Frank Moore, ed. Vol. 2. New York: G. P. Putnam, 1863, pp. 11-14
Affairs At Huntersville, Va.
The correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial gives the following account of the dispersion of the rebels, and the destroying of their stores at Huntersville, Western Virginia, by a detachment of Federal troops, from General Milroy’s command:
HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-FIVE OHIO REGIMENT,
HUTTONSVILLE, VA., Jan. 7, 1862.
The Huntersville expedition, of which I telegraphed you yesterday, was so successful in its result, and so damaging to the rebel army in these parts, that it merits a more extended notice, and having recovered somewhat from the fatigue of a hundred miles’ march, I will try to give some of the chief incidents of the winter march through the mountains, and the extensive conflagration of the famous city of Huntersville, which, after the fashion of Virginia towns, is decidedly an eight-by-ten institution.
And first, in order that the reader may know what and where Huntersville is, I will premise by saying that it is the county-seat of Pocahontas County, near fifty-two miles from this point, and forty-odd from Staunton, and it derives its chief importance from the fact that it has been employed as the central depot for supplies for the rebel army of Western Virginia. Being the nearest point to the Staunton railroad, supplies were wagoned there, and thence distributed to the rebels at whatever points they needed them. Gen. Lee’s army, during its inglorious career in these parts, drew its supplies from this source. Having authentic information that large supplies of provisions, etc., were still stored there, under guard of several hundred cavalry and infantry, and conceiving that it would be a good thing to destroy the provisions, and, if possible, capture some troops, or whip them out, Gen. Milroy determined to send a sufficient force to do it.
The force detailed for this service was composed of four hundred of the Twenty-fifth Ohio, three hundred of the Second Virginia, and a detachment of thirty-eight from Bracken’s Indiana cavalry, under Lieut. Dalzell; the whole force being under command of Major Webster, Twenty-fifth Ohio; Major Owens, Second Virginia, had the immediate command of the Virginians. Capts. Askew, Williams, Washburne, Johnson, Green and Crowell, and Lieuts. Higgins, Houghton, Jones, Bell, Berblus and Blandy, Twenty-fifth Ohio, commanded the Ohio boys; but I do not know the company officers of the Virginians.
Tuesday afternoon – the last day of the waning old year, 1861 – we left camp, and turned our faces toward the interior of the Old Dominion. And a beautiful day it was, and beautiful scenery, even in mid-winter, greeted us.
Precious little rest did any of us get New Year’s night. It was freezing cold, and seemed as though all the mountain storms had concentrated in one terrific gale of wind, which poured through the open valley in which we camped, with mighty, resistless energy, the entire night. We had big fires, but they seemed to do little good, and I assure you, that there were very few happy or good-natured soldiers that night, and we were thankful when morning came, so that we could leave. At the blast of the bugle, we again took up our line of march, and proceeded twelve miles, and again camped for the night, at the foot of Elk Mountain, in a most beautiful pine grove, the rich, green tops of which were so thickly crowded together as to obscure the lurid glare of our fires, while beneath this natural covering of pines, the most animating scene, fit for an elegant picture, presented itself. Here we were compelled to leave our ambulances and wagons, under guard, in consequence of an impassable blockade of the road by the “Secesh.” They had fallen heavy timbers across the road for a mile and a half up the mountain side, and neither man nor beast could get through. So, getting ready Friday morning, we set out for Huntersville, fourteen miles distant, followed a mountain-trail around the blockade, until, on the top of Elk Mountain, we again struck the main road. The boys were in excellent condition, and were entertaining themselves with speculations about the probable events of the day, as Major Webster intended to attack the place that afternoon. Seven or eight miles this side of the town, we came across some suspicious-looking men, whom the Major took along with him. All along the road, it was amusing to observe the look of surprise which the residents gave our column as it passed by. The visual organs, especially of the female population, were considerably protruded, as they would suddenly discover the long line of blue overcoats winding along the road, a sight they had never before seen in that section, being accustomed to the gray coats of Secessia.
