Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
October 2-4, 1862

Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
Series 1, Vol. 19, pt. 2, pp. 24-25

No. 6.

Report of General Robert E. Lee, C. S. Army, of Imboden's operations, and congratulatory letter to him.

Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,
October 6, 1862.

Sir: I have the honor to report that on the 2d instant a scouting party of Colonel Imboden's command encountered a company of the enemy's cavalry near Hanging Rock, Hampshire County, and captured Captain Battersby, Company B, First New York Cavalry, 5 of his men, 14 horses, with arms, equipments, &c.

On the morning of the 4th, about day-break, he surprised an intrenched camp of the enemy at the mouth of the Little Cacapon. A dense fog enabled one of his companies to gain the trenches before he was discovered. In attempting to escape, 2 of the enemy were killed, 6 wounded, and Captain Newhard, Lieutenant Wagner, and 55 men of Company K, Fifty-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, were captured. The railroad bridge over Little Cacapon was burned, with the company's buildings, &c.

About 8 o'clock the same morning, Colonel Imboden sent his cavalry across the Potomac to prevent the escape of the company at Paw Paw Tunnel, and, by leading his infantry across a precipitous mountain, surrounded the place, captured Captain Rite, Lieutenants [John] Cole and Baer, and 90 men of Company B, Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers. He also captured 175 Austrian rifles and accouterments, and about 8,000 rounds of water-proof cartridges. The commissary stores, camp equipage, & c., he was obliged to destroy for want of transportation. While thus engaged, 200 of the enemy's cavalry, from Romney, made a descent upon his camp, near Cacapon Bridge, and put to flight his guard and about 100 unarmed men, whom he had left under charge of Lieutenant Stone. They burned one of his wagons, loaded with commissary stores, and attempted to carry off five others, but deserted them on the road, carrying away the teams. They also burned the carriages of two of his 3-pounder mountain guns, and carried off the guns in the wagons. They destroyed his medical chest and captured 8 or 10 of his men. He subsequently recovered his wagons, with the ammunition and several of his horses, and reports that his loss will turn out to be small.

I take pleasure in commending to your notice the handsome manner in which Colonel Imboden has conducted this operation, and, by his judicious arrangements, encountered no loss of life on the part of his command, He had to abandon the destruction of the bridge over the South Branch of the Potomac. Its great strength defied the effects of fire, and could only be effected by mining. Just before leaving Paw Paw, his scouts reported the arrival east of the tunnel of two large trains, laden with troops, sent from Hancock to co-operate with the cavalry in cutting off his retreat.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. Lee,

Hon. George W. Randolph,
Secretary of War.


Headquarters Army of Northern Virginia,
October 6, 1862.

Col. J. D. Imboden, Commanding, &c.:

Colonel: I have read with pleasure your report of the attack upon the enemy's cavalry at Hanging Rock, and the subsequent surprise of the two companies of the enemy's infantry stationed at the mouth of the Little Cacapon and at Paw Paw Tunnel. The results accomplished, and the judicious arrangements which enabled you to effect them without loss of life on your part, are deserving of high commendation, the appreciation of which it gives me pleasure to express, with the request that you make it known to the officers and men of your command.

I am, with high respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. Lee,

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

West Virginia Archives and History