The end of 1864 found Confederate Colonel Elijah V White the commander of the 35th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry in the Shenandoah Valley. His rations were running out, and men leaving the ranks in recorded numbers. White moved his men back into their home territory of Loudoun County, Virginia, to forage and regroup. About the same time Union cavalry Colonel Thomas C Devin on a regular patrol of the area made camp northwest of Lovettsville near George’s Schoolhouse.
On January 12th 1865 some members of White’s 35th were at a party in Hillsborough, Virginia when they were surprised by the Union leaning Loudoun Rangers. One member of the 35th was killed and two captured. White put together a unit of about 80 men made up of the 35th and Mosby’s Rangers.
On the night of January 17th 1865 White’s raiding party moved on Devin’s camp, capturing the pickets. The raiding party charged the Union cavalry camp, only to find that Devin had recently been reinforced and had about 400 men. Union men assembled in the dark, most in a state of undress, and advanced on the raiders. The raiders quickly broke off the attack, making a retreat, taking about 50 captured horses with them.