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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
August 19-26, 1863


Staunton Spectator
September 8, 1863

THE YANKEE RAID—HOW DEFEATED—THEIR RETREAT AND LOSS.

The raiding party under the command of Gen. Averill, which has recently ran its race in the counties West of this, started from Hardy county, in which they captured a number of horses, and passed successively through Pendleton, and Highland, then into Pocahontas, Bath, Alleghany and Greenbrier, in which latter county, near White Sulphur Springs, it was met; defeated and driven back by the gallant forces under the command of General Samuel Jones. On Wednesday, the 19th of August, the advance guard of this body, some 300 to 400 in number, dashed into Franklin, the county seat of Pendleton, about 5 o’clock, dressed in Confederate uniform and captured a number of citizens, horses, &c. They shot down the milch cows as beeves, in preparation for a larger force that came in at night. Early on Thursday, they advanced up the South Branch of the Potomac towards Montorey, capturing a large number of horses on the way and entering the latter town at 4 o’clock, capturing the County Court, and about 100 horses, as we stated in our issue of two weeks ago. They destroyed in Pendleton and Highland counties all the machinery and apparatus used by us in the manufacture of Nitre. On Friday morning, the 21st ult., at daylight they left Monterey and pushed on to Pocahontas with the view of surprising and capturing the small force under the command of col. Wm. L. Jackson. In this, however, they were doomed to disappointment. The forces under General Jackson were too weak in numbers to resist successfully the advance of the enemy, but, being strong in spirit, offered a gallant resistance, and fought the enemy for three successive days. Though they were like the Irish Corporal, “advancing backwards” all the time before the superior force of the enemy, with their Parthian shots, they made a number of the enemy “bite the dust.” Gen. Jackson succeeded in saving his command, and lost but few of his men. It is thought that he inflicted greater damage upon the enemy than he suffered himself. Giving up the pursuit of Jackson’s forces at the Warm Springs Mountain in Bath county, the enemy pushed on to Greenbrier with the view of capturing the town of Lewisburg. On the 26th ult., they were met by the forces under the command of General Samuel Jones, about 2 miles East of the White Sulphur Spring and 11 miles East of Lewisburg. The engagement lasted from 8 o’clock in the morning till 7 o’clock in the evening, both parties occupying the same positions they did in the morning. The engagement was renewed the next day, and continued for two hours, when the enemy found that it was impossible to go any further in that direction, and very prudently concluded to take the back track. As our forces were expecting the enemy to come upon another road, they were at the headwaters of Anthony’s Creek, when they learned through a private citizen that the enemy had crossed the mountain and were advancing on the Warm Spring road towards the White Sulphur, and had time merely to reach that road where it is intersected by the Anthony’s Creek road, a short time before the enemy arrived. Both parties arrived at the scene of the battle-field on the same morning. Col. Patton, with a few scouts went several miles towards the Alleghany Mountain on a reconnoisance[sic], and whilst at a house partaking of some bread and honey, which the lady of the humble tenement had given him, the lady rushed in and exclaimed that the Yankees were coming. Col Patton jumped upon his horse and rode back to our camp accompanied by our scouts, and closely pursued by the enemy. He left his sword but the good woman who had dispensed to him her humble hospitality, had sufficient presence of mind to conceal it under her raspberry bushes, and the gallant Colonel recovered his sword, and was saved the mortification of having it to fall into the hands of the enemy.—Though Gen. Jones was present, when the battle was fought, he assigned the command to col. Patton. Our men had merely time to prepare a simple barricade across the valley made of fence rails, when the enemy came upon them. The enemy fought desperately, charging with cavalry, time and again, up to the barricade, and some dead Yankees and horses were found lying together within a few feet of it. They were anxious to break our lines, because we held the Anthony’s creek road, by which they wished to retreat into Pocahontas. They feared that, if compelled to retreat upon the Warm Spring road, they would be captured. In fact Gen. Averill remarked, where he took dinner on the day of his retreat, that they would be sure to be captured either on the Alleghany or Back Creek Mountain.

