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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
September 6-16, 1862


Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
Series 1, Vol. 19, Part I, pp 1057-90

September 6-16, 1862.—Campaign in the Kanawha Valley, W. Va.

Events.

Sept. 6, 1862.—Loring’s command moves from The Narrows. 10, 1862.—Action at Fayetteville. 11, 1862.—Skirmishes at Cotton Hill, Gauley (or Miller’s) Ferry, Armstrong’s Creek, and near Cannelton. 12, 1862.—Skirmish at Hurricane Bridge. 13, 1862. Action at Charleston. 16, 1862. Union forces reach the Ohio River.

. . .

No. 1.

Reports of Col. J. A. J. Lightburn, Fourth West Virginia Infantry, commanding District of the Kanawha.

Gauley, Va., September 11, 1862—3 a.m.

Fayette attacked to-day at noon by a superior force of the enemy. Fighting continued all the afternoon, our troops holding the post at sundown. Jenkins, with heavy cavalry force, on my right flank, in the rear. I am compelled to fall back, probably to Point Pleasant, Ohio River.

J. A. J. Lightburn,
Colonel, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck,
General-in-Chief.

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Hdqrs. in the Field, near Charleston, Va.,
September 13, 1862.

I have again engaged the enemy. Will hold this point if I can. Point Pleasant and Gallipolis should be looked after, as I shall, if compelled, have to fall back to Ripley road toward Ravenswood. No road down the Kanawha on the east side.

J. A. J. Lightburn,
Colonel, Commanding District.

Major-General Halleck.

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Point Pleasant, Va., September 19, 1862.

I am here with my command. Was compelled to fall back from Fayette, but not until after a day’s hard fighting, with skirmishing all the way to Charleston, where I made a stand, but was compelled, by a superior force, to fall back from there, which I did in good order, bringing my transportation but losing my stores. I find Point Pleasant untenable without some works, which I shall proceed to erect as speedily as I can. My report will be forwarded by mail.

J. A. J. Lightburn,
Colonel.

General H. W. Halleck.

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Point Pleasant, Va., September 19, 1862.

In falling back to this point, the Kanawha Salt Works have fallen into the enemy’s hands. They were in good condition; county not be successfully destroyed, and have a large amount of salt on hand. Would it not be best to reoccupy the valley that far, as soon as possible?

J. A. J. Lightburn,
Colonel, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. H. W. Halleck.

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Headquarters District of the Kanawha,
Point Pleasant, W. Va., September 24, 1862.

Dear Sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of what has transpired since I assumed command of the District of the Kanawha:

Pursuant to General J. D. Cox’s order, of August 17, 1862, I assumed the command of the district. The troops composing the command were the Thirty-seventh, Thirty-fourth, Forty-fourth, and Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the Fourth, Eighth, and Ninth Virginia Volunteer Infantry, and the Second Virginia Cavalry, together with eight mountain howitzers, three rifled and three smooth-bore field-pieces of artillery, manned by a detail from infantry regiments. The forces were stationed as follows: The Thirty-fourth and Thirty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with four mountain howitzers and two smooth-bore field-pieces, under command of Col. E. Siber, Thirty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, at Raleigh Court-House, with two companies of infantry, as a guard for trains, at Fayette Court-House; the Forty-fourth and Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, with two companies Virginia cavalry, at Camp Ewing, a distance of 10 miles from Gauley Bridge, on the Lewisburg road, under command of Col. S. A. Gilbert, Forty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry; two companies of the Ninth Virginia Infantry, and two companies of the Second Virginia Cavalry, under command of Major Curtis, were stationed at Summerville; the remainder of the Ninth and Fourth Virginia Infantry, and Second Virginia Cavalry, were stationed at different points from Gauley Bridge to Charleston, including an outpost at Coal River, in Boone County, with my headquarters at Gauley.

Soon after assuming command, I became satisfied that the enemy was massing troops at the Narrows of New River, Union, and other points, for a demonstration upon the Kanawha Valley. Finding it impossible to obtain re-enforcements, and my flanks and rear being unprotected, I ordered Colonel Siber, at Raleigh, to fall back to Fayette Court-House, and Colonel Gilbert also to fall back to Gauley Mountain, or Tompkins farm. A day or two before I gave the order to Colonel Gilbert, I learned that Jenkins, with a heavy force of cavalry, had left Union, Monroe County, and, fearing he would attack Summerville, I ordered Colonel Gilbert to send six companies of the Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under command of Colonel Elliott, to re-enforce that point. Finding these positions untenable against the reported force of the enemy, and Jenkins already in my rear, I ordered Colonel Paxton, with six companies of the Second Virginia Cavalry, to look after him and if possible, keep open communications with the Ohio River, by way of the Kanawha River. I, at the same time, ordered the quartermaster and commissary stores, of which there was a large quantity, to be shipped to Charleston, directing that the most valuable be shipped first, which had to be transported by land to Camp Piatt and Charleston; but, before much could be done in moving the stores, except the clothing, which was mostly got away, my outpost at Fayette Court-House, under command of Colonel Siber, was attacked by an overwhelming force of the enemy. Learning that his communication with me was cut off I immediately ordered three companies of the Fourth Virginia Volunteer Infantry to re-enforce him, with orders to fall back to Gauley, if he thought he could not hold his position. I also ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Parry, with five companies of the Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to Cotton Hill, to meet the retreating force of Colonel Siber, who fell back, skirmishing, the entire road from Cotton Hill to the Kanawha River. I also, upon learning that Fayette was attacked, ordered Colonel Siber, with his command, to Gauley; also Colonel Elliott’s command from Summerville, which command did not reach there until the enemy got possession of the opposite side of the river, and, consequently, was compelled to destroy their wagons and cross the mountains, joining the command near Cannelton.

Colonel Gilbert’s command, with his artillery, was stationed in a position commanding the road leading from Fayette, and did good execution in covering the retreat of Colonel Siber’s column. I also ordered all the wagons at Gauley to be loaded with the most valuable commissary stores, and to push forward, without stopping, until they crossed Elk River, below Charleston. This order was not obeyed, from some cause, the wagons and teams being in and above Charleston, which, no doubt, caused the confusion among the quartermasters, referred to in Colonel Gilberts report. After Colonel Siber’s command had passed and the enemy somewhat dispersed, Colonel Gilbert retired, skirmishing, which was kept up along almost the entire road, until we reached Charleston, September 12, where I thought to make a stand. I accordingly ordered the wagons that had been stopped in town across Elk River, which had hardly been done when the enemy made the attack upon the Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, which had been ordered by Colonel Gilbert to take a position above town, feel the enemy, and bring on the engagement, which was done in a spirited manner, as seen by Colonel Gilbert’s report. At 3 p. m. the Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, not being able to hold the enemy in check, fell back below Elk River, and the engagement became general, both with artillery and infantry, and lasted until, finding the enemy at least two to our one in front, with Jenkins’ force, 1,200 to 1,500 strong, on our right flank and rear, and owing to our immense train of wagons (over 700 in number), I ordered the command to fall back, under cover of the night, and took up our line of retreat on the Ripley road for this point, where we arrived on the 16th instant, bringing off all our trains except a few wagons and one or two ambulances that broke down, and all our artillery, including five extra pieces that were not manned. I am sorry to have to report the destruction, by fire, of a large amount of stores, which was done to prevent their falling into the hands of the enemy. During the march from Gauley, and during the engagement at Charleston, the officers and men behaved nobly, every one seeming to perform his duty as though upon him alone depended success. I do not wish to speak disparagingly of any officer. All did their duty. But, in addition to what is said in the respective reports, I wish to say that Colonels Siber, Gilbert, and Toland deserve particular mention for their excellent counsels, gallantry, and promptness in the discharge of their respective duties. They are officers who have heretofore won the confidence of their officers and men, and, in our late engagements, their conduct has merited the confidence and esteem of all Union-loving citizens. The Second Virginia Cavalry, under Colonel Paxton, did good service in keeping Jenkins’ force at bay, thereby preventing an attack in our rear. I wish, also, to state that Colonel Paxton, with 300 men, attacked Jenkins’ whole force (from 1,200 to 1,500), and drove them from Barboursville, which, no doubt, kept them from an attempt to harass our retreat.

Our loss is 25 killed, 95 wounded, and 190 missing. It is supposed that a number of the missing will come in, as some have already reported. The loss of the enemy is not known, but, from the best information we can get, their loss is heavy. My command is now at this point, and will be ready for a move again in a few days.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. A. J. Lightburn,
Colonel, Commanding.

Maj. Gen. Horatio G. Wright,
Commanding Department of the Ohio.

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No. 2.

Report of Col. Edward Siber, Thirty-seventh Ohio Infantry, commanding First Brigade.

Headquarters First Provisional Brigade,
Point Pleasant, W. Va., September 23, 1862.

Sir: I have the honor to report the following engagements and marches of the force under my command:

Having fallen back, with the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-seventh Ohio Volunteers, from the position of Raleigh to that of Fayette, I had resolved to hold the last-named intrenched position until the quartermaster and commissary stores, heaped up at this place, were removed. I had been informed, by repeated reports, that strong forces of the enemy would attack my command, already, when at Raleigh; but no direct information about the real force of the enemy, or the time of this predicted attack, reached me. The position at Fayetteville had been intrenched during the winter by a great amount of labor, but was completely commanded on its right flank and rear by surrounding wooded hills. It could, besides, be turned on this flank, as well by Laurel as by Loop Creek. When, therefore, on the night of September 9 and 10, I received the information that one of the most inveterate secesh in Laurel Creek had expressed that he would need his rifle the next morning, I sent the same morning a sergeant and 6 cavalry orderlies, which constituted my whole mounted force, to Laurel Creek, to take him up. This detachment had scarcely reached the house of the mentioned secesh (Tetam, by name), when they perceived a detachment of about 30 rebel cavalry, by whom they were hotly pursued down Laurel Creek. This circumstance gave me warning of the approaching attack, and I detached, about 11 o’clock, Lieutenant-Colonel Franklin, with two companies of the Thirty-fourth Regiment, to Cassidy’s Mill, on Laurel Creek, while two other companies should go up the creek to join him. These four companies were to cover the right flank of the position as a reconnoitering party. Two companies of the Thirty-seventh Regiment, under command of Captain Moritz, advanced one hour later on the Raleigh pike road, in order to reconnoiter in front. These two companies had scarcely made 2 miles when they met the advance guard of the approaching enemy, consisting of several companies of regular infantry. The engagement began thus before our front, and I ordered (as soon as I had personally convinced myself of the large force of the enemy, accompanied by a numerous staff) a retreat to the intrenchments, which was executed, skirmishing, and without any loss on our side, the enemy already pursuing us with artillery fire. The attack against the front of our position commenced shortly afterward, but was, at all points, repelled by Companies B, C, D, F, and G of the Thirty-seventh Regiment, who held the advance redoubt, occupied by two 6-pounders, under command of Lieutenant West, and the skirt of the woods. In the meanwhile, however, the greater part of the enemy’s force had, undiscovered, advanced through the woods on our right, and completely outflanked our position, and even intercepted our retreat. Of this circumstance I became convinced, when the first teams of our regimental train (which, at the commencement of the engagement, I had ordered to fall back to Cotton Hill) were attacked by a murderous fire, which, extending over a space of about 2 miles in our rear and right flank, showed the difficulty of our situation. In this emergency I ordered Col. John T. Toland, with the remaining six companies of the Thirty-fourth regiment, which had been held in reserve on the left, to clear the road to Gauley, and to drive the enemy from the position which he had taken on the skirt of the woods in our rear. This perilous task was executed by Capt. H. C. Hatfield, Thirty- fourth Regiment, with two companies on the Gauley road, and by Colonel Toland, personally, with the four others on his left, against the summit of a steep hill, with the utmost bravery and valor of officers as well as men. The engaged six companies of the Thirty-fourth Regiment suffered here, in the three hours murderous and unequal combat, a very severe loss in officers, as well as in men, without being able to gain the woods (thickly occupied by the enemy), but held the ground opposed to it until after dark. The enemy was here prevented from making progress by well-directed and uninterrupted fire of four mountain howitzers, commanded by First Lieutenant Anderson, Thirty-fourth Regiment, and placed in battery at the main redoubt. In the mean while the enemy repeated, during the whole afternoon and until late after dark, his attacks against the front and the right flank of the open field-works, occupied by the several companies of the Thirty-seventh Regiment, especially against an open redan, bravely defended by Lieutenant-Colonel Blessingh, with Companies A, E, H, and K. But neither in flank nor in front did the rebels make the slightest progress, and suffered considerable loss. These losses and the complete failure of all attacks forced the commander of the enemy’s force (General Williams) to withdraw, at sunset, the regiments which he had sent on our right flank, thus opening our line of retreat. In front, however, the combat lasted till late after sunset, when the enemy was here also driven back, even pursued some distance, by the companies of the Thirty-seventh Regiment, with fixed bayonet. In this moment arrived, first, Lieutenant-Colonel Franklin, with the four detached companies of the Thirty-fourth Regiment, who had fallen back down Laurel Creek, and, next, a detachment of 25 horse, of the Second Virginia Cavalry, and three companies of the Fourth Virginia Infantry, under Captain Vance, sent to our assistance from Gauley by Colonel Lightburn. Judging, however, that these re- enforcements would not enable me to hold the position another day, and to save the remaining commissary stores, I first ordered, during the night, the removal of our wounded, more than 80 in number; after these, that of the post and regimental trains, and gradually with- drew, between 1 and 2 o’clock in the morning, the whole force from the position of Fayetteville, unperceived by the enemy. This retreat was effected, after the commissary stores had been set fire to, without any other molestation but from a company of the enemy, still hidden in the woods in our rear. This ambush fired upon the cavalry, in the head of the column of the Thirty-fourth Regiment, wounding a few men of the last. In this hard-fought combat, against a vastly superior and regular force of the enemy, all the officers and men of both regiments fought with the greatest valor and resolution. Colonel Toland laid two horses killed under him. Lieutenaut Colonel Blessingh, although sick, held his post during the whole day. Lieutenants West, Thirty-seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteers, and Anderson, Thirty-fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, commanded their artillery with skill and determination. Infantry amid artillery had, at the end of the combat, twice exhausted their full ammunition. The Thirty-seventh Regiment, however, lost a part of their trains. The command reached, in the morning, safe and unmolested, the position at Cotton Hill, where I found five companies of the Forty-seventh Regiment, likewise sent from Gauley to our support. But scarcely had I reached the top of Cotton Hill, when the enemy deployed at its foot his whole force (at least six or seven regiments, colors flying, in order of battle), and immediately attempted to attack this new and strong position, on the new as well as on the old road. By this attempt a second combat was brought on in the morning of September 11, in which, on our side, only five companies of the Thirty-seventh Regiment became engaged. At their fire, and by that of our artillery, the enemy was, about 10 o’clock, driven back, with loss, to the foot of the mountain, giving me thereby time to withdraw the several regiments and detachments of my command down from Cotton Hill, on the left bank of the Kanawha River, to Loop Creek, and to destroy the magazines opposite Gauley. At Loop Creek I found a detachment of 120 men (cavalry), and, after a rest of two hours, I continued my retreat to Armstrong’s Creek, where, late in the afternoon, the pursuing cavalry of the enemy reached our rear guard, consisting of the Forty-seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteers, who repelled them again. After this I ordered the narrow defile, which forms the road on the left bank of the river, to be barricaded. A further pursuit of the enemy on this side became thereby impossible, and the whole command reached, on the morning of September 12, quietly, Brownstown, opposite Camp Piatt, where, in the evening, I crossed the Kanawha River, joining the force of Colonel Lightburn. I add the report of Col. John T. Toland. The losses of the Thirty-seventh Regiment in these combats were insignificant in proportion to those of the Thirty-fourth, by reason of their having occupied the breastworks.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. Siber,
Colonel Thirty-seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteers,
Commanding First Brigade, Kanawha District.

Lieut. B. D. Boswell,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Kanawha District.

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No. 3.

Report of Col. Samuel A. Gilbert, Forty-fourth Ohio Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.

Hdqrs. Second Prov. Brig., Dist. of the Kanawha.,
Camp, opposite Point Pleasant, W. Va., September 21, 1862.

Sir: The following is my report of the operations of the troops under my command, from the time of the evacuation of our positions near Gauley, at the head of the Kanawha Valley, on the 10th instant, until our arrival at this place on the 18th:

My command was disposed as follows, at the time the movement commenced: The Forty-fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Maj. A. O. Mitchell, commanding; a battery of four mountain howitzers, manned from the Forty-seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Lieut. F. Fischer, and a section of two 10-pounder rifled field pieces, manned from the Forty-fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Sergeant Hamilton, at Tompkins farm; three companies of the Forty-seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Captain Dove’s company, and part of Captain Allen’s company, Second Virginia Cavalry, at Turkey Creek, 6 miles in advance of Tompkins’ farm, on the Lewisburg turnpike, and Captain Hunter’s company, Forty-seventh Regiment, and part of Captain Allen’s company, Second Virginia Cavalry, at Camp Lookout, 18 miles in advance, on the Lewisburg turnpike, all under command of Lieut. Col. A. C. Parry, Forty-seventh Regiment, the cavalry being under command of Maj. John Hoffman, Second Virginia Cavalry, and six companies of the Forty-seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under command of Col. L. S. Elliott, at Summerville, in Nicholas County.

At 3 p. in. on the 10th instant I received your order to concentrate my command at Gauley, for which the necessary orders were at once given, and, at 8 p. m., I reported in person at your headquarters, near the falls. At 10 p. m. I ordered Major Hoffman and a small detachment of cavalry to go to Loop Creek, on the west side of the Kanawha River, and blockade the road which leads to the river from Raleigh down Loop Creek, and guard the same until after Colonel Siber’s command had passed by that point, which he did. At 3 a. m., on the 11th, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Parry, with four companies of the Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to Cotton Hill, to protect trains from Fayette and to re-enforce Colonel Siber at that point, which duty he performed, and remained with Colonel Siber’s command until he recrossed the Kanawha, at Camp Piatt, on the 12th, as also did Major Hoffman, with the detachment of cavalry sent to Loop Creek. At 8 a m., on the 11th instant, I ordered Major Mitchell to take position opposite the point where the Fayette road reaches the river, with the Forty-fourth Ohio Volunteers, and attached to it one company of the Fourth Virginia and one company of the Ninth Virginia, which had been placed under my command. I, at the same time, posted the artillery at suitable points to command the road on the opposite side of the river, so as to cover the line of retreat over which Colonel Siber’s column would pass. Lieutenant De Lille, of the Fourth Virginia, with one iron smooth-bore (6-pounder), and one 10-pounder James rifled brass field piece, manned from the Fourth Virginia Regiment, reported to me for duty, and was assigned positions. About 10 a. m. the enemy appeared in close pursuit of the rear guard of Colonel Siber’s column, and we opened upon them, checking their advance upon the road. Their sharpshooters, however, took position on the wooded hillsides, and kept up a brisk fusilade as long as we remained in range. The skirmishers of the Forty-fourth Ohio Volunteers replied to them with spirit. We held the position for about an hour, when, receiving your orders to fall back, we slowly retired, the infantry skirmishing by alternate divisions, and the field pieces and howitzers taking positions as often as favorable openings offered. About the time we commenced to retire, the enemy answered our artillery with a 12-pounder field howitzer, and, apparently, two rifled field pieces, which were apparently well served. After falling back in this manner about 4 miles, all firing ceased, and the enemy kept out of range until toward night, when, just above Cannelton, their advance came up with our rear guard, on the west side, and a sharp skirmish ensued, in which the enemy were driven back, with loss.

Our column moved on down to Smithers’ Creek, and halted, about dark, to await the arrival of Colonel Elliott, who, having failed to reach Gauley as soon as was expected, was ordered to destroy his train and cross through the mountains, and join the main column at this point, which he did about 10 p. m. During the day the men behaved well, performing their duty with cool alacrity while being obliged to move under the fire of hidden foes. At midnight we moved on, through Cannelton, and encamped at Bowsman’s, opposite Clifton, where we remained the rest of the night and until after breakfast. We resumed our march about 7 a. m. on the 12th, and reached Camp Piatt, 12 miles, about 4 p. m., in a series of heavy rain showers. I left a heavy cavalry picket about 5 miles above Camp Piatt, and posted four companies of the Fourth Virginia Infantry about 2 miles above, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Russell, who had been ordered up from Camp Piatt for that purpose. Before dark the enemy drove in our cavalry picket, and a slight skirmish ensued, when the enemy retired and the cavalry moved out again for the night. The Forty-fourth and Forty-seventh Regiments Ohio Volunteers took position about half a mile above Camp Piatt, to cover the crossing of Colonel Siber’s column to the east side of the Kanawha River, which was effected without interruption, and, about 2 a. m. of the 13th, we moved down to Charleston, where the whole column, except the Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry and the cavalry, took position on the north side of Elk River. I had given Colonel Elliott, Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, orders to take position in the upper part of the town, and hold it as long as possible, and left with him Lieutenant Fischer, with three mountain howitzers. About 9.30 a. m. the enemy’s advance drove in the cavalry picket, which had been left a mile above town, and, on hearing of it, I went immediately to the upper end of the town, and found Colonel Elliott and the cavalry retiring. I halted them immediately, and, after a careful examination of the ground, posted them above the thickly settled portion of the town, and then returned immediately to the main body and ordered Major Mitchell to take position on the wooded slope, to the left of the Ripley road, with one company deployed along the bank of Elk River, from the bridge up, and Lieutenant-Colonel Russell to form the Fourth Virginia on the left of the Forty-fourth Ohio, with two companies deployed along the bank of the Elk, covering his front and extending some distance beyond his left flank. I had ordered my field pieces to report to Colonel Siber for orders, as the slopes on the left were wooded and inaccessible to artillery. They were posted under his direction. About this time, 11.30 a. m., the firing at Colonel Elliott’s position had become quite brisk, and I went back there and changed the position of the cavalry support, under Lieutenant-Colonel Curtis, and directed him to throw out vedettes to watch any attempt of the enemy to turn Colonel Elliott’s left and cut him off from the main body. I found Lieutenant- Colonel Parry had been placed in charge of the extreme rear (now become the front), and was keeping up a spirited skirmish with the enemy’s advance, on west side of river, his rifles being re-enforced by a howitzer, which was doing good execution. Finding things going on well in this locality, I returned to the main body, and, about 2 o’clock, was informed that the enemy were coming in, along the hills, in strong force, back of the town. I therefore ordered Colonel Elliott to withdraw, and destroy the Government stores, &c., as he came through the town. This was done by Lieutenant-Colonel Parry, who brought up the rear, and they finished their work by destroying Elk Bridge, after all had crossed. About this time, 3 p. m., the skirmishers along Elk became actively engaged, and the infantry firing became general all along the line, and, soon after, the enemy opened batteries, which had been planted on the west side of the Kanawha, opposite the mouth of Elk, and on the hills east of the town, thus making a cross-fire upon our position. They also threw a large body of infantry up Elk, on our left, but this move was promptly met and foiled. All who crossed were either disabled, or recrossed precipitately, and we held our own until dark, when, in accordance with orders, I withdrew my skirmishers and retired from the field, the batteries on the west side of the Kanawha playing vigorously upon us, without effect, as we moved off.

