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here the headquarters of General Early were said to be. Not knowing but that he would fight at Staunton, Colonel Stagg's brigade of General Devin's division was ordered to destroy the railroad bridge over Christian's creek, between Staunton and Waynesboro, to prevent his getting reinforcements by rail, or in case he would not stand, to prevent him carrying off supplies and ordnance stores; the bridge was burned, but General Early, learning of our approach, made hasty retreat to Waynesboro, leaviWaynesboro, leaving word in Staunton that he intended to fight at that place. The next morning we entered Staunton. The question then arose in my mind whether I should pursue my course on to Lynchburg, leaving General Early in my rear, or go out and fight him with my cavalry against his infantry and what cavalry he could collect, defeat him, and open a way through Rock Fish Gap, and have everything in my own hands for the accomplishment of that portion of my instructions which directed the destruction of the C
-sixth Merritt's division of cavalry was ordered to Port Republic, and Torbert to Staunton and Waynesboro to destroy the bridge at the latter place, and, in retiring, to burn all forage, drive off allLowell's brigade of regulars. On the twenty-seventh while Torbert was making his advance on Waynesboro, I ordered Merritt to make a demonstration on Brown's gap to cover the movement. This broughtin force only to Port Republic, after which he fell back. Torbert this day took possession of Waynesboro, and partially destroyed the railroad bridge, but about dark on the twenty-eighth was attackedGeneral Custer to join his command at Piedmont. At the same time a reconnoissance in force to Waynesboro and Rock Fish gap, but heard nothing from the reconnoissance until the whole party returned. I immediately started the whole force to Waynesboro, which place we reached, a distance of twelve miles, just after dark, and bivouacked for the night. On the next morning (the twenty-eighth) proce