with my artillery, I sent General Averell with a brigade of cavalry to cross the river some distance, and fall upon the enemy's flank and rear. Before this movement was completed, the enemy perceived it and hastily retired on the road toward Buchanan. The battalion of Cadets, about 250 muskets, took part in the defense and retired by the Balcony Falls road toward Lynchburg. I was told that Colonel Smith, principal of the Institute, and commanding the Cadets, protested against the attempted defense as entirely futile, purposeless, and unnecessarily exposing the town and its helpless inhabitants to danger and destruction. In occupying this place a few prisoners were taken, 5 pieces of cannon, with numerous caissons and gun carriages, some small-arms, and a quantity of ammunition fell into our hands and were destroyed; 6 barges laden with commissary stores, artillery ammunition, and 6 pieces of cannon were captured and destroyed on the James River Canal near the town. A number of extensive iron-works in the vicinity were burned.
On the 12th I also burned the Virginia Military Institute and all the buildings connected with it. I found here a violent and inflammatory proclamation from John Letcher, lately Governor of Virginia, inciting the population of the country to rise and wage a guerrilla warfare on my troops, and ascertaining that after having advised his fellow-citizens to this course the ex-Governor had himself ignominiously taken to flight, I ordered his property to be burned under my order, published May 24, against persons practicing or abetting such unlawful and uncivilized warfare. Having had information that a train of 200 wagons, loaded with supplies and guarded by two regiments of infantry, was en route following our march, I delayed one day in Lexington to allow it time to overtake us. I had also begun to fell anxious in regard to Duffie, from whom I had not definitely heard for two days.
While awaiting news from Duffie, on the 13th I sent Averell forward to Buchanan with orders to drive McCausland out of the way and, if possible, secure the bridge over the James River at that place. Before starting General Averell detached a party of 200 picked men, with orders to ride around Lynchburg, cutting the railroad communication and obtaining all possible information of the enemy.
On the afternoon of the 13th General Duffie arrived and made a report of his operations in person. On the 10th he had moved from Staunton simultaneously with the other columns. A regiment sent to demonstrate toward Waynesborough drove the enemy through that place and then followed the division by the road running southward along the western base of the Blue Ridge. Driving a small force from White's Gap, General Duffie crossed the ridge and came upon the Charlottesville and Lynchburg railroad, menacing Lynchburg from the vicinity of Amherst Court-House, and breaking the road at Arrington Station. He was followed from Waynesborough by a large mounted force under Imboden, who, however, never hazarded a general attack, and who was signally defeated in every attempt to harass or impede the movements of our troops. In addition to the damage done to the railroad, General Duffie captured 100 prisoners, about 500 horses, and destroyed large quantities of stores and a considerable portion of Imboden's train. He returned by Tye River Gap, without serious loss.
7 R-VOL XXXVII, PT I