Three companies of the Fourth Virginia Regiment had become detached in the woods on the left, and failed to come in with the rest, but they joined the main body on the next day at noon, having come through the woods to near Sissonville.

Some 3 or 4 miles after leaving the battle-field, we found the road blockaded with our trains. The quartermasters seemed to have abandoned them, and word reached me that the enemy had appeared in our front. In accordance with your order, I ordered Colonel Elliott, with the Forty-seventh Ohio, to push forward and get the train in motion, which was done after considerable delay. We found wagons loaded with the effects of citizens, with whole families of negroes, and, in many cases, two four-horse wagons fastened together, a load in one and but two or three horses attached to them, and other irregularities, which proved the utter incapacity or carelessness of the quartermasters, whose duty it was to look after these things. After the train had been started, long intervals were allowed to occur, through the carelessness or stupidity of drivers and the absence of wagon-masters, or other persons, whose duty it is to regulate trains. Such was the condition of these trains, and so completely had they blockaded the road, that if any pursuit had been made by the enemy, our artillery, as well as the entire train, must have fallen into their hands.

I cannot in too strong terms express my indignation that officers who have been in the employ of the Government as long as most of these quartermasters have, should have so neglected their duties, or be so ignorant of those duties as not to know how to perform them better. I passed along full 4 miles of these trains, and could find no one in charge. I found teamsters near the head of the train, quietly engaged in feeding themselves and horses, their wagons standing in the middle of the narrow road, so as to prevent others passing them. Also, I found cases where ammunition had been thrown out along the road, to lighten loads, while wagons were hauled empty, or loaded with the property of citizens. I found many wagons loaded with things of little or no value, while I know of large quantities of valuable stores being destroyed at Charleston. I have no hesitation in stating, and consider it my duty to state, that it is my belief that a large amount of the loss incurred at Charleston, and from Charleston to the Ohio River, is chargeable to the utter neglect or incapacity of the quartermasters, whose duty it should have been to attend to the care of it.

After passing about 4 miles of the train, and learning that no enemy had appeared in our front, I took position to cover the train as it passed, Colonel Elliott still keeping on to the front with seven companies of the Forty-seventh Regiment, with orders to give his attention to keeping the train in order, and guarding it from any interruption from a body of cavalry, said to be hovering on our right toward Spencer. As the train filed by my position, I could neither see nor hear of but two quarter-masters. Some three or four wagon-masters appeared along the line, in charge of special trains. First Lieut. J. S. Rogers, acting quartermaster Forty-fourth Regiment, remained with his regimental train, and it reached the Ohio River in good order, with everything with which it started from Tompkins farm. All the wagons were well, and even heavily, loaded. First Lieut. J. R. Craig, acting brigade quartermaster of the Second Brigade, also remained with the train, and all of his wagons got through with their loads. I ordered him to give his attention to the general interest, which he did with indefatigable and intelligent zeal.

After we left Charleston the only firing that occurred was a false alarm of the pickets on the night of the 14th, and the wounding of two of the pickets of the Forty-seventh Regiment at Ripley, by bushwhackers, on the night of the 15th. We arrived at Ravenswood, on the Ohio River, at 10 a. m. on the 16th, crossed the river, and marched 7 miles down that night, having shipped the artillery and the Fourth Virginia Regiment on steamboats and barges.

On the 17th we continued our march to Syracuse, on the Ohio River, and there embarked on steamboats amid barges, and reached Point Pleasant at dusk on the 18th, having spent most of the day aground at Eight-mile Island Bar.

The men are in excellent spirits, and appear to feel a renewed confidence in themselves and their officers, having thus successfully brought off an immense amount of property, in the face of a largely superior force, successfully holding them in check whenever they came up with us.

This is the first retreat that the Forty-fourth Ohio and the Fourth Virginia Regiments have participated in, and the first general action in which the latter has been engaged, and I have to express my great admiration at the coolness with which they performed their duty. All waited for orders, and obeyed them carefully to the letter. There was no confusion or disorder at any time among any portions of the troops of my brigade. Officers and men, without exception, conducted themselves in the most soldierly manner. The Forty-seventh Ohio, being an older regiment, and having seen more service in the field, performed its duty with that steadiness which is expected of such troops. No commander need feel many apprehensions for the result, when chances are anything near equal, if he has the ability himself to handle the troops in action or on the march, while he has such troops under his command. Lieutenant-Colonel Parry, of the Forty-seventh Ohio, deserves particular mention, both for his participation in the retreat of Colonel Siber’s column from Cotton Hill on the 11th instant, and in the battle at Charleston on the 13th. His gallantry and clear-sighted sagacity won him the confidence of officers and men. Lieutenant-Colonel Russell and Major Mitchell each managed their respective commands, during the entire time covered by this report, with that uniform skill and judgment which marks them both as valuable officers, of whom their States may well be proud. The honor of the Union cause will not be tarnished when intrusted to their keeping. The medical staff of the brigade was under general control of the medical director, Dr. Kellogg, and I am not able to report upon them. Doctors Bonner, of the Forty-seventh, and Rodgers and Luce, of the Forty-fourth, were frequently in my sight on the march, on the battle-field, and in bivouac, and appeared to be attentive to their duties. A number of ambulances were unnecessarily abandoned along the route from Charleston, but I do not know who is responsible. First Lieut. J. G. Telford, adjutant Forty-fourth Regiment, and acting as assistant adjutant-general and aide-de-camp (none having been detailed) for my command, deserves special mention for his gallantry and activity. Always ready, carrying orders to the most exposed positions on the field and along the line, in several cases himself directing the movements of detachments, where emergencies required it, he was my mainstay throughout the whole time. The detachments in charge of the artillery were composed of men who, in most cases, had been recently detailed from the infantry regiments. None of them had ever been in action before with that arm of service. The horses were also in the same undrilled condition, and the officers in charge of these pieces, Lieutenant De Lille, Lieutenant Fischer, and Sergeant Hamilton, deserve your thanks for the excellent manner in which their pieces were brought along on the march and served in action. Sergeant Hamilton, especially, deserves notice. He having served in the artillery in time Regular Army, was enabled to afford mime the greatest service, and to his judgment and experience we are mainly indebted for the efficiency of the field battery of my command, and I would respectfully recommend that he be given a lieutenant’s commission, as a reward for meritorious service.

. . .

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Samuel A. Gilbert,
Colonel Forty-fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry,
Comdg. Second Provisional Brigade, District of Kanawha.

B. D. Boswell,
Second Lieutenant and Actg. Asst. Adjutant-General,
District of Kanawha, Point Pleasant, Va.

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No. 4.

Reports of Maj. Gen. William W. Loring, C. S. Army, commanding Department of Southwestern Virginia.

Hdqrs. Dept. of Southwestern Virginia,
The Narrows, W. Va., September 1, 1862.
(Received September 5, 1862.)

Sir: Before I received your telegram, dated the 29th ultimo [following], upon the information of my scout, I had determined upon an offensive movement against the enemy in the Kanawha. It has been delayed only to accumulate forage and transportation enough to take me over the sterile district of 100 miles between me and the enemy. This has been a Herculean task; but to its accomplishment I have bent all my energies, and expect to move on Friday or Saturday next. It will be my policy when I move to endeavor to reach the Kanawha without stoppage, experience in our campaigns in this region last summer having shown that, while our armies paused in menacing proximity to the enemy, for want of forage and transportation, though at the time they were weak enough to be overcome by us, yet they improved our delay by re-enforcing from the convenient population of the northwest, and, in three or four weeks afterward, took the offensive successfully against us. I await with interest the full development of your plans for my future march to the valley through Northwest Virginia, and co-operation with the army in that region. The intervening distance of 300 or 400 miles is so rugged as to make such a march one of great difficulty.

I observe, with great satisfaction, the evidence of increasing loyalty from the people of West Virginia, who are now coming into my army daily. I am very sanguine that when I get into that region the accessions to my army will be large, and, to arm these men, I earnestly request you to send me, by rapid express to Dublin, at least 5,000 stand of small-arms and accouterments for the same. I will so far anticipate your action on this subject as to receive corps to be armed in this way. There can be, I think, no occasion where the arms of the Government can be put to better use. I also desire to be authorized to appoint officers to command the regiments which I may get in West Virginia, in anticipation of your appointment, so that the new troops may be made effective at once.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. Loring,
Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

[Inclosure.]

Richmond, Va., August 29, 1862.

Maj. Gen. W. W. Loring,
Dublin Depot, W. Va.:

Pope’s letter-book has been captured. On August 11, Cox was ordered to retain 5,000 men in Western Virginia, and to send the remainder by river and railroad to Pope. On August 16, Cox telegraphed from Gauley Bridge that his command would be at Parkersburg on the evening of the 20th, and asked for railroad transportation.

Clear the valley of the Kanawha and operate northwardly to a junction with our army in the valley. Keep us advised of your movements.

Geo. W. Randolph,
Secretary of War.

_____

Hdqrs. Dept. of Southwestern Virginia,
Camp Narrows, W. Va., September 6, 1862.
(Received September 12, 1862.)

Sir: I have the honor to inform you that I take up the line of march to-day with my command, about 5,000 strong, for the Kanawha, in accordance with your orders. I have nothing new to communicate from the enemy, except that they are said to expect re-enforcements of the new levies.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. Loring,
Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

_____

Hdqrs. Dept. of Southwestern Virginia,
Fayette Court-House, W. Va., September 11, 1862.
(Received September 19, 1862.)

