The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
Series 1, Volume 25, Part I, 90-145
Report of Brig. Gen. Benjamin S. Roberts, U. S. Army, of operations April 24-May 5.
HDQRS. INDEPENDENT DIVISION, MIDDLE DEPT.,
Weston, W. Va., May 21, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report, for the information of the commanding general of the Middle Department, that on Friday, April 24, the Confederate forces of Generals Imboden and Jackson attacked the post at Beverly with about 4,000 troops, constituted mainly of infantry, perhaps 500 cavalry, and about 500 mounted infantry, and a battery of seven pieces.
The parts of my brigade garrisoned at Beverly made an effective force of less than 900 men, 150 of cavalry, one section of artillery (two 10-pounder Parrott guns), and parts of the Second and Eighth [West] Virginia Volunteer Infantry, about 700 strong.
My first intimation of the attack was by telegram from Colonel Latham, received at 2 p. m., that the enemy in large force had driven in his pickets and was advancing on the post in two directions. He asked for orders, and I replied by telegram to hold his position, if possible; if not, to keep his communication with me open, and to fall back, if overpowered. He soon replied that the enemy had already got on to the Buckhannon road with artillery, cavalry, and infantry, and cut off that connection, but that he could fall back on Philippi. I replied:
If overpowered, destroy your stores, and fall back on Philippi.
The superior forces of the enemy soon compelled Colonel Latham to fall back on the Philippi road. He destroyed such stores as he could not bring off in the regimental train at the post, and very handsomely repulsed repeated attempts of large forces of the enemy’s cavalry in his rear.
Colonel Latham’s report, herewith inclosed, gives casualties.
This command reached Buckhannon on the 26th. On learning Imboden’s and Jackson’s real strength, I ordered the forces at Birch, Sutton, and Bulltown to send all wagons and supplies that could be removed, by the direction of Weston, to Clarksburg, and the troops, by forced marches, with three days cooked rations, to join me.
On Monday morning [April 27], all these detached forces had reached Buckhannon, making in all arms an effective strength of 2,800 men, constituted as follows: Captain Ewing’s infantry company, acting as artillery, four pieces; Captains Smith’s, Bowen’s, and Hagan’s, and Lieutenant Jaehne’s skeleton companies of cavalry, 200 strong; the Second, Third, and Eighth [West] Virginia Volunteer Infantry, and the Twenty-eighth Ohio Volunteers, making 2,500 bayonets.
On Saturday, I telegraphed Colonel Mulligan, at Grafton, Va., to push his forces to Philippi and hold that place, where I knew Colonel Latham was falling back.
On Sunday, Colonel Mulligan held the enemy in check there all day, but learning that General [W. E.] Jones cavalry was threatening Grafton, he fell back to Crafton in the night, and reached that point in time to repulse the enemy, whose advance was, in fact, already at the place. On Sunday night, I sent instructions to Colonel Mulligan, by 3 mounted couriers, that I should move on Beverly, by the Buckhannon road, to attack the enemy in that direction, while he would make a diversion by the Philippi road; but two of the couriers were captured by the enemy, and the one bearing my dispatches barely escaped by the speed of his horse. I then knew that Colonel Mulligan had been driven from Philippi, or had withdrawn, and that Grafton, Webster, and Clarksburg were exposed, and my communications and supplies would be cut off unless by rapid marching I could reach Clarksburg by the Janelew road before the enemy could attack the place from the direction of Philippi and Bridgeport.
While hastening to effect this march, on Monday, I received from Colonel Wilkinson, commanding at Clarksburg, a telegram that Grafton were captured, and that he was preparing to evacuate Clarksburg in two hours; that he expected to be attacked by Jones forces in that time. I replied to the colonel that I would reach him the next day at noon; to hold on, if possible, but, if compelled to retreat, to run the railroad stock and supplies to Parkersburg, destroy such as could not be secured, and to fall back to Parkersburg or Weston. These telegrams left in my mind no doubt that Grafton, Webster, and Clarksburg were all in the hands of the enemy when I moved my forces from Buckhannon at 4 p. m. on Monday. My last telegram to Colonel Wilkinson directed him, in case he destroyed the stores at Clarksburg, to save those at Weston, as they would be my only resource, but, on reaching that place in the night, I found all the subsistence had been that afternoon destroyed. I now learned that Colonel Wilkinson still held Clarksburg, and again I assured him that I would force my march on to his relief by 2 p. m. Tuesday, and to hold on, if possible. I pushed on without any rest to my men to Clarksburg, and my cavalry reached that place before 2 p. m. My command arrived in the night. I had barely time to place my troops in position before Jones forces, from Fairmont, and Imboden’s and Jackson’s, from Philippi, invested the place. Jones and Imboden’s forces, as I am informed by captured letters, had failed to communicate with each other and were to have met at Clarksburg. The forced marches of my troops disappointed this expectation, and when Jones ascertained that I was between him and Imboden, he left his work of destruction on the trestle east of Clarksburg, and made a rapid retreat toward Imboden, in camp near Philippi. Captain Bowen’s cavalry fell on his rear guard, 7 miles from Clarksburg, on the Shinnston road, and by a saber charge routed their entire rear forces, and pursued them over 2 miles. He captured 12 prisoners, 4 badly sabered; killed 8 or more, as he is confident. The charge was daring and successful.
