An ALS from a Union officer "George" to his wife "Fannie" describing, in the form of a diary, a diversionary campaign into the Shenandoah Valley, 10, December - 25, December 1863. The purpose of their maneuver, which he calls "the Valley Expedition," was "to divert attention from Gen. Averill while he was making a raid up through Staunton, Virginia." The expeditionary force of about 1,600 was large enough not to fall prey to guerrillas but too small to actively engage the regular Confederate army locally under the command of Gen. Jubal Early. They successfully preoccupied and eluded the forces of Gen. Early and his diary gives details of how this was accomplished, the social conditions and attitudes of the Valley's inhabitants and the common hardships of military camps. He had not written sooner because the expedition had been under strict orders to cut off communication lines to its headquarters and home base at Harpers Ferry. Also they were not expected to return from what was considered a suicide mission.
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A&M 1567, Civil War Letter Regarding Shenandoah Valley Diversionary Campaign, West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries. https://archives.lib.wvu.edu/repositories/2/resources/4943 Accessed October 22, 2020.