Series I, Volume V
Report of Col. James A. Jones, Twenty-fifth Ohio Infantry.
Hdqrs. Twenty-Fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteers,
Huttonsville, Va., .December 13, 1861.
Sir: In compliance with your orders, I have the honor to inform you. of the movements and conduct of my regiment and a portion of the Thirteenth Indiana and Thirty-second Ohio, which were temporarily attached to my command, on the 13th instant, at Camp Baldwin, on the summit of the Alleghany Mountains:
After leaving the pike we advanced up the mountain, which was very steep and rocky, for about one mile to the summit on the right and rear of the enemy's camp, to await the attack of the Ninth Indiana and Second Virginia, as you directed; but as we approached the top of the hill we discovered the enemy's pickets, who immediately retreated on our approach. I gave the order to pursue them in double-quick, as the enemy would be informed of our advance. One company of the Thirteenth Indiana, being in advance, was conducted by Lieutenant McDonald, of General Reynolds' staff, until we arrived at the edge of the wood, in full view of the enemy's camp. Finding them already formed, and advancing with a large force to attack us, Lieutenant McDonald halted the company of the Thirteenth Indiana, and ordered it deployed into line. I immediately formed the Twenty-fifth Ohio on his right and the other two companies of the Thirteenth Indiana on our left, and a detachment of the Thirty-second Ohio formed on their left. The fire was already opened on. the right, and was carried through the line. After a few rounds the enemy retreated in great confusion, with great slaughter, leaving their dead and wounded. They now again rallied and commenced to advance, returning our fire with great vigor. Some of the men commenced falling to the rear all along the lines. Captains Charlesworth and Crowell,of the Twenty-fifth Ohio; Lieutenant McDonald, Captains Myers and Newland, of the Thirteenth Indiana; and Captain Hamilton, of the Thirty-second Ohio, rallied them and brought them up into line. In a few moments the enemy fell back, and attempted to turn our right flank, but were immediately met and repulsed. Our men by this time had become broken, but were again rallied by the officers of the different commands, who conducted themselves nobly. The enemy again attempted to advance upon us, but shared the same fate as before.
After making several attempts to drive us from the wood, they deployed to the left, to turn our left flank and get in our rear. I ordered a portion of the command to advance and attack them, which was done in a gallant manner, the enemy retreating to their cabins, but soon appeared again. Our men finding that they were not receiving support by the Ninth Indiana and the Second Virginia, quite a number commenced retreating, and it was with great difficulty that they were rallied. Some did not return, but disgracefully left the field, but the remainder of the command fought like veteran soldiers, driving the rebels again to their cabins; but, being soon rallied by their officers, they again renewed the attack with a large re-enforcement, and poured a galling fire into our thinned ranks, our men holding their position and returning the fire with great energy and slaughter, the officers of the different detachments urging and cheering them on. Many of the men had left the field with the wounded, and some without cause, which had much reduced our number, and our ammunition was almost exhausted. The artillery was turned upon us with shot and shell, but without any effect, and the enemy was again compelled to retire to their cabins with great slaughter, as usual. Our ammunition being exhausted, I thought it prudent to fall back to the headquarters of the commanding general, which was done in good order.
I am sorry to be compelled to say some of the men behaved very badly, but it was not confined to any one regiment. I cannot close this report without expressing my entire approbation of the conduct of the officers of the different detachments. Captains Charlesworth, Crowell, Johnson, Askew; Lieutenants Dirlam, Bowlus, Merryman, Wood, and Haughton, of the Twenty-fifth Ohio; Lieutenant McDonald, of General Reynolds' staff, while there; Major Dobbs, Captains Myers and Newland, and Lieutenants Kirkpatrick, Bailey, [?] Harrington, [?] and Jones (who was killed), of the Thirteenth Indiana; Captain Hamilton and other officers of the Thirty-second Ohio, whose names I did not learn, rendered me efficient service by their cool and gallant bearing throughout the engagement, which lasted about three hours. The enemy's force, as near as I could ascertain, was about 2,500, with nine pieces of artillery. The force under my command was about 700. Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson and Major Webster were absent. Captain Brown received an injury on the evening before, and was not able to be in the engagement.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. Jones,
Colonel Twenty-fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, U. S. Army.
