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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
August 20, 1861


The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, with Documents, Narratives, Illustrative Incidents, Poetry Etc.
Frank Moore, ed. Vol. 2. New York: G. P. Putnam, 1863

Doc. 199.
SKIRMISH AT HAWK’S NEST, VA.,
August 20, 1861.

A correspondent of the Richmond Enquirer states the following in reference to this affair:

Gentlemen: In your issue of to-day I note the subjoined Yankee telegraphic dispatch:--

“Cincinnati, August 22, 1861.

“A skirmish occurred at Hawk’s Nest, in the Kanawha Valley, eight miles beyond, on the 20th. The Confederates, some four thousand strong, advanced to where the Eleventh Ohio regiment had erected barricades, and were driven back with a loss of fifty killed and a number wounded and taken prisoners. Our loss was only two slightly wounded and one missing. Our forces captured quite a number of horses and equipments.”

I have just returned from General Wise’s command, having left there on the night of the 20th, and after the skirmish was over. Our forces consisted of parts of three cavalry companies, amounting to about one hundred men, and the enemy numbered at least six hundred. Colonel Croghan, of our brigade, drove the enemy back to Hawk’s Nest, taking two prisoners, and doing other damage not known at the time of my departure. Our loss was one killed and three wounded. General Wise was present during the action, and as cool and self-possessed as though no enemy were in the vicinity. Our brigade was encamped at Locust Lane, not less than five miles from the scene of action.

D. B. PHILLIPS, C. S. N.,
Med. Dir. of forces under Gen. H. A. Wise.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
August 28, 1861

The skirmish at Hawk's Nest.

The following statement was sent through the medium of the Yankee telegraph agency a few days ago:

"Cincinnati,Aug. 22.--A skirmish occurred at Hawk's Nest, in Kanawha Valley, eight miles beyond, on the 20th. The Confederates, some four thousand strong, advanced to where the 11th Ohio regiment had erected barricades, and were driven back with a loss of fifty killed and a number wounded and taken prisoners. "Our loss was only two slightly wounded and one missing. Our forces captured quite a number of horses and equipments."

The following communication, which appeared in yesterday's Enquirer, exposes the falsity of the telegraphic statement: I have just returned from General Wise's command, having left there on the night of the 20th, and after the skirmish was over.--Our force consisted of parts of three cavalry companies, (amounting in all to about 100 men,) and the enemy numbered at least 600.--Col. Croghan, of our brigade, drove the enemy back to the Hawk's Nest, taking two prisoners, and doing other damage not known at the time of my departure. Our loss was one killed and three wounded. Gen. Wise was present during the action and as cool and self-possessed as though no enemy were in the vicinity. Our brigade was encamped at Locust Lane, not less than five miles from the scene of action.

Yours truly,
D. B. Phillips, C. S. N.,
Medical Director of Forces under Gen. H. A. Wise.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1861

West Virginia Archives and History