Sir: After a fatiguing march, I came upon the enemy near this place on yesterday at 1.30 p.m. with the part of my forces which were in front. After contesting every inch of my advance for some miles, he entered his fortifications at this place, which were strong, and consisted of formidable outer works inclosing a quadrangular fort with glacis and redoubt, and well mounted with nine pieces of artillery. My men pushed up to the walls with great spirit, inflicting great loss on the enemy. Our loss small. About nightfall to the force of the enemy already in the fort three regiments were added, as re-enforcements, by one of the many roads which my forces were not numerous enough to guard. This made the enemy about five regiments strong. But while we lay on our arms, intending to renew the attack this morning, the enemy fled, probably by the same road the re-enforcements entered, and I am now master of their works. I am now pursuing with all my force.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. Loring
Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War.

_____

Hdqrs. Dept. of Southwestern Virginia,
Fayette Court-House, W. Va., September 11, 1862.
(Received September 19, 1862.)

Sir: General Jenkins captured Buckhannon, Upshur Court-House, General Kelley’s main depot, with 5,000 stand of arms and immense stores, all of which were destroyed. He took the commanding officer and 30 prisoners. The next day he captured Weston; the next day he took Glenville; the next day he captured Colonel Rathbone and his regiment at Roane Court-House; the next day he drove a force of the enemy from Ravenswood, and the next day crossed into Ohio, marching 20 miles in that State. He was, at last accounts, on the Kanawha.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. Loring,
Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

_____

Charleston, Kanawha Co., W. Va., September 13, 1862.
Via Giles Court-House and Dublin, W. Va., September 16, 1862.
(Received at Richmond, Va., September 16, 1862.)

After incessant skirmishing from Gauley down, we took this place at 3 p. m. The enemy (six regiments strong) made stout resistance, burning their stores and part of this town in their retreat. Our loss slight; the enemy’s heavy. He is in full retreat; Jenkins in his rear.

W. W. Loring,
Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War.

_____

Hdqrs. Department of Southwestern Virginia,
Charleston, W. Va., September 14, 1862.

Sir: I reached here yesterday afternoon, capturing the town after a stout resistance from the enemy, in which their loss was heavy, ours very slight. The rapidity of our advance saved the city from flames. We had marched in exactly one week from Giles Court-House to this place, fighting for more than half a day at Fayette Court-House, and again, on the next morning, at Cotton Hill and Gauley, and skirmishing all the way to this place. In these rapid victories over a numerous enemy, six regiments strong, all furnished with artillery and cavalry, besides inflicting a great loss in men, we have captured immense amounts of wagons and horses, inventories of which we are now taking, and which will doubtless amount to at least $1,000,000. ln the rapidity of our movements we have left the greater part of our train in rear, which has caused us to pause at this place. The enemy, fresher than we, and within 50 miles of the Ohio, have so much the advance that it is useless to pursue him farther. Roads from Guyandotte, Point Pleasant, and Ravenswood, on the Ohio River, converge at this place, so that if I move forward on any of these roads the enemy could use the other to get in my rear. Here, then, I will pause until our supply train reaches us perhaps until I hear from you. If I advance toward the valley of Virginia, as you instructed me in a former letter, I shall have all these roads in my rear and between my column and trains, besides the difficult ranges of mountains running across my course, and with very bad roads over them. This valley, however, I can hold with its magnificent crop of growing corn and its salt. The salt-works prove uninjured, preserved by our activity from fire, and only lack labor to supply the whole Confederacy. The negroes, by whom they were formerly worked, have been carried off by the enemy. I think that many recruits will be added to my command here if I hold the country long enough, while a rapid march through the valley of the Kanawha would only expose it to fresh invasions from the enemy.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. Loring,
Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

[Indorsement.]

Respectfully submitted to the President. If General Floyd’s command be turned over to the Confederate States Government and be filled up to a full brigade, it might hold the valley of the Kanawha. General Loring could then operate northwardly. I will prepare and submit a letter of instructions to him.

G. W. R.

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Headquarters Department of Western Virginia,
Charleston, W. Va., September 15, 1862.

Sir: The reception and welcome which the army received in this valley were so cordial that I deemed it politic to issue a proclamation of the temperate character of that which I inclose. I trust that it will meet with the approbation of the Government, as it does of all the citizens of the county, especially our firm and discreet friends.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant, W. W. Loring,
Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. George W. Randolph
Secretary of War.

[Inclosures.]

To the People of Western Virginia:

The army of the Confederate States has come among you to expel the enemy, to rescue the people from the despotism of the counterfeit State government imposed on you by Northern bayonets, and to restore the country once more to its natural allegiance to the State. We fight for peace and the possession of our own territory. We do not intend to punish those who remain at home as quiet citizens in obedience to the laws of the land, and to all such, clemency and amnesty are declared; but those who persist in adhering to the cause of the public enemy and the pretended State government he has erected at Wheeling will be dealt with as their obstinate treachery deserves. When the liberal policy of the Confederate Government shall be introduced and made known to the people, who have so long experienced the wanton misrule of the invader, the commanding general expects the people heartily to sustain it, not only as a duty but as a deliverance from their task-masters and usurpers. Indeed, he already recognizes in the cordial welcome which the people everywhere give to the army a happy indication of their attachment to their true and lawful Government. Until the proper authorities shall order otherwise, and in the absence of municipal law and its customary ministers, martial law will be administered by the army and provost-marshals. Private rights and property will be respected, violence will be repressed and order promoted, and all the private property used by the army will be paid for.

The commanding general appeals to all good citizens to aid him in these objects, and to all able-bodied men to join his army to defend the sanctities of religion and virtue, home, territory, honor, and law, which are invaded and violated by an unscrupulous enemy, whom an indignant and united people are now about to chastise on his own soil. The Government expects an immediate and enthusiastic response to this call. Your country has been reclaimed for you from the enemy by soldiers, many of whom are from distant parts of the State and the Confederacy, and you will prove unworthy to possess so beautiful and fruitful a land if you do not now rise to retain and defend it. The oaths which the invader imposed upon you are void. They are immoral attempts to restrain you from your duty to your State and Government. They do not exempt you from the obligation to support your Government and to serve in the army, and if such persons are taken as prisoners of war the Confederate Government guarantees to them the humane treatment of the usages of war.

By command of Major-General Loring:

H. Fitzhugh,
Chief of Staff.

General Orders, No. ___.

Hdqrs. Dept. of Western Virginia,
Charleston, W. Va., September 14, 1862.

The commanding general congratulates the army on the brilliant march from the southwest to this place, in one week, and on its successive victories over the enemy at Fayette Court-House, Cotton Hill, and Charleston. It will be memorable in history that, overcoming the mountains and the enemy in one week, you have established the laws and carried the flag of the country to the outer borders of the Confederacy. Instances of gallantry and patriotic devotion are too numerous to be specially designated at this time; but to brigade commanders and their officers and men the commanding general makes grateful acknowledgment for services to which our brilliant success is due. The country will remember and reward you.

By command of Major-General Loring:

H. Fitzhugh,
Chief of Staff.

_____

Headquarters Department of Western Virginia,
Charleston, W. Va., September 20, 1862.

General: * * * On the 6th instant I marched from near Giles Court-House for the Kanawha with my command, about 5,000 strong. The enemy at Raleigh fled at our approach and concentrated his force at Fayetteville, where I arrived on the 10th instant with the advance of my column, consisting of General Williams’ and Colonel Wharton’s brigades. After an obstinate resistance, commenced 2 miles from the town, the enemy was driven before us into his fortified positions at the town, consisting of formidable and regularly constructed, and connected works, armed with nine pieces of artillery, and sheltering from 1,500 to 2,000 men, under command of Colonel Siber. I directed Colonel Wharton’s brigade, to which was added Colonel [Geo. S.] Patton’s Twenty-second Virginia Regiment, to turn the enemy’s positions and cut his connections, while General Williams attacked him in front and on his right. Upon reaching his position, Colonel Wharton was attacked by nearly the whole force of the enemy, which be repulsed in gallant style, inflicting great loss and advancing our positions nearer to him. At this juncture, I ordered General Williams to move to a nearer and more commanding position, which he promptly did, driving the enemy’s skirmishers within their fortifications. Here a violent firing of cannon and small-arms was kept up until after dark, when the enemy effected his escape toward the Gauley by means of one of the many roads in his rear, in his flight exposing a portion of his force to the fire of Colonel Wharton, by whom great loss was inflicted upon him and much of his train and stores captured. General Williams and Colonel Wharton pursued, rapidly followed by General Echols, who had now come up by a march longer than that of the other brigades, and accomplished in unexpectedly short time, and early enough to execute a movement to the enemy’s left, planned for him on the next day if the enemy had not fled on the arrival of our re-enforcements.

At 10 o’clock the next day (the 11th) the enemy made a stand at a strong natural position on Cotton Hill; but this being turned by Colonel Wharton and General Echols, while General Williams engaged hint in a sharp conflict in his front, he again fled after suffering much loss. His efforts to cross his troops over the Kanawha into the fortified positions at Gauley were prevented by the swiftness of the pursuit, which drove the larger portion of his column down the south bank of the Kanawha, while the remainder, on the opposite side of the river, was quickly overpowered and followed, but not before his magazines were blown up and his immense stores, accumulated at that point, were mostly destroyed.

It is proper that the gallantry of Dr. Joseph F. Watkins, surgeon of the Thirty-sixth Virginia Regiment, and several other soldiers of the command, should be noticed and commended, who swam the river in the face of some danger from the retreating enemy and extinguished the fire which was rapidly consuming the enemy’s ferry-boats.

I immediately caused General Echols’ brigade, together with the Twenty-second and Thirty-sixth Virginia Regiments, to be thrown across the river, and with his and the brigades of General Williams and Colonel Wharton, on the other side, I continued the pursuit of the enemy, with occasional skirmishing, to the vicinity of Charleston which I reached on the afternoon of the 13th instant, the route of retreat being marked with burned and abandoned property. At Charleston the enemy again offered a most determined resistance until the brigades of General Williams and Colonel Wharton, reaching a commanding position on the opposite bank of the river, poured a destructive artillery fire into his right, while Colonel McCausland, then in command of the First Brigade, on account of the sickness of General Echols, covered and assisted by Chapman’s battery, placed on a commanding hill on the right, and which kept up a destructive fire on the enemy, pushed into the burning town and drove the enemy below the Elk River. The enemy destroyed the suspension bridge across the Elk [River] behind him, and, planting batteries upon the opposite shore, held the position until nightfall, when he again resumed his flight, which he has since rapidly continued, by the way of Jackson Court-House and Ravenswood, into the State of Ohio, followed, however, by enough of my disposable cavalry to harass his retreat and capture much valuable property. The march of near 150 miles and the detailing of forces to guard captured stores in the rear caused such abatement and exhaustion of my command as compelled me to halt at Charleston. This place, too, being the point of departure of many lateral roads, in any event is necessary to be held.