Imboden’s and Jackson’s forces, having effected a junction with Jones, advanced by the Janelew and Rush Run routes to attack Clarksburg, but the arrival of General Kenly’s forces and the militia from Wheeling gave me such strength at Clarksburg that the attempt to take it was abandoned, and as rapid a retreat as the condition of the roads permitted was effected by the rebels. Jones threw a large force of his cavalry from Weston toward Salem and West Union, but I re-enforced the Home Guards at those places by Colonel Latham’s regiment, and that officer handsomely repulsed all attempts on West Union. A cavalry force, however, got between him and Salem, and destroyed two unimportant railroad bridges. They also passed round west to Cornwallis, and in that region destroyed a few bridges and attempted to destroy one of the tunnels. I regret to report that my forces and my means made it impossible for me to adopt offensive operations against the enemy. I had no effective cavalry, no means of transportation, and, in fact, barely supplies to feed the men at Clarksburg until the rapid retreat of the enemy put it out of my power to follow him. The roads were literally impassable to loaded wagons. I have never seen anything in the nature of roads so bad. They remain so yet. My 200 cavalry were broken down when I reached Clarksburg. The enemy had about 5,000, and they left in all directions their jaded horses, seizing all the best and fresh horses in the country as they passed through it. The Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry (twelve companies) reached me at Clarksburg after the retreat of the enemy. This regiment of twelve companies had but 300 men in the saddle and only 320 total strength. Their horses were so broken down that 200 could not be mounted until I impressed all the horses that could be seized to remount for the held.
My infantry did all it was possible for foot forces to accomplish. I pushed Colonel Thompson forward to Janelew, with the Third [West] Virginia Volunteers, a section of a battery, and about 60 cavalry, on the 5th, to meet the advance at Clarksburg. He made a vigorous attack, and defeated them without any loss on his part, killing 2 or more, wounding 5, and capturing 7 prisoners.
The constant movements of my troops have prevented the officers from making detailed reports of casualties, and they will be furnished as soon as I can get them in. The captures exceed 50 prisoners, and the losses of the enemy in killed and wounded are about 30.
I have had the hearty co-operation of all the officers and men of my command, and the cheerfulness they have expressed in the endurance of the hardest marching I have ever known, during ten or more consecutive days of rain and snow, without shelter of any kind, entitles them to my thanks and the gratitude of the country.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. S. ROBERTS,
Brigadier- General, Commanding.
Col. W. H. CHESEBROUGH,
Assistant Adjutant- General, Baltimore, Md.
Report of Col. George R. Latham, Second West Virginia Infantry, of skirmish at Beverly.
HDQRS. SECOND VIRGINIA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY,
Weston, Va., May 17, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report to you that on April 24, about 9 a. in., 11 received notice at Beverly, Va. (being in command there), that the enemy was in force at Huttonsville, 11 miles distant, and advancing. I immediately proceeded to the front with two companies of cavalry, advancing on both roads leading up the valley toward Huttonsville. Having proceeded about 5 miles, we met their advance guard on both roads. The morning was very foggy, and the enemy’s cavalry far outnumbering ours, we were pressed back without being able to obtain any satisfactory view of their other forces, infantry and artillery. We fell back slowly, worrying and impeding the progress of the enemy wherever an advantage could be gained.
At 12 m., the enemy being within 2 miles of Beverly, I repaired to the town to see that the troops were properly disposed the most successfully to meet the attack, as I was satisfied, from their steady and determined advance, and the rambling of artillery in the rear, that they were in very considerable force, though, from the thick fog, an estimate was yet impossible.
About 1 p. m. the fog cleared away, and five regiments of infantry, at least two of cavalry, and one battery of six guns, were discovered, amounting in all to at least 4,500 men.
