The skirmish in Monroe county.
August 13, 1862
The skirmish in Monroe county.
We have some further particulars of the skirmish at Pack's Ferry, Monroe County, Va, on Wednesday last. Col. Wharton, with a small force, surprised and attacked about 300 Yankees, putting them to rout, and killing and wounding between 20 and 30. On our side there were none killed, and only one slightly wounded. A small rifled cannon was fired from the other side of the river into the enemy's camp on this side with great success, and our sharp-shooters did the rest. A notorious Union man, named Barton, was wounded and taken prisoner. This engagement, between two parties on opposite sides of a river, lasted but a short times but was very brisk and decisive.
Series 1, Vol. 12, Part II, p 127-29
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Report of Brig. Gen. Jacob D. Cox, U.S. Army, commanding District of the Kanawha.
Headquarters District of the Kanawha,
Flat Top Mountain, August 8, 1862.
Sir: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 6th instant a heavy detachment of the rebel force in front, consisting of three regiments of infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, and a battery of rifled cannon, made an attack upon the detachment of my command at Pack’s Ferry, near month of Blue Stone, or New River. My force there consists of four companies of the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteers, under Major Comly, with two mountain howitzers. The remainder of the Twenty-third Regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hayes, is encamped at Green Meadows, some 8 miles from the ferry, near the forks of the road leading from Blue Stone River to Raleigh Court-House and to this camp.
The attack was evidently made for the purpose of destroying our ferry (constructed in form of flying bridge), by means of which we keep control of parts of Monroe County, and have the means of communicating with the Third Brigade, stationed at Meadow Bluffs, in Greenbrier County.
The effort of the enemy entirely failed, Major Comly preserving the ferry and holding his position without loss on our side. The attack was made from the opposite side of the river, the rebel force coming from The Narrows of New River.
On receiving news of the attack and of the size of the enemy’s force, I dispatched Colonel Scammon, commanding First Brigade, with the Thirtieth Ohio Volunteers and a section of McMullin’s battery, to the support of the detachment at the ferry, ordering the force at Green Meadows to co-operate also. Before the re-enforcement reached the river, however, the enemy had retired, moving off rapidly on the appearance of a portion of our troops above them on this side the river.
I send herewith a copy of Colonel Scammon’s report of his movement.
On same day a party of rebel cavalry made their appearance at Wyoming Court-House. A detachment of the Thirty-seventh Ohio Volunteers, which is stationed at Raleigh Court-House, went in pursuit of them; but I have not yet received the report of the expedition.
Another strong reconnoitering party is out, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hines, Twelfth Ohio Volunteers, with orders to penetrate as far as possible by the ridge of Flat Top Range toward its junction with East River Mountain, in Tazewell County, to break up some stations of partisan troops of the rebels in that vicinity, and acquire such information as may be possible in regard to the present positions and forces of the enemy in that county. It will be gone probably two or three days yet.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. Cox,
Col. George D. Ruggles, Chief of Staff, Army of Virginia.
Report of Col. E. Parker Scammon, Twenty-third Ohio Infantry, commanding First Provisional Brigade.
Headquarters First Provisional Bridage,
August 7, 1862.
Sir: I have the honor to report my return to Camp Jones. I reached Pack’s Ferry, via Green Meadows, about dark yesterday. Before arriving at Jumping Branch I was met by courier with information that the enemy had fallen back. As the storm commenced about that time I ordered the Thirtieth to halt and seek shelter at Jumping Branch and to detain the artillery at that point on its arrival. I went to the headquarters of the Twenty-third Regiment, and after waiting there until the storm began to abate, rode on to the ferry, and remained there until 7 o’clock this morning.
I learn that the first notice that Major Comly had of the enemy’s approach was from his own pickets. The enemy commenced firing at 5.45 o’clock a. m. The news sent from the Blue Stone Ford came while he was actually engaged with the enemy. Acting under orders formerly given, in case the enemy should appear in such force as to compel him to fall back, he withdrew his main force from their exposed position, leaving skirmishers to cover the party ordered to remove the ferry-boat from its exposed position. The boat was removed under fire. Some 30 to 40 shots were fired from the two rifled 10-pounders with which the enemy opened fire from a point above the camp and on the east side of the river. The enemy’s infantry occupied the shore immediately opposite the camp, but were soon driven off. As soon as possible three companies were ordered up the river to a point opposite the position of the enemy’s artillery, and immediately thereafter they began a hasty retreat. They moved off very rapidly. The enemy had 2 men shot, supposed killed, in view of the men engaged at the boat.
On my arrival at the ferry I found everything quiet, a few shot-holes in the tents, and the condition of the large ferry-boat being the only visible signs of the contest. It is expected that the ferry will be in running order again by this evening, by to-morrow at farthest. Three regiments of infantry, a considerable force of cavalry, and three rifled cannon made up the force which attempted and failed to break up the camp at Pack’s Ferry.
I have ordered one rifled cannon to remain for the present at Major Comly’s camp; the other two pieces of artillery and the Thirtieth Regiment to return to Camp Jones.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant.
E. P. Scammon,
Colonel, Commanding First Provisional Brigade.
Capt. G. M. Bascom,
Report of Maj. Gen. William W. Loring, C. S. Army, commanding Department of Southwestern Virginia.
Hdqrs. Department of Southwestern Virginia,
Camp Narrows, Va., August 6, 1862.
Sir: I have the honor to report that on the 5th instant Col. G. C. Wharton, with about 900 men and two guns, left Peterstown and proceeded to Pack’s Ferry, which place they reached before sunrise on the morning of the 6th. The enemy, evidently ignorant of the approach of our forces, was encamped on the other side of New River, and we were enabled to plant the pieces and open upon them before he was apparently aware of our proximity. The fire was delivered with splendid effect, causing him to destroy his fiat-boats and throw his supplies into the river and vacate his camp. We killed and wounded about 20 of the enemy, 1 of our men being slightly wounded.
News of the approach of the enemy from Alderson’s Ferry, in the direction of Union, had rendered it necessary that Colonel Wharton’s command should be ordered away from its position. These orders were received by him just as he had succeeded so far in his expedition as above reported.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. Loring,
Hon. George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: August 1862