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itants are badly scared; our cavalry are driving all before them, and we have to make forced marches to keep within supporting distance. We now know that Washington is our destination, and we are only twenty miles from it. Saw Generals Early, Breckinridge, Elzey, Echols, and Vaughan to-day. July 11.--Into line at 4 A. M., and now lying here; expect to get to Georgetown to-day. The band is now enlivening us; we have just had a hasty, but good breakfast of coffee, sugar, butter, and bread; ste whole); heavy skirmishing on picket line; all troops out but our brigade; we are wagon guard to-day. This Diary was found on the person of Lieutenant W. Ashley, of Vaughn's Brigade, Company C, Battalion Thomas' Legion, Wharton's Division, Breckinridge's Corps, General Early's Army, September 19, 1864, on the battle-field, near Winchester, Va. The memorandum-book in which the diary was kept had been captured from a Union soldier of a Maryland regiment, supposed to have been killed at Snic
fifteen thousand men, was obtained by calling in the scattered troops under Breckinridge from the western part of Virginia. The position at Bermuda Hundred was asring these operations in Middle Tennessee, the enemy, with a force under General Breckinridge, entered East Tennessee. On the thirteenth of November, he attacked Gen was left of his command, retreated to Knoxville. Following up his success, Breckinridge moved to near Knoxville, but withdrew on the eighteenth, followed by Generalnds of Generals Burbridge and Gillem near Bean's station, to operate against Breckinridge, and destroy or drive him into Virginia — destroy the salt works at Saltvill extensive lead-works near there. Returning to Marion, he met a force under Breckinridge, consisting, among other troops, of the garrison of Saltville, that had stare at once made arrangements to attack it the next morning; but morning found Breckinridge gone. He then moved directly to Saltville, and destroyed the extensive salt
operations in Middle Tennessee, the enemy, under Breckinridge, Duke, and Vaughn, was operating in the eastern illem. On the thirteenth November, at midnight, Breckinridge, with a force estimated at three thousand, attacatter's misfortune. Following up his success, Breckinridge continued moving southward through Strawberry Pl as he could get in East Tennessee, move against Breckinridge, and either destroy his force or drive it into Vng received information from East Tennessee that Breckinridge was falling back toward Virginia, General Stonem also very actively engaged in operating against Breckinridge, Duke, and Vaughn. Having quietly concentrated and the remnants of Duke's, all under command of Breckinridge in person, followed our troops as they moved on em at Marion, where he made preparations to give Breckinridge battle, and disposed his command so as to effectually assault the enemy in the morning, but Breckinridge retreated during the night, and was pursued a short d
g, before ten o'clock. Just then, Brigadier-General John S. Williams, with his magnificent division, composed of three brigades, arrived. A new feeling and spirit at once came over the face of affairs. He promptly assumed command of all the troops present, and made his dispositions. The First Kentucky, Colonel Griffith; Tenth Kentucky, Colonel Trimble; Fourth Kentucky, Colonel Giltner; two battalions of reserves, Brigadier-General Robertson's brigade, Colonel Debrill's brigade, and Colonel Breckinridge's Ninth Kentucky cavalry, constituted our line of battle, extending from left to right in the order in which they are mentioned. We had also a number of artillery, well posted in the redoubts, so as to command the enemy as he advanced. These were well served-all of them. The fight was severe along our whole line, but the severest and most destructive was on our right. Colonel Debrill's brigade mowed down the advancing hosts of the enemy with terrible slaughter. All our troops beh
General Sigel, in person, took command of the forces collected at Martinsburg, about eight thousand five hundred men of all arms, and advancing southward, was met at New Market, on the Staunton turnpike, and defeated by the rebel forces under Breckinridge. On the following day, May sixteenth, he retired to a position behind Cedar creek, about fifteen miles south of Winchester. On the twenty-first of May General Sigel was relieved by Major-General Hunter, who assumed command of the departmentng these prisoners I was informed that Grant had received a severe repulse; that Sheridan, who was moving to cooperate with us at the head of the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac, had been repulsed at Louisa Court-house and turned back; that Breckinridge had reinforced Vaughn at Rockfish Gap with four or five thousand men, and that Ewell's whole corps was advancing by the way of Charlottesville. On the other hand we had news, from sources equally entitled to credit, that Lynchburg was undef