At last, about one o’clock, we neared the bridge which spans Greenbrier River, six miles this side of Huntersville, where, our scouts had reported, we should first encounter the rebels. We halted, to let the cavalry pass, who were sent forward to attempt to cut off the rebel pickets at the bridge, and then moving forward soon struck the river about half a mile from the bridge. The cavalry moved forward quickly and crossed the river considerably above the bridge. At this point the valley is pretty wide, composed of meadow land, and as our cavalry, under Lieut. Dalzell, dashed up the bank and hastily formed for a charge down through the fields to cut off the rebels from retreating to Huntersville, the rebels discovered them and ran; the greater part being infantry, could not escape our cavalry on the Huntersville side, so they took the Lewisburg road and made fast time up the mountain side. The rebel cavalry, however, retreated to Huntersville, and the race across the bottom, between our cavalry and theirs, was decidedly exciting – the rebels flying at full speed, and our men, in good order, were charging in line of battle down the valley at the top of their horses’ speed. The rebels, however, had the shortest road, and made good their escape. Leaving Capt. Williams, Co. C, Twenty-fifth Ohio, with eighty or a hundred men, to hold the bridges, Major Webster moved forward on Huntersville, then distant six miles, and we marched rapidly. The road leaves the Greenbrier River at the bridge, and strikes back through the mountains. When within two miles of the town, as we were moving along a mountain side, our advance guard was fired on by some rebel cavalry, who immediately retreated as fast as their steeds could carry them. Moving forward cautiously, we soon struck a valley which opened before us, and in which Huntersville is situated, being in a sort of square formed by two of these valleys crossing each other. As we went forward, through a field, we discovered a number of the rebels at a sharp bend in the road, and they immediately got in position behind a bank and opened a brisk fire on our column. They were dismounted cavalrymen, and used Sharp’s carbines, the balls of which came whizzing past us, making quite lively music. I thought, then, that they intended to make a struggle to maintain their ground, and, knowing that their force was equal to, if not larger than ours, I though the prospect was good for a respectable fight. Major Webster threw out a line of skirmishers, and our boys replied pretty effectively to their fire, and they retreated. We had not advanced far until we discovered a large force of cavalry, drawn up in a field, in our front and across a stream of water. Companies A and B, of the Twenty-fifth, were deployed to the right, and opened fire with their Enfields, whereupon the cavalry turned tail and retreated again, but halted and formed again on a level plain, to reach which they had to ascend a sloping piece of ground. Here we supposed they would make a desperate stand, as the ground was well adapted to the movements of cavalry; and as the space between the opposing forces was good for a charge, I imagined that as our line advanced, they would come thundering down upon us in true Murat style. And, indeed, with the number of cavalry drawn up in line before us, if they had made an energetic charge they could have done us considerable damage. Our boys were crazy for the order to forward. Ever since the first fire they had been wild with excitement, and had made the mountain ring with their cheers as the rebels retreated. Major Webster directed Major Owens, of the Second Virginia, to go to the left with the Virginia boys, turn the enemy’s right, and attack them in the rear. As the Virginians filed past the Twenty-fifth to its position, the boys of each regiment cheered each other vociferously, and pledged themselves to conquer or die. Then the word was given to forward, and with cheer upon cheer, away we went on double-quick, and away also, before our impetuous charge, but with greater speed, went the chivalric Southern cavalry back to Huntersville, which was now revealed to us for the first time. Pausing a moment at the top of the ascent to let the men take breath, we could see several companies of infantry drawn up in the town, about half a mile distant. Again we moved forward, and the picture was quite lively to see; to our left across the fields, the Virginians advancing on double-quick towards the town, while our own regiment was moving forward on a charge, and the cavalry occupying the space between the two divisions, and all cheering lustily and full of determination to clean out the town. We went flying into town; the Major on horseback at the head of the men, swinging his cap and cheering, and everybody else seeming to exert himself to create as much noise as possible. But the rebels had fled before we reached the town, the cavalry flying out the road towards Staunton, and the infantry scattering through the woods in a very promiscuous and unmilitary style. With loud cheers we rushed through the street, and, as we gained the opposite side of the town, the boys saw a few badly-scared rebel infantry, and began blazing away at them as they ran up the hill-side. In the midst of the firing a young woman (and a handsome one at that) suddenly sprang from behind a log, and ran across the field towards her home, frightened almost to death, and leaping like a deer, (or dear, if you please.) So soon as she was discovered the firing ceased, and there ended the fighting part of the programme. We had killed one rebel and wounded seven, among the latter a captain, and had one of our boys, a member of Company E, Twenty-fifth Ohio, shot in the wrist. Thus we had achieved an almost bloodless victory, driven the rebels back from three different points where they had taken their stand, and now have possession of their depot of supplies.
