Battle of Allegheny Mountain

Contemporary Newspaper Accounts


Richmond Daily Dispatch
December 17, 1861

Col. Edward Johnson.

--We observe that the papers all spell this gentleman's name with at. This is not the correct spelling. His name is Johnson not Johnston. He is the youngest son of the late Dr. Edward Johnson of Chester field, and is a native of that county. He is almost as well known in this city as any resident citizen, owning a considerable property here, and spending here the greater part of his time when he is on furlough. He is a graduate of West Point, and served in Florida during the latter part of the Florida war. He served also in Mexico, where he was favorably mentioned in the dispatches of General Scott. He was a Captain in the line, but a Major by brevet, when the present war broke out. At the time that Virginia seceded, he was in command of some of the forts around New York, and having frequently avowed strong secession sentiments, was arrested and thrown into prison. He contrived to make his escape, and embark in disguise on board of a vessel bound for some port in Central America. Thence he contrived to reach home in July, when he was immediately appointed by President Davis to the command of a regiment from Georgia.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
December 17, 1861

The battle of Alleghany mountain.

We received last evening, through the kindness of gentlemen from Western Virginia, some further incidents of the battle fought on Friday last on the Alleghany mountain. The report which reached the city on Sunday that the forces of Col. Johnson were surprised by the enemy is, we are assured, entirely erroneous. The action, in fact, commenced on Thursdayevening between the pickets; and this contradicts the statement previously made that the enemy approached from the rear and front, turning both our flanks. As near as we can ascertain, the Federals, who were doubtless guided by Union men of the vicinity, came upon Col. Johnson's camp, soon after daylight, from the north, their strength being four regiments of about 1,000 men each. They attacked our forces, consisting of three regiments of an average of 400 each. two battalions numbering together 200 men, and two batteries of four guns each. The fight continued until 2 o'clock P. M., when the enemy retreated.

One great advantage that the Federals possessed was a position behind some felled timber at a convenient distance from our camp, where they were well protected from our fire, and had a good opportunity of picking off our men whenever they showed themselves. They were, however. finally shelled not by our batteries, and forced to make a rapid retreat. They carried most of their wounded down the mountain to the ambulances, though some were left on the field.

Captain Anderson, of the Lee Battery, was shot dead from his house at an early period of the fight. A letter to Judge Camden mentions the death of an officer of the Twelfth Georgia Regiment but gives no name. We also hear that Lieutenant Reagan was killed: but there are contradictory statements relative to the death of Lieut. Lewis Thompson. The North western boys behaved most gallantly, and deserve much praise for their heroic conduct. They advanced and attacked the enemy three separate times, and, being thus exposed, suffered more heavily than any other troops. Only two companies of the Fifty second Virginia Regiment (Colonel Baldwinis) were engaged in the fight--Captain Skinner's and Captain Lilley's. Several were wounded in these companies, but only one was killed.

Our informants state that Col. Johnson"covered himself with glory, and is entitled on the appellation of the Hero of the Alleghany" At an early period of the battle, when our then partially fell back under a fierce charge, Col. Johnson placed himself at their head, and seizing a stout bludgeon, waved it in the air, shouting words of encouragement and bidding defiance to the enemy. The men were fired with enthusiasm, and Johnson led them on to the charge in person, sweeping the Yankees before him like chaff. It is represented to have been a moment of terrible excitement; but the troops and their brave commander proved equal to the emergency. A young man from the camp says that many a true soldier shed tears over the death of the brave Anderson, but all joined in the shout of joy on witnessing the heroism of Johnson.

When we take into consideration the numerical weakness of our force, and the strength and advantageous position of the enemy, we cannot but regard it as one of the most desperate conflicts of the war. That the Federals suffered heavily there is no doubt; yet their mendacious newspapers will pursue their usual course of misrepresentation, and announce it as a grand "Union" triumph. Yet they will scarcely have the hardihood to venture another attack upon Col. Johnson and his command.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
December 18, 1861

The battle of Alleghany Mountain.

A letter has been received from Mr. Bassel, of Upshur, by a friend in this city, which gives some father details of the battle on the Alleghany. The enemy was repulsed, and retreated precipitately. The 31st Virginia Regiment, composed of men from the Northwestern counties, temporarily under the command of Major Boykin, suffered more than any of our soldiers. Lieutenant Reger, of the Upshur Grays, was mortally wounded, and Lieutenant Thompson, of Marion county, son of Judge Thompson, was killed. The county has sustained a great loss in the death of these two gallant young soldiers. In the Harrison company, out of some forty-nine men on duty, some twenty-two were either killed or wounded.

