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ts had been engaged in during the Confederate war. On the 9th of March, General Rosser, who was now the ranking officer remaining in the Valley, having collected quite a body of his cavalry and learning that Sheridan's cavalry had turned from Charlottesville toward Lynchburg, determined to intercept and turn them back. Imboden's brigade, from the South Branch valley, reached Stauntonon the 10th, and on the 11th Rosser marched, at sunrise, with about 500 men, toward Lexington, encamping at Bell's, beyond Midway; marching at sunrise of the 12th, crossing the Blue ridge at Tye River gap, then by way of Massie's mills and Fleetwood and on by Hubbard's to Harris', three miles beyond Lovingston, where he went into camp at midnight. Sheridan had been frustrated in his attempt to get to the rear of Lee's army by finding that the bridge across the James, at Hardwicksville, was burned, and had turned down the river toward Scottsville, destroying property of all kinds as he went. On the 13
J. C. Breckinridge (search for this): chapter 30
e earthworks that defended the salt works at Saltville. Pushing forward with great energy, and having at his command some 5,500 men, nearly twice as many as Breckinridge could get together, Stoneman drove Vaughn's and Duke's commands before him, and pressing on passed Glade Spring, paying no attention to the Confederate force at Saltville, until he was delayed, by an action at Marion, on the 16th, but only for a short time, as his superior force enabled him to flank Breckinridge's command and compel the larger portion of it to retreat southward toward North Carolina. Riding rapidly still further up the valley, Stoneman was again opposed, in a skirmish enty-five hours, and reached Marion in time to aid in forcing the enemy to retire, although he was greatly inferior in numbers. Maj. J. Stoddard Johnston, General Breckinridge's adjutant-general, who was at Wytheville without any force, collected six or eight men and held the enemy at bay for two hours, by establishing a picket p
John C. Breckinridge (search for this): chapter 30
n part of the Great valley of Virginia, and forced him back toward Abingdon. Another skirmish took place on the 15th near that place and another near Glade Spring, as Vaughn, in falling back, resisted the advance of the Federal raid. Gen. J. C. Breckinridge, in command of the Confederate forces in southwest Virginia, having been duly advised of the movements of Stoneman's command, promptly made every effort to collect his scattered men to meet them; but in that inclement season it was imposlry division melted away during the day, and but few were left to follow the gallant Gen. William L. Jackson, as, indulging a forlorn hope, he turned back toward the Valley. General Rosser, after having conferred with the secretary of war, John C. Breckinridge, at Danville, rode back to Lynchburg and disbanded his division. Nearly every house in all the region westward from Appomattox was full of soldiers returning to their homes, and of deserters and skulkers that were coming out of their hole
arehouses filled with army supplies, burning a church that had been used for this purpose, and destroying the railway bridges and stations for a few miles northeastward of Wytheville. Having accomplished so much in the way of damaging the Confederacy, Stoneman retired to the vicinity of Glade Spring, and on the 20th and 21st drove away the small force at the salt works and greatly damaged that important and indispensable salt-making establishment. On the 22d he retired from Saltville. Burbridge's portion of his command then returned westward, by the way of Pound gap, on the 27th, to Catlettsburg, at the mouth of the Big Sandy in Kentucky, and Gillem's command returned to Knoxville on the 29th, reporting that it had marched 461 miles during this expedition, in intensely cold and inclement weather. The damage inflicted upon southwest Virginia by this Federal. raid, in the destruction of railway and turnpike bridges, railway stations and warehouses, iron works, woolen mills, le
of Franklin, picketed the South Branch of the Potomac, well toward Moorefield, and the North Fork of the Potomac, on the road leading northwest from Franklin. William L. Jackson's brigade, with headquarters at the Warm Springs, picketed the line of Jackson's river, at Hightown and points to the south of that, Cheat mountain, on the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike, near the Big Spring beyond Marlinton, and points in the upper Greenbrier valley. McCausland's brigade, with headquarters at Callahan's, west of Covington, had a camp of observation near the White Sulphur Springs and picketed at Lewisburg. Lomax had his headquarters at Millboro, on the Virginia Central railroad, and Payne's brigade was encamped near Lexington. Such was the disposition, in widely scattered camps of a few cavalrymen at each place, many miles from headquarters, with numerous intervening mountains and streams to cross, when Sheridan began his second Valley campaign, starting from Winchester on the 27th of
Thomas L. Carter (search for this): chapter 30