My force consisted of seven companies of the Second [West] Virginia Volunteer Infantry, numbering for duty 400 men; five companies of the Eighth [West] Virginia Volunteer infantry, numbering 289 men; Captain Frank Smith’s Independent Company of Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, numbering 98 men; Captain Hagan’s Company A, First [West] Virginia Cavalry, numbering 59 men, and one section (consisting of one 10-pounder Parrott gun and a 6-pounder brass smooth-bore) of Ewing’s battery, numbering 32 men; making a total of 878 men, rank and file.
I took a strong position on the south side of the town, commanding the entire valley and the Staunton turnpike above, but flanked by back roads on each side. In this position I placed the Parrott gun and the detachment of the Second [West] Virginia Volunteer Infantry, holding the detachment of the Eighth [West] Virginia Volunteer Infantry and the brass gun in reserve to watch the flanks.
About 2 p. m. the action was opened with artillery and infantry skirmishing at long range. A large force of the enemy’s cavalry and part of his artillery was now seen advancing on the back road wet of the valley, toward the road leading from Beverly to Buckhannon, and effectually turning our right This movement it was impossible for us to counteract, though with the river intervening we were not in much danger of an actual attack from this force. The object of this movement was to prevent our retreat toward Buckhannon. Three regiments of his infantry were at the same time advancing cautiously through the woods, pressing back our skirmishers toward our front and left, his artillery playing directly in front, with two regiments of infantry in reserve.
At 4 p. m. the action had become quite brisk along our whole line; our skirmishers were driven in on our front, and the enemy had advanced to within canister range. The commands of his officers could be distinctly heard, and he was pressing well beyond our left. Shortly after this I received your order to fall back. I immediately set my train in motion; destroyed the public stores of all kinds, and about 5 p. m. drew off my forces. The movement was executed in perfect order, and though the enemy pressed our rear for 6 miles, and twice charged us with his cavalry, there was no confusion, no hurry, no indecent haste. His cavalry charges were handsomely repulsed, and he learned to follow at a respectful distance. We marched this evening 9 miles, and, having gained a safe position, rested for the night, our pickets and those of the enemy being 1 mile apart.
On the morning of the 25th, we marched leisurely 8 miles to Belington, where we arrived about 10 a. in., and halted for orders; no enemy in sight About 12 m. I received your order to proceed as rapidly as possible to Buckhannon. I immediately started, and marched 13 miles to Philippi that night; rested until morning; started at daylight April 26, and reached Buckhannon (17 miles) about the middle of the afternoon.
In this affair we lost but 1 man, believed, to be killed; 2 wounded, and 14 prisoners, 10 from the Second [West] Virginia Volunteer Infantry, 2 from the Eighth [West] Virginia Volunteer Infantry, and 2 from Captain Smith’s Independent Company of Ohio Volunteer Cavalry who were captured with their horses and equipments as part of guard to a forage train of five wagons before the engagement. The quartermasters and commissary stores, and camp and garrison equipage destroyed were very considerable, and nothing of value fell into the hands of the enemy. I have no reliable data from which to estimate the enemy’s loss, but it is known to exceed ours in killed and wounded, and we took 3 prisoners. The enemy was commanded by Generals J. D. Imboden and William L. Jackson. Our light loss and successful retreat are to be attributed, under a kind Providence, to the coolness and efficiency of the officers and men of my command. I cannot mention cases of individual gallantry; the whole command deserve the highest praise.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. R. LATHAM, Colonel, Commanding.
Capt. JOSEPH McC. BELL,
Assistant Adjutant General, Weston, W. Va.
Report of Col. John J. Polsley, Eighth West Virginia infantry, of operations April 24-26.
CAMP NEAR CLARKSBURG, W. VA., May 5, 1863.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the history of the detachment under my command from Friday morning, 24th ultimo, the date of the attack on our forces at Beverly, up to the 26th ultimo, the date of arrival at Buckhannon.
On the morning of the 24th, I was informed by you that the enemy was about to attack in force and ordered to hold my command in readiness for action. Shortly afterward I was directed to support a section of Ewing’s battery, near the church, at the lower end of the town, and to guard against a flank attack.
I had not been in this position long when, the enemy appearing in force in front, the half of my detachment, Captain Gardner commanding, was ordered there to the support of Lieutenant-Colonel Scott, of the Second [West] Virginia, and the enemy also making demonstrations on the opposite side of the river, I was ordered to take position near the bridge with the remainder of my detachment, and hold it.
