Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/310

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I

302 Southern Historical Society Papers.

General Early 's report is as follows:

"NEW LONDON, June 19, 1864, 9 : 3 A. M. " General:

" Last evening the enemy assaulted my line in front of Lynch- burg and was repulsed by the part of my command which was up. On the arrival of the rest of the command I made arrangements to attack this morning at light, but it was discovered that the men were retreating, and I am now pursuing. The enemy is retreating in con- fusion, and, if the cavalry does its duty, we will destroy him.

"J. A. EARLY, ' ' Lieutenant- General. "General R. E. Lee."

This report is brief and to the point. It has been construed as ignoring the troops belonging to the command of Breckinridge, and as doing injustice to the cavalry of Imboden and McCausland. General Early should have been more careful in writing it, but it must be remembered that when it was written he was not informed of the great service which had been rendered by the cavalry, or of the faithful work which had been done by the troops, other than those belonging to the Second Corps.

In his memoirs (on page 44) General Early says that some time after midnight it was discovered that Hunter was moving, but, owing to the uncertainty as to whether he was merely changing front or retreating, nothing could be done until daylight, when, the retreat being ascertained, the pursuit commenced. Early'sarmy moved in three columns, the Second Corps on the Salem Turnpike, Breckin- ridge' s command, under Elzey, on the Forest road, and the cavalry, placed by Early under General Robert Ransom, on the right ot Elzey. The enemy's rear was overtaken at Liberty by Ramseur's Division and was driven through that place at a brisk trot.

It is not within the scope of this paper to follow up the retreat ot Hunter, nor to narrate the incidents of Early's campaign in Mary- land and the scare he gave the Government at Washington. What a commotion his little army created can be easily understood by in- specting the yoth and yist volumes of the War of the Rebellion, a large part of which is taken up by the numberless orders and counter- orders, alarms and outcries incident to the fright then prevailing. General Grant seems to have been the only person in command on the other side who kept his equilibrium and acted with consistent courage and judicious poise.