Page:A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America.djvu/101

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97
OPERATIONS IN THE UPPER VALLEY.

Having ascertained that the enemy's infantry had halted at Harrisonburg, on the morning of the 27th I moved out and drove a division of his cavalry from Port Republic, and then on camped in the fork of the rivers. I here learned that two divisions of cavalry under Torbert had been sent through Staunton to Waynesboro, and were engaged in destroying the railroad bridge at the latter place, and the tunnel through the Blue Ridge at Rockfish Gap, and, on the 28th, I moved for those points. In making this movement I had the whole of the enemy's infantry on my right, while one division of cavalry was in my rear and two in my front, and oh the left was the Blue Ridge. I had therefore to move with great circumspection. Wickham's brigade of cavalry was sent up South River, near the mountain, to get between the enemy and Rockfish Gap, while the infantry moved in two columns, one up South River with the trains guarded in front by Pegram's and Wharton's divisions, and in rear by Ramseur's division, and the other, composed of Kershaw's and Gordon's divisions, with the artillery, on the right through Mount Meridian, Piedmont and New Hope. McCausland's cavalry, under Colonel Ferguson, was left to blockade and hold Brown's Gap, while Lomax, with the rest of his cavalry and Payne's brigade, watched the right flank and rear. Wickham's brigade having got between Rockfish Gap and Waynesboro, drove the enemy's working parties from the latter place, and took position on a ridge in front of it, when a sharp artillery fight ensued. Pegram's division, driving a small body of cavalry before it, arrived just at night and advanced upon the enemy, when he retired in great haste, taking the roads through Staunton and west of the Valley Pike, back to the main body. A company of reserves, composed of boys under 18 years of age, which had been employed on special duty at Staunton, had moved to Rockfish Gap, and another company of reserves from Charlottesville, with two pieces of artillery, had moved to the same point, and when the enemy advanced towards the tunnel and before he got in range of the guns, they were opened, and he retired to Waynesboro.

On the 29th and 30th, we rested at Waynesboro, and an