, directing me to remain in the lower Valley until everything was in readiness to cross the Potomac
and to destroy the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the Chesapeake
& Ohio Canal
as far as possible.
This was in accordance with my previous determination, and its policy was obvious.
My provisions were nearly exhausted, and if I had moved through Loudoun
, it would have been necessary for me to halt and thresh wheat and have it ground, as neither bread nor flour could otherwise be obtained, which would have caused much greater delay than was required on the other route, where we could take provisions from the enemy.
Moreover, unless the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was torn up, the enemy would have been able to move troops from the West
over that road to Washington
On the night of the 2nd, McCausland
was sent across North Mountain
, to move down Back Creek
, and burn the railroad bridge at its mouth, and then to move by North Mountain depot to Haynesville
on the road from Martinsburg
; and, early on the morning of the 3rd, Bradley Johnson
was sent by Smithfield
, to cross the railroad at Kearneysville
east of Martinsburg
, and unite with McCausland
, so as to cut off the retreat of Sigel
, who was at Martinsburg
with a considerable force.
moved, on the same morning, direct from Martinsburg
, with his command preceded by Gilmor
's battalion of cavalry, while I moved with Rodes
' and Ramseur
's divisions, over the route taken by Johnson
, to Leetown
On the approach of Breckenridge
, after very slight skirmishing, evacuated Martinsburg
, leaving behind considerable stores, which fell into our hands.
burned the bridge States to save their houses.
's battalion, though called “guerillas” by the enemy, was a regular organization in the Confederate Army, and was merely serving on detached duty under General Lee
The attack on the train was an act of legitimate warfare, and the order to burn Newtown
and the burning of houses mentioned were unjustifiable.