Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 30.djvu/296

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288 Southern Historical Society Papers.

at that point. Rodes demanded the right to be sent forward with his division ahead of Ramseur, on the ground that he should be called upon to defend his native city. This privilege, from some unaccountable reason, was denied him, a, denial which led to high words between Early and himself.

General Early was on board the first train, but so indifferent was the motive power, and so bad the condition of the track, that he and the first half of his corps did not reach Lynchburg until the afternoon of the lyth, and the rest of his small army did not arrive until nearly night the next day too late to take part in the engage- ment. Early found Breckinridge in bed suffering from the injury to which reference is made above, and as Breckinridge could not go out to reconnoitre, he had called upon General D. H. Hill, who happened to be in the city, to ascertain and define the best lines of defence. This duty was performed by General Hill, with the assist- ance of General Harry T. Hays, of Louisiana, who was also in town disabled by a wound received at Spotsylvania Courthouse. Hill established the line close to the city in breastworks, which had been thrown up on College Hill. These were at once occupied by the disorganized infantry force which had been defeated at Piedmont under Jones, the Virginia Military Institute Cadets, and the invalid corps. To this was added Breckinridge' s small command, when it arrived on the i6th, and Douthat's Battery.

Early, on his arrival, thought this line too near the city for the main defence. He feared that in case of battle the shot and shell of the enemy would do damage to the property and the people of the town; consequently a new line, further out, was established, to which were taken the troops with Early, Breckinridge' s men and the artillery.

When he reached the field on the afternoon of the lyth, Early found Imboden with his small remnant of cavalry, and McCausland with his little brigades, occupying the hill at the old Quaker Meeting House, on the Salem Turnpike. This cavalry, with their gallant leaders, was holding the enemy in check, which was a great achieve- ment, and was one absolutely essential to the safety of the city. They were, however, very slowly driven back as the main body of Hunter's army advanced.

The small force under Ramseur, which arrived on the evening of the iyth, was at once thrown forward and occupied the new line established by Early, across the Salem Turnpike, about two miles