War Department, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., January 3, 1862.
To the President:
Sir: I have the honor to submit herewith for communication to Congress the official reports of the battle of Alleghany Mountain, in which our troops, 1,200 in number, successfully withstood the assault of more than fourfold their number, and drove the enemy from the field after a combat as obstinate and as hard fought as any that has occurred during the war.
Your appreciation of the conduct of Colonel Johnson has already been testified by his promotion to the grade of brigadier-general, and I have taken pleasure in conveying to the gallant troops under his command the expression of approval and admiration that they so fully deserve.
I doubt not that Congress, on the reading of this report, will cordially concur with the Executive in the opinion that in this brilliant combat officers and men have alike deserved well of their country and merit its thanks.
I am, very respectfully,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
Staunton, December 13, 1861.
General: I inclose the report of Colonel Johnson, which I received to-day. The enemy was informed of our movement, it seems, through deserters, but, as expected, the troops on Alleghany checked and repulsed them with loss. The weather has been so good that they were enabled to attack with their entire force, and will no doubt, as stated by Colonel Johnson, endeavor to possess the pass now occupied by us when it is evacuated. In consequence of their formidable appearance, and not being assured of their intention, I have for the time ordered Colonel Johnson to remain where he is, and given directions for the command, to halt upon this road about 20 miles distant, where it will strike it en route to Strasburg. I expect it there in two or three days. I have arranged the march in case we could not, which was highly desirable, get the use of the rail from here to Strasburg, to march through with our own transportation. It will, of course, delay us. Should the weather shortly take an inclement turn, the enemy may be forced to return to Cheat, and enable us to follow up the design contemplated. With respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
W. W. Loring,
Brigadier- General, Commanding.
Col. S. Cooper, Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.
Staunton, Va., December 17, 1861.
Sir: I inclose herewith a copy of the letter [of 15th instant] this day received from Col. E. Johnson, commanding at Alleghany. In consequence of the necessity of meeting the enemy at Alleghany, and the uncertainty of their movement, I have determined to keep the command of Colonel Johnson where it is for the present, holding it in readiness to move at any time in the direction of Moorefield should it be thought best. I do this for the reason that it would be some days before that command could move, and that it is undoubtedly the determination of the enemy to occupy Alleghany Pass, if possible, and to re-enforce General Kelley by crossing the Alleghany and forming ajunction with him via Moorefield. I have, besides the command of Colonel Taliaferro (four regiments), advanced some days ago, the whole of the troops from the Huntersville line, composed of the three Tennessee, two Virginia regiments, and the Hampden and Danville batteries of artillery, in all, about 6,000 men.
Two of the regiments, the Seventh Tennessee and the Twenty-first Virginia, left here on yesterday, via the Valley road, and the remainder are now at Ryan's, about 20 miles distant, on the Monterey road. I shall order to move to-morrow morning, via Harrisonburg, the whole, to form a junction with General Jackson at the earliest possible moment.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. Loring,
General Samuel Cooper,
Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.
Camp Alleghany, December 13, 1861. Colonel: Yesterday I sent out a scout, who fell in with a column of the enemy, killing some 8 or 10. This morning our pickets were driven in about 4 a. m. I made preparations to meet the enemy. They appeared in force - not less than 5,000 men; attacked my right and left. On the right there are no defensive works. On the hill to the left we have hastily thrown up a trench. I have only about 1,200 effective men. Four hundred of my men met the enemy on the right flank, and after a severe contest defeated them. On the left the enemy attacked our intrenchments, but failed to carry them. They were met on both points with the most determined heroism, and, after a contest lasting from 7 a. m. until near 2 p. m., repulsed with great loss. Our victory has been complete, but dearly bought. We have lost several gallant officers killed and many wounded. Among the killed are Capt. P. B. Anderson, Lee Battery; Captain Mollohan, Hansborough's battalion. Wounded, Captain Deshler, my acting assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant-Colonel Hansborough, Lieut. George T. Thompson, Thirty-first Virginia Regiment, and others - Lieutenant Thompson fatally, I fear.