And now we set about seeing what we had gained by the triumph. It did not take long, for Huntersville is not the most extensive city in America, nor the most beautiful. In fact, it was a very contemptible place, both in size and appearance, and in Ohio would be sneered at if it should aspire to the dignity of a county-seat. It has one church, a jail, and court-house – not remarkable for its architectural beauty; a dozen or fifteen dwellings, and three hotels, the latter being the best buildings in the town. It has been used chiefly for the quartering of troops, the citizens having nearly all deserted it some time ago. One or two families were still there, and from them we learned that there were about four hundred cavalry, and two companies of infantry stationed there to guard the rebel supplies. One cavalry company was from Memphis, Tenn., and was finely equipped. All of them were armed with Sharp’s carbines and sabres. They were apprised of our coming the night before, scouts having seen us as we took dinner on Thursday, 17 miles back. Capt. Alexander, of Tennessee, who commanded the post, at once sent a messenger to the rebel Camp Baldwin, on the Allegheny mountains, and also dispatched couriers through the country to collect and bring in the militia, who met them to the number of two or three hundred, swelling the rebel force to seven or eight hundred. We had not more than five hundred men, when we got to Huntersville, having only seven hundred originally, and at least two hundred of these had been left to guard various points in our rear. Capt. Alexander made his boast that he could whip us, but the result showed differently. The militia, or, as the boys say, the “flat-footed militia of Pocahontas County,” wouldn’t stand fire, as they scattered like sheep at the first sound of a gun. We would have pursued, and might have secured a few infantry prisoners, but Major Webster wisely determined that we had better burn their supplies and return before the rebels had time to throw a superior force from Camp Baldwin in our rear, and thus cut off our return. There were two roads leading from that camp to the road by which we had to return, one striking it ten miles this side of Huntersville, and the other coming into it at Big Springs. The Major found five or six of the largest buildings filled with ample quantities of provisions, and at first he determined to take them from the buildings in order to save the latter, but finding it impracticable, he caused them to be set on fire, and seeing them far enough enveloped in flames to make their destruction certain, we set out on our return. As Huntersville receded from our view, the flames were leaping heavenward, and dense volumes of smoke rolling above, from this hole of Secessionism, a just vengeance for its crimes, and from the top of the court-house, the Stars and Stripes – the “flag of beauty and of glory” – were floating gaily in the air, telling the criminal traitors who infested the place that the power of the American Republic was yet in existence.
We left Huntersville about five o’clock in the evening, and marched back ten and a half miles that night, making nearly thirty miles we had marched that day, besides the exhaustion consequent upon the excitement and labor of our skirmishing and charging about Huntersville; and to make it harder, a cold, chilling rain and sleet began to fall about dark, and, when we halted for the night, the boys’ guns were covered with a thick coating of ice. So you can imagine that we needed rest, and we got it in barns that night. The next day we marched to Big Springs, where we met another force of our men and Second Virginians, under Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, of the Twenty-fifth Ohio, who had come out to hold that point and protect our return. Sunday night we got to Elkwater, and Monday at noon we reached here, when the boys gave three hearty cheers for Major Webster, who, in a brief speech, thanked the officers and men of the Twenty-fifth Ohio and Second Virginia for their gallant conduct, and then we set about getting rested.
The expedition was successful in every particular, and to show that we did “secesh” considerable injury, let me state that, according to inventories of the stores on hand at Huntersville, made out a few days before, which Major Webster has in his possession, we destroyed three hundred and fifty barrels of flour, thirty thousand pounds of salt, (a precious article with the rebels,) about one hundred and fifty thousand pounds salted beef, they having just finished killing and salting three hundred cattle, two thousands [sic] pounds coffee, large quantities of sugar, rice, bacon, soap, candles, forage, etc., the value of which may be fairly stated at from twenty-five to thirty thousand dollars. Besides this, we secured a large number of Sharp’s carbines and sabres, two or three rebel flags, and a vast number of other articles. I regretted that we could not get our wagons clear through, so that we could have brought away at least a portion of the provisions.
The officers and men of the entire fore reflected great credit on themselves, by their bearing throughout. The march was excessively severe. We were gone just six days, and marched one hundred and four miles – “Virginia miles” – which every soldier will testify are twice as long as any civilized mile, and this, too, in the depth of winter, over miserable roads. Major Webster endeared himself to all by his manly, soldierly bearing, and reflected great credit on himself, by the success which crowned his plans. No better officer can be found in the service. He is a true gentleman, possessing those qualities which fit him for command, and also those which draw the affections of his men to him, and make them feel that he is their friend, and for such a man they will fight to the death.
