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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
November 6, 1863


The Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
November 21, 1863

The Late Fight at Droop Mountain – Complete Route of the Rebels.

(Extract from a letter to a member of the House of Delegates.)

Beverly, Nov. 14th, 1863.

I was absent with Gen. Averill on his late raid when your letter came, else it would have been sooner answered.

The General’s infantry forces and battery B, Capt. Keeper, under Col. A. Moore, on the28th Ohio, came in day before yesterday evening, whilst the General, with his mounted troops and Ewing’s battery, are still out. We expect him in tomorrow.

Our victory over Echols at Droop Mountain, near Hillsboro, in Pocahontas county, was decisive and complete. His retreat was a rout, his infantry scattered all over the country and many of them throwing away their arms. He left his dead on the field and along the roadside in his flight. Many of his wounded fell into our hands. Wagons containing medical and subsistence stores and ammunition fell into our hands along the road, our cavalry under Major Gibson, charging on his rear every now and again for eight miles, and finally, eight miles out he abandoned a brass 12-pounder, which we brought in. He barely escaped capture by Gen. Duffie at Lewisburg, where, in the precipitancy of his fight, he again abandoned a considerable amount of stores and camp equipage. I think he would not stop until he reached Dublin Depot, on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad.

The infantry forces of the brigade, viz: the 28th Ohio and 10th Virginia, turned the left of his strong position on Droop Mountain, after a tedious march of five miles over rugged and difficult mountain pathways, by a vigorous and well sustained attack on the left of his line. These forces were commanded by Col. Moore, and never did a brigade go in with more gallantry and determination. The 10th had our right, and I am proud to say that never did officers and men behave better. We pushed the enemy steadily before us for over a mile, keeping up all the while a roar of musketry that was terrifically grand. The fight here lasted an hour and a quarter, and was all the way through brushy woods. The enemy was driven from one position to another, and so terrible was our fire that many in chosen positions, under the cover of a log or a thicket, awaited our approach were unable to leave their places in face of the storm of missles to flee, and preferred rather to remain and fall into our hands. Onward thus we steadily moved, until the foe was silenced and dispersed. Opposed to our two regiments were the 14th, 19th, 20th, and Derick’s battalion, and finally four companies of the 22d, that were sent to strengthen their line. The 19th, you are aware, is a cavalry regiment, commanded by Bill Jackson; the 20th also is cavalry, commanded by Col. Arnett. Both are composed of rapscallions from our Western counties. The 20th is a recent organization from those who left last winter and spring, and during the past summer. I think many of them are now satisfied that they have obtained all that they are likely ever to obtain of their rights. The 22d, Col. Patton, has frequently expressed a desire to have a chance at the 10th. All I regret is that the other six companies of that regiment were not present to have participated in the sound thrashing which we were abundantly able to have given them. Major Bailey, of this regiment, was mortally wounded, and two of its Captains made prisoners. There was also a Major, said to belong to the 14th, killed, and a Captain and a Lieutenant wounded. We brought in eighty-five prisoners.

On our way out we broke up a court that was being held at Huntsville, or rather the news of our advance caused it to disperse. The Court had just levied one thousand dollars tax on the county for the support of destitute families of their soldiers, and another thousand for the benefit of the wounded at the Bulltown fight. This is about equivalent to two hundred dollars, as corn sells there at from five to seven dollars a bushel, and everything in proportion. So you see that treason, not only against the United States, but also against the State of Western Virginia, is being openly practiced within striking distance of us. The loyal men of Pocahontas and Greenbrier have been principally driven from their homes long since, but there are yet men there who suppresses their sentiments, but will be found ready to assume the duties of good citizens as soon as we can make it safe for them to do so. – We were told that in Greenbrier there were four hundred voters who remained silent at the election on the Ordinance of Secession. The mass of the people that remain, however, are bitterly disloyal. – Few men except the very aged and decrepid were to be found. Women were plenty, but their beauty was marred by the impress on their countenances of the treason that lodged within, and their manners were as badly spoiled as their beauty. We obtained about four hundred head of beef cattle, and a good many horses; though the greater portion of the stock with which the country abounds had been driven away from the road.

Very truly,

T. M.


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

West Virginia Archives and History