In this fight, we had 20 killed on the field, and 3 or 4 have since died of their wounds; 130 wounded, and about 10 missing—our whole loss being between 100-170.

Of the Yankees, we buried 85, and found the graves of 90 buried by the enemy, making the killed of the enemy 175. We captured 78 of their wounded which were left, and 60 who were not wounded, making 138 prisoners. The number of the dead and wounded taken away we cannot, of course, know. If it be true, that the enemy buried 90, and if the proportion of the wounded to the killed, be the same as ours, then their wounded would amount to 1137, which, with the 175 killed, and the 60 taken prisoners who were unhurt would make their loss in this fight 1372. But if the enemy did not bury any of their dead and did not take any away—if they only had the 85 killed which we buried—then, their wounded would be 552, killed 85, and prisoners not wounded, 60; making their whole loss 697. In their retreat, they were bushwhacked, and our pursuing cavalry found 6 dead in the road which they could not take time to carry off. A much greater number must have been wounded by bushwhackers. The enemy lost 2 pieces of artillery in the battle, and two in their retreat, and succeeded in saving two.—We learn that Col. Jackson pursued them into Randolph county, and that in the pursuit he killed some of the enemy, and captured a number of horses. The enemy captured Maj. McKendree, quartermaster, but he made his escape. We sent a flag of truce to the enemy proposing to exchange a Yankee major for him, but as our major had made his escape, we held on to the Yankee major. We punished the raiding party pretty well. But we ought to have captured the whole of them-it would have had such a wholesome and good moral effect. Lieut. Carr, of the Kanawha Rifles, was killed early in the action. The enemy had 4,000 and we 2,000 in the fight.


Wheeling Intelligencer
September 9, 1863

Gen. Averill’s Brigade – March and Battle at White Sulphur Springs.

Editors Intelligencer:

Gen. Averill’s command consists of the 2nd, 3d and 8th Virginia Infantry, the 14th Pennsylvania cavalry, Gibson’s battalion, Ewing’s battery of four guns, and two sections of Keeper’s battery.

On the 6th of July the brigade started on a march from Fetterman, through Cumberland and Hancock to Williamsport, Cherry Run and Hedg[e]sville. Here our forces skirmished with Ewel[l]’s corps for three days, capturing about 150 men. Our loss was not over 20. In this fighting, the Third Virginia took a brave part. From here the forces fell back to Cherry Run, by order of Gen. Kelley, then back to Hedgesville – then to Martinsburg, back to Hedgesville – then to Bunker Hill, Winchester, Mo[o]refield and Petersburg. Here we remained thirteen days. August 17th, orders are received to march in the morning; three days rations in the haversacks, and grain to be carried for the horses. August 18th, at an early hour, coffee is over, men in their saddles at 6 o’clock; the order is given, forward; the long train starts; every man looks like he was on a pack-horse going to market. Soon we are on the road to Franklin. The question now comes up, to what point of the compass are we steering? It is whispered among our men (who are not always asleep,) that we are starting through the enemy’s country, with a very limited supply of ammunition, horse-shoes and nails, all indispensable to a successful campaign. This was known to the authorities. Through dust and heat, onward we marched. Night finds us camped four miles from Franklin. August 19th, start early and reach Monterey in the afternoon. One of the boys in secesh uniform, entered the town as a rebel scout, was arrested on suspicion, disarmed and placed under guard. The advance entered the place on a dash. Court was in session. Lawyer P. M. Auvel, of Phillippi, was making a speech, when to their utter discomfiture, one of the Yankee boys (of the Third) stepped in, and with the independence of a soldier, cried, halt! This brought things to a stand. The court adjourned without ceremony, terror stricken at the sudden approach of the Yankee enemy. The speaker and others were soon arrested. Salt, tobacco, letters, &c., were captured at the Post Office. Articles were divided among the men. Here letter paper costs 20 cts. per sheet, envelopes 12 cts. each, stamps 10 cts. Flour is selling at $40 per barrel. We camp for the night. August 21st, in our saddles at 6 o’clock. Sharp skirmishing during the day. Two rebels shot and one horse, one wagon burnt, six of our wagon-horses killed and one wounded; three of our men shot, one mortally wounded; three wagons destroyed and one disabled; commissaries saved. Our men burnt one large frame house, about which the rebels were concealed. In this section the boys swept spring houses, cellars, kitchens, &c. There goes one Yank on his horse, drinking cream out of a two gallon jar, his long beard is well besmeared. There another with tub of pickles standing on the front of his saddle dealing out to the boys. Another with a crock of butter or honey. Yonder are others going at full speed looking for horses, capturing, &c. Soon the General is apprised of the soldiering in the rear. Now you see a squad with drawn swords at every gate. Soldiers do not pass a sentinel; he is respected by the whole army. Night comes, and we camp on a Union man’s farm. His hay, rye, oats and corn are literally devoured. Such families should be remunerated.