The enemy were led into my camp by a Virginia traitor. Since the battle the Forty-fourth have come up, and the Fifty-eighth, I am informed, is en route to this place. The enemy left a large number killed and wounded on the field. They carried, off a large number, some ten or twelve ambulance loads of wounded.
I trust immediate action will be taken relative to this position. Under recent orders, I have sent to the rear a large quantity of ordnance and ordnance stores. I have all along contended that this place would be occupied if we abandoned it. I feel confident that they have planned this attack upon information furnished by deserters from this camp, and that they will occupy it if we leave it. The position is one which could with sufficient force be made quite strong, but the extent of ground to be occupied is too large for a small one. My first letter to you will show that I thought the force left here was too small.
Prisoners taken to-day state that the enemy had 5,000 men drawn from Huttonsville, Cheat Mountain, and other places in rear of Cheat Mountain. I will forward you a more detailed report at my earliest convenience. I am making preparations for the enemy in the event, which I do not think probable, of his renewing the attack to-morrow or at any time before we evacuate this position.
In the event of remaining here, stores must be immediately sent back. If we leave, we should do so as soon as the public property is sent back.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
Col. C. L. Stevenson,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army Northwest.
Camp Alleghany, December 15, 1861.
Colonel: I have nothing to report concerning the enemy since the battle except what I hear from prisoners. From a sergeant captured I learn that Generals Reynolds and Milroy commanded, and that the expedition was based upon information furnished them by five deserters from Hansborough's battalion, who left here about a week since. Troops were drawn from Beverly, Huttonsville, and Cheat Mountain. All that they could collect were brought up. The right was guided to our position by a traitor from Northwestern Virginia named Shipman, who is quite familiar with this country. The left was guided by a noted guide and traitor, who lived, within 3 miles of this place, named Slater. We had timely warning of their approach, but could not ascertain, their numbers before they made the attack. Our works had been suspended in consequence of recent orders. None had. been erected before we got here.
The enemy were totally routed. I hear from citizens on the line of their retreat that they carried numbers of dead and wounded by the houses, and acknowledged that they had been badly whipped. They were heard to accuse their officers of deceiving them, insisting that our numbers were largely superior to their own. They were much demoralized, and I hope they have received, a good lesson. Four additional dead bodies of the enemy were found this morning. We have 12 or 14 of their wounded, most of whom will die. Our loss has been severe, but with our small number against such odds it was not singular. The Forty-fourth Virginia came up soon after the fight. It is still here.
Immediately after the fight I ordered the transportation of stores from this place to stop, and no more trains to be sent to this place until further orders. I am strengthening my works, and I trust that something decisive will be determined upon, so that I may know what to do. The ordnance ammunition had nearly all been sent back when we were attacked, but most of the fighting was with infantry. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Col. C. L. Stevenson, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Headquarters Monterey Line,
Camp Alleghany, December 19, 1861.
Colonel: I have the honor to submit the following report of the engagement with the enemy which occurred at this place on the 13th instant:
On the 12th I sent out a scouting party of 106 men, commanded by Major [John D. H.] Ross, of the Fifty-second Virginia Volunteers, with instructions to ambuscade a point on the pike beyond Camp Baxter, on Greenbrier. On the afternoon of that day the advance guard of the enemy approached, were fired into by Major Ross's command, and many of them killed or wounded. Immediately the main body of the enemy approached in force, deployed, and advanced upon our scouting party, who retired and came into camp that night.
