Series 1, Volume 27, part 2, pp. 799-800
Report of Capt. Charles E. Hambleton, Second West Virginia Cavalry.
Camp Piatt, Va., June 28, 1863.
Sir: In obedience to your order, I started with Companies B and I, numbering 75 men, June 26, at 7 p.m., crossed the river at this place, and proceeded to Loup Creek Landing, where I halted at 3.30 a. m. June 27.
I immediately sent out a picket of 12 men to stand on the road below Loup Creek Bridge, about three-fourths of a mile above the landing, and then ordered my command to unsaddle and cool their horses; then to saddle and feed. They had unsaddled, and were lying down when my picket, having gone to the place designated, found a picket guard from Company F already stationed there, and returned. But I was not aware they had returned until afterward. They had been back perhaps fifteen or twenty minutes, and my men were just saddling, when the rebels came dashing in, yelling and shooting, which was the first notice I had of their approach, as the picket had retreated up the road instead of toward us.
My men sprang to their arms, and fired into the advancing column. But on they came; the first squadron dashed right through us, so that we were right between them. I ordered the boys that were near me to get under the river bank, some 20 feet from the road. Some few got into the woods above, and some were taken prisoners and disarmed. Some 8 or 10 infantry on the opposite bank opened fire on them, while my command, or part of it, fired into them over the top of the bank, which started them down the road. While they were passing us, Lieutenant Carlisle called to the prisoners to rally under the bank, and some 10 or 12 saved themselves by springing over, the rebels not daring to follow. They, the rebels, started to return, but again fell back, and went up Armstrong Creek on the gallop, while about 30, supposed to be the rear guard, did not get past us at all, but retreated up Loup Creek.
Their whole force has been variously estimated, but from what I could see, and my best information, I judged them to be about 225 strong, under command of Major [R. A.] Bailey.
The whole affair did not last more than fifteen or twenty minutes.
We then returned to the road, and remained there some two hours, gathering what horses, &c., we could. I sent a squad, under Lieutenant Carlisle, down the river, to collect the loose horses that had gotten away.
I then moved across to this side of the river, with saddles and such things as we gathered up. Our loss was as follows: Missing, supposed to be prisoners, 29 (Company B, 13; Company I, 16); none wounded; horses, 45; arms, carbines, 23; revolvers--Company B, 28; Company I, 60; total, 88; nearly as many equipments as horses.
That we did not allow the rebels to do all this without some resistance is evidenced by the fact that they left 1 dead on the field, and 3 were so seriously wounded that they were compelled to help them away; 5 of their horses were left dead and 3 wounded. Officers and men, I think, did remarkably well under the circumstances. Many of the men were taken two and three times, but made their escape. Lieutenant Morrison was taken and made his escape. Most of the arms captured were taken from the men while prisoners.
None deplore the result of this trip more than myself; and, while I consider it a disaster, I do not think it a disgrace.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. E. Hambleton,
Captain Company B, Second Virginia Cavalry.
Col. William H. Powell,
Commanding Second West Virginia Cavalry.
Approved: I. B. Murdock, first lieutenant Company B, Second Virginia Cavalry; J. A. Morrison, second lieutenant Company B, Second Virginia Cavalry; W. V. Johnson, first lieutenant Company I, Second Virginia Cavalry; J. B. Carlisle, second lieutenant Company I, Second Virginia Cavalry.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: June 1863