esday, May 16, 1864. A portion of the Army of Western Virginia, under General Sigel, started at five o'clock, A. M., yesterday, from Woodstock, marched eighteen miles to Newmarket, and fought the combined forces of Echols and Imboden, under Breckinridge, for four hours, and returned to this place, thirty miles--making forty-eight miles marching, and four hours fighting, all in thirty-eight hours. General Sigel sent out from Woodstock, where he lay encamped for several days, (during a rain of four days), a force which he thought sufficient to whip Imboden, under Colonel Moore, of the Twenty-eighth Ohio. He attacked Imboden at Rood's Hill, two miles south of Mount Jackson, and drove him to Newmarket, and then Breckinridge and Echols reinforced him, just as General Sigel reinforced Colonel Moore. In fact, all of our troops did not arrive until the fight was over. The rebels were just forming to charge Moore's battery, as our forces came on the field. Our drenched and jaded
us here, having marched through Waynesboroa on to the Charlotteville and Lynchburg railroad, tearing up a small portion of the latter and capturing a good part of Jackson's wagon trains. Tuesday evening we camped at Buchanan. Averell, coming in before us, captured the Confederate Navy records of 1861 and 1862, together with twelve more canal boats heavily laden with provisions. On the fifteenth, while we were halting at the base of the Peaks of Otter, information was received that Breckinridge with ten thousand men was at Balcony Falls, intending to attack us on our flanks. In a good position for defence, General Crook awaited General Hunter's and the other division. The whole command then being assembled, and no foe appearing, we once more marched forward, stopping for the night at Taney Farm, almost at the base of the Peaks of Otter. Thursday noon we entered Liberty, with bands playing Hail Columbia, Yankee Doodle, &c. Halting, the whole command proceeded to tear up and
the right of Wilcox, and prisoners say that Breckinridge's division afterward came up. The skirmil action at any moment. It is certain that Breckinridge's forces are with Lee, and prisoners say thed forty prisoners, who proved to belong to Breckinridge's command. There is hardly a doubt, howedvancing. The first rebel line was held by Breckinridge's troops, and was carried, but Lee is too ga point so important thus weakly defended. Breckinridge's men were placed in the fore-front to recenforcements. We have taken to-day men from Breckinridge's command, from Buckner's, from Beauregard,emy having made a most vigorous attack upon Breckinridge, a portion of his command was forced back. nded forward with a yell, and regained what Breckinridge had temporarily lost. Three pieces of artiten. The enemy at one time broke through Breckinridge's division, capturing three pieces of artilllery and taking one piece from the enemy. Breckinridge lost probably two hundred prisoners. The
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 11. (ed. Frank Moore), headquarters Army of the Potomac, South bank of the North Anna river, Wednesday, May 25-- (search)
eight hundred yards, Griffin took position in the woods, where a heavy skirmish line was soon met. At first the only rebel troops in the neighborhood consisted of McGowan's brigade, of Wilcox's division (Hill's corps), under command of Colonel Brown, of the Fourteenth South Carolina. But he was presently reinforced by the other three brigades of Wilcox's division — namely, those of Scales, Gordon and Thomas; while Heath's division joined on to the right of Wilcox, and prisoners say that Breckinridge's division afterward came up. The skirmish line which was all our advance at first met, had been easily driven back, and the command had taken up its position in the woods, and had just received orders to intrench, the first preparations for which it was just taking, when Griffin's division, at five fifteen P. M., was furiously assailed by the rebel force above enumerated, which suddenly developed in two lines of battle, with a heavy skirmish line in front. Volley after volley, fierce
Rebellion Record: a Diary of American Events: Documents and Narratives, Volume 11. (ed. Frank Moore), headquarters Army of the Potomac, in the field, near Hanovertown, Va. Tuesday, May 31. (search)
th corps (Wright's) holds the right, then the Second (Hancock's); the Fifth (Warren's); and then the Ninth (Burnside's), which holds our left. The only portion of our force thus far, engaged to-day, is Hancock's corps, from whose front I have just returned. The divisions of Birney on the right, and Barlow on the centre, advanced about six hundred yards, carrying the enemy's first line, which was held by a strong skirmish force. Birney captured forty prisoners, who proved to belong to Breckinridge's command. There is hardly a doubt, however, that the position now held by the rebels in our front is but an advanced line, which they will hold as long as possible, for the purpose of gaining time to perfect their defences on the Chickahominy. On that historic line it is now fully expected that we shall, ere long, deliver battle. In the relative positions of the two opposing forces, this is the only field-fight we are likely to have outside of Richmond, and that its result must deci
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