I remained at the bridge until about 2 p. m., when I was directed by the colonel commanding to cross the bridge and take the advance for Buckhannon, and to fight my way through if the enemy endeavored to intercept. I had hardly crossed the bridge when another order was received directing me to march for Philippi, and to take the advance. We moved slowly and in good order a distance of 8 or 9 miles, and halted for the night.
Resumed the march at daylight next morning, and hastened by forced marches, by way of Philippi, to Buckhannon, to the relief of General Roberts, and joined him there the evening of the 26th.
My detachment, not having been engaged in the action, met with no losses. Two wagoners, with their wagons and mules, were captured early in the morning previous to the attack.
I had destroyed the following-named stores, which we were unable to transport, viz, about 3,000 rations, 2,000 pounds of forage, 30,000 rounds of ammunition, 50 Enfield rifles, 100 sets of infantry equipments, and all the camp and garrison equipage.
I have no hesitation in saying that the force which attacked us there amounted to at least 3,000 infantry, from 1,000 to 1,500 cavalry, and six pieces of artillery, and that our safe retreat with so little loss was entirely owing to the disposition made by the colonel commanding.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNO. J. POLSLEY,
Lieutenant- Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Lieut. J. COWLES,
Report of Capt. Frank Smith, Third Independent Company Ohio Cavalry, of skirmish at Beverly.
WESTON, W. VA., May 22, 1863.
In accordance to general orders received from headquarters, I beg leave to make the following report of losses and skirmishes since the late rebel raid into Western Virginia:
April 24 - The company was ordered out at Beverly, Va., by order of Col. G. R. Latham, commanding post. After proceeding about 3 miles on the Huttonsville road, we observed the enemy across the river; halted, sending out pickets on the Huttonsville road. It was but a short time until the enemy advanced, driving in our pickets. They still advanced, when a skirmish ensued. Finding their force too strong, the company retreated toward Beverly, with the loss of 3 men, who were missing, one of whom has since returned to the company, the enemy still keeping in pursuit, driving us into Beverly. The company formed the rear guard in the retreat from Beverly, and was charged into three different times without any loss.
Our loss was 2 men captured, with horses and horse equipments and arms, 9 bell and 2 wall tents (which were burned), 5 sabers, 3 carbines, 4,000 pounds of forage, and a small amount of commissary stores.
Captain, Comdg. Third Independent Co. Ohio Vol. Cav.
Report of Lieut. Timothy P. Roane, Third West Virginia Cavalry, of operations April 25-May 14, including skirmishes near the mouth of Simpsons Creek and at Janelew.
CAMP WESTON, W. VA., May 22, 1863.
COLONEL: In compliance with your orders, I have the honor to transmit to you a detailed statement of all losses, casualties, losses of property, and captures by our company during the recent raid in Western Virginia.
On April 25, we received orders from Lieutenant-Colonel Thompson, commanding post at Sutton, Va., to take up our line of march, with the Third Regiment [West] Virginia Volunteer Infantry, for Buckhannon, and to destroy all Government property belonging to the company for which we had not suitable transportation.
Four horses gave out and were left on the road between Bulltown and Clarksburg, at which last-named place we arrived on April 28.
On April 30, we were ordered by Brigadier-General Roberts to reconnoiter and engage the enemy, then known to be in the neighborhood of Shinnston, Va., 11 miles distant from Clarksburg. On this day we could muster only 65 men. Twenty citizens volunteered to go with us, making in all 85 men. With this number we started on the road to Shinnston. After marching on this road about 7 miles, the advance guard, which was but a short distance ahead of the main column, observed the enemy in considerable force about 300 yards ahead, making toward the ford at the month of Simpson’s Creek and Lambert’s Run, which ford was close to the turnpike. The charge was immediately ordered, and a volley poured in at short range, which threw the enemy into confusion, driving about 100 of them across the river and cutting off their rear guard, composed of about 40 men, from their main body. We divided our company without halting, leaving one-half of them to hold the ford, and charged their rear guard with the remainder nearly 3 miles.
In this charge we had 1 man killed and 2 wounded, and lost 2 horses killed and 3 wounded. Three dead rebels were left in the road and several wounded by the roadside; captured 9 prisoners and 8 horses. The main loss inflicted upon the enemy was at the ford. Our men had dismounted and were well posted. The enemy made several ineffectual attempts to recross, but in each attempt were repulsed with the loss of several bf their men. We here had no means of ascertaining the number of their killed. This fight lasted about one hour. We returned to Clarksburg the same day, bringing in our wounded men and the prisoners and horses captured.