Another letter, addressed to Judge Camden, says that the 31st regiment lost in killed and, wounded, 42; Hansborough's Battalion, 28, Reger's Battalion, 15; the 12th Georgia Regiment, 25. Of the enemy, 32 were buried by our forces. How many were killed and wounded is not known.

Col. Hansborough was wounded in the thigh, and Captain Deshier also, but not dangerously. Col. Johnson says the Northwestern boys "fought like devils. "

As we anticipated, the Federals claim a victory, and publish in their newspapers a most palpable tissue of falsehoods in regard to the fight.

Additional details.

The following letter, from a reliable correspondent of the Dispatch, was received at a late hour last night:

[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch]

Glorious victory.

Camp Alleghany,
Pocahontas co., Va., Dec. 14.

Messrs. Editors:

About 12 o'clock Thursday night, our scouts brought the intelligence that the enemy were crossing the Green brier, at Camp Bartow, in full force. We were called to arms, and every preparation made to receive our visitors. About daybreak the attack commenced upon all parts of the encampment. A large body of the enemy field to the left of the road, and endeavored to take up a position upon a commanding height in the rear of our tents. They were promptly met by the 31st Virginia Regiment under Major Boykin, (formerly commanded by Col. Wm L. Jackson.) Hansborough and Reger's battalions, and the 12th Georgia Regiment. --After a band-to-hand contest the enemy was driven from the hills. Three times were they forced to give way, and three times did they rally only to meet with greater slaughter from the determined courage of our troops.--Our men charged with the bayonet and drove the enemy before them down the hill, and by a well-directed volley scattered them, like frightened sheep, through the woods. In this action, at this point, Col. Hansbrough was wounded, Capt Monahan, of the Braxton company, was killed, and Capt. Deshler, aid to Col Johnson, was wounded. Several other officers were wounded. Our loss at this point was severe, owing to the close encounter of the combatants.

In the meantime a consider this force flanked to the right of our encampment, and made a furious assault upon the entrenchments. Hiding behind logs, they kept up a sharp fire for some hours, but were repulsed with considerable loss. It was here that Capt. Anderson, of the artillery, was killed. He was a brave man and an excellent officer. Lieut. Reger, of the Upshur Grays, was also killed. He bad his hand upon the flag-staff of the Confederacy, and fell beneath the shadow of his folds. He was in the 28th year of his age, a native of Northwestern Virginia, and a man of great energy and courage. He was an attend Southerner, and died in defence of his country's rights.

The loyal sons of the Northwest fought like tigers against an enemy who had possession of their homes and families. They dashed upon the foe and discharged their muskets into their faces. A traitor regiment was in the engagement, commanded by Colonel David Henes, of Clarksburg. Many of his men were killed and their bodies recognized by their former friends. The enemy's loss was very great. Their dead now lie thickly over the battle-field; besides, many wagon loads were carried off. I cannot tell at this time the number; but it was large.

Col. Johnson, the commander of the post, was in the thickest of the fight. On foot, with a musket in his hand, he seemed ubiquitous. His clothes were shot through in several places; yet he escaped without a wound. The men all have great confidence in him. The 12th Georgia Regiment also distinguished itself.

Yours, in haste,
T. S.

[by Telegraph]

Lynchburg, Dec. 17.

--A letter received by the publishers of the Republican, of this city, says that our loss was two captains, three lien tenants, and fifteen privates killed, and ninety-seven wounded. The Federal loss was fully 500. Gen. Miliroy commanded the Federals, and it is believed was killed, from the reports made by the prisoners and the people in the neighborhood. Col. Johnson acted most gallantly, and appeared on the field in the dress of a Wagener, with a musket in one hand and a club in the other.