Series 1, Volume 5, pp. 496-501
JANUARY 3, 1862.—Descent upon, and skirmish at, Huntersville, W. Va.
No. l.—Maj. George Webster, Twenty-fifth Ohio Infantry.
No. 2.—Brig. Gen. William W. Loring, C. S. Army.
No. 3.—Brig. Gen. Edward Johnson, C. S. Army.
No. 4.—Col. George W. Hull, C. S. Army.
No. 5.—Capt. H. M. Bell, Assistant Quartermaster, C. S. Army.
Report of Maj. George Webster, Twenty fifth Ohio Infantry.
HUTTONSVILLE, W. VA., January 6, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your orders, on December 31, 1861, at 1 p. in., I left this place with a detachment of 400 men of the Twenty-fifth Regiment Ohio Volunteers for Huntersville, Pocahontas County, West Virginia. At Camp Elk Water I was joined by a detachment of 300 men from the Second West Virginia Regiment, under Major Owens, and at Big Spring by a detachment of 38 cavalry, of the Bracken Cavalry, under First Lieutenant Delzell. I appointed First Lieut. Charles B. Jones, of the Twenty-fifth Ohio, acting adjutant.
On the morning of January 3, finding the road at the base of Elk Mountain, and for a distance of 1 mile, so obstructed by felled trees as to render the farther progress of teams impossible, I left my wagons and detached Captain Johnson, of the Twenty-fifth Ohio, with 50 of the most disabled men, to guard them. Avoiding the obstructions by a detour to the left, I pushed forward to Greenbrier River, and ascertained that a considerable number of militia were gathered at the bridge, 1 mile below, on their way to Huntersville. I directed Lieutenant Delzell with his detachment of cavalry to ford the river, and by a rapid movement across the river bottom to gain possession of the road in rear of the bridge. This he did in most gallant style, and cut off from Huntersville the entire militia force at the bridge, except a few mounted scouts. The balance fled back into the country, evidently in great confusion and dismay. Hastily detaching Captain Williams, of the Twenty-fifth Ohio, with 30 men, to hold the bridge, I pushed forward, and when 2 miles from town the enemy’s pickets fired upon my advanced guard—Companies E and G, of the Twenty-fifth Ohio—but after a few shots retired.
The column moved forward, and 1 mile from town I discovered the enemy’s cavalry at the extreme of a level bottom field, dismounted and posted over the brow of a hilly spur which jutted out into the field from their right, with Nap’s Creek on their left. I immediately deployed a part of the Twenty-fifth Ohio up the hill to our left to turn the enemy’s right, and with the balance of our force moved up in front. The enemy at once opened upon us and their fire became general, which was vigorously responded to by our men. They soon discovered my flank movement, however, and falling back to their horses hastily mounted and retreated.
I again moved the column forward, crossed Nap’s Creek, and found the enemy posted upon a second bottom, extending from our right nearly across the valley and half a mile in front of town. I promptly deployed Companies A and B, of the Twenty-fifth Ohio, into line to our right, at the base of the hill, to attack the enemy’s left, and directed Major Owens, with the Second West Virginia and Bracken Cavalry, to make a considerable detour, turn the enemy’s right, and take him in rear. The balance of the Twenty-fifth Ohio I formed to attack in front. This disposition made and in the way of rapid execution under the enemy’s fire, and Companies A and B having opened upon his left, the enemy again retired, mounted, and retreated into town. After a few minutes’ rest I formed my command into two columns, the Twenty-filth Ohio to move upon the right and the Second West Virginia and cavalry upon the left of the town. In this order the troops rushed forward, cheering, into town as the enemy, after a few inefficient shots, fled from the rear.
We found the place deserted, the houses broken open, and goods scattered, the cause of which was soon stated by a returned citizen. The rebel commander had ordered the citizens to remove all their valuable property, as he intended, if beaten, to burn the town. We found large quantities of rebel stores, consisting in part of 350 barrels of flour, 300 salted beeves, (about 150,000 pounds), 30,000 pounds of salt, and large amounts of sugar, coffee, rice, bacon, clothing, & c, all of which I caused to be destroyed by burning the building in which they were stored, having no means to bring them off. The value of the property thus destroyed I estimated at $30,000. Our forces captured and brought home a large number of Sharp’s carbines, sabers, horse-pistols, and some army clothing.