August 22. – Reach Huntersville. Here we halted for coffee and corn. While the cooking is going on, an alarm is raised. Gen. Bill Jackson had left the place a short time before. His rear was fighting with our pickets. This we don’t allow rebs to do, so the 8th Virginia pursued them hotly, capturing five. During all this, the Third was drawn up in line of battle. The 8th proved sufficient and we camped for the night. Here we remained over Sunday. One of the 14th Pa. was shot, and his leg amputated.

August 24. – Started early for Warm Springs. Jackson was in our front, evidently trying to keep a respectable distance, fleeing in great confusion, leaving saddles, bridles, guns, sabres and gray clothes all along the road. As we entered Warm Springs in the evening, Jackson’s rear guard passed out, our men skirmishing with them. Mrs. General Lee left the preceding Saturday. The rebels reported that the Yankees would kill her, and told the darkies that they would cut off their fingers, hence important to keep out of their way, (all of which they knew to be false). One of the darkies told the writer that his master sent him to the woods to hide from the Yankees. When night came he found his way to camp and reported to Capt. Fleming. The Captain sent a squad with Mr. Darkey, and soon they returned with five horses, his master’s property.

August 25. – On the march. Passed the Hot Springs, and some of us entered the enclosure. We plunged our hands into what was called the boiling spring, and drank cold water bubbling out of the earth not more than 25 yards from the other. Quite a natural curiosity. These springs, once the resort of the rich and fashionable, are now almost entirely deserted. We continued on our march until evening and camped at Calligham’s midway between Warm Springs and Lewisburg. Here the boys walked into the corn fields, barns, chicken coops, &c., all rebel property. Our conscience smote us a little as we, in company with Chaplain ___, rode off to the barn, opened the door and filled a sack with rye. We understood it to be the orders of Gen. Kelley that we should subsist on the country. We tried to obey orders. Water was scarce, yet there was one spring affording water sufficient for the whole brigade, but to our surprise the spring was guarded. Soldiers, weary, worn and thirsty, must go to the creek and use the water out of which the horses drank. At this place we captured eight stage horses.

Aug. 26th – bad day for many a poor soldier. Coffee over, men in their saddles, we start in fine spirit. Expect to visit the White Sulphur Springs, and camp near Lewisburg at night. The writer pushed on to the front of the regiment for time to view the celebrated place; but to our great discomfiture, at about 11 o’clock A. M., two miles this side of the Springs, on Antee Creek, the enemy opened their artillery upon us, calling us to a sudden halt. Our forces moved up in great haste and planted their artillery. The fight soon became general and terrific. Balls, shells, grape and shot flying with fearful havoc in all directions, doing their work of death. The whole atmosphere resounds with the roar of artillery and musketry. Surgeons soon establish a hospital at two private houses. The dead and wounded are brought in as fast as men and horses can bring them. Our Surgeon, Dr. Thomas, was busily engaged with Dr. Winne in the work of amputating limbs and dressing wounds. The Assistant Surgeon, D. Thayer, was on the field, (a brave man,) aiding in the removal of the unfortunate men to the hospital. We are prepared to say that all the surgeons of the different regiments rendered all possible aid to the brave suffering. The battle continued to rage fearfully until night threw a mantle over the dreadful scene. For four or five hours I believe there was not an intermission of firing of more than two minutes at any one time – almost an incessant fire.