On May 5, an expedition was sent out to Janelew, consisting of a portion of the Twelfth Pennsylvania Cavalry, one company of the First [West] Virginia Cavalry, Captain Hagans; two companies of the Twenty-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry; a portion of Captain Bowen’s Company (E), Third Regiment [West] Virginia Volunteer Cavalry. This expedition brought in 4 prisoners, 1 two-horse wagon, 4 mules, 4 barrels of flour, and killed a number of the enemy near Janelew.
On May 14, we captured on the Bulltown road 1 prisoner and 24 Harper’s Ferry muskets.
In addition to the above, our company has brought in a large number of secesh citizens, together with horses, cattle, &c., taken from rebel sympathizers.
I am, with respect, colonel, your obedient and humble servant,
T. F. ROANE, Lieutenant Company E, Third West Virginia Vol. Cav.
Col. A. Moor, Commanding Fourth Brigade, Middle Department.
Reports of Brig. Gen. J. D. Imboden, C. S. Army.
DUBLIN, VA., April 29, 1863.
I have just now received the following from General Imboden, dated 25 miles north of Beverly, on 24th:
GENERAL: Had a three hours fight with the enemy on the heights in rear of Beverly to-day. Drove him from the town; cut off his retreat on Buckhannon; hurried him till dark toward Philippi. Renew the pursuit in the morning. Casualties small on both sides. Enemy set fire to the town in his retreat, and burned a large part of it. Enemy’s loss of stores considerable. Our captures of wagons and mules valuable. His force in the fight two regiments infantry, two companies of cavalry, and a battery. Took a number of prisoners.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General.
HEADQUARTERS C. S. FORCES, WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Sunday, May 3, 1863.
GENERAL: This evening I arrived here with my whole command, and General W. E. Jones with a part of his. The residue will be up to-morrow or next day. The following damage has been done to the main stem of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad: Every bridge but two of any importance from Oakland to a point 30 miles west of Fairmont has been destroyed. The splendid iron bridge at Fairmont, over 600 feet long, was blown into the river; all the others burned. General Jones destroyed them from Fairmont east, except at Cheat River. My men destroyed those for 30 miles west of Fairmont. On the Parkersburg stem, General Jones burned the bridge and trestling at Bridgeport. I drove the enemy, 1,500 strong, from Beverly, they destroying all their stores. They also fled from Buckhannon, destroying their camps, stores, ammunition, &c., and burned all the bridges from Beverly westward. They have concentrated at Clarksburg two brigades - [Brig. Gen. J. A.] Kenly's and [Brig. Gen. Benjamin S.] Roberts' - and [Col. James A.] Mulligan has two regiments at Grafton. We can whip them on equal ground, but I understand they are fortifying at Clarksburg. We shall make a reconnaissance in force there to-morrow or next day, and see what they intend to do. If you were within cooperating distance of us, we could utterly demolish the railroad from Clarksburg to Parkersburg, and then force the enemy to a fight on our own terms, and, turning upon Kanawha, clear the valley. The Union men have all fled before us. We have collected and sent to the rear over 2,000 head of good cattle, and General Jones alone has got over 1,200 fine horses for the Government. The expedition thus far has been a splendid success, especially on General Jones' part, in the destruction of the railroad. He has lost about 30 men killed and wounded. My loss trifling, only 2 killed and 3 or 4 wounded since 1 started. Rumor reaches us that you are at work toward Parkersburg. I trust such is the case, and that we may get together this week. If we do, I believe the northwest is saved. Let us hear from you by the earliest possible moment. Suggest a point of junction anywhere south or west of this, and I will try to meet you. General Jones has taken over 500 prisoners; I only about 20 or 25. He has captured the arms of his prisoners. I have taken about one hundred stand of arms and two pieces of artillery left by the enemy at Buckhannon in their flight. Without the intervention of unforeseen obstacles, we shall by the last of this week get out 5,000 head of cattle and 1,500 horses.
J. D. IMBODEN,
Brigadier. General, Commanding.
Brig. Gen. A. G. JENKINS.
HEADQUARTERS NORTHWEST VIRGINIA BRIGADE,
Buffalo Gap, Va., June 1, 1863.
GENERAL: I submit the following report of my late expedition through Northwest Virginia :
On Monday, April 20, I marched from my camp at Shenandoah Mountain with the following troops, viz: The Twenty-fifth, Thirty-first, and Sixty-second Regiments Virginia Infantry, the Eighteenth Virginia Cavalry, and [J. H.] McClanahans battery, six guns, numbering in the aggregate about 1,825 effective men. On the evening of the 21st, I was joined at Hightown by the Twenty-second Virginia Infantry, [Lieut. Col. A. C.] Dunn's battalion [Thirty-seventh Virginia] dismounted cavalry, and the Nineteenth Virginia Cavalry, mostly dismounted, from Maj. Gen. Samuel Jones command, numbering in the aggregate about 1,540 men, giving me an entire force of about 3,365 men, of which about 700 were mounted. I was supplied with thirteen days rations' of flour and thirty days' of salt, relying upon the country to furnish meat.