On the morning of the 13th, about 4 a. m., I was aroused by the officer of the day, who reported firing at the advance pickets on the pike in the direction of the enemy. I immediately turned out the whole of my command, and prepared to meet them. I ordered Hansbrough's battalion, the Thirty-first Virginia, commanded by Major Boykin, and Reger's battalion to occupy the crest of the mountain on the right, to guard against approach from that quarter. On this hill there were no defenses. There were some fields and felled timber beyond, which reached the crest of the mountain. The enemy advanced to our front, and, conducted by a guide, a Union man from Western Virginia, who was familiar with the roads and trails in the vicinity, turned off from the turnpike about a mile from our position, near the base of the mountain, and reached our right by a trail which led into a road coming into the field slightly in our rear. As they approached this position pickets thrown out from Hansbrough's battalion discovered them, and reported them as advancing in strong force.
About 7.15 o'clock a. m. the enemy advanced, and a terrific fire commenced. The enemy on this flank numbered fully 2,000. They were gallantly met by our troops, who did not exceed 300 at this time. As soon as I heard the firing I ordered two companies of the Twelfth Georgia (Hawkins' and Blandford's), who had. at the first alarm been posted on the pike about a quarter of a mile in front down the mountain, to move up immediately to the support of our forces on the right. Three other companies of the Twelfth (Davis', Hardeman's, and Patter- son's), Lieut. U. E. Moore commanding, were also ordered to the gap- port of those on. the right, who were making a gallant defense and holding the position against immense odds. Gallantly did the Georgians move up, and, taking position on the left, received a terrible fire from the enemy.
By this time the extreme right had been forced back, but seeing the Georgians, who came on with a shout, they joined them, and moved upon the enemy, who, taking advantage of some fallen trees, brush, and timber, poured upon them a terrific fire. Our men were checked, but not driven back. They did not yield an inch, but steadily advanced, cheered and led by their officers. Many of the officers fought by the side of their men and led them on to the conflict. I never witnessed harder fighting. The enemy, behind, trees, with their long-range arms, at first had decidedly the advantage, but our men soon came up to them and drove them from their cover. I cannot speak in terms too exaggerated of the unflinching courage and dashing gallantry of those 500 men who contended from 7.15 a. m. until 1.45 p. m. against an immensely superior force of the enemy, and finally drove them. from their positions and pursued them a mile or more down the mountain.
I cannot name all who deserve particular mention for this gallantry and good conduct. Colonel Hansbrough, whilst gallantly leading his battalion, was wounded by a pistol-shot and carried from the field. Soon after the fight became general the brave Lieut. G. T. Thompson, of the Thirty-first Virginia, fell severely wounded. His good conduct had attracted my attention, and he fell within a few feet of me. Captain Mollohan, while cheering and leading his men in pursuit of the enemy, fell mortally wounded. Lieutenant Moore, Twelfth Georgia Volunteers, whilst gallantly leading a charge, fell mortally wounded. This gallant officer was ever ready for any expedition involving danger; he was truly brave. Captains Davis, Blandford, Hardeman, and Hawkins, their officers and men, behaved admirably. Captain Davis and his company were conspicuous for their gallantry and good conduct throughout the fight. Adjutant Willis, Lieutenants McCoy, Etheridge, Marshall, and Turpin, Twelfth Georgia Regiment, deserve particular mention for their good conduct. Major F. M. Boykin, jr., commanding Thirty-first Virginia Volunteers, his officers and men, deserve my thanks for their unflinching courage throughout the struggle. This regiment suffered severely. Lieutenants Toothman, J. Johnson, McNewmar, J. R. Philips, all wounded, deserve honorable mention. Captain Thompson, Thirty-first Virginia, deserves special notice. Adjutant Morgan, Lieutenants Robinson, Haymond, Sergeants Jarvis, Roder, Privates Collins, Musgrave, and Green, Hansbrough's battalion, are favorably mentioned by their commanders.
