The men and horses of Lieutenant Colonel King
's artillery were sent to Southwestern Virginia
to be wintered, and most of the horses of the other battalions were sent off under care of some of the men, who undertook to forage them until spring.
's battalion, with some pieces of artillery with their horses, was retained with me and the remaining officers and men of the other battalions were sent, under the charge of Colonel Carter
, to General Lee
, to man stationary batteries on his lines.
Brigadier General Long
, who had been absent on sick leave for some time and had returned, remained with me, and most of the guns which were without horses were sent to Lynchburg
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
' brigade of Wharton
's division was subsequently sent to Southwestern Virginia
to report to General Echols
for special duty, and McNeil
's company of partisan rangers, and Woodson
's company of unattached Missouri
cavalry, were sent to the county of Hardy
, Major Harry Gilmor
being likewise ordered to that county, with the remnant of his battalion, to take charge of the whole, and operate against the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad; but he was surprised and captured there, at a private house, soon after his arrival.
Two very 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, and these were in winter quarters near Fishersville, on the Central railroad between Staunton
The telegraph to New Market
and the signal stations from there to the lower Valley were kept up, and a few scouts sent to the rear of the enemy, and in this way was my front principally picketed, and I kept advised of the enemy's movements.
Henceforth my efficient and energetic signal officer, Captain Welbourn
, was the commander of my advance picket line.