I find it most interesting that General Jubul Early was given orders by General RE Lee to secure the valley at all cost, but most importantly to engage any/ all Union forces in the valley and to take off the strangle hold on the defenses of Petersburg and Richmond.
Old Jub, managed to use 25,000 men to confront the Union army, from May/ June 1864 through the very end in April 1865 - loosing more than half of his original force, abling the Confederacy to survive another 6 month, while inflicting more than 3 times his casualties.
I personally admire those southerners who served under Early during that period, dealing with the weather, conditions and mostly impossable odds, sacrificing his ANV 2nd Corp, Army of the Valley - to extend life to the Richmond goverment.
Anyone interested, feel free to contact me.
I know my own CS ancestor served in a VA unit during this period, and was in no less than 85 engagements in 1864 in the valley, serving under Early, covering and recovering a few hundred miles as they march, counter marched, and recounter marched up and down the valley dozens of times at various locations.