Download Sheridan in the Shenandoah, 2nd edition by Edward J. Stackpole PDF
By Edward J. Stackpole
Recounts the dimatic 1864 crusade. up-to-date with observation by means of D. Scott Harwig and foreword through William C. Davis.
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All of these things were in Lee's mind as he repeatedly offered Early an honorable out. Weighing all the factors, Old Jube set his face towards Washington with, it may be assumed, the hearty concurrence of such able fighting leaders as John Breckinridge, John B. Gordon, Robert Rodes, and Dodson Ramseur. In view of the size of the job and the uncertainty of the outcome, it was of the first importance that the troops be reshod, that all excess baggage be discarded, and the column stripped down to bare essentials.
Even at that, six days had elapsed from the time he reached Lexington until his arrival before Lynchburg, indicating that he couldn't have covered much over 10 miles a day on the average. General Crook's subsequent account of Hunter's campaign referred in scathing terms to the ineffective service of Averell's cavalry during this period. It seems that Hunter on approaching Lexington from the north had sent Averell to cross Black River higher up, to come in on the rear of the VMI cadet battalion that was opposing the Union advance.
They also heard the Confederates cheering, which completed the illusion that their imagination conjured up. For it was no more than that, a ruse devised by the wily Confederates to dampen Federal ardor for aggressive action, a desire that happened to be strangely nonexistent in the mind of the troubled General Hunter. The trick was not a new one, to run a detached engine with an empty car noisily up and down the tracks, but it usually worked. page_39 Page 40 Jubal Early was still in a dangerous spot and he knew it.