had made its escape, so he desisted from what was then a useless effort.
The facts were that on going back on the route he had come, from the Sweet Springs
found his retreat cut off that way by Echol
's brigade of General Sam Jones
' force from Southwestern Virginia
, which was posted on what is called Potts
' or Middle Mountain
, and he then turned across toward Covington
over Rich Patch Mountain
, being compelled to come into the valley of Jackson's River at the point he did to reach the bridge on the road from Clifton Forge
, as there was no bridge on the direct road to that place.
He thus succeeded in making his escape by the stupidity or treachery of a telegraph operator, but the amount of damage he had been able to do did not compensate for the loss of men and horses which he sustained, and the sufferings the others endured.
He had been able to burn a small depot at Salem
with a few supplies in it and one or two small bridges in the neighborhood, which were rebuilt in a few days.
His raid really amounted to very little except the name of it.
The same night that Averill
made his escape by Jackson
, I received a dispatch from General Walker
informing me that the force that had been at Strasburg
was moving up the valley, and had passed New Market
I telegraphed to him to move to the North River
at Mount Crawford
at once, which he did early next day. Thomas
' brigade was moved back to Staunton
, starting early in the morning, but on account of the condition of the road, did not reach there until nearly night.
On arriving at Staunton
myself, I rode out to Walker
's position eighteen miles beyond, leaving orders for Thomas
to march up during the night.
On reaching Walker
I found that the enemy was in Harrisonburg
, and I ordered an advance early next morning.
At light next day, Thomas
came up, both brigades moving forward.
The enemy was found to have retired during the night, leaving a small cavalry rear guard, which retreated as we came up. I had no cavalry except