On the evening of April 23,1 reached Tygart's Valley, at Huttonsville, having marched 70 miles in four days, most of the time under a drenching rain that raised the water-courses and made the roads very difficult. On Cheat Mountain we found the snow in many places 18 or 20 inches deep, and had to face a pelting storm of sleet. At Camp Bartow, on Greenbrier, I learned that the notorious Yankee scout, John Slayton, and 7 Federal soldiers had passed about sunrise on the morning of the 22d, hurrying on to Beverly with intelligence of our approach. Anticipating some attempt to precede me with information, I had ordered a mounted picket from Pocahontas to Greenbrier River, at the foot of Cheat [Mountain], on the 20th. This compelled Slayton to attempt to reach Beverly through the mountains north of the turnpike. On the night of the 22d, I sent a party of 20 men in pursuit of him, but they failed to find or hear anything further of him, and I took it for granted he had succeeded in getting through to Beverly, and would prevent a surprise of the forces there by giving the alarm. This opinion was confirmed by the fact I learned at Huttonsville that the mounted picket of 30 men usually kept at that place had been withdrawn on the morning of the 23d, about 11 o'clock. My men and horses being greatly fatigued, I resolved to camp for the night. A little after midnight my advance picket reported a party of the enemy as having passed up on the east side of the river to a mountain overlooking our camp, and an hour later reported the rapid return of this party toward Beverly. I had sent a company of infantry on the first alarm to try and cut them off. Subsequent events showed that the enemy turned back before reaching a point high enough up to discern our camp, and therefore obtained no information. I had ascertained the enemy's force at Beverly to be two regiments of infantry, a battery, and two companies of cavalry - in all, about 1,500 men.
It continued to rain all night, and the morning of the 24th was one of the most gloomy and inclement I ever saw. At an early hour I started all my infantry down through the plantations on the east side of the river, where they were joined by four guns of my battery 7 miles above Beverly. The cavalry and a section of artillery pursued the main road on the west side of the river, under Col. George W. Imboden, with orders as soon as they discovered the enemy to be in Beverly to press forward and gain possession of the road leading to Buckhannon, and cut off retreat by that route. About 5 miles above Beverly, the cavalry advance met a man, who, as soon as he saw them, fled. They fired upon him, but he escaped. It turned out to be the bogus State sheriff of Randolph [County], named [J. F.] Phares, who, though shot through the lungs, succeeded in reaching Beverly and gave the alarm. About the same time, on the east side of the river we captured a forage train and its escort. I learned from the prisoners that the enemy was in ignorance of our approach; but as soon as Phares reached town and gave the alarm, the whole force was drawn up to fight us. About a mile above the town they opened upon the head of my column with artillery. On reconnoitering their position, I found them strongly posted on a plateau 50 or 60 feet above the river bottom, and commanding it and the road for more than a mile so completely that to attack them in front would probably involve the loss of hundreds of my men before we could reach them. I at once resolved to turn their position by making a detour of over 2 miles across a range of steep and densely wooded hills, and attempt to get around to the north of the town. To occupy their attention, I placed a rifle piece on the first hill, and engaged their battery. The cavalry, under a dangerous fire, dashed forward and gained the Buckhannon road west of the river, and cut off retreat by that route. The enemy immediately began to fill back below the town, leaving a strong force of skirmishers in the woods, which my infantry had to pass. A running fight was kept up for more than 2 miles through these woods, and a little before sunset I had succeeded in gaining the north side of the town, but too late to cut off retreat toward Philippi. The enemy was in full retreat and about one-third of the town in flames when I gained their original flank. We pursued until dark, but could not overtake them. My cavalry attempted to intercept them from the west side of the river at or near Laurel Hill, but the difficulty and the depth of the ford and the lateness of the hour prevented it.
I have been thus minute in these details to explain why we did not capture the whole force at Beverly. Slayton was unable to cross Cheat River, owing to the high water, and they were really ignorant of our approach until the wounded sheriff gave the alarm. We found him almost in a dying condition, though lie will probably recover. The attack was so sudden that the enemy could not remove his stores nor destroy his camp. The stores were large and valuable, having been recently laid in. His loss was not less than $100,000, and about one-third of the town was destroyed in burning his stores. I lost only 3 men, so badly wounded that I had to leave them in Beverly in private houses, where they have fallen into the hands of the enemy. The enemy's loss was trifling, too, not over 13 killed and wounded, and about the same number captured by us.
