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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/70

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Southern Historical Society Papers

mac from Fort Monroe, where it had arrived in the nick of time from New Orleans, and was still on its transports. Thus Washington was saved from capture by the opportune arrival of these two corps, for Early would have made little account of the heavy artillery and local troops then in the fortifications of that city.

Early withdrew to the lower Valley, followed by Wright and Emory, who were soon joined by General Crook, who had superseded Hunter after his disastrous return to Harper's Ferry from the Ohio river. This formed the Eighth Corps in the Army of the Shenandoah Valley. Soon Wright and Emory started back to Washington to reinforce Grant, when Early at once turned upon Crook, defeated him at Kernstown, July 24, and drove him through Winchester and across the Potomac at Harper's Ferry. This caused the return of the troops of Wright and Emory, and the whole force was concentrated at and near Harper's Ferry.

In casting around for a commander for this army General Grant fixed upon his cavalry commander, General Sheridan, recently defeated by General Hampton, at Trevillian's Station, in his effort to join General Hunter, and compelled to return. Sheridan, in addition to his three corps of infantry, was supplied with three divisions of cavalry Averill's, Merritt's, and Wilson's all under command of General Torbert, and numbering 11,000 men, as was shown by the rolls of the cavalry which were captured by the Confederates in this campaign.

The Second Corps of the Confederate Army consisted of the divisions of Rodes, Ramseur and Gordon, to which was added, after reaching Lynchburg, the small division of Breckinrijge, commanded by General Wharton. Later, General Early was joined by General R. H. Anderson, with General Kershaw's division of infantry, and General Fitz. Lee's division of cavalry from General Lee's army.

There was much marching up and down the Valley and manœuvering for position on the part of Generals Early and Sheridan. Notwithstanding his immense superiority of force, General Sheridan would not join battle. At last General Grant paid General Sheridan a visit, with a plan of battle in his pocket, and with the intention of urging him to fight, when he ascertained that Sheridan had just been informed by a female spy in Winchester that General Anderson, with Kershaw's Division, had been recalled to General Lee's army such was the pressing need for reinforcements there and Sheridan had already determined to attack, so Grant did not divulge his plan. The withdrawal of Kershaw's Division from General Earl's