its winter quarters in Alleghany and Greenbrier counties. On the 20th, Jackson's cavalry came, from toward Gordonsville, on its way to winter quarters in Bath and adjacent counties. On the 22d the Federal cavalry captured Early's picket at Edenburg, but was repulsed and the picket retaken. The month of January was very cold and stormy, with intervals of thawing which broke up the roads and made traveling very difficult. On the 2d of February, two battalions of artillery, under Col. Thomas L. Carter, left the vicinity of Waynesboro and went to Richmond. On the 7th snow fell to the depth of eight inches, interrupting railway communication. On the 8th, Payne's brigade received orders to cross the Blue ridge, from Lexington, where it had gone into camp. There was sadness at headquarters on hearing of the defeat of the Second corps near Petersburg, and of the death of Gen. John Pegram, commanding one of its divisions, who had begun his military career at Rich mountain in the earl
ront of the town and his right near the Central railway. He was located on a ridge, on the western edge of the town, with four pieces of artillery placed on his right, near the railroad and on the River road, and on the road leading to Staunton. His left rested in the edge of a small body of woods. The day was bitterly cold, with a biting wind and a steadily falling, heavy sleet. Sheridan came on, at an early hour, and drove in Early's pickets, having destroyed the railroad bridge over Christian's creek as he advanced. He first made a feint of attacking and then fell back, creating the impression that he had retired and gone into camp. At about 2 p. m. he again advanced in force and formed in line of battle about a mile in front of Waynesboro, across and at right angles to the Staunton road, with skirmishers in front and deployed some distance to the left. Early's artillery opened on this advance, especially that near his left, breaking the enemy's line and compelling them to
Philip St. George Cooke (search for this): chapter 30
ceeded from Huttonsville on byways east of the Tygart's Valley river, and thus was enabled to attack the enemy's camp in the rear, turning its fortifications, which were constructed with reference to an attack from Parkersburg on the west to Beverly. Just before crossing Files creek, on the north side of which was the encampment of the Eighth and Thirty-fourth Ohio volunteer infantry, General Rosser divided his command into two portions—the Eighth Virginia mounted infantry, commanded by Colonel Cooke moved to the left and attacked the eastern side of the Federal camp, interposing itself between that camp, which was just to the north of Beverly, and its fortifications, thus preventing its occupation; while Rosser's brigade, composed of the Eleventh, Twelfth and Seventh Virginia cavalry regiments and the Eighth Virginia of Payne's brigade, moved farther to the right and attacked the northern side of the camp. The attack was a complete surprise and success. After caring for his pris
mond On the 20th a portion of the general hospital of the army, which had so long been located at Staunton, was removed to Richmond, and on the 22d the Churchville company of cavalry also marched for Petersburg. On the 24th of February, Major-Generals Crook and Kelley, of the Federal army, were brought as prisoners to Staunton, by a squad of McNeill's company of partisan rangers, having been boldly and adroitly captured from their beds at Cumberland, Md., in the midst of an army of 5,000 men, and brought out on the night of the 21st, mounted on their own horses. General Early interviewed these two Federal officers, and General Crook, who was in command of the Federal army at the battle of Cedar Creek, on the morning of September 9th, in the absence of General Sherman, confessed to him that the Sixth corps was as badly damaged, or nearly so, as were the Eighth and Ninth, by Early's attack, and was, in his opinion, in no condition to resist a third attack, if such had been made.
Basil Duke (search for this): chapter 30
nd united. with Stoneman's, which had advanced from Cumberland gap, near Bean's Station, east Tennessee, on the 12th, and had a skirmish with the outposts of Gen. Basil Duke near Rogersville; then an action with his advance at Kingsport, Tenn., on the 13th, defeating Duke and driving his command toward Bristol, near which place, aDuke and driving his command toward Bristol, near which place, at Papertown, on the 14th, Stoneman attacked Vaughn's Tennessee brigade, of the Confederate army, which was guarding the railroad and the main turnpike road leading into the southwestern part of the Great valley of Virginia, and forced him back toward Abingdon. Another skirmish took place on the 15th near that place and another ne Pushing forward with great energy, and having at his command some 5,500 men, nearly twice as many as Breckinridge could get together, Stoneman drove Vaughn's and Duke's commands before him, and pressing on passed Glade Spring, paying no attention to the Confederate force at Saltville, until he was delayed, by an action at Marion
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