Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
March 27, 1863

Wheeling Intelligencer
April 9, 1863

The Battles of Hurricane Bridge and Point Pleasant - A True Account.

Point Pleasant, April 2, 1863.

Hon. F. H. Peirpoint:

In the Wheeling Intelligencer of the 31st of March we find four dispatches to you from a gentleman in Gallipolis. These dispatches do great injustice to the gallant officers and men of the 13th Regiment Va. Volunteers. We propose as an act of justice to this gallant regiment to give you the facts as well in connection with the battle of Point Pleasant as that of Hurricane Bridge.

About the 25th of March, we were told by captured rebels that Gen. Jenkins was advancing with his brigade on our force at Hurricane Bridge, and that he had declared that he intended to serve the 13th as he had the 11th only worse. As the 13th were all Virginians he intended to capture or kill them all. On the 27th he sent a demand to the forces at Hurricane for an unconditional surrender. Col. Brown who was in command of that post had been necessarily called off on business, leaving Capt. Johnson (seconded by Captains Stewart and Williams) in command, Capt. Johnson replied he would fight first. Jenkins' force consisted of 850 men, and Johnson's less than 200. The fight lasted some four or five hours. The General with his forces being severely punished, withdrew. Our loss was three killed, and Lieut. Bridgman, a most valuable young officer, mortally wounded; and three others slightly. Our men fought under cover of temporary fortifications. The loss on the rebel side, is thought to be very heavy.

It is not our purpose to speak of the gallantry of our officers and men. Jenkins did enough of that before leaving the neighborhood of Point Pleasant. He said that he never would send another flag to the 13th; that they were the games set of fellows he ever met.

Immediately after the battle of Hurricane Bridge, Lieut. Col. Hall, together with all the available force at this place, except Capt. Carter's company, was ordered to reinforce the position at Hurricane and moved immediately. The distance from Point Pleasant is 46 miles.

The rebels left immediately by a wholly different route, from that taken by the reinforcements, and fired on the boats as set forth in the despatches; after which, procuring flat boats in the night, they floated down and concealed themselves in the immediate vicinity of Point Pleasant, captured our scouts and pickets, and were nearly into town before being discovered. But we deny that it was a complete surprise. Capt. Carter having previously got his ammunition into the Court House, and other preparations made; drew his men into the Court House about the right time, and commenced the fight in fine spirits.

Jenkins' force here consisted of about 700 men. Carter had only 60 men in the Court House. The fighting was severe for some time until Gen. Jenkins sent in a flag demanding a surrender of the place, to which the gallant commandant replied that he entered the service to fight and not to surrender, and to take him if he could; after which Gen. Jenkins sent some rebel ladies with a flag and to beg Captain Carter to surrender, and to say to him if he would do so private property would be respected, otherwise he would burn "the d__n town." Failing again in obtaining a surrender he then meanly commenced threatening Union ladies and their property, and begging them to plead with Carter for a surrender. In this too he failed, for some of the ladies instead of asking for a surrender went to the Court House, amidst a shower of bullets, and told Capt. Carter they didn't want him to surrender if their property was burned.

A short time after this a retreat of the rebels was ordered, and their advance was at least two miles above town before the Ohio troops were across the river, although there was still a good many in town engaged in plunder when they did cross.

Capt. Carter hadn't a sufficient force to march out and attack them, but they were completely whipped before the reinforcements arrived. It is not true then that the town was taken and retaken, and the man who dispatched you that statement knew that our boys were still waving the stars and stripes out of the window when the Ohio troops left the Ohio side of the river for Point Pleasant.

The truth is sir, there never was a more gallant fight made, than was made by your little band of Virginia troops. Lieut. Hawkins and others are now suffering from the effects of most painful wounds. We hold in utter contempt the man who could have the heart to do injustice to such noble fellows, and it gives us pleasure to say, that the Ohio soldiers and the officers that came here showed much anxiety to get here long before they could get permission to do so, and when they did get here, showed an energy and courage in the pursuit of the retreating foe, which would do credit to any officer or soldier. But there were others higher in authority, who showed much less sympathy for us and courage to defend us. We begged of the authorities at Gallipolis the morning before the fight, and offered the most ample security for a few guns to defend ourselves, but were told that red tape would not allow.

The casualties on our side considering the duration of the fight were remarkably small, viz: Lieut. Hawkins severely wounded, two killed, 13 principally from the hospital taken prisoners and paroled; rebel loss said to be 25 killed, 25 wounded, 27 prisoners, among which are Lieut. Col. Samuels, 2 Captains, 2 Lieutenants and one Surgeon. We have thus given you what we regard to be a fair statement of these battles.

Respectfully Yours,
B. J. Redmond.

Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: March 1863

West Virginia Archives and History