On the morning of the 25th, my cavalry reported the road toward Philippi impracticable for artillery or wagons, on account of the depth of the mud, in places coming up to the saddle-skirts of their horses. I also ascertained that General Roberts, with a considerable force, was at Buckhannon, and doubted the prudence of going directly to Philippi until this force was dislodged from my flank. I sent off two companies of cavalry, under Major [D. B.] Lang, to try and open communication with General Jones, from whom I had not heard anything, and resolved to cross Rich Mountain, and either move directly on Buckhannon, or, by a country road leaving the turnpike 4 miles beyond Roaring Run, get between Philippi and Buckhannon, and attack one or the other, as circumstances might determine.
On the evening of the 26th, I crossed Middle Fork, and encamped about midway between Philippi and Buckhannon, some 12 miles from each, sending all my cavalry forward to seize and hold the bridge across Buckhannon River, near its mouth. Considerable cannonading was heard at this time in the direction of Philippi, which I supposed to proceed from the enemy we had driven from Beverly in an attempt to prevent Major Lang from going on toward the railroad, where I expected him to find General Jones; but at 11 p. in. Colonel Imboden informed me that the Beverly force had passed up toward Buckhannon at sunrise that morning, and that there was a fresh brigade at Philippi, reported by citizens to have arrived the night before by rail from New Creek, under command of Acting Brigadier-General Mulligan, and that the cars had been running all the night previous, and other troops were in the vicinity. He requested me to send two regiments of infantry and a section of artillery to the bridge that night, as he was apprehensive of attack. He also informed me that he had captured a courier from Buckhannon, and that two others had escaped and gone back to that place. This information was all confirmed by two citizens who arrived at my camp from Webster. I resolved to send forward the re-enforcements asked for, and, as my troops were all very tired, I sent for my colonels to ascertain which regiments were in the best condition to make the march that night. Cols. J. S. Hoffman, of the Thirty. first; George H. Smith, of the Sixty-second; J. C. Higginbotham, of the Twenty-fifth; George S. Patton, of the Twenty-second; William L. Jackson, of the Nineteenth [Virginia Cavalry], and Major [J. R.] Claiborne, of the Thirty-seventh Battalion [Virginia Cavalry], attended; and then for the first time I saw the printed order of General [R. C.] Schenck (herewith inclosed), assigning a division of six brigades for the defense of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. This order Colonel Patton found in Beverly and produced at our conference. Knowing that Mulligan was east of the Alleghany when our expedition set out, and, not hearing from General Jones, it was the opinion of all present that he had failed to reach or interrupt communication on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and that our position was exceedingly critical if the enemy had control of that road, as he could throw the whole division upon us in a few hours, and, if we were beaten, cut off our retreat at Laurel Hill or Beverly and at Buckhannon or Weston. It was, therefore, the unanimous judgment of all my colonels, in which I concurred, that in the face of this new information it would be extremely imprudent to advance farther or remain where we were, with the danger of being overwhelmed and cut off in a few hours, and that the safety of the command required that we should fall back to a position where escape would be possible if we were overpowered. Accordingly, we marched back to Roaring Run on the 27th. The road was so bad that it took from 5 a. m. until 2 p. m. (nine hours) to accomplish 2 miles, and the command did not reach camp until in the night. Having recalled my cavalry from Buckhannon Bridge, I sent forward a scout that night toward Buckhannon, which returned after midnight, reporting that the enemy had burned the bridges across Middle Fork and the Buckhannon Rivers, and retreated that night from Buckhannon, blockading the road behind them.
On the 28th, I pressed on to within 4 miles of Buckhannon, and the next morning took possession of the town with a regiment, which I crossed over the river on the debris of the burnt bridge. The enemy had burned all his stores here, and destroyed two pieces of artillery, which he was unable to move. On account of the extraordinary bad roads, I had been compelled to leave at Greenbrier River, east of Cheat Mountain, forty-odd barrels of flour and also several barrels in Beverly. Our horses were giving out in large numbers, and some dying from excessive labor and insufficient sustenance. Not being able to cross my artillery and wagons over the river, on my arrival I ordered a raft to be constructed and the country to be scoured in every direction for corn and wheat; impressed two mills, and run them day and night. Grain was very scarce, and had to be procured by very small quantities, sometimes less than a bushel at a house. I employed a considerable portion of my cavalry in collecting cattle and sending them to the rear. I required everything to be paid for at fair prices, such as were the current rates before we arrived iu the country. This gave general satisfaction in the country, and our currency was freely accepted.