Wheeling Intelligencer
December 24, 1861

The Battle of Alleghany Summit

Full Account from one of the Wheeling Boys who was in it

Camp Elkwater, Va., Dec. 18.
Editors Intelligencer:

Since my last I have been waiting, Micawber like, for something to "turn up," which something did turn up on the 9th inst. An order was received from headquarters at Huttonsville for a portion of the Second Virginia to report at Cheat Mountain Summit immediately, or as soon as the weather and muddy roads would permit. About two o'clock P. M., of that day, detachments of companies A, C, D, G, H, I, J and K, in all about two hundred and ninety men, under command of Maj. Owens, took up the line of march for the Summit, where we arrived at nine o'clock, and were joined by detachments of the 25th and 32d Ohio, 9th and 13th Indiana Regiments, making a column of 1400 men at the Summit. The object of the expedition was explained to us, it being to clean out Camp Baldwin, situate on top of the Alleghany mountains, distant from Cheat Mountain Summit about twenty five miles. On the 11th instant we left there (the summit) and marched to the old Camp of the rebels at Greenbrier, and there halted long enough to get supper and rest, where our force was divided, 700 going up the Greenbank river and a like number up the turnpike towards Staunton, where the two columns were to make the attack at 4 o'clock in the morning, but owing to the roughness of the road and three miles of it up the mountain, much steeper than any part of Wheeling Hill, the column which our correspondent was with, could not get up until about 8 o'clock in the morning when we commenced the fight, on our side, by wounding two of the rebel pickets and killing one, our lines were formed, and forward charge bayonets given, away we went whooping like devils, within two hundred yards of the rebel entrenchments, when the fire became so hot that all had to take shelter behind logs, trees and whatever else could be found. In this position we kept up a regular Indian fight for our four hours, towards the last the firing became so accurate that if an inch of one's person was exposed he was sure to catch it. At last came orders to draw off which was done in tolerable good order. My opinion is that there were over 3,000 rebels we had to fight, and at no time had we over 250 men in the fight; opposed to this force was at least 1,500 rebel muskets and four or five pieces of artillery, among which was a thirty two pounder.

Our loss in killed and wound[ed], I think, will reach nearly 150, and the rebel loss in killed alone over 200. It was one of the hardest fought battles that has yet occurred in Western Virginia. The fight occurred in Highland county, seven miles from Monterey, from which place they (the rebels) received large reinforcements. I notice that some member of the Convention proposed to include Highland in the new State. I think if he had been at the fight, he would accept the amendment to strike out that county.

The loss in the 2d Virginia Regiment is three killed and ten wounded, some mortally, though they have not yet died, and one missing. Among the killed was Lieut. Sickman, of the Plummer Guards, now Company G in the Regiment. He was highly esteemed and a gallant officer. The rebel artillery was silenced four or five times by some boys of the Second, who annihilated one artillery company.

There were many amusing incidents occurring during the fight, which, as I have spun this letter out to a considerable length, cannot be related here.

From our column, which was composed of the 2d Virginia and the 9th Indiana, all fought bravely, and were deserving of victory, but the odds were too great against us.

I have just learned that the rebels contemplate attacking Elkwater in force. Let them come!

The rebels also had a 2d Virginia in the fight, and they were all fine looking men, and well clothed.

Our regiment was the last to leave the rebels. Considering that this was the first time we had been under fire, the men behaved well indeed.

Major Milroy, of the 9th Indiana, regardless of danger to himself, was everywhere encouraging the men during the fight.

Yours, truly.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
December 20, 1861

The battle of Alleghany--Col. Johnson's address to his troops.

A letter from an officer of the 12th Georgia regiment, received at this office, gives some additional particulars of the fight at Alleghany mountain on the 13th inst. "The enemy, under the command of Gen. Reynolds, attacked our position early in the morning.--Gen. Millroy, with 2,000 men, attacked our right, on the open mountain, undefended by any works whatever. We met them with about 300 men, and for four hours the contest was warm; and the result for a long time doubtful. At the same time, Gen. Reynolds with 3,000 assailed our left, which was eighty fortuned, and after one of the hardest fought battles of the war, lasting seven hours, we drove him from the right and left, off the mountain. He retreated in the greatest disorder. Our victory was thorough and complete, as evidenced by his rout and his dead upon the field. We killed some 200 of them, Col. Edward Johnson commanded our forces, and our victory was chiefly owing to his gallantry and bravery. He was on the field from first to last, cheering and encouraging the men. "Where he commands, victory is certain."

Our correspondent send a copy of Colonel Johnson's congratulatory address to his troops, which we append;

Headquarters Monterey line,
Camp Alleghany, December 16, 1861.
General Orders, No--

It affords me great pleasure to congratulate the troop, officers and men of this command, upon the victory achieved by them over the enemy on the 13th inst.

