War of the Rebellion: Serial 070 Page 0732 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLIX.

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HUPP'S HILL, May 12, 1864.

(Via New Market.)

General BRECKINRIDGE:

Following dispatch this moment received, dated Reserve Picket, Luray, May 12, 7 a. m.:

I have just returned from a scout to Front Royal. The enemy's force in that neighborhood does not exceed 150 cavalry. At sight of us they moved in direction of Strasburg, but I think returned when we left. It is reported here this morning that about this number are moving up Powell's Fort toward the furnace; if so, I think it the same force. I will watch them and prevent that number for reaching the furnace.

H. H. RIDDLEBERGER.

This demonstrates that no part of Sigel's force has crossed Blue Ridge at any point south of the Manassas Gap Railroad, nor do I believe any have crossed. I thin Sigel will not advance until he investigates affair in Hampshire. Colonel Wynkoop reported my force in Romney at 5,000 men, consisting of Rosser's and my own brigade. If I could have remained two days longer and taken Columbia [Cumberland], I believe Sigel would have returned to Martinsburg.

J. D. IMBODEN,

Brigadier-General.

General, this is the balance of dispatch sent you when they signed Riddleberger. We thought that they were through, as they stopped sending, but it was owing to operator at Mount Jackson, who said the enemy were advancing and pulled up instruments and left.

OPERATOR.

TWO MILES NORTH OF NEW MARKET,

New Market, May 12, 1864.

Major-General BRECKINRIDGE:

My position at Rude's Hill, four miles in advance of New Market and fifty miles from Staunton, is apparently strong but perfectly bare and uncovered. It consists of a range of hills inclosed between Smith's Creek on the right, a deep and sluggish stream, and North Fork Shenandoah on left, 700 yards distant-the bluffs to latter stream are precipitous, wooden; the range of hills in front command bottom lands in front for one mile. The most objectionable feature is a bluff 1,800 yards distant and affording the enemy good position for flank fire of artillery, but position could be given our battery entrenching. The enemy could not hold their position. A little assistance from rifle-pits and earth-works for batteries would make the position very strong, and by holding it we reach the road from New Market via Thornton's Gap to Orange Court-House. The first position in rear is at Lacey Spring, nine miles from Harrisonburg.

R. L. POOR,

Major.

PRESIDENT'S OFFICE,

[May 13, 1864.]

General S. COOPER:

Please direct General Breckinridge, if he has no instructions from General Lee to conflict, that he will a brigade of infantry promptly to Lynchburg to protect that place and to unite with McCausland in