As near as we can learn the rebel force consisted of the 22nd, 45th, 54th and 62nd Virginia regiments; Edgar’s battalion of cavalry, and Chapman’s battery of four guns. All commanded by Col. Patten, in the absence of Gen. Eckle. As to position, the enemy had the decided advantage. They selected a position where the road passed through a deep gorge of rocks, with mountains on either side and fearful precipices. The enemy was concealed behind rocks, trees, logs and fences, a great part of the time lying on their faces. Their artillery was planted in front some 400 yards from ours. The 3d and 8th Va. M. I. occupied the left wing. The 2nd Va. And 14th Pa. cavalry, Gibson’s battalion, with three companies of the 3d Va., on the right. Our artillery, well drilled and god pluck, held a favorable position on the main road. Gen. Averill remained near the batteries during the battle, directing the movements of the troops. Thus formed, the federal soldiers sent the messengers of death among the rebels like hail stones and fire. At one time, the rebels made their appearance in open ground, when our guns mowed them down at a fearful rate. Under the heavy fire they fell back, until our guns were planted on the ground before occupied by the enemy. Lieut. Col. Thompson, commanding the 3d Va. Regiment, stood in the hottest of the fire, leading his brave men not less than seven times on a desperate charge upon the enemy. They lying in ambush our men would move upon them under every disadvantage, though thus to move was almost certain destruction. Yet as one order would come after another from the General, to charge on the enemy, the Colonel, cool and brave would again and again renew the charge. Here more men were killed among the different regiments than any were else on the field. It is generally conceded that all the regiments, fought desperately. Officers and soldiers showed an unyielding purpose to fight until the enemy was routed. As we represent the third Virginia regiment, we are proud to say, no braver set of men ever fought on a battle field. Many of them have laid down their lives on the alter of their country, to defend their nations flag. Eternal shame will palsy that tongue that dares to brand them as cowards. The night passed. Oh how solemn, silence reigns. How intense the anxiety! For already, many had left the field for want of ammunition. We waited for the order to retreat. Morning came, but not to all our fellow soldiers. Some we had laid in the grave, others were on the field, sleeping the sleep of death. The fight is renewed, and continued until all the ammunition was about spent. At 10 o’clock a dispatch comes from Lieut. Col. Polsley, stating that the enemy was moving to flank our rear. The order came to fall back. This was done in good order and well conducted. We removed all that were in a condition to be removed of the wounded. Others were left in the care of Assistant Surgeon Worthington of the 14th Pennsylvania cavalry. We marched day and night until we reached this place. The enemy pursued us for some time. We were not whipped, but held our ground until a lack of shooting material compelled us to retreat. If we had been supplied with ammunition, the victory would surely have been ours. The fault lies at some man’s door, not with the brave soldiers who were in the fight. I am much gratified to say, that every officer of our regiment remained duly sober during the entire battle. We speak this to their praise. No soldier wants to risk his life under a drunken officer.

Our loss, as far as we can learn is as follows: Captain Koneig of the General’s staff, was shot by the enemy. He was under the influence of liquor and approached our Colonel on the field, inquired for the 8th Virginia, was told not to go in the direction he was then taking or he would be shot. He persisted, and fell in sight of several of our men. We regret to hear that some are disposed to implicate our regiment in his death. This is incorrect. We deny the imputation. The second Virginia lost in killed, wounded and missing 31; third Virginia 43; eighth Virginia 20; fourteenth Pennsylvania cavalry 95; batteries 21. In all over 200. Our men say this was the severest and hottest battle they have been in during the war.

List Of Killed And Wounded In The 3rd Virginia Regiment At The Battle Of White Sulphur Springs.

Killed – J. A. Simington, Co. K; Zenas Barns, Co. G; W. B. Johnson, Co. I; Burkett Fowsett, Co. D; Z. Burns, Co. B.

Wounded.

Company A – G. P. Wright, Luther Sheets, R. W. Blue.