With a force not exceeding twelve or fifteen hundred you repulsed the enemy numbering nearly, if not quite, 5,000. Attacked by superior numbers on your right, where there were no entrenchments, and on your left, where we had but partly constructed earth-works, you met him and in a hand-to-hand conflict, after a struggle of nearly seven (7) hours, drove him from the field. Not once did you falter.--Cheered on and animated by the heroic example of your officers, you drove the enemy from the summit of Alleghany back to his fastnesses in Cheat Mountain. and Virginians, you have met the same enemy you met at Green brier river on the 3d of October, and with an equally glorious result. Whilst we have abundant cause to thank God for this victory, let us not forget the gallant dead who fell by our sides, and whom we buried on Alleghany.

Remember their gallantry, and emulate their example.

[Signed]
Edward Johnson,
[Official.] Col. Commanding.

Edward Willis,
Lt. O. S. A. and Actg. Asst. Adjt. Genl.

The following is an extract from a letter received by Mr. Branson, of the Senate, on yesterday, dated "Top of Alleghany,"Dec. 16th, 1861:

"We have had a most desperate battle.--The enemy attacked us early in the morning of the 13th. The attack was made in two columns on the right there were 3,000; on the left 2,200. The fight commenced at ten minutes to seven o'clock A. M., and lasted to fifteen minutes to two o'clock P. M. On the right we had 400; on the left not exceeding 700. Our boys fought like veterans. The right was defended by the 31st regiment, Hansbrough's and Rogers's battalions, reinforced by two companies of Georgians. The enemy were finally driven back by a charge On the left the defence was made by the 52d regiment, commanded by Major Ross; eight companies of the 12th Georgia, Miller's, and Anderson's batteries.

"Enclosed I send you a list of the killed and wounded in the 31st. Major Boykin behaved nobly, and richly merits promotion. I have just heard that Col. Wm. L. Jackson has been reinstated to his regiment, Major Boykin promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel, and John S. Hoffman, Major. The boys are delighted. They say, with such men they can "whip the--"Col. Johnson says they have covered themselves with glory. He was in chief command. I wish he was General, for he fully deserves it. He was everywhere that danger was most imminent."

The following is the list of killed and wounded of the 31st Virginia regiment:

1. Company A.--Killed--Lt. Lewis S. Thompson, Privates Lemon, Tennant, and Henry Nichols. Wounded--Lieut. Davis Toothman, Privates Jacob Tuoker, James S. Kerr, Frank Mandel.

2. Company B.--Killed none. Wounded Privates A Helmick. Missing--16.

3. Company C.--Killed--Sergeant John A. Nutter, Corporals Ethelbert Smith and Aldridge J. Cropp, and, Privates James L. Smith and George W. Whitman. Wounded John Pridmore, William S. Taylor, Granville C Lake Octerman Bond, Alfred Sims, Joseph C. Snider, and Martin L. Dawson.

4. Company D.--Killed H. D. Springston.

5. Company E. No.1.--Killed none. Wounded John W. Bird, Robert McLaughlin, and James Pullins.

6. Company F, No. 2.--Wounded Andrew J. Lockridge.

7. Company G.--Wounded G. M. Beveridge, Isaac Sheets, S. Haggins, and E. Wilfong.

8. Company H.--Wounded--Lieut. Isaac N. Johnson, Privates M. Golden, and P. M. Talbott.

9. Company I.--Wounded--Lieut. W. B. McRemar, Serg't T. A. Crompton, Privates G. A. Bagby, A. A. Howton, J. W. Howton, J. N. Powers, P. W. Bruffy, N. S. Smith, and David H. Hall

10. Company K.--Wounded--Lieutenant John R. Phillips, Privates D. Cross and Robert Godwin.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
December 20, 1861

Headquarters Monterey line,
Camp Alleghany, December 16, 1861.

General Orders, No--

It affords me great pleasure to congratulate the troop, officers and men of this command, upon the victory achieved by them over the enemy on the 13th inst.