The enemy had in the action 400 regular cavalry armed with Sharp’s carbines, and several hundred mounted militia assembled from Pocahontas County the night before. There were also two companies of infantry quartered in town, but fled without making a stand. The enemy’s loss is believed to have been considerable. It was reported by a citizen who returned at 1 killed and 7 wounded. Private Oliver P. Hershee, of Company E, Twenty-fifth Ohio, was seriously wounded in the arm. No other casualties occurred on our side. I nailed the Stars and Stripes to the top of the court-house and left them flying. After remaining in town two hours I marched back to Edray through a drenching rain and sleet, having made 25 miles that day. To-day I returned to Huttonsville with the detachment from the Tweity-fifth Ohio, having made a winter march of 102 miles in a little less than six days, and penetrated into the enemy’s country 30 miles farther than any body of our troops had before gone. The men are in good condition, considering the march, and are in excellent spirits.
To my second in command, Major Owens, of the Second West Virginia; Captains Washburn. Williams, Johnson, Crowell, Green, and Askew; Lieutenants Higgins, Bowlus, Haughton, Blandy, and Ball, and Acting-Adjutant Jones, of the Twenty-fifth Ohio; to Captains Planky, Gibson, and McNally; Lieutenants West, Ecker, Day, Hunter, Smyth, Huggins, and Weaver, of the Second West Virginia, and to Lieutenants Delzell and Bassett, of the Bracken Cavalry, I desire to tender my acknowledgments for the prompt, efficient, and gallant manner in which they performed their respective duties on the march and in the action.
To the men composing my command generally too much praise cannot be awarded. During the long and weary march their spirits never flagged. They at all times cheerfully submitted to necessary discipline. For one hour and a half in which they were engaged in driving the enemy from cover to cover, a distance of 2 miles, not a man flinched.
I cannot close this report without expressing the deep obligations of myself and comrades of the Twenty-fifth Ohio to the officers and men of the Second West Virginia for the very hospitable manner in which we were entertained at Camp Elk Water last night, and thereby saved a night’s exposure to a storm of rain, hail, and snow.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, yours, & c.,
Maj. 25th Reg’t Ohio Vols., Comdg. Huntersville Expedition.
Brig. Gen. R. H. MILROY.
Report of Brig. Gen. William W. Loring, C. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE NORTHWEST,
January 6, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to inclose[sic] a letter received from General Johnson, commanding the army on the Alleghany, and also one from Colonel Harman, at Staunton, informing me that the enemy were moving against Alleghany. I think re-enforcements ought to be sent him, but it will be impossible for me to do so from this portion of the army, now before the town of Hancock, too great a distance from his position, and he will have to be re-enforced from elsewhere.
I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
Brigadier-General, Commanding, & c.
[Inclosure[sic] No. 1.]
CAMP ALLEGHANY, January 2, 1862.
The enemy are at Greenbrier in considerable force. I think it likely I shall be attacked in the morning. We are able to hold our position. I received intelligence a day since from the commanding officer at Huntersville that he expected to be attacked by a large force. Our position may be turned. If the enemy get in our rear intelligence from us may be cut off; so you must look to your own expresses for intelligence from us. The enemy may attack here and at Huntersville. Should we be besieged, re-enforcements may be hurried out. You must keep yourself advised in this matter. I have sent for Scott and Goode to come up.
Respectfully, & c.,
Brigadier- General, Commanding.
[Inclosure[sic] No. 2.]
WINCHESTER, VA., January 4, 1862.
General W. W. LORING, Commanding Army of the Northwest:
I inclose[sic] you a letter from Gen. Edward Johnson, which I received just as I was leaving Staunton. I immediately telegraphed General Cooper, advising that two regiments be sent up to re-enforce him, if it was possible to do so, as the enemy might get to his rear by the Huntersville road and cut off his supplies. I write by this express to General Jackson, inclosing a copy of General Johnson’s letter, thinking you might not be near him.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. G. HARMAN,
Lieutenant- Colonel, &c.
Report of Brig. Gen. Edward Johnson, C. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS MONTEREY LINE
Camp Alleghany, Va., January 4, 1862.
SIR: Intelligence has just been received that the enemy have entered Huntersville, and that the small force left there by General Loring, some 250 men, had fallen back towards Monterey. I have no authentic information as to the number of the enemy, but it is reported at from 4,000 to 5,000.