Company C – R. A. Patterson, Charles Swisher, E. Spear, John G. Haymond.

Company D – Thos. Cassady, B. F. Bell, Thomas Wilson.

Company E – Lieut. B. Clark.

Company G – G. Coffman, J. W. Smith.

Company H – Sergt. J. S. Brown, J. M. Chedister, Isaac Cuppit, G. W. Powell, F. Myers, J. Hall.

Company I – George Blake, Harrison Blake, Stewart Wells.

Company K – Sergt. Heaton, John Nornick.

A. J. Lyda.
Beverley, Sept. 4, 1863.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
August 29, 1863

White Sulphur Springs, Aug. 27,
Via Dublin, Aug.28.

To Gen. S. Cooper:

We met the enemy yesterday morning about a mile and a half from this place, on the road leading to the Warm Springs. We fought from 9 A. M. to 7 P. M. Every attack made by the enemy was repulsed. At night each side occupied the same position they had in the morning. This morning the enemy made two other attacks, which were handsomely repulsed, when he abandoned his position and retreated towards Warm Springs, pursued by cavalry and artillery. The troops engaged were the first brigade of this army, Col. George S. Patton commanding. The enemy were about three thousand strong, with six pieces of artillery, under Brig. Gen. Averill. Our loss is about two hundred killed and wounded. The enemy's loss is not known. We have taken about one hundred and fifty prisoners and a piece of artillery.

Samuel Jones,

Major General.

Official:

John Withers,

Lieut. Col. and A. & I. G.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
August 31, 1863

The Fight in Greenbrier.

--A passenger from Dublin Depot Friday, gives some further particulars of the fight at Dry Creek, in Greenbrier, confirmatory of the statements published on Saturday. The repulse of the enemy by Gen. Jones was decisive, and our forces were in hot pursuit, picking up prisoners rapidly. Our loss was about two hundred and fifty killed, wounded and missing, among whom are several valuable officers. The 22d Virginia regiment suffered heavily, and was badly cut up. A portion of our forces are said to have been commanded by Gen. John Echols. We have no report of casualties except Col. Barbee, who was mortally wounded. No further apprehensions are felt that the enemy will be able to reach the Tennessee Railroad with their present force. They have been effectually checked, and have suffered to such an extent as to make another attempt by the same party entirely out of the question.

A detachment from the main body, composed of about 1,200 men, under Gen. Scammel, were not in the fight, nor is their exact locality known. It was thought possible by some that he might attempt to slip through our lines and tap the railroad, but such a feat was deemed almost impossible of success from the nature of the country, and the disposition of our troops. A dispatch from Dublin, dated the 28th, says one of their Surgeons, taken prisoner, reports their loss at about 500. We took about 150 prisoners.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
September 3, 1863

The Battle at the White Sulphur.

--We learn from passengers who came through from Millboro yesterday that the Yankee force which was repulsed by Gen. Jones has retreated to Beverly, in Randolph county. We have some further particulars of the battle of the 26th ult:

The opposing forces met at the point where the Anthony's Creek road enters the White Sulphur or Kanawha Turnpike, near two miles east of the Springs. The Yankees, chiefly cavalry, numbered, it is estimated, 3,000; our own force considerably less. The fight commenced at 9 o'clock Wednesday morning. The Yankees, if anything, had the advantage of position. The combat continued until dark without a change of position, and was renewed early Thursday, when the enemy, making a fruitless charge, retreated precipitately. Our loss in killed and wounded 160, the enemy's some 400, including prisoners. The enemy charged our men several times on Wednesday but were repulsed. The ground of the fight involved a small settlement, whose inhabitants fled, losing by the destruction of their property enough to subject them to suffering. Mr. Miller, well known as a merchant at Dry Creek, lost his dwelling house and kitchen, which were set on fire by a shell. In his house was consumed all his money, which was in notes, two gold watches, and his furniture, clothing, &c., his family saving nothing, having left precipitately to escape the dangers of the fight — their house being between the two armies. Colonel Patton, by his gallantry, well won the title to promotion, which we are sure will be duly acknowledged. This brave officer was wounded early in the war at the battle of Scary, in Kanawha, and it was feared at the time mortally, the ball entering the shoulder. He was a long time disabled from it.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
September 4, 1863

The Fight near the White Sulphur.