With a force not exceeding twelve or fifteen hundred you repulsed the enemy numbering nearly, if not quite, 5,000. Attacked by superior numbers on your right, where there were no entrenchments, and on your left, where we had but partly constructed earth-works, you met him and in a hand-to-hand conflict, after a struggle of nearly seven (7) hours, drove him from the field. Not once did you falter.--Cheered on and animated by the heroic example of your officers, you drove the enemy from the summit of Alleghany back to his fastnesses in Cheat Mountain. and Virginians, you have met the same enemy you met at Green brier river on the 3d of October, and with an equally glorious result. Whilst we have abundant cause to thank God for this victory, let us not forget the gallant dead who fell by our sides, and whom we buried on Alleghany. Remember their gallantry, and emulate their example.

[Signed]
Edward Johnson,
[Official.] Col. Commanding.

Edward Willis,
Lt. O. S. A. and Actg. Asst. Adjt. Genl.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
December 23, 1861

Incidents of the battle of Alleghany.

A letter from Camp Alleghany states that in the bloody fight of the 14th, Col. Johnson appeared upon the field in citizen's dress gave his commands in the most emphatic manner, and led the fierce charges in person. After the Yankees had been driven to the woods, the Lee Battery of Lynchburg opened upon them with marked effect. Capt P. B. Anderson, who commanded this battery, seeing a number of men partially concealed by fallen timber, supposed they were our pickets, and called out to them to come into the ditches. Hardly were the words out of his mouth, when a shower of musketry was poured upon him, and the noble old hero fell from his horse and died in about fifteen minutes. The command of the battery now devolved upon Lt. W. W. Hardwicse, of Lynchburg, who directed the shots admirably, and exhibited much personal bravery. Capt. Miller's battery, from Rockbridge, opened upon the enemy in the thicket, with cannister shot, and sent many a poor Hessian to his last account.

From another letter, addressed to a gentleman in this city, we glean the following incidents:

In the second charge, while leading in the front, Lieut. Lewis Thompson received a shot through his body and another in his arm, just as he had shouted "Come on my brave boys, follow me!" He fell into the arms of Col. Johnson, who says he was as brave a man as he ever saw.

Capt. Thompson also behaved with great gallantry. He was surrounded once, but extricated himself, receiving many bullets through his clothing, but sustaining no personal injury.

It is stated of Capt. Anderson, the veteran hero who fell early in the engagement, that this was his fifty-eighth battle. Col. Johnson said on the battle field, that he could storm Arlington Heights with 10,000 such troops as the boys from the Northwest. Johnson was always in the thickest of the fight, sometimes with a club in his hand, but generally armed with a musket; and another officer has since remarked that he could load and shoot faster than any man he saw.

The enemy, in the early part of the engagement, got between our commissary stores and the Confederate troops, and afterwards two dead Yankees were found close to our tents, who are said to have been shot by a sick man laying in one of them.

Many of our men had bullet holes through their clothing, and it is miraculous that our list of killed and wounded is so small. Fifty-five of the enemy were buried by our troops, and some of them recognized as "Union men," from Marion county, by their old neighbors. It is stated by one who saw a good many of the dead Hessians, that none of them were shot lower than the breast, and many through the heart.

A little hero named Musgrove, from Ritchie county, was shot through the arm by a man concealed behind a log. He immediately got a friend to load his musket, and jumping over a pile of brush shot the rascal who had wounded him, and secured his oil-cloth coat, with a name on it.

Every account which we have seen concurs in representing the rout of the enemy to have been complete, though it is not probable that we shall ever learn his actual loss.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
December 27, 1861

The battle of Alleghany Mountain winter"Comforts" of our troops--General Loring's special order.

Our correspondent "T. S.," to whom we are indebted for a graphic description of the battle of Alleghany Mountain, heretofore published, writes from Col. Johnson's camp, under date of 17th inst., that "our victory was, indeed, a brilliant one, and probably the hardest fought battle of the war. The enemy's loss was very severe, and although they carried off many wagon loads of dead and wounded, and left many dead bodies upon the field, yet we continue to find their dead behind logs and in the crevices of the rocks every day since the battle. So fatal was the fire of our troops, that nearly all the dead enemy found were shot through the head or breast." The writer adds:

We have a very hard time of it upon these mountains, yet we bear it without a murmur. Isolated from the balance of the world, deprived of every comfort, and doomed to the most desolate spot in North America, we are still ready to suffer even more for our noble Common wealth, and our dearest rights. Our homes are in possession of the enemy, and as we have no sutler at this post, we are unable even to procure a pipe, much less the comforts of life. Just think of men sleeping in the open air, on the bare ground, upon the summit of Alleghany, in the latter part of December. We do this thing nightly since the battle. Last night I slept behind a log, the wind blowing a hurricane, the keen blast piercing through my blanket and clothing, and chilling every drop of my blood. Our men bear all these privations cheerfully, and express a firm determination to fight the war through. It is true we would prefer being sent to some point where we could purchase necessary supplies, and were under marching orders, but the conflict of the 13th has changed the order, and we will probably now have to winter on Alleghany. The congratulatory order of Col. Johnson to his troops has already been published, and we have now received the following, issued by Gen.Loring, on the day after the fight.

