May 28, 1863
Fayetteville, Fayette county W. V.
May 24th, 1863
Mr. Editor: -- This Regiment received orders at Hurricane Bridge in Putnam county, on the evening of the 12th to strike tents and report without delay at Charleston, Kanawha county, and in obedience to orders we were under way by six o’clock, a.m. We reached the mouth of Coal River by 12 o’clock – left this point at 2 o’clock and reached Charleston at 10 p.m., bivouched for the night. Next morning we went into camp about two miles above the town, pitched or tents and remained there until 12 o’clock Sunday the 17th when we received orders to report immediately to Gauley Bridge. The excitement then commenced and our cotton houses were soon demolished rolled up and packed into wagons. The train started up the river on its west side, the troops embarked upon the steamer Ingomar with the expectation of being landed at Loup Creek, but the boat could not stem Calvin Creek Shoals and consequently we were landed at this place about 11 o’clock at night, here we bivouched for the night, next morning started for Gauley, got within 4 miles of the place the [the] same day, bivouched for the night in an open field on the bare ground, our covering the blue Heavens. In the morning we marched to Gauley reaching there at ten o’clock the 19th. Went to work immediately pitching our tents, but, alas! How uncertain and impermanent are the things of this world, at 2 p.m. orders were received to report immediately to Fayetteville, distance 12 miles we reached there about 9 o’clock. Our forces were then put in position for battle with the expectation of being attacked at any time, for the fires of the rebel camp could be distinctly seen from our position. The enemy made no demonstrations during the night, but the first intelligence we got from them in the morning was bursting of a shell over one of our fortifications, thrown from a rebel gun. This aroused our forces and it was quickly answered from two of our guns, the firing thus commenced continued until 3 o’clock, when the rebels retreated, when this fact became known preperations were immediately made to follow. A detachment of the 2d Virginia Cavalry under Major McMahan was to take the advance, the 91st Ohio, Col. Turley, next; then a section of McMullins Battery; the 12th Ohio and 13th Virginia brought up the rear. We traveled until 2 o’clock a.m. and halted for two hours to rest, at 4 o’clock made a forward movement, at 8 o’clock we came so near the rear of the fleeing rebels that they planted their cannon in or close by the road and with their infantry deployed on the right side of the road they opened fire upon us which checked our advance for a short time, but before we got everything ready for the attack upon them they fled and left the way open to us. Again we moved forward as fast as the men could safely travel, at 6 o’clock we came up with them again at Raleigh, we immediately got two of our guns in position and opened upon them when they fled in great confusion and judging from the suddenness of their flight they were very much alarmed; we remained here all night, next morning some skirmishing parties were sent forward to search the town, to learn whether there were any of the enemy there; your correspondent was one of the party and was the second man to enter the town, but no rebels were to be found. The pursuit here ended and we left again for Fayetteville which we reached at 10 o’clock Saturday the 23d. All well but considerably worn down, having traveled nearly 100 miles in five days. We had one man slightly wounded. Two of their men were killed on Wednesday from our cannon. The object of the raid is not known, but one thing is certain it cost them more than it come to.
W. W. H
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1863