My command consisted of the Twelfth Georgia Regiment, under the immediate command of Lieut. Col. Z. T. Conner; Fifty-second Virginia, Major Ross', Hansbrough's, and Reger's battalions; Thirty-first Virginia, Major Boykin; Lee Battery of artillery, four pieces, Capt. P. B. Anderson; Captain Miller's battery, four pieces, and a detachment of Pittsylvania cavalry, Lieutenant Dabney. The artillery was posted on the hill to the left of my position, which had been intrenched. Immediately after the troops were turned out the Twelfth Georgia and Fifty- second Virginia were ordered into the trenches. The Pittsylvania cavalry, dismounted, under Lieutenant Dabney, also went into the trenches, armed with carbines. A large column of the enemy, led by one Slater, a traitor, well acquainted with the country, approached the left of this position by a road running along a leading ridge.
About half an hour after the attack was made on the right this column came up on the left to our trenches. They were evidently surprised to find us intrenched. Here the brave Anderson, by a fatal mistake, lost his life. As the enemy advanced he rode to the trenches and invited them in, thinking they were our returning pickets, at the same time telling our men not to fire. He was instantly shot down by the advanced body of the enemy's force. Our men then opened a galling fire upon them, and they fell back into the fallen timber and brush, from which they kept up a constant fire at our men in the trenches and upon our artillerists.
My acting assistant adjutant-general, Capt. James Deshler, of the artillery, whilst behaving most gallantly, was shot down in the trenches by a wound through both thighs. He refused to leave the field, and. remained in the trenches until the day was over. Captain Miller opened upon the enemy with his guns and behaved with great gallantry, exposing himself at his guns to the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters. After the enemy's force on the right had been repulsed and driven from the field, I ordered all of our men who had been engaged in that quarter to join the troops in the trenches on the left. They took post with the other troops, and opened fire on the enemy as occasion offered. The enemy, under the fire of artillery and infantry, soon retreated from the left, leaving their dead and wounded.
The enemy's force on the left was larger, if anything, than the force on the right. They numbered in all about 5,000 men, who had been drawn from Belington, Beverly, Huttonsville, Elk Water, and Cheat Mountain. My force did not exceed 1,200 effective men of all arms. General Reynolds, U. S. Army, commanded the whole of the enemy's forces, and General Milroy the attack on our right. General Milroy is reported by prisoners captured to have been wounded. The enemy left upon the field 35 dead and 13 wounded. They carried from the field large numbers of dead and wounded. This I get from citizens who reside upon the roads along which they retreated. Ten or twelve ambulances were seen conveying their wounded. We captured 3 prisoners and about 100 stand of arms, which the enemy had thrown away in his flight.
Although we have reason to be thankful to God for the victory achieved over our enemies on this occasion, we can but lament the loss of many valuable lives. Our casualties amount to 20 killed, 96 wounded, and 28 missing. Many of the missing have returned since the day of the battle. I am much indebted to Surgs. H. R. Green, of the Twelfth Georgia Regiment, and W. T. Blanc, of the Thirty-first Virginia Volunteers, for their attention to our own wounded as well as those of the enemy. They have been untiring in their efforts to alleviate their sufferings. Dr. Green was slightly wounded in the hand. by a spent ball while attending to the wounded.
Herewith I submit a list of casualties; also the reports of commanders of regiments and corps.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Twelfth Georgia Regiment, Comdg. Monterey Line.
Col. C. L. Stevenson,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Army Northwest, Staunton.
War Department, C. S. A.,
Richmond, December 23,1861.
Sir : The report of the engagement of the 13th instant, in which your gallant command met and repulsed a vastly superior force with a steady valor worthy of the highest admiration, has been communicated by me to the President, and I rejoice to be made the medium of communicating to you and to your officers and men the expression of his thanks and of the great gratification he has experienced at your success.
I am happy to add that the President readily and cheerfully assented to my suggestion that you should be promoted to the rank of brigadier- general, as a mark of his approval of your conduct, and. your nomination will accordingly be this day sent in to the Congress, and take date from the day of the battle.