In the various engagements and skirmishes with the enemy up to this time, my loss in killed and wounded is about 80 men, while that of the enemy, from reliable information, cannot be less than 1,000 men, in killed, wounded, and prisoners. At least $1,000,000 worth of stores were captured, including many Federal flags, two pieces of artillery, besides several millions of dollars worth of stores which were destroyed by the enemy in his flight.

To Generals Williams and Echols and to Colonels Wharton and McCausland, commanding brigades, I take pleasure in according the praise which they deserve for their efficient services and cordial execution of my commands.

To each of the several officers commanding regiments, battalions, and batteries, great credit is due for their gallantry and promptness. Major King, chief of artillery; Captain [Lawrence S.] Marye, of the ordnance; Captains Poor and [John M.] Robinson of the engineers, for services in their respective spheres, and Captain [R.] Laidley, of the Twenty-second Virginia Regiment, wounded while gallantly fighting at Fayettville, and Lieutenant [T. G.] Jarrell, of the Thirty-sixth Virginia Regiment, for coolness and courage evinced at Gauley; Captain [H. T.] Stanton, adjutant-general of General Williams, for entering the town of Charleston and taking down the garrison flag, and Captain [R. H.] Catlett and Mr. McFarland, of General Echols’ staff; Lieut. Henry Robinson, artillery, and Dr. Hunter, chief medical director of my command, for his care of the sick and his energy in securing captured medical stores; Captains [T. H.] Stamps, [G. G.] Otey, [William M.] Lowry, and [G. B.] Chapman, and Lieutenant [David N.] Walker, of the artillery, all deserve especial mention. Colonel Fitzhugh, chief of staff; Captain [W. B.] Myers, of the adjutant-general’s department, and Colonel Thorburn, inspector-general and chief of ordnance, and Captains [John B.] Myrick and [C. L.] Mathews, my aides-de-camp, merit the warmest approbation for their activity and services on the march and in the field; and to the soldiers of the army too much praise cannot be given for their uncomplaining endurance of the fatigues of the march, and their gallant bearing in the dangers of the fight. It will be a source of great pleasure to me to mention hereafter acts of individual gallantry and usefulness of officers and men (many of which occurred) as they are brought to my notice. I have the honor to inclose herein the reports of commanders of brigades and others, in which the meritorious conduct of commanders of regiments, battalions, and others is mentioned.

The precise number of my killed and wounded will appear from the valuable report of Dr. Hunter, my chief medical director.

The rapidity of the pursuit of the enemy preserved the salt works and most of the town of Charleston from the flames, and rescued many worthy citizens from confinement, among the number Mr. Price, of Greenbrier County.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. Loring,
Major-General, Commanding.

General S. Cooper,
Adjutant and Inspector General.

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Hdqrs. Department of Western Virginia,
Charleston, W. Va., September 22, 1862.
(Received September 30, 1862.)

Sir. I have the honor to present, through Captain McFarland, of my staff, the flags captured in our recent conflicts at Fayetteville, Gauley, and Charleston. In the rapidity of our march, the collection of trophies has been imperfectly made, and many of this and other kinds which fell into our hands have been lost and destroyed.

The recent information derived from Northern sources confesses a demoralization and destruction of the invading army of the Kanawha Valley greater than I have hitherto represented.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. Loring
Major-General, Commanding.

Hon. George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War.

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No. 5.

Report of Col. C. E. Thorburn, C. S. Army, Chief of Ordnance.

Headquarters Department of Western Virginia,
Charleston, W. Va., September 17, 1862.

In compliance with your order, the following report is respectfully submitted:

Cannon ammunition expended in the battles of Fayette, Cotton Mountain, Charleston, and pursuing the enemy: 6-pound shell, 6-pound shot, 12-pound shell, 3-inch rifled shell, musket, rifle.

On the evening of the 10th, in obedience to your order, the enemy’s position was reconnoitered to the west and north. A good point was selected 500 yards from the commanding fort, where a battery would have soon silenced his fire, while to the north the work was approached to within 200 yards, and the ground over which our storming party was to pass in attacking was carefully noted. These positions were described to Brigadier-General Echols, who was ordered to occupy the ground, but the enemy fleeing during the night gave us possession of his works, which were found to be quite formidable. The arms and ammunition left were collected, but I am unable to give you a report of the number and quantity. The agent left to collect them has not yet reported.

Retreating from Fayette, the enemy made a stand on Cotton Hill, holding the column of General Williams in check. The brigades of Colonel Wharton and General Echols being ordered to flank him to the left, he discovered the movement and again retreated, blocking up the road. The next stand was made at Montgomery’s Ferry, from which position he was driven by our artillery and sharpshooters, burning a large quantity of his stores and. leaving many quartermasters and commissary stores in our possession. At Camp Piatt the enemy left one 6-pounder and several boxes of rifled cannon ammunition.

On the 13th we again came up with the enemy, and about a mile from Charleston commenced skirmishing with him on the right bank. The brigade of General Williams having taken position on the left bank, his artillery opened, when our advance, under Lieut. Col. Clarence Derrick [Twenty-third Virginia Battalion], pushed the enemy into the town. The enemy had expressed a determination to burn Charleston, and, finding himself beaten, set fire to the town in several places, but so hotly was he pushed that his attempt failed, though several store-houses and dwellings contiguous thereto were destroyed. Several of the store-houses were saved. The bridge being destroyed, and having no boats to cross Elk River, it became impossible to bring the retreating foe to close quarter. Our cannon, planted on south side of the river, could only annoy him while retreating.

I desire to call your attention particularly to the efficiency displayed by Captain Chapman’s artillery. A 3-inch rifle gun of his battery, though breaking an axle, was most admirably worked, and did most efficient service.

Very respectfully,

C. E. Thorburn,
Colonel and late Chief of Ordnance.

Maj. Gen. W. W. Loring,
Commanding General.

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No. 6.

Report of Maj. J. Floyd King, C. S. Army, Chief of Artillery.

Hdqrs. Art. Corps, Army of Western Virginia,
September 18, 1862.

Captain: In obedience to orders, I have the honor to submit to the brigadier-general commanding the following report of the part the artillery enacted in the battle of Fayetteville and on the march to and at the battle of Charleston, commencing on the 10th and ending on the 13th instant:

On nearing Fayetteville a section of Captain Otey’s battery was thrown to the front with General Williams’ brigade. The body of the artillery brought up the rear of the infantry. A brisk skirmish ensued, the enemy falling back. Arriving in sight of the enemy’s works, it was decided to bombard them. Our infantry having driven the enemy’s skirmishers in, the artillery was conducted to an eminence within 500 yards of his first fort. Here Captains Otey’s and Stamps’ batteries were engaged. It was soon determined to advance our artillery to an eminence nearer the enemy’s works. It could not be done without crossing a hill under a heavy fire from the enemy of canister, grape, and musketry. Under the direction of Brigadier-General Williams, the enemy was driven from the houses and ravine situated between us and the fort. General Williams, at the head of a battalion of infantry and Captains Otey’s and Stamps’ batteries, charged over the hill across the ravine and occupied the desired position within a short distance of the enemy’s works. Here the fire became fierce. Captain Chapman’s 24-pounder, commanded by the captain in person, and Captain Lowry’s battery were brought up. The action continued with constancy and energy until night, it having opened at 2 p. m.

The courage anti gallantry displayed by the officers and men on this occasion renders it unjust almost to make any distinction, but the commanding courage of Lieutenant Walker, of the Otey battery, and the bravery and efficiency displayed by Captain Stamps in action, were most cheering.

To Captains Lowry, Otey, and Chapman the command is indebted for great encouragement.

To Captain Stanton, chief of General Williams’ staff, the thanks of this corps are due for his volunteer services in the command of one of Captain Otey’s pieces, which had almost all of its cannoneers killed or wounded, and, from a deficiency in the number of commissioned officers present, was left without a commander. Captain Stanton served the piece during several hours of severe firing.

The presence and efficient services of Surgeon [Basil C.] Duke on the field attracted much attention. Notwithstanding the remonstrance of officers, he persistently remained, attending to the wounded, though a ball through his coat and a wounded soldier killed in his arms by a shell admonished him of his exposed situation.

To Captains Myrick and Marye, of the commanding general’s staff, the artillery is also indebted for gallant services.

On the morning of the 11th instant, the enemy having abandoned his works and retreated during the night, Brigadier-General Williams, at the head of his brigade, led in pursuit of him. A section of Captain Otey’s battery, under Lieutenant Norvell, was kept to the front, and, under General Williams’ personal supervision, was often, with our skirmishers, engaged with the enemy’s rear guard. Across Cotton Hill and Gauley, and down the left bank of the Kanawha, General Williams pressed, keeping up an almost continual artillery duel with the enemy, and rested at night on the ground from which a few moments before his pickets had been driven.

At Gauley, from a misapprehension of which side of the river the major-general commanding intended to move down in person, the chief of artillery followed the left bank, with Captain Bryan’s company, a part of Captain Stamps’, and a section of Captain Otey’s battery, supported by General Williams’ and Colonel Wharton’s brigades. A 5-pounder of Stamps and a 12-pounder howitzer of Otey’s battery were left at Gauley, by order of the major-general commanding, to report to time commander of the post. Captains Chapman’s and Lowry’s and a section of Otey’s battery followed Brigadier-General Echols brigade on the right bank of the river. Nothing of importance transpired on the march of the 12th.

On the 13th the pursuit was resumed, and at Charleston the enemy was overtaken. He occupied the left bank of the Kanawha with a strong force of sharpshooters and artillery, which commanded either side of the river. To the rear of the town, across Elk River, his lines were drawn up behind his wagons, his right resting near the Kanawha and his artillery in front of his wagons. The chief of artillery having been sent across the left bank of the Kanawha, by the major-general commanding, with orders to Brigadier-General Williams, can make no report of the part the batteries enacted on the right bank of the river. On joining General Williams, the artillery was ordered to the front, the general accompanying in person. The enemy’s sharpshooters were driven across the river and his artillery from the town. From the hills on the left bank of the Kanawha, below the mouth of Elk River, Captains Otey’s, Bryan’s, and Stamps’ batteries commanded the entire right flank of the enemy’s lines. A bombardment at once ensued, which, with the assistance of the force on the right bank of the Kanawha, caused the enemy to abandon his situation in haste, driving off the most of his wagons, but leaving many, and quantities of camp and garrison equipage, several of his regiments having left their blankets and knap-sacks on the line they were drawn up to fight on. The destruction of an artillery carriage, and also the destruction of the apparatus of a mountain howitzer of the enemy, besides killing many of his horses, attests the precision with which our artillerists managed their guns.

At the battle of Charleston there were 4 artillerists wounded on the left bank of the Kanawha. At night the firing ceased, the enemy having retreated.

The conduct of the officers and men of the artillery on this occasion confirmed the confidence their commanders had already felt could be reposed in them.

