Page:A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America.djvu/80

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76
OPERATIONS IN THE LOWER VALLEY.

crossed the Opequon and was moving towards Summit Point, Averill's cavalry attacked and drove back in some confusion, first Vaughan's, and then Johnson's cavalry, which were on the Martinsburg road, and the Opequon, but Rodes returned towards Bunker Hill and drove the enemy back in turn. This affair arrested my march, and I recrossed the Opequon and moved to Stephenson's depot, where I established my camp.

On the 3d Rodes moved to Bunker Hill in support of Lomax's cavalry, and drove the enemy's cavalry from and beyond that place.

A letter had been received from General Lee requesting that Kershaw's division should he returned to him, as he was very much in need of troops, and, after consultation with me, General Anderson determined to recross the Blue Ridge with that division and Fitz Lee's cavalry. On the 3rd he moved towards Berryville for the purpose of crossing the mountain at Ashby's Gap, and I was to have moved towards Charlestown next day to occupy the enemy's attention during Anderson's movement. Sheridan, however, had started two divisions of cavalry through Berryville and White Post, on a raid to our rear, and his main force had moved towards Berryville. Anderson encountered Crook's corps at the latter place, and, after a sharp engagement, drove it back on the main body, Receiving information of this affair, I moved at daylight next morning, with three divisions, to Anderson's assistance, Gordon's division being left to cover Winchester. I found Kershaw's division extended out in a strong skirmish line confronting Sheridan's main force, which had taken position in rear of Berryville, across the road from Charlestown to that place, and was busily fortifying, while the cavalry force which had started on the raid was returning and passing between Berryville and the river to Sheridan's rear. As may be supposed, Anderson's position was one of great peril, if the enemy had possessed any enterprise, and it presented the appearance of the most extreme audacity for him thus to confront a force, so vastly superior to his own, while, too, his trains were at the mercy of the enemy's cavalry, had the latter known it. Placing one of my divisions in line on Kershaw's left, I moved