During the long, hot afternoon of June 10, 1864, a column of Union cavalry under Brigadier General A. N. Duffie pushed southward along Back Creek searching for the gap through the ridge to the headwaters of the Tye River. (Today his path is State Route 814 through Love in Sherando area.)
The column unexpectedly came upon the Torry Furnace complex. Duffie ordered the furnace burned and all machinery broken up. Food and forage supplies were also destroyed before the Union cavalrymen continued up the valley to bivouac for the night. On June 11 both Imboden and Duffie sent dispatches to their superiors describing their activities.
Imboden wrote to Major General Breckinridge from Mount Torry Furnace at 8 a.m.
“The enemy’s cavalry (one brigade, 2,000 strong, and a battery) burnt this furnace last night, and camped in the gorge above. Attack, except upon his rear guard, was impossible. He is now moving over an almost impracticable road from this furnace to the head of Back Creek, and then to the head of Tye.
“He is making for the railroad between Lynchburg and Charlottesville. I am cutting out the blockade at Howardsville Gap and will be across the mountain by 3 p.m. I have sent messages to the people on Rockfish and Tye Rivers to blockade all roads in front of the enemy tonight, and inform me on what road he moves. If McCausland fell back to Tye River Gap last night, he too will get in front of this detachment…The enemy will be much jaded by climbing over the mountain.
“We had a skirmish with his rear, and captured several Yankees and Negroes this morning. Col. O’Ferrall is still harassing him.”