The Lynchburg Republican contains a letter from Lewisburg, Va., giving some additional particulars of the fight at the White Sulphur Springs. As stated yesterday, the enemy escaped to Beverly, in Randolph county, by the road which intersects the Warm Springs road on Morris Hill, in Alleghany county. We captured three pieces of artillery and, it is said, 300 prisoners. The fight near the White Sulphur is thus described:

The enemy, about 3,000 strong, commanded by Gen. Averill, started from Moorefield, in Hardy county, came through Pendleton, Highland, and Pocahontas counties, in which latter county they met and drove back beyond the Warm Springs, in Bath county, Col. Wm. L. Jackson, who had but a small force. From the Warm Springs they came directly to the White Sulphur Springs, in this county, at which point they were met by our troops, consisting of the 22d Va. regiment, Lieut.-Col. Barbee; the 45th Va. regiment, Col. Brown; Derick's battalion, Lieut.-Col. Derick; Edgar's battalion, Lieut.-Col. Edgar; Chapman's battery, (four pieces,) Capt. Chapman; the 8th Va. cavalry, Col. Corn; and Dunn's battalion of cavalry, Lieut.-Col. Dunn. Col. Patton, of the 22d, commanding the brigade, in the absence of Gen. Echols, and the whole commanded by Maj.-Gen. Jones. There were five regiments of the enemy, all mounted, and a battery of six pieces. I suppose the forces were nearly equal, possibly the enemy were 300 or 400 the stronger. A number of charges were made upon our troops, and each was handsomely repulsed.

All concede that our men exhibited the greatest bravery and endurance, for the fight commenced about 8 o'clock on Wednesday morning, the 26th inst., continued through the day and night, and ended about 12 o'clock on Thursday. Our loss was about 30 killed, 60 to 70 wounded, and a few prisoners taken, among them Major-McKendree, Q. M. Lt.-Col. Barbee had his arm broken, though it will be saved. I cannot give accurately the loss of the enemy, as they buried many of their dead, and took off all of the wounded who could be removed. They had seven to ten ambulances and a number of wagons full on their retreat, but they left upon the battle-field about 50 dead, 70 severely wounded, and we took besides about 60 prisoners.

The enemy treated our citizens in the neighborhood of the battle-field in the most wanton and devilish manner. They destroyed utterly every article of household furniture, broke up into small pieces chairs, cups, plates, dishes, bedsteads, bureaus, &c., tore open the beds and scattered the feathers in the yard, tore up all the bed-clothes, &c., wearing apparel, broke the glass out of the windows, and destroyed the clocks even. In a word, not an article of any description was left. The milch cows were shot, and all the corn, wheat, hay, oats, &c., were taken.

They retreated towards Beverly, and are a part of Gen. Kelly's forces. Gen. Jones followed them some 20 or 25 miles, but they made good their escape. The 22d Virginia regiment, Lieut.-Col. Barbee, lost nine killed and sixty wounded. --Among the wounded was Lieut.-Col. Barbee, who was shot through the arm. The wound is not sufficiently severe to cause amputation.


Richmond Daily Dispatch
September 7, 1863

The Yankees in Northwestern Virginia.

--The Staunton (Va.)Vindicator, speaking of the escape of the Yankee raiding party which was repulsed near the White Sulphur Springs by General Jones, says: We learn that they, after being repulsed and driven back by Gen. Jones at Dry creek, were met by Col. Jackson, again repulsed and forced back in the direction of Dry creek, and were compelled to take a different route from the one they had purposed going out by. They fell back forty miles in one day to Greenbrier bridge, in Pocahontas, where they were reinforced. Jackson was skirmishing with them. He has since driven them to Big Spring, at the edge of Randolph county, capturing over 100 horses in their retreat, and killing about 40. Jackson's loss was two killed and fifteen captured.


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

West Virginia Archives and History