July 9, 1861
FIGHT NEAR BUCKHANNON – ONWARD MOVEMENT – GENERAL ENGAGEMENT EXPECTED. – A dispatch was sent from Buckhannon, Va. on Sunday night, (which for some unaccountable reason we did not get) announcing that forty-five men, belonging to the 3d Ohio Regiment, under Capt. Lawson, while on a scouting expedition, on Sunday night, fell in with an ambuscade of several hundred rebels at Middle Fork Bridge, twelve miles east, and were surrounded. After a desperate fight they cut their way through, losing one killed and having five wounded. The enemy lost some twenty killed. Five dead bodies were found on Sunday. Col. McCook, with the 4th and 9th Ohio Regiments, the 10th Indiana under Col. Morrow, with the Loomis battery, and Burdsall’s company of Cavalry, moved on and took possession of the bridge early Sunday morning. – Gen. Morris advanced from Phillippi to within a mile and a half of Laurel Hill. – Ex-Congressman Garnett is in command of the rebel forces there. Gen. McClellan, with a large force, intended to move towards Beverly yesterday morning. – A battle is anticipated within forty-eight hours. The 10th Ohio Regiment arrived on Sunday.
Series 1, Volume 2, pp. 255-256
Report of Lieut. Col. J. M. Heck, Twenty-fifth Virginia Infantry, of operations from May 24 to July 13, including skirmishes July 7 to 9, and engagement at Rich Mountain.
…On July  a detachment of about 100 men made an attack on our picket at Middle Fork Bridge, about half-way between our camp and Buckhannon. Notwithstanding their superior numbers they were repulsed, leaving one dead on the field. Three of our pickets were wounded – one slightly, the other two severely. The enemy soon afterwards appearing in large force, our picket was compelled to withdraw from the bridge.
On July 7 I sent out Major Tyler, of the Twentieth Virginia Regiment, who had been sent with seven companies to re-enforce me, with two companies to reconnoiter the enemy’s force and position at the bridge. This little force, under their gallant leader, attacked and drove in the enemy’s pickets, but finding the enemy in large force, withdrew in good order and returned to camp…
J. M. HECK,
Late Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding 25th Regiment.
R. R. HOWISON, Richmond, Va.
Report of Maj. Nat. Tyler, Twentieth Virginia Infantry, of operations from July 1 to 14, including skirmish July 7, and the engagement at Rich Mountain.
…On Sunday, July 7, I was ordered to reconnoiter the bridge over Middle Fork, about fifteen miles in front of our position. I proceeded with two companies, Captain Atkinson, Twentieth Virginia Volunteers, and Captain Higginbotham, of Lieutenant-Colonel Heck’s regiment. When about one mile from the bridge I was informed by a country woman that a very large army occupied the bridge, and was entreated to return, as the Federal cavalry had but a few moments before left the house. The evidences of the cavalry were to be seen in the mud of the road. Proceeding carefully, I ascertained that a large force of infantry, artillery, and cavalry were at the bridge. Soon their pickets were seen and driven in by our force. I found it prudent to return, and immediately after the skirmish was over made disposition for an orderly return. The enemy were a considerable time getting ready to pursue us, which enabled us to get some distance ahead, so we were able to reach camp without annoyance from them…
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: July 1861