Throughout the march, the spirited and energetic manner in which Brigadier-General Williams directed the artillery inspired it with the highest confidence and courage.

To the surgeons report I refer you for the casualties in the artillery corps. In addition to men, it lost upward of 20 horses killed.

To the general commanding the army the artillery corps is grateful for the skill of his general directions and the trusts he reposed in it.

Very respectfully,

J. Floyd King,
Major and Chief of Artillery, Department of West Virginia.

Captain Stanton,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

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No. 7.

Report of Capt. R. L. Poor, C. S. Army, Chief Engineer.

Hdqrs. Department of Western Virginia,
Charleston, W. Va., September 17, 1862.

General: In compliance with Orders No. ___, issued from these headquarters, of this date, I have the honor to report as follows the operations of the Engineer Corps during the several conflicts therein mentioned:

During the engagement at Fayetteville, General Williams requiring an increase of staff, Captain Robinson and self were detached from yours and ordered to report to him. At the same moment Captain Myers, assistant adjutant-general, communicated your desire to have the enemy’s position reconnoitered. Accordingly, after having reported to General Williams, left Captain Robinson to act as aide-de-camp, and pushed forward to reconnoiter. Upon reaching the advanced corps (Forty-Fifth Regiment), found it impracticable to advance farther (the enemy’s sharpshooters being in sight), and bore off to the left, where, upon debouching from the woods, caught sight of the enemy’s works, distant about 100 yards. The irregular trace of the work (not being able to penetrate to the rear of it) deluded me into reporting it a square redoubt. Upon inspection next day, found the works to consist, first, of an irregular work of three faces, each of 40 yards development, 8 feet in command, and 7 in relief; barbettes in each salient, covering well the ground in front; located on admirably selected position, enfilading the approach from Raleigh, and commanding the surrounding open plains. Second, a similar work, constructed as a musketry defense, flanked by felled timber, rifle-pits. Third, a formidable, well-constructed, and inclosed located lunette, connecting, by covert way, with flanking redan on commanding ground, barbettes in each salient, commanding each of the advance works, with development sufficient for a regiment.

Being directed at night, after the first day’s engagement, to erect a breaching battery, made reconnaissance for same, and selected what I conceived to be an advantageous position commanding the work, and being in the prolongation of the capital line to the right salient, and only 130 yards distant. At 10 p. m. broke ground, and by 2 a. m. had the battery sufficiently complete in its parts to occupy with two siege guns, namely, a 24-pounder howitzer and 12-pounder rifle gun, ready at a moment’s notice to open upon the enemy’s work, when the force covering my working party was advanced. With a yell and volley, they scaled the parapet to find the enemy gone. With General Williams and command, started in active pursuit; hence cannot present you with a detailed plan of the enemy’s position and works.

At Cotton Hill and Gauley had the honor of acting on Brigadier-[General] Williams’ staff, and this place on Colonel McCausland’s; hence, pertaining to my department, have nothing further to report than the erection of a pontoon bridge over the Elk River. The officers associated with me will need no further mention than to say that Captain Robinson ably assisted and seconded me--being under your personal supervision, his merits are known; that Lieutenant Hart displayed general intelligence, efficiency, and meritorious conduct. Taking great pleasure in testifying to his merit, respectfully request for him a favorable mention in your report.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. L. Poor,
Captain and Chief Engineer of Department.

Maj. Gen. W. W. Loring,
Commanding Army of Western Virginia.

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No. 8.

Report of Surg. John A. Hunter, C. S. Army, Medical Director.

Hdqrs. Department of Western Virginia,
Charleston, W. Va., September 25, 1862.

Hon George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

Sir: I have the honor herein to transmit the report of Dr. John A. Hunter, the medical director of this army, containing a list of casualties of this army, from the attack on Fayette Court-House to the closing action at Charleston and Elk River, by which it will be seen how small our loss was compared with the enemy’s. I ask again to commend the energy, skill, and gallantry of Dr. Hunter and the efficiency of his medical corps, who have been, since their connection with the army, equal to every emergency.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. W. Loring,
Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosures.]

Confederate States Hospital,
Charleston, W. Va., September 15, 1862.

Sir: It is with great pleasure that I report to you the sanitary condition of your army. After a toilsome march over mountain range and valley, a distance of 169 miles, we have no cases of essential fever, developed either in camp or hospital, and but one or two cases of rubeola and parotitis, occurring sporadically, during this march. We fought the Federal forces first at Fayetteville with the following casualties: 16 men killed upon the field (1 lieutenant and 1 corporal in that number), and 32 wounded, 4 of this number, I may say, mortally. One man killed in the skirmish at Cotton Hill and 3 wounded, 1 of this number mortally. No one hurt at Montgomery’s Ferry, except from the accidental discharge of a gun while crossing the river, wounding 1 man. Six killed at Charleston and 8 slightly wounded, making in all 23 killed and 43 wounded.

I may here call your attention to the conduct of the medical staff, whose duties required their presence with their commands, placing them in most exposed positions and liable to casualties in common with the soldiers. Their conduct was marked by great gallantry and most indefatigable energy in the discharge of their professional duty.

It is but due to the corps that I should specially call your attention to the conduct of Surgeon [S. C.] Gleaves, Assistant Surgeon [C. N.] Austin, and particularly to the daring exploits of Surg. Joseph [F.] Watkins at the ferry, swimming the river and saving the ferry-boat, capturing also one stand of colors.

The enemy’s loss at Fayetteville, in killed outright, was 65 that we know of; their wounded could not be correctly ascertained, but it is known that three barge-boats were shipped from Montgomery’s Ferry and passed Charleston en route for the Ohio, and that four wagons, filled either with wounded or killed, were burned along the road from Fayetteville to this place, leaving exposed, in the most inhuman manner, portions of partially consumed bodies on the road. We could not ascertain the number killed and wounded in the different combats on the road. Judging from the most correct information, they could not have been less than 180 wounded in that action. Four were left dead in Charleston and 5 wounded. Their loss west of Elk River, opposite Charleston, where they met with heavy loss, could not be ascertained, as the bridge across the river was destroyed to prevent our crossing, thereby enabling them to carry off their dead and wounded. The capture of hospital and medical stores cannot fall short of $20,000.

Permit me, in conclusion, to congratulate you upon the success of your arms and the health and working condition of your army.

Subjoined your will find the names of the killed and wounded at Fayette, Cotton Hill, Montgomery’s Ferry, and Charleston.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Jno. A. Hunter,
Surg., C. S. Army, Medical Director Dept. S. W. Va.

Maj. Gen. W. W. Loring.

. . .

P. S.—I may here say that the numbers reported as wounded, namely, 43, included those whose wounds prevented them from moving on with the army. In this supplemental report I have included all those who were slightly wounded either by ball or accidents, but whose injuries did not prevent their continuance with their commands and in line of duty.

[J. A. H.]

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No. 9.

Report of Brig. Gen. John S. Williams, C. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.

Headquarters Second Brigade,
September 18, 1862.

Captain: On the morning of the 10th instant, agreeably to Major-General Loring’s order, I detached the Twenty-second Virginia Regiment (Colonel Patton), and directed him to report to Colonel Wharton, commanding Third Brigade. Wharton left the turnpike and took a mountain path to the left, about 6 miles from Fayette Court-House, for the purpose of attacking the enemy in the rear. It was agreed between him and myself that the march of my brigade should be retarded one hour, so that he might turn the enemy’s position and the attack be made simultaneously front and rear. My brigade proceeded by the turnpike road, and, when within 3 miles of the Court-House, my front guard, under Captain [E. S.] Read [Twenty-sixth Virginia Battalion], was attacked by three companies of infantry. Captain Read engaged them with spirit. It was now discovered that the enemy held possession of the thickly-set woodland on both sides of the road. I ordered Major Davis, with Edgar’s battalion, to skirmish on the right, and companies of the Forty-fifth Virginia to the left, Lieutenant-Colonel [E. H.] Harman commanding. After a short and sharp resistance, the enemy was driven from the wools toward a square redoubt in the open field which commanded the road. By this time the crash of Wharton’s rifles was distinctly heard. Two hills, running at right angles to the road, lay between us and the enemy’s position. A dense forest extended from my position to that of Colonel Wharton, passing within 200 yards of the enemy’s redoubt. I moved two 12-pounder howitzers and two rifled pieces to the top of the first hill, and the Forty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Virginia under cover of the woodland along the right flank of the enemy’s position. Edgar’s battalion was placed in rear of the batteries. Our batteries opened upon the enemy, and were replied to by a storm of shell and grape, and Minie- balls from sharpshooters, who held the ravine and the opposite hill. The artillery was parts of Otey’s, Stamps’, and Chapman’s batteries. Our loss here was considerable in men and horses; the heaviest in Otey’s battery. The fortification was revetted with sod, and did not crumble much, although one shell did terrible work within. The distance here was 500 or 600 yards, too great for very effective firing, and I determined to move to the next hill. Edgar’s battalion, under Major [A. M.] Davis [Forty-fifth Virginia], cleared the front of sharpshooters and drove them in gallant style, and the whole of the artillery—Otey’s, Stamps’, Chapman’s, Bryan’s, and Lowry’s batteries--dashed in magnificent style over the ridge, down the slope and up to the top of the next hill, where they unlimbered within 300 yards of the enemy’s fort, and opened a terrible cannonade upon it. Colonel Browne led the Forty-fifth along the wood- land, driving the enemy before him, and McCausland with the Thirty-sixth in gallant style occupied a house and some stumps of trees, from which the enemy had greatly annoyed us. We lost several gallant officers and a number of brave men in these movements. Here I discovered that the enemy’s position was much stronger than was at first supposed. Besides the square redoubt in front, there was one to the left and rear of the court-house, which was at that moment engaged by Colonel Wharton, and to the right and rear another strong fortress upon a high hill, which commanded both the other forts. These facts I communicated to you by Captain Marye, with the opinion that my force could take the first redoubt by assault, but the sacrifice of life would be great, and that it could not be held unless the fort on the hill was first taken. Night fell upon us, and the wearied men slept upon their arms within a stone’s throw of the enemy.