Hdqrs. Army of N. W.,
Staunton, Va.,December 14, 1861.

Order No. O.--The General commanding learns, with great gratification, of the splendid achievement on the 13th instant, of the troops under Col. E. Johnson, on the summit of Alleghany. With only 1,200 effective men he met and repulsed the enemy, 5,000 strong, with heavy loss, after a hotly contested battle of seven hours duration.

Mourning the loss of our gallant comrades who have fallen, he deeply sympathises with the honorable wounded, and offers his sincere thanks to the officers and soldiers of the command for their brilliant victory.

By order of
Gen. Loring.

J. M. Barton, A. A. A. G.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
December 28, 1861

The battle of Alleghany Mountain.

Camp Alleghany, Dec. 20, 1861.

Editors Dispatch; No doubt you have been inundated with letters from this camp, filled with incidents of the late battle, and praises to the favorites of the writers. These laudations are well understood and properly appreciated. But justice demands the correction of an erroneous impression which some have most industriously sought to spread.--It has been repeatedly stated that the 31st Virginia regiment suffered most severely in the fight. Absolutely, this may be true; relatively, it is certainly untrue. Now, on the right, where the battle was fiercest and longest, the 31st regiment and Hansbrough's battalion, and some of Maj. Reger's men, were commingled indiscriminately, fighting shoulder to shoulder.

Of the regiment, there were certainly over 300 men in the fight, whilst of the battalion there were scarcely 100. You publish the loss of the former, in killed and wounded, to be 42, and that of the latter to be 28. Of the forty-two, nine we killed; of the twenty-eight, six were killed. The battalion lost Capt. Mollohan, the noblest looking officer I ever beheld. The galla of Luther D. Haymond, Lieutenant of Molionan's company, lost his right arm. Several others were severely wounded Col. Hansbrough himself was wounded severely in the thickest of the fight, urging and leading on the men around him, many of whom were 31st and Reger's men; the writer belonging to the latter class. He exhibited throughout an enthusiasm highly contagious, and a courage second to no man's.

He has picked up a Yankee musket, which I loaded for him more than once. I was near him when he was shot. He placed his hand on his thigh where the bullet entered, and then staggered and fell. I heard him exclaim, "they have hit me, but I'll give them one round more" Sulting the action to the word, he drew up to a log and fired his musket and several barrels of his navy revolver with deliberate him. He continued to urge on his men till Lieut. Robinson and another bore him off the field. This was about 11 o'clock, and the enemy were then recoiling before our incessant fire and deadly aim.

It is just, also, to say that the battle was commenced by this Battalion. As soon as his scouts announced the approach of the enemy through the woods, on our right, Col. Hansbrough led his battalion to meet them. He got within 125 yards of the enemy and gave them a deadly volley. The 31st and Reger's men, were 400 yards distant, and out of sight. The battalion fell back and met the 31st, which was gallantly advancing. As it fell back, the enemy poured upon it a shower of Minnie balls.

The enemy at this point were 1,500 strong. Then it was that the 31st and this battalion advanced to the charge and became commingled. Both corps acted as bravely as men could act, though they evinced but little discipline. Hansbrough's men, as well as the 31st, are all Northwestern Virginias. These are facts well known in camp, and it appears strange, letter writers and others should be so utterly forgetful of them. I believe the enemy's loss in killed and wounded to have been at least 500. Their absurdly false account of the result is rather a confirmation of our statement. Soldier.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
January 8, 1862

Facts in the Alleghany fight.

[correspondence of are Richmond Dispatch.]

Camp Alleghany, Jan. 1, 1862.