I am, your obedient servant,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
Brig. Gen. Edward Johnson, Camp Alleghany.
Camp Alleghany, December 17, 1861.
Sir: I have the honor of submitting this brief and hastily-drawn-up report of the battle of 13th instant:
About 4.30 o'clock in the morning, in obedience to your orders, I proceeded with seven companies of the Twelfth Georgia Regiment to occupy the rude and hastily-drawn-up intrenchments. At 6.30 the enemy were reported in strength upon our right flank, and about sunrise the firing commenced, and was continued without intermission for over two hours, the enemy from their greatly-superior force disputing most obstinately every inch of ground. The contest was so closely waged for some time that I was induced to dispatch two companies from Twelfth Georgia Regiment, Company B, Captain Hardeman, and Company I, the lamented Lieutenant Moore commanding, to re-enforce our little band and aid in driving the enemy back.
About this time the attack was commenced upon our left, the enemy having covered himself by the heavily fallen timber until within 50 paces of our temporary earthworks. The firing had little effect except in exposed positions, which resulted in some deeply-to-be-deplored casualties. The death of those gallant officers, Captain Anderson and Lieutenant Reger, and badly wounding that most efficient, indefatigable, and brave officer Captain Deshler, who, though shot down, utterly refused to be sent from the field until the enemy were repulsed with great loss.
The conduct of the officers and men of the entire left wing was exceedingly creditable. For list of casualties I beg leave to refer you to accompanying tabular statement of Lieutenant Whitesides, acting adjutant Twelfth Georgia Regiment.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Z. T. Conner,
Lieutenant-Colonel Twelfth Georgia Regiment.
Col. Edward Johnson, Commanding Alleghany Line.
Camp Alleghany, December 16, 1861.
Colonel: After the alarm about 4.30 a. m. on the 13th instant, pursuant to your orders my battalion was stationed in the woods on the hill above and to the right of our encampment. Scouts were sent out by me to the turnpike road below us and towards Varner's on the right. The Thirty-first Virginia, under command of Major Boykin, ordered to co-operate with us, did not come up, owing, I believe, to the impassableness of the blockade in the dark, and were several hundred yards to our left.
Soon after the dawn of day the scouts reported the approach of the enemy in strong force on the extreme right. Determining to feel the enemy with a view to test his strength and temper, I immediately advanced the battalion to meet him, and approached within 150 yards of where he was forming in line of battle a force at least ten times as numerous as mine. I sent a messenger to hurry up the Thirty-first, which was then not in sight, and then ordered the battalion to fire and fall back to meet the Thirty-first. The fire was delivered with coolness, and it is thought with considerable effect. Upon us falling back the enemy poured a volley of Minie balls, which, however, flew harmlessly over our heads.
Meeting the gallant Thirty-first advancing in fine spirits, my men rallied and returned vigorously to the charge. Their advance was retarded, not hindered, by the logs and brush of the blockade. The fight here was almost hand to hand, the roar of musketry was incessant and deafening, but above the roar rang the shouts of officers and men. It must be admitted that not much order was observed. The men fought on their own hook, each loading and firing as fast as possible. The Thirty-first and my battalion were mingled almost indiscriminately. So praise applied to the conduct of officers or men here engaged in battle can be justly deemed excessive. Where all behaved so well it may appear invidious to name any, but I cannot forbear to mention that the calm, the ardent courage and soldierly demeanor of Adjt. C. S. Morgan and the dauntless conduct of the noble Capt. William H. Mollohan commanded the applause of every beholder. Lieutenants Robinson and Haymond, Sergeants Jarvis and Boder, and Privates Collins, Musgrave, Green, and scores of others deserve honorable mention.
