On the morning of September 23, General Devin, with his small brigade of cavalry, moved to a point directly north of Mount Jackson, driving the enemy in his front, and there a waited the arrival of General Averell's division, which for some unaccountable reason went into camp immediately after the battle. General Averell reached Devin's command at about 3 p. m., and in the evening returned with all the advance cavalry, of which he was in command, to a creek half a mile north of Hawkinsburg, and there remained until the arrival of the head of the infantry column, which had halted between Edenburg and Woodstock for wagons in order to issue the necessary rations. Early on the morning of the 24th the entire army reached Mount Jackson, a small town on the north bank of the North Fork of the Shenandoah. The enemy had, in the meantime, reorganized and taken position on the bluff south of the river, but had commenced this same morning his retreat toward Harrisonburg; still he held a long and strong line with the troops that were to cover his rear, in a temporary line of rifle-pits on the bluff commanding the plateau. To dislodge him from his strong position, Devin's brigade of cavalry was directed to cross the Shenandoah, work around the base of the Massanutten range, and drive in the cavalry which covered his (the enemy's) right flank, and Powell, who had succeeded Averell, was ordered to move around his left flank, via Timberville, whilst the infantry was pushed across the river by the bridge. The enemy did not wait the full execution of these movements, but withdrew in haste, the cavalry under Devin coming up with him at New Market, and made a hold attempt to hold him until I could push up our infantry, but was unable to do so, as the open, smooth country allowed him (the enemy) to retreat with great rapidity in line of battle, and the 300 or 400 cavalry under Devin was unable to break this line. Our infantry was pushed by heads of columns very hard to overtake and bring on an engagement, but could not succeed, and encamped about six miles south of New Market for the night. Powell meantime had pushed on through Timberville and gained the Valley pike near Lacey's Springs, capturing some prisoners and wagons. This movement of Powell's probably forced the enemy to abandon the road via Harrisonburg, and move over the Keezletown road to Port Republic, to which point the retreat was continued through the night of the 24th and from thence to Brown's Gap in the Blue Ridge.
On the 25th the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps reached Harrisonburg. Crook was ordered to remain at the junction of the Keezletown road with the Valley pike until the movements of the enemy were definitely ascertained. On this day Torbert reached Harrisonburg, having encountered the enemy's cavalry at Luray, defeating it and joining me via New Market, and Powell had proceeded to mount Crawford. On the 26th Merritt's division of cavalry was ordered to Port Republic, and Torbert to Staunton and Waynesborough to destroy the bridge at the latter place, and in retiring to burn all forage, drive off al cattle, destroy all mills, &c., which would cripple the rebel army or Confederacy. Torbert had with him Wilson's division of cavalry and Lowell's brigade of regulars. On the 27th, while Torbert was making his advance on Waynesborough, I ordered Merritt to make a demonstration on Brown's Gap to cover the movement. This brought out the enemy (who had been re-enforced by Kershaw's division, which came through Swift Run Gap) against the small force of cavalry employed in this demonstration, which he followed up to Port Republic, and, I believe, crossed in some force. Merritt's instructions from me were to resist an attack, but if pressed, to fall back to Cross Keys, in which event I intended
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