About half-past 3 on the morning of the 13th, we were aroused from our slumbers by the presence of an equestrian riding through the streets of our tented city, and crying out, the "Yankees are coming." Soon were the three companies, which now composed Lieut. Col. Hansbrough's battalion, drawn up in line and marched up the hill, north of the turnpike, and through the blockade, at the lower edge of which they took their position, some two hundred yards from the turnpike, in which there is a long bend northward, just west of our encampment,--Here we anxiously awaited the approach of the enemy, until the gray dawn of morning tinged the horizon, and made objects at a distance discernable. Just at this moment we were apprised of the enemy's presence coming up the hill some 600 yards to our right, by scouts whom we had sent in that direction, and by seeing our pickets running into camp. We were immediately faced to the right and marched in that direction, and had scarcely formed in a kind of wood road in the outer edge of the blockade, when we saw the blue coated gentry aligning on a knoll, in the woods, some two hundred yards distant.--Next came the order aim fire and as to the fatality of that first volley, we would refer our friends to the pools of blood, which mark that spot, and the bloody trails, which from all directions converge there.

Seeing that the enemy were too numerous for our brave little band, we fell back through the blockade in as good order as possible, and were reinforced by the 31st Virginia regiment. Thus reinforced, we rallied again; but, unfortunately for us, early in the engagement our gallant leader, Col. Hansbrough, among the foremost, and gallantly cheering on his little band, received a painful though not dangerous wound. If we had fought like men before, we low pressed upon our adversaries with the maddening fury of devils, determined either to conquer or idle. Though our Colonel was now borne from the field, we were not devoid of officers who, bidding defiance to Yankee bullets, were ever found among the first, loudly cheering on and encouraging their men. Among others, allow me to mention the brave Capt Wm. H. Mollohon, who, in the fiercest and hottest of the contest, was stricken to the earth, and it is said by those who bore him almost lifeless from the field that he requested them to look behind a certain log near by where he had fallen, and there they found the body of a Yankee whom he had shot with his revolver; and he would have killed another, but had not the strength to cock his piece a second time.

Without any military skill or maneuvering, but by what may be termed regular bulldog fighting, we had now driven the enemy back near half a mile, when, from some cause or other about 100 men broke back from the rear of our advancing force. Capt. P. B. Duffey, in trying to rally them, discovered a company of Yankees in our rear, and immediately apprised Col. Johnson of the fact.--The Colonel seemed to doubt the assertion at first, but having advanced within two hundred yards of the enemy, who were in the field, and he in an exposed place in the edge of the woods, and received from them a broad side, he was convinced, and immediately ordered our men back. That company of Yankees fled so rapidly that we never got sight of them again. We then fell back to the turnpike, and a few of the more daring Yankees having followed us down the hill as far as our upper row of tents, we charged upon them, drove them from the field, and thus ended the fight on our right flank, and sent the Yankees back to Cheat Mountain on a double-quick. This we know by seeing our artillery on the opposite hill firing at them in the turnpike about a mile distant.

Col. Johnson then formed his force and marched them to the trenches on the opposite hill. Here the fight continued furiously for about two hours longer, when the Yankees were started on a double quick down the Green Bank road, leaving many of their Dutch and other hirelings upon the field. The enemy attacked us simultaneously on both flanks, and our left flank, or the trenches, was bravely defended by the 52d and 35th Virginia regiments and the 12th Georgia.

Be it said of Col. Johnson, that he was ever present where danger was most imminent, and we are most happy to congratulate him upon bit well-merited promotion to the position of Brigadier General in the Southern army. We are pleased also to return all due thanks to the three companies of the 12th Georgia, and the one company from the 25th Virginia Regiment, which assisted us in driving the enemy from the hill on our right flank. It is said by the Yankees prisoners that between fifteen hundred and two thousand of their picked troops attacked us on the right flank, and between two and three thousand on the left flank.

List of the killed and wounded in Lt. Col. Hansbrough's battalion.

Company A--M. V. B. Collins, killed; P. A. Musgrove, B. M. Dawson, J. W. Halterman, and Herbert Murphy wounded.

Company B--Capt. Wm. H. Mollohan and Augustine Hefner, killed, Lt., L. D. Haymond, Serg't Wm. M Rader, J. W. Bragg, J. N. Brown, And. Ware, and M. W. Howel, wounded.

Company C--J. C. Green and Therman Tinny, killed; J. B. Young, Jas. A. Johnson, wounded; wounded; Amt Paugh, Leri Were, Leonerd Cutlip, Jas, Hall, and J. J. Blankenship, taken prisoners. Pat.


Civil War

West Virginia Archives and History