Just before day-break on the 11th, the noise like the marching of men was heard in the direction of the enemy’s works, which indicated that they were evacuating. This was confirmed by the opinion of Colonel Wharton, who communicated with me in person, whereupon I sent Captain [William E.] Fife (Thirty-sixth Virginia) with his company to approach the position of the enemy and ascertain whether the noise proceeded from the retirement from the front or from the arrival of re- enforcements, which we had reason to apprehend they were expecting. The captain replied by a shout from the walls that the enemy had gone. In twenty minutes the whole brigade was in hot pursuit. The road was strewn with guns, knapsacks, blankets, overcoats, wagons, hospital and sutlers’ stores, horses, and men. They made a fruitless effort to burn the town, but the flames were extinguished and a sufficient guard placed over the stores and property by Captain Stanton. At the foot of Cotton Hill we came upon the enemy’s rear, and our march was greatly obstructed by trees which he had felled across the road. I here directed Colonel Wharton, with his brigade and Patton’s regiment, to take a mountain path to the left and endeavor again to reach the enemy’s rear. As men were brought forward, and two companies from the Twenty-second and one from the Forty-fifth Regiment, as skirmishers, under Major [R. A.] Bailey, who drove the enemy before them (while the pioneers under Lieutenant [W. T.] Hart cleared the road of obstructions), the column moved on, almost without halting, until near the top of the hill where Major Bailey was met by a fresh regiment on its march to re-enforce Fayette. I ordered Colonel Browne, with the Forty-fifth, to sustain Major Bailey, and brought McCausland to the front. The enemy placed two howitzers in position on the hill, and opened upon us with grape and canister, but our loss was not great. Here he made stout resistance, but, by the determined courage of Browne and Bailey, was driven from his position and retreated double-quick down to Montgomery’s Ferry. McCausland, with the Thirty-sixth, kept close upon him. Captain [Lieutenant] Jarrell, at the head of the skirmishers, displayed great courage and energy. The entire brigade went down the hill with a shout and at double-quick time. I had previously ordered a 12-pounder howitzer to the front for the purpose of destroying the enemy as he crossed the river. Lieutenant Norvell brought down the piece, at a full gallop, and planted it on the river bank. The enemy set fire to his magazines and attempted to destroy all his commissary stores. By this time half his force had crossed the river under cover of four guns planted on the opposite bank; the rest retreated down the south bank. Lieutenant Norvell, by a dozen well-directed shots, silenced or drove away the enemy’s four pieces. The ferry flats had been carried by the enemy to the opposite side and set on fire. I called out for half a dozen bold swimmers to swim the river with their hats on, extinguish the flames, and bring over the ferry-boats. Dr. Watkins, of the Thirty-Sixth Virginia; Lieutenant Samuels, of my staff; W. H. Harman, Forty-fifth Virginia; Allen Thompson, Forty-fifth Virginia, and six or eight others sprang into the river and boldly swam, under a shower of grape and canister. These brave men seized the burning boat, and, making fire buckets of their hats, extinguished the flames as they rowed it over. A Yankee lieutenant and 10 men here surrendered to Lieutenant Samuels. I ordered Colonel McCausland, with his own and Colonel Patton’s regiment and two pieces of artillery, across the river, and, with the remainder of my brigade and Colonel Wharton’s command, which was next to my own, moved after the enemy’s column on the left bank. Several sharp skirmishes occurred during the day, and at nightfall we came upon them as they were preparing to encamp, drove them before us, and slept upon their ground at Buster’s. Lieutenant-Colonel [J. Lyle] Clarke [Thirtieth Battalion Virginia Sharpshooters], of Colonel Wharton’s brigade, in command of advanced skirmishers, drove the enemy from the cornfields. The pursuit had been so rapid that our supply wagons did not come up in time, and we procured supplies from the country people and renewed the pursuit early in the morning.

During the day the enemy on the opposite side of the river attempted to burn all the salt furnaces, but were prevented, by the rapidity of the pursuit and the well-directed shot of Otey’s, Stamps’, and Bryan’s batteries, which I kept next to the skirmishers, from destroying more than one. A large number of trees were felled across the road, and the bridges broken, but these impediments were rapidly removed by the energetic pioneers of Edgar’s battalion, under Lieutenant Hart, of the engineer corps, Wharton’s brigade. At night we came up with the enemy, captured his picket guard, drove him from his camp, and slept again upon the ground which he had selected for himself.

At day-break we resumed the pursuit, and found that his force had crossed the river before day at Camp Piatt. I brought all the artillery to the front, and kept up a galling fire upon his rear as he moved down the narrow plain on the opposite bank. As we approached Charleston I discovered masses of infantry crossing the river to the south side for the purpose of checking our advance. I immediately sent Lieutenant- Colonel Clarke with his battalion of sharpshooters, supported by the Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment, who gallantly drove the enemy back, some fleeing down the river, others recrossing it. The enemy by this time had nearly completed the evacuation of Charleston, and were preparing to give us battle on the opposite bank of Elk River, behind their wagons and hastily thrown-up breastworks. A height on the south bank of the Kanawha, just below the bank of Elk River, overlooked and commanded the enemy’s entire position, but his artillery commanded the road to this height, and his sharpshooters lined the opposite bank of the Kanawha. I sent Clarkes battalion, with some companies of the Forty-fifth, to engage these sharpshooters, while the artillery, under Major King, dashed by at full gallop, and, with but small loss, obtained the desired height, and from six pieces opened upon the enemy’s right flank a most destructive fire. A few effective rounds drove the enemy from his position, and his regiments and wagons began a disorderly retreat, and nothing was left but his artillery to contest the ground. At this moment the suspension bridge across Elk River fell. I now sent Captain Marye with the information which my position enabled me to gain, suggesting that the bridge had been destroyed, but that Elk River could be crossed on flat-boats and the enemy’s cannon taken. You at once put me in command of four regiments on the north bank of the Kanawha, with instructions to cross Elk River and take the enemy’s batteries. This was rendered unnecessary by the enemy withdrawing his pieces and following his retreating column with the whole of his artillery.

Colonel Wharton, while associated with me, behaved with his accustomed coolness and courage. Major King managed his artillery with great ability, and displayed that calm courage so necessary to an artillery officer. Captain Stanton, my adjutant-general, rendered important service, and accomplished a feat of gallantry which should be remembered. While the enemy still occupied one-half of Charleston, accompanied by Lieutenant Hackler, of the Forty-fifth, amid 3 men of the same regiment, [he] crossed the river in a skiff; under a heavy fire, hauled down the garrison flag of the enemy, and returned, unhurt, with the trophy. At Fayette Court-House he took command of a piece of artillery, the gunner of which had been killed and 3 drivers wounded, and managed the piece, under a terrible fire, with great effectiveness. Private Harper and the remaining members of this piece behaved nobly. Captain [William M.] Peyton, my aide-de-camp, deserves mention for his conspicuous gallantry and fearless horsemanship through all the heat of battle. Col. John Morris, volunteer aide, rendered important service. Captains Myers and Buckner were prompt in carrying orders. Dr. Duke displayed the qualities of both surgeon and soldier. Maj. Peter Otey, of Clark’s battalion, was conspicuous on the last two days of pursuit in leading the skirmishers. Captain Marye, of the ordnance department, was active, brave, and intelligent. I found his perception quick, his judgment good, and his courage of the highest order; his suggestions were useful to me. Captains Robinson and Poor, engineer officers, aided me efficiently at Fayette Court-House. The artillery officers and man all behave with coolness and courage. Captain Stamps and Lieutenant Walker were particularly distinguished.

This hurried account embraces all that now occurs to me worth mentioning of the four days’ march and fighting from Fayette Court-House to Charleston.

I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,

Jno. S. Williams,
Brigadier-General, &c.

Capt. William B. Myers,
Assistant Adjutant-General, &c.

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No. 10.

Report of Col. William H. Browne, Forty-fifth Virginia Infantry.

Camp Blan, near Charleston, W. Va.,
September 17, 1862

Sir: You requested that I should give you a statement of the part which the Forty-fifth Regiment played in the three days’ marching and fighting, commencing on September 10 and ending on the 12th.

In making the attack upon Fayetteville the Forty-fifth Regiment occupied the second place in the column of attack, Edgar’s battalion, commanded by Major Davis, being at the head of the column. Advancing in this order to within perhaps 2 miles of Fayetteville, the advance guard of the battalion was fired into by a picket of the enemy. By your order, the battalion was deployed as skirmishers, on the right of the road, and two companies of the Forty-fifth, under Lieutenant-Colonel Harman, on the left, and ordered to advance. The column was then ordered forward, under the protection of the skirmishers, who drove the enemy’s skirmishers before them. Within half a mile of the enemy’s fortifications his skirmishers made a stand in a dense laurel thicket. You then ordered up two pieces of Otey’s battery. After a few rounds the skirmishers advanced again, driving the enemy before them. There were yet three small hills between us and the enemy’s works, upon which the enemy was posted, and which were to be taken successively. I then moved, by your order, the Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment up the side of the first hill, which was in range of the enemy’s guns, particularly the artillery. I here placed the right wing to hold and to divert the attention of the enemy, and while I moved the left wing by a flank movement through the woods to the next hill, I posted my left, then concealed, in sight of the enemy, with orders not to fire until I returned. I then brought up the right wing and posted them on the left and in advance of the right, under cover of the woods, when we opened upon the enemy and drove them from the house in front of the enemy’s fortifications. Here the enemy threw grape and Minie-balls thick as hail around us. After some brisk fighting in this position, and when the enemy had been driven to his stronghold, I advanced my right obliquely to the left to a position in the woods to within about 100 yards of the enemy’s fortifications.

Night coming on, we lay down to get a little rest. I was awakened by cheering at daylight in the morning. Some of my advance pickets had discovered that the enemy had fled during the night.

In taking the first hill, a gallant young officer (Columbus Beavers, second lieutenant Company A, Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment) was killed and several men wounded, not dangerously. The second hill was taken with a greater loss in wounded, and another gallant officer (Lieutenant [J. P.] Cox, Company C, Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment) killed.

My every movement was made by your orders, given me in person.

We pursued the retreating enemy to Cotton Hill, at which place you ordered one of my companies forward, under command of Major Bailey, who took with him also a company from the Twenty-second Regiment, as skirmishers. The Forty-fifth you ordered to follow them. Our skirmishers drove theirs back to the top of the mountain and discovered that the enemy were blockading the road and had sent a regiment back down the mountain to engage us. I flanked my regiment to the top of a ridge running perpendicular to the road and waited until they came in sight, when we opened upon them and drove them over the mountain, losing two of my brave boys. I engaged my regiment no more until I got to Charleston. There I occupied the hills on the south bank of the river and had some sharp fun dislodging the enemy’s sharpshooters from the streets and the opposite banks of the river.

The officers and men of my regiment deserve praise. They marched without a murmur and fought gallantly. And to you, general, who led us to the conflict, we feel that we have done our duty. Your own noble daring had its influence in prompting us.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

Wm. H. Browne,
Colonel Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment.

General John S. Williams.

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No. 11

Report of Maj. Alexander M. Davis, Forty-fifth Virginia Infantry, commanding Twenty-sixth Virginia Battalion.

Camp Williams, W. Va.,
September 18, 1862.

