Series 1, Volume 25, pt. 1, pp. 9-10.
Report of Maj. John McMahan, Second West Virginia Cavalry.
Camp Piatt, W. Va., February 9, 1863.
Sir: I have the honor to report the following as the result of my recent trip into Wyoming County, W. Va.:
In obedience to your orders, I marched with 70 men, in a blinding snow storm, on the morning of the 5th instant; crossed Big Coal River at Thompson’s farm, striking Little Coal 12 miles above Boone Court-House, halting 10 miles above said point until 10 p. m.; thence marched by the way of Wyoming Court-House to Charles Stewart’s, on the Laurel Fork of Guyandotte River, 4 miles from said Court-House. Remained there until 1 p. m. on the 6th; thence proceeded to the headwaters of Laurel Creek, to John Farmer’s, and remained there until 6 a. m. of the 7th; thence marched to the Marsh Fork of Big Coal River, down said river to Jacob Fetter’s, where we arrived at 6 a. m. of the 8th; thence, by the way of Lum’s Creek, to Camp Piatt, where we arrived at 7 p. m. on the 8th instant.
The weather was very severe, and my men and horses suffered very much. Some of my men had their feet frozen. We lost 4 horses from fatigue and exhaustion, and I impressed 3, one from old Mr. Cook, father of the rebel Captain Cook, 1 from a Mr. Fielding, and 1 from an unknown party, to enable me to bring my men into camp. The fourth man dismounted rode the horse of the guide, who remained at home.
From reliable information received, I am satisfied that the rebel Captain Henderson has not been in Wyoming County since Floyd’s retreat. The rebel Captain Cook was heard of some two or three weeks since in said county, but had left some time since. I am satisfied also that there are no rebel forces in that county.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major Second West Va. Vol. Cavalry, Comdg. Detachment.
Col. J. C. Paxton, Second West Virginia Vol. Cav.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: February 1863