Of my own personal knowledge I can say but little more, for here in this first charge, whilst descending from a log on which I had been standing for a moment urging the men forward to the charge, I was prostrated by a pistol ball, which entered my right thigh. In this condition I was borne off the field. The enemy was then recoiling before our fire. Their final discomfiture and retreat, after various vicissitudes, are known to you. Victory has once more been awarded to the defenders of the right, but we have to mourn many casualties. That gallant patriot and soldier Captain Mollohan sealed his devotion to the cause with his life's blood. Lieutenant Haymond was severely wounded. Our entire loss was 4 killed, 13 wounded (1 mortally and several severely), and 5 missing.
G. W. Hansbrough,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Battalion.
Col. Edward Johnson, Commanding, &c.
Headquarters Twenty-Fifth Virginia Regiment,
Camp Alleghany, December 16, 1861.
Sir: I have the honor to report to you that on the morning of the 13th instant orders came to me that the enemy were approaching in force on the Greenbrier road, and to report the men under my command at once to you. at the blacksmith, shop, near the forks of the road, which was done in the shortest possible time, and after remaining there some time we were ordered, to proceed down the Greenbrier road, which was done in good order in double-quick time. When. some 200 yards down the road we were ordered up the hill by the right flank through. a thick blockade. The hill being very steep and difficult to ascend, the men became very much scattered. When near the top of the hill I received directions as coming from you to occupy the point of the hill on the south side of the turnpike road, as the enemy were reported advancing up the turnpike, which I did with a portion of the men, whilst a portion of the Augusta Lee Rifles, under command of Capt. R. D. Lilley; a portion of the Rockbridge Guards, under command of Lieut. J. J. Whitmore; a portion of the Franklin Guards, under command of Sergt. E. W. Boggs, and a portion of the Upshur Greys, numbering in all about 60 men, went to the support of our forces on the right flank, out of which number 1 was killed and 11 wounded - none supposed to be very dangerous.
The officers and men who went to the right flank are reported to have acted bravely. Dr. Thomas Opie, assistant surgeon of my regiment, has been unremitting in his care and. attention to our wounded soldiers, not only of this regiment, but in Colonel Hansbrough's battalion and. others.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. G. Reger,
Major, Comdg. Twenty-fifth Regiment Virginia Volunteers.
Col. Edward Johnson,
Commanding Forces on the Summit of Alleghany.
Headquarters Cavalry Camp,
Alleghany Summit, December 15, 1861.
Sir: I beg leave to report that on the morning of the 13th instant I caused my command to turn out immediately I received, intelligence of the enemy's having driven in our pickets and held it in readiness for orders.
After remaining in this position for nearly two hours the enemy suddenly appeared on the crest of the hill on which the Thirty-first Virginia Regiment was encamped, and commenced a rapid fire of musketry. My position was in full range and my men very much exposed to the fire. I immediately rode to headquarters to get orders, but found Colonel Johnson absent, and was unable to ascertain in what part of the field he was. Under these circumstances I considered it my duty to carry my command where it could render some service, and would not be compelled to stand exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy without a chance of returning it. I accordingly marched it up to the intrenchments on the hill to the left of the turnpike, and made the men dismount and stand to their horses.
After the lapse of some time the enemy appeared, in force on our left flank and commenced a heavy fire, which raked the hill. Not being able to find who was in command on the hill, and finding my men very much exposed and in a position in which they could render no service, I took the responsibility of ordering them to secure their horses behind the cabins and to go into the ditches. Directly I met with Colonel Johnson. I informed him of the steps which I had taken and my reason therefor. He approved of them.
The trenches were so much crowded on the left flank that I was not able to get more than 12 or 15 of my carbineers in a position where they could shoot at the enemy with any effect. This detachment, however, kept up a regular and effective fire until the close of the engagement.
I take pleasure in stating that all of my men, and especially those posted where they could fire on the enemy, behaved with coolness and bravery and obeyed my orders promptly.
None of my command sustained any injury except Private John Nuckols, who was slightly wounded in both hands and in the left arm by a musket ball. Only two of my horses were wounded.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. E. Dabney,
Second Lieutenant, Commanding Pittsylvania Cavalry.
Lieutenant Willis, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.