On the 29th, I received my first information from General Jones (see copy of his letter inclosed), and on the same day I ascertained that the enemy was massing his troops at Janelew, a village about midway between Buckhannon and Clarksburg, and fortifying his position. The 30th was spent in collecting corn and cattle.
On May 1, hearing nothing further from General Jones, I sent Colonel Imboden to Weston with his regiment of cavalry. He found the place evacuated and stores destroyed, but got confirmation of the fact that the enemy was at Janelew. Fearing that General Jones had been cut off in his attempt to join me, I gave orders that night to move early in the morning toward Philippi. - My raft was completed and I was ready to cross the river. Just as we commenced moving on the morning of the 2d, a courier arrived with intelligence that General Jones was within 6 miles, and brought information of the destruction of the iron bridge at Fairmont, on the main stem of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and that a party I had sent out under Lieutenant Sturms, of the Nineteenth Cavalry, had succeeded in burning all the bridges for 30 miles west of Fairmont, and that the bridge on the Northwestern Virginia Railroad, 6 miles east of Clarksburg, at Bridgeport, had also been burned. On receiving this information, I changed my direction of march toward Weston, feeling confident that with General Jones brigade and my own force united we would be strong enough to hold our own and probably defeat the enemy at Janelew or Clarksburg.
My own command had lost over 200 by desertion, after passing Beverly, from Dunn's battalion dismounted cavalry, in consequence of an order published by me prohibiting the seizure of horses or other property from citizens for private uses. These men had expected to mount themselves off the country. Before I had got away from Buckhannon, General Jones arrived, and approved the plan of moving on to Weston, though he had but a small proportion of his command with him. I here stated to him that, being the ranking officer, he would, of course, assume the command as long as we remained together, which he did. The road was so bad that we did not reach Weston until Sunday morning, May 3. I at once sent scouts toward Clarksburg. and ascertained that the enemy was there several thousand strong, and were fortifying a pass at the mouth of Lost Creek, 8 miles this side of Clarksburg.
On the 4th, General Jones arrived with a part of his command, and went into camp. I at once set to work to scour the country for grain and cattle. Very little of the former was obtained, though we got a large number of fine cattle.
On the 5th, a considerable part of General Jones' brigade arrived from Beverly. My picket at Janelew was surrounded and attacked, but all escaped except 3, whose horses were killed and they captured. The picket reported the advance of a large force, and we expected a fight. During the day I had received from a confidential and perfectly reliable source an accurate statement of the enemy's forces at Clarksburg, giving the regiments, their size, and their batteries. The whole force was between 4,600 and 5,000 infantry and twelve field guns, and they had been busy several days intrenching. Generals Kenly and Roberts were present in person, and re-enforcements were hourly expected. These arrived the next day, increasing the force to from 6,000 to 8,000 men. It was agreed between General Jones and myself that we could not attack the enemy with a reasonable prospect of success. My command had been reduced, not only by the desertions above mentioned, but by a large number of sick and worn-out men left at Beverly and Buckhannon, and a great many detailed as guards for the various droves of cattle on their way east., leaving me not over 2,200 or 2,300 effective men. General Jones had, I believe, about 1,200. Defeat so far in the interior would have been destruction. We therefore determined to separate on the morning of the 6th, General Jones going west to attack the Northwestern Virginia Railroad, and I to move southward to Summerville, in Nicholas County, where we would unite again. Some days previous to this, I had sent a dispatch to General Samuel Jones, informing him that such would probably be our route, and suggesting a co-operative movement on his part against the enemy at Fayetteville and in the Kanawha. This dispatch I sent into Braxton by 15 of my own men, with instructions to get it through by any possible means in their power. They employed a faithful citizen to take it to Lewisburg, but it has never been heard from since.
On the 6th, I ordered back all the sick and stores from Buckhannon and Beverly to Monterey, and moved toward Summerville at an early hour. The roads were so horribly bad that at night we had only reached a point 5 1/2 miles from Weston.
The next day, with extraordinary labor, we made 2 1/2 miles, and on the 8th 6 miles more, making 14 miles in three days, and to do this with my battery I had to destroy the spare wheels of my battery and throw away fifty solid shot from each caisson. Up to the 9th it rained hard fourteen days, and was clear only six, and the roads everywhere were almost impassable, and my animals rarely got any food except the young grass we found along the road. No