September 16, 1861
Considerable misapprehension seems to exist in regard to the respective positions of Lee and Rosencrans. Contrary to the impression of many persons, the headquarters of the two generals are seventy-five miles distant from each other, Clarksburg being the headquarters of Rosencrans, and Lee’s camp being between Huttonsville and Huntersville, in Pocahontas county. Rosencrans, though the ranking officer in North-Western Virginia, is not the officer immediately in command of the forces assailing General Lee. It is understood that General Reynolds is their commander. It is not supposed that any of the forces that attacked Floyd on Gauley river, on Tuesday, were taken from General Reynold’s command. They were troops that had been stationed at different points in North-Western Virginia, and some three or four newly arrived regiments from Ohio. General Reynold’s camp is at the Junction of the Staunton and Parkersburg, and of the Huttonsville and Huntersville turnpike roads. The other camp of the Yankee army is on the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike, on Cheat Mountain, eight miles east of Huttonsville. Seven miles east of this camp, on the same road, at the foot of Cheat Mountain, in Pocahontas county, on Greenbrier river, is the camp of our General H. R. Jackson. General Lee’s camp, as already stated, is on the Huttonsville and Huntersville road, eighteen miles above the former place.
September 16, 1861
A letter received in Richmond Saturday afternoon, from the Postmaster at Lewisburg, Va., dated 12th inst. says:
“General Floyd had another engagement with the enemy at Gauley, on the 10th, and routed them—killing 600, wounding 1,000 and taking some prisoners. A few hours after the engagement, Gen. Floyd heard that the other wing of the enemy had crossed the river a few miles above him, in order to surround him; Gen. Floyd then fell back upon this side of the river. This report is reliable, as it was brought by an officer engaged in the battle.—Our loss is one killed and eight wounded!”
Mr. Stephen Letellier, of this city, a member of Capt. Caskie’s company, arrived in Richmond on Saturday evening, from Greenbrier county. He says the forces engaged were a part of Rosencrantz’ command, and the general facts as he understood them from some of Gen. Floyd’s men, are as stated above.
September 16, 1861
WASHINGTON, Sept., 12.—The following dispatch was received at headquarters this evening:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VA.,
Camp Scott, Sept. 12, P. M.
To Col. E. D. Townsend:--We yesterday marched 17 1/2 miles, and reached the enemy’s entrenched position in front of Connifax Ferry, driving his advanced outposts and pickets before us. We found him occupying a strongly entrenched position, covered by forests too dense to admit of its being seen at a distance of three hundred yards. His force was five regiments, besides the one driven in. He had probably sixteen pieces of artillery.
At 3 o’clock we began a strong reconnaissance, which proceeded to such a length that we were about to assault the position on the flank and front, when night coming on, and our troops being completely exhausted, I drew them out of the woods and posted them in the order of battle behind ridges immediately in front of the enemy’s position, where they rested on their arms until the morning.
Shortly after day light a runaway “contraband” came in and reported that the enemy had crossed the Gauley river during the night by means of the ferry, and a bridge which they had completed. Col. Ewing was ordered to take possession of the camp, which he did about seven o’clock, capturing a few prisoners, two stands of colors, a considerable quantity of arms, with quartermaster’s stores, messing and camp equipage.
The enemy have destroyed their bridge across the Gauley, which here rushes through a deep gorge, and our troops being still much fatigued and having no material for immediately repairing the bridge, it was thought prudent to encamp the troops and occupy the ferry and the captured camp. We sent a few rifle cannon shots after the retreating enemy, to produce a moral effect.
Our loss will probably amount to twenty killed and one hundred wounded. The enemy’s loss is not ascertained, but from the report of the prisoners must have been very considerable.
W. S. Rosencranz
Major General Commanding.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: September 1861