by the previous destruction of the bridge over Cow Pasture, but there was telegraphic communication with him, and he was ordered to keep a lookout and make disposition to stop Averill if he came that way. I expected to find Fitz. Lee in the valley by this time, either at Staunton or farther down, and I rode to that place to order him to such point as might be advisable after I heard what route Averill had taken.

On arriving at Staunton, I found General Fitz. Lee himself, who had come in advance of his brigade, which had crossed the mountain at Swift Run Gap. I was now in telegraphic communication with General Nichols at Lynchburg, and from him I received information that Averill had started back on the same route he came, but was stopped by high water at Craig's Creek some twelve or fifteen miles from Salem. I, therefore, determined to order Fitz. Lee to Covington by the way of Lexington and Colliertown, at which latter place Imboden was ordered

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