Sir: I have the honor to submit the following statement of the part acted by the battalion in the recent series of engagements, commencing at Fayetteville, on the 10th instant, and ending at Charleston, W. Va., on the 13th:

On the arrival of our forces within about 4 miles of Fayetteville, the command of Colonel Wharton, with the Twenty-second Virginia Regiment attached, having left the turnpike, taking a road upon our left leading to the enemy’s rear, the battalion was thereby thrown in front. By your order, I threw forward a company, under command of Captain Read, as an advance guard, with instructions to drive in the enemy’s pickets and await re-enforcements. When within about 3 miles of the enemy’s position, Captain Read encountered a scouting party of three companies. He engaged them in gallant style, drove them back into an open field, where he discovered their superiority of numbers and withdrew his men to a shelter of woodland, and there remained until the arrival of re-enforcements. By your order, the battalion was then deployed as skirmishers upon the right, and advanced as such until recalled by order. I then formed the battalion in the road, and advanced by the right flank in the direction of Fayetteville until again deployed as skirmishers upon the right, by your orders. I then advanced, skirmishing, until I came within about 300 yards of the enemy’s works. Here I stationed my men under cover of the woods until I received your order, communicated by Captain Peyton, of your staff, requiring me to withdraw the battalion to my former position in the road, reform, and report to you on the second ridge in front of the enemy’s position. This order I obeyed immediately upon its reception. You then ordered me to place the battalion in position on the second hill, and prepare for a charge to take possession of the first hill in front of the enemy’s first redoubt, and there remain as a support for the artillery. This order was obeyed, and the charge made in open ground under your immediate observation, and you are the best judge of the manner in which it was executed. The conduct of Capt. E. S. Read in this charge and his gallantry throughout the day deserves special mention and commendation.

Our last position placed us within convenient range of the enemy’s guns, both large and small, and there we remained until nightfall, exposed to a galling fire of shell, shot, and Minie-ball. I then withdrew, by your order, to the foot of the hill in our rear, and ordered my men to rest upon their arms until morning.

In this day’s engagement I lost 2 brave soldiers--William F. Level and Robert S. Paxton, of Company B--killed on the field, and 8 wounded, 1 mortally. This loss I sustained in my charge and subsequent position on the hill.

About one hour before day, we were aroused by the firing of our skirmishers, who had discovered the evacuation of the forts by the enemy and their retreat. When the firing commenced, I formed the battalion and moved, by your order, in immediate pursuit, and was in supporting distance of the Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment during their engagement upon Cotton Hill, though not actually engaged. That night we encamped upon the banks of the Great Kanawha.

The pursuit was resumed early on the morning of the 12th, and, by your order, my command took the lead. I then forwarded all the long-range guns of the battalion as an advance, and these were afterward strengthened by a company of sharpshooters from the Fifty-first Regiment, under command of Captain [D. P.] Graham. During this day’s pursuit, my command performed the arduous task of removing the blockades of the enemy. About 6 o’clock in the evening our advance captured two of the enemy’s pickets, and I encamped the battalion on the ground they had occupied.

In the next day’s march the Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment was in advance, and the battalion next in pursuit.

During the engagement at Charleston the battalion was held as a support to the artillery upon the south bank of the Kanawha, but was not actively engaged.

The battalion acted well its part upon the march and in the field, but to you, general, I accord the praise, for your undaunted courage and untiring energy inspired not only the battalion but the whole command with an enthusiasm irresistible.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

A.M. Davis,
Major, Commanding Battalion

Brig. Gen. John S. Williams,
Commanding Second Brigade, Army of Western Virginia.

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No. 12.

Report of Col. G. C. Wharton, Fifty-first Virginia Infantry, commanding Third Brigade.

Hdqrs. Third Brig., Army of Southwestern Va.,
Camp near Charleston, W. Va., September 17, 1862.

Captain: I have the honor to submit the following report of the participation of the Third Brigade in the action at Fayetteville, on the 10th instant, and the skirmishes between that village and Charleston:

On the morning of the 10th, within 4 1/2 miles of Fayetteville, I was ordered by Major-General Loring to proceed with the Twenty-second Regiment, Colonel Patton; the Fifty-first Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel [August] Forsberg, and Clarke’s battalion of sharpshooters, Lieutenant-Colonel Clarke, by a road to the left, in order to attack the enemy in rear, while the main body should proceed directly along the turnpike and attack him in front. At 11.15 o’clock we left the turnpike under the direction of a guide, who was said to be thoroughly acquainted with the country. The anxiety of our guide to take us to the rear of the enemy, to make the surprise complete, caused him to take the column by a more circuitous route (one much longer and much more difficult to march over than had been represented), which delayed our making the enemy’s rear until about 2.15 o’clock. When we reached the rear, the enemy’s batteries were not in the position which had been described. We found in front two batteries well constructed, and so arranged as to command, by a cross-fire, the cleared space (about 1,000 yards) between these batteries and the wood on the ridge where we took position. Through this cleared space ran the turnpike from Fayetteville to Gauley Bridge. Between the ridge on which we were posted and the batteries, the ground was very rough, being broken by steep hill slopes, ravines, thick underbrush, and fallen timber, making a very good abatis. A hasty reconnaissance demonstrated the batteries could not be successfully attacked from our position unless the fire of the battery could be diverted to the column attacking in front, and, in addition, the excessive heat of the day, and the long, fatiguing march by the circuitous route along which we had been led by our guide (we having crossed over five mountains or high hills, 2 miles of which was so rough, and the brush and undergrowth so dense that we could only march in single file), that our force was scattered and very much exhausted. Under these circumstances, upon consultation with some of the officers, we determined to take and hold such position as commanded the turnpike leading from Fayetteville to Montgomery’s Ferry, to prevent the passing of his trains, and, if possible, cut off his retreat. To effect this, Major [S. M.] Dickey, with three companies of the Fifty-first Regiment, was directed to take position on a spur extending out and commanding the turnpike on our extreme left, and about half a mile in rear of the batteries. Immediately on his right, Lieutenant-Colonel Clarke, with a portion of his sharp-shooters, was placed to prevent Major Dickey’s being flanked. Colonel Patton, with a portion of the Twenty-second Regiment, was thrown farther to the right to occupy another spur, commanding, with large [long]- range guns, another I)art of the turnpike, and Major Bailey, of the Twenty-second, was sent, with a detachment, on our extreme right and nearer the batteries; the remainder of the force, as they came up, was held in reserve to support any part of our line that might be attacked, and also to be ready to charge the batteries, if an opportunity should arise. While our forces were getting into position, the entire line was vigorously attacked by the enemy’s infantry and sharpshooters. At the same time the batteries poured in a well-directed fire of shell and grape.

Our officers behaved with great energy and gallantry in hurrying the men to the positions respectively assigned, and in repelling the attacks of the enemy. Three different attempts were made by the enemy to dislodge us and drive us from our positions, each time with defeat and heavy loss to them. Late in the evening, as our ammunition was nearly exhausted, the men were ordered only to fire should the enemy advance. Major Bailey made three attempts to drive the enemy from the battery on our right, and succeeded, but could not hold the position, as both the battery and the space between our position and the battery were thoroughly commanded by the battery opposite our center.

About dark, our scouts reported that re-enforcements were approaching from the direction of Gauley Bridge, and, soon after, information was brought from our left that both infantry and cavalry were seen on the turnpike in the same direction. As soon as ammunition was brought up, our forces were thrown farther to the front and nearer the road, when the firing was renewed, the enemy making two very vigorous efforts to drive us back. During these attacks, they succeeded in running by with a small body of cavalry and two or three pieces of artillery and some wagons. Their infantry, having been driven back, retired beyond the range of our guns, and made their escape under cover of the woodland and hills on the opposite side of the turnpike.

For the details of this engagement, I respectfully refer you to the reports of Colonel Patton and Lieutenant-Colonels Forsberg and Clarke.

It was equally my duty and pleasure to bear testimony to the gallantry, cool bravery, and soldierly bearing of the above-named officers during the day and night. I also, with equal pleasure, call the attention of the general commanding to the chivalric bearing and efficiency of Majors Bailey, Dickey, and Otey. All the officers and men behaved with commendable coolness and bravery.

On the morning of the 11th, the Third Brigade joined in the pursuit of the retreating enemy, crossed Cotton Hill by the old road, and united with the Second Brigade at Montgomery’s Ferry, with which brigade it co-operated until the enemy were driven from Charleston.

I respectfully refer you to the surgeons reports for the list of casualties.

In the hurry of pursuit it was impossible to ascertain with accuracy the loss of the enemy. Prisoners taken represent that one of the regiments which engaged this brigade at Fayetteville lost in killed, wounded, and prisoners 150. Many more were killed and captured in the pursuit.

I desire particularly to acknowledge my indebtedness to Lieutenant Hart, of the engineers, and Mr. C. A. DeRussy, acting assistant adjutant-general, for the energy and promptitude with which the duties assigned them were discharged.

All of which is respectfully submitted.

G. C. Wharton,
Colonel, Commanding Third Brigade.

Capt. William B. Myers,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

_____

No. 13.

Report of Col. John McCausland, Thirty-sixth Virginia Infantry, commanding Fourth Brigade.

Hdqrs. Fourth Brigade, Army of Western Virginia,
Charleston, W. Va., September 18, 1862.

In obedience to instructions, I have the honor to submit the following report of the action of the troops under my command at the battle of Charleston, W. Va.:

While the troops were encamped at Dickerson’s farm, I was directed by General Loring to take command of General Echols’ brigade (he being sick), the Thirty-sixth and Twenty-second Regiments, Otey’s and Lowry’s batteries, and the cavalry under Major Salyer. I at once ordered Major Salyer to pursue the enemy, and I found him near Charleston when I arrived. We passed Camp Piatt, the Salines, Maulden, and other places, but found no enemy. Upon my arrival at a point near Charleston, I discovered the enemy’s skirmishers posted behind fences and behind a barricade they had erected near the river. I at once deployed Lieutenant-Colonel Derrick’s battalion as skirmishers, and advanced them so that the left would sweep through the town and the right rest upon the hills beyond. I supported the right with Colonel [J. J.] McMahon’s regiment, the center with Colonel Rodgers’ [Poage’s] regiment, and the left with Colonel Patton’s. The reserve consisted of the Thirty-sixth Regiment, Lowry’s battery, a section of Otey’s, and the cavalry. It was stationed in the road near the river. The whole line advanced, with occasional skirmishing, to the banks of the Elk River, and there found the enemy posted upon the opposite bank, with all communication with the opposite bank cut off. They had destroyed the bridge. I at once determined to concentrate the troops on the extreme right flank and attempt to cross at a ford about 2 miles above town. We moved in that direction under cover of our artillery, which was posted on a hill commanding the enemy’s position and also other parts of the field. Upon the arrival at the ford, it was found impossible to cross with infantry and artillery. I ordered the cavalry to cross and move down the opposite shore, and then moved toward our extreme left, where we collected boats and were ready, when nightfall put an end to the conflict. Strong pickets and support for the batteries were lefty and the troops sent back to the wagons to get rations, &c., and sleep.

The next day we crossed and came to their camp. General Echols was kind enough to send me his staff. Captain Catlett rendered me great aid. Captains Poor, St. Clair, and Roche assisted me and were prompt in communicating my orders. The officers and men acted well.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

John McCausland,
Colonel.

Col. H. Fitzhugh,
Assistant Adjutant-General.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: September 1862

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