Page:A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America.djvu/121

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

enemy held precisely the same portion of that valley, which he held before the opening of the campaign in the spring, and no more, and the headquarters of his troops were at the same place, to-wit: "Winchester. There was this difference however: at the beginning of the campaign, he held it with comparatively a small force, and at the close, he was compelled to employ three corps of infantry and one of cavalry, for that purpose, and to guard the approaches to Washington, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. When I was detached from General Lee's army, Hunter was advancing on Lynchburg, 170 miles south of Winchester, with a very considerable force, and threatening all of General Lee's communications with a very serious danger. By a rapid movement, my force had been thrown to Lynchburg, just in time to arrest Hunter's march into that place, and he had been driven back and forced to escape into the mountains of Western Virginia, with a loss of ten pieces of artillery, and subsequent terrible suffering to his troops. Maryland and Pennsylvania had been invaded, Washington threatened and thrown into a state of frantic alarm, and Grant had been compelled to detach two corps of infantry and two divisions of cavalry from his army. Five or six thousand prisoners had been captured from the enemy and sent to Richmond, and, according to a published statement by Sheridan, his army had lost 13,831, in killed and wounded, after he took command of it. Heavy losses had been inflicted on that army by my command, before Sheridan went to the Valley, and the whole loss could not have been far from double my entire force. The enemy moreover had been deprived of the use of the Baltimore and Ohio rail-road, and the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, for three months. It is true that I had lost many valuable officers and men, and about 60 pieces of artillery, counting those lost by Ramseur and McCausland, and not deducting the 19 pieces captured from the enemy; but I think I may safely state that the fall of Lynchburg with its foundries and factories, and the consequent destruction of General Lee's communications, would have rendered necessary the evacuation of Richmond, and that, therefore, the fall of the latter place had been prevented; and, by my subsequent operations,