Page:A memoir of the last year of the War of Independence, in the Confederate States of America.djvu/54

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.


50 PURSUIT OF HUJTTER.

My command had marched sixty miles, in the three days^ pursuit, over very rough roads, and that part of it from the Army of Northern Virginia had had no rest since leaving Gaines' Mill. I determined, therefore, to rest on the 22nd, so as to enable the waggons and artillery to get up, and prepare the men for the long march before them. Imboden had come up, following on the road through Salem after the enemy, and the cavalry was sent through Fincastle, to ivatch the enemy and annoy him as he passed through the mountains towards Lewisburg, and also ascertain whether he would endeavour to get into the valley towards Lexington or Staunton.

��remarkable, as it appears that this expedition had been long contemplated and ■was one of the prominent features of the campaign of 1864. Sheridan, with his cavalry, was to have united with Hunter at Lynchburg, and the two together were to have destroyed General Lee's communications and depots of supplies, and then have joined Grant. Can it be believed that Hunter set out on so important an expedition with an insufficient supply of ammunition ? He had only fought the battle of Piedmont with a part of his force, and it was not a very severe one, as Jones' force was a small one and composed mostly of cavalry. Crooks column not being there was not engaged. Had Sheridan defeated Hampton at Trevillian's, he would have reached Lynchburg after destroying the railroad on the way, and I could not have reached there in time to do any good. But Hampton defeated Sh«ridan^and the latter saw " infantry " too strong to successfully assault." Had Hunter moved on Lynchburg with energy, that place would have fallen before it was possible for me to get there. But he tarried on the way for purposes which will hereafter appear, and when he reached there, his heart failed him and he was afraid to fight an. inferior force, and then- there was discovered, "A want of ammunition to give battle."

�� �