Page:A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America.djvu/131

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127
OPERATIONS IN 1865.

On the 3rd, I rode, with the party that was with me, towards Charlottesville; but, on getting near that place, we found the enemy entering it. We had then to turn back and go by a circuitous route under the mountains to Gordonsville, as the Rivanna River and other streams were very much swollen. On arriving at Gordonsville I found General Wharton, who had made his escape to Charlottesville on the night of the affair at Waynesboro, and he was ordered to Lynchburg, by the way of the Central and Southside Railroads, to take command of Echols' brigade, and aid in the defence of the city. General Long was ordered to report to General Lee at Petersburg.

The affair at Waynesboro diverted Sheridan from Lynchburg, which he could have captured without difficulty, had he followed Hunter's route, and not jumped at the bait unwillingly offered him, by the capture of my force at the former place. His deflection from the direct route to the one by Charlottesville, was without adequate object, and resulted in the abandonment of the effort to capture Lynchburg, or to cross the James River to the south side. He halted at Charlottesville for two or three days, and then moved towards James River below Lynchburg, when, being unable to cross that river, he crossed over the Rivanna at its mouth, and then moved by the way of Frederick's Hall on the Central Railroad, and Ashland on the R. F. & P. Railroad, across the South and North Anna, and down the Pamunkey to the White House.

At Gordonsville about 200 cavalry were collected under Colonel Morgan, of the 1st Virginia Cavalry, and, with this force, I watched the enemy for several days while he was at Charlottesville, and when he was endeavoring to cross the James River. When Sheridan had abandoned this effort, and on the day he reached the vicinity of Ashland, while I was riding on the Louisa Court House and Richmond road, towards the bridge over the South Anna, with about 20 cavalry, I came very near being captured by a body of 300 cavalry sent after me, but I succeeded in eluding the enemy with most of those who were with me, and reached Richmond at two o'clock next morning, after passing twice between the