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[397] brought from Southwestern Virginia, his small force had been now mounted. On this day I received information that a column under Averill was moving from Martinsburg towards Winchester, and as the position I held near Berryville left my trains exposed to expeditions in the rear from Martinsburg and Harper's Ferry, I determined to concentrate my force near Strasburg, so as to enable me to put the trains in safety and then move out and attack the enemy. This movement was commenced on the night of the 19th; Ramseur's division, with a battery of artillery, being sent to Winchester, to cover that place against Averill, while the stores, and the sick and wounded were being removed, and the other divisions moving through Millwood and White Post to the Valley Pike at Newtown and Middletown.

Vaughan's and Jackson's cavalry had been watching Averill, and, on the afternoon of the 20th, it was reported to General Ramseur, by General Vaughan, that Averill was at Stephenson's depot, with an inferior force, which could be captured, and Ramseur moved out from Winchester to attack him; but relying on the accuracy of the information he had received, General Ramseur did not take the proper precautions in advancing, and his division; while moving by the flank, was suddenly met by a larger force, under Averill, advancing in line of battle, and the result was that Ramseur's force was thrown into confusion, and compelled to retire, with the loss of four pieces of artillery, and a number in killed and woundedBrigadier Generals Lewis and Lilly being among the wounded, and Colonel Board of the 58th Virginia Regiment among the killed. Colonel Jackson made a vigorous charge with his cavalry, which enabled Ramseur to rally his men, restore order, and arrest the progress of Averill before he reached Winchester. The error committed, on this occasion, by this most gallant officer, was nobly retrieved in the subsequent part of the campaign. I received at New Market the news of Ramseur's misfortune, and immediately moved to his assistance with

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