Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/309
The ('<! in pan/it mid Battle of Lynchbiirrj. 301
man, Colonel J. W. Watts, of the Second Virginia Cavalry, was at his home near Liberty, recuperating from severe wounds. Despite his disabled condition, he mounted his horse, joined McCausland and rendered him valuable aid. To him was assigned the duty of blocking the road from Buchanan to the Peaks of Otter. He did this work very thoroughly, but he states that so complete was the equipment of Hunter's pioneers that they cleared the road in less time than it took him to blockade it. Nevertheless the blockade was one of the causes which materially delayed the advance of Hun- ter, and therefore was one of the causes which led to the relief of the city.
Major Robert C. Saunders, of Campbell, was at the time of the attack by Hunter a resident of the city, being in charge of the Quartermaster Department for the collection of the tax-in-kind for this Congressional District. He had been in the field as captain of an infantry company from Campbell county, and as soon as Hun- ter's approach was a certainty General Nicholls sent for him and sent him out to bring him definite information of Hunter's position. He started immediately and soon was among Hunter's vanguard, but, though much exposed, he wonderfully escaped under cover of the night and brought accurate information which was very valuable. He was sent out again, and was in the sharp battle fought by Gen- eral McCausland at New London and by McCausland and Imboden at the Quaker Meeting House, and then, as Hunter retreated, he was with McCausland and Peters, and saw much hard service with those sturdy soldiers and their men. His manuscript account of what he saw is very interesting, and might properly be inserted in this paper but that it would make it too long for one evening's ad- dress.
Be the cause of General Hunter's failure what they may, the fact is he did fail, and fail disgracefully, where he should have succeeded, for he had every advantage of numbers, of guns and of equipment. There are many pages of reports of Federal officers about this cam- paign published in the records of the War of the Rebellion by the United States Government, but the cotemporaneous literature on ihe part of Confederate officers is very scant; they fought better and longer than they wrote. As a specimen of the Confederate reports, that of General Early may fitly be taken. It contrasts strikingly with the ten-page document of General Hunter upon the same sub- ject, found in the seventieth volume of the War of the Rebellion, page 94.