I received a communication a day or two since from the commanding officer at Huntersville, stating that he apprehended an attack from the direction of Elk Water. Since the withdrawal of troops from that line it has been at the mercy of the enemy. Colonel Goode, with his regiment, heretofore stationed at Forks of Waters, I ordered to Monterey; Colonel Scott, with his regiment, the Forty-fourth, is at Crab Bottom, some 6 miles from Monterey, in this direction. Both of these regiments are weak—together not exceeding 600 or 700 men. Here I have not in all 1,200 effective men. If it is intended to hold this line it is important that troops should be sent on the Huntersville line or to Monterey. The troops at Monterey, permanently stationed there, are some two or three companies of cavalry. I have sent scouts to ascertain the strength of the enemy at Huntersville. The stores there fell into the hands of the enemy. I got my intelligence from the commanding officer at Monterey, whose report I herewith transmit.
I have directed the commanding officer at Monterey to report directly to Richmond any additional intelligence he may receive. If the enemy advance towards Monterey in force, re-enforcements are imperatively required.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier General, Commanding Monterey Line.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.
Report of Col. George W. Hull, C. S. Army.
POST MONTEREY, VA., January 4, 1862.
GENERAL; I am unofficially informed that a dispatch was sent to you last night from the commanding officer at Huntersville, informing you of the fall of that place, but do not know that it reached you, or was sent, as I was not informed of it until a few moments ago, when the scouts sent out on that road returned with the intelligence. The place, as I hear, was attacked by some 4,000 or 5,000 men yesterday at 1 a. m. Our troops offered but little or no resistance, being overpowered in numbers. They fell back, and are on their road to this post.
I have scouts out on the road to Huntersville some distance, and will keep you fully advised of any movement of the enemy that I may learn. Most, if not all, our stores fell into the hands of the enemy. Fire was set to the buildings, but it is not believed to have consumed them.
Very respectfully, your servant,
GEO. W. HULL,
Colonel Commanding Post.
General EDWARD JOHNSON, Camp Alleghany, Va.
Report of Capt. H. M. Bell, assistant quartermaster, C. S. Army.
Sunday Morning, January 5, 1862—5 a. m.
GENERAL: I send you inclosed[sic] copies of dispatches just received from Monterey by special express from Whitely. It appears that the enemy in considerable force have advanced upon and taken possession of Huntersville, our small force retiring before them and offering but small resistance. I have no further information upon the subject, but suppose Monterey will be their point of destination, as I suppose they will hardly risk an advance upon the Central road at Millborough with that force, although the movement would be entirely practicable.
I will hold the force of wagon trains here to carry up any re-enforcements that you may send until I hear from you. I want corn.
In haste, yours, respectfully,
H. M. BELL,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, Commanding Post.
General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General.
P. S. — I ascertained from expressmen[sic] that the occupation took place at 1 a. m. yesterday. The force that appeared in General Johnson’s front had disappeared at daylight Friday morning, and had not been reported up to dark that night, and is doubtless the same force that is at Huntersville.
[Inclosure[sic] No. 1.]
POST MONTEREY, VA., January 4, 1862.
COLONEL: Yesterday about 1 o’clock the enemy advanced and took possession of Huntersville. Our forces offered but little resistance, their numbers, as I understand from a member of the Tennessee cavalry, being only about some 200 men, while that of the enemy could not be correctly estimated, but supposed to be about 4,500.
Our command at Huntersville is now on its road to this place and will be in to-night. I cannot give you an account of the fight, but sure it is that the town and all our stores are in the hands of the enemy, unless it be that a barn, in which some of the commissary stores were placed, was burned, as fire was communicated to it; but it might have been extinguished by the enemy, who were near at the time of setting fire to it. Nothing new from Alleghany.
Very respectfully, yours,
GEO. W. HULL,
Colonel, Commanding Post.
Col. John B. BALDWIN, Commanding Post, Staunton, Va.
P. S.—We lost no men, and suppose the loss on the side of the enemy to be about 4.
[Inclosure[sic] No. 2.]
Monterey, Va., January 4, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I write to say that the Yankees, some 4,000 or 5,000 strong, have taken possession of Huntersville, and our forces, some 250 in number, have retreated to this place. What will happen next I cannot tell, but would not be surprised if their next move would be upon this place. I will keep you fully advised as to what may occur.
P. B. HOGE,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.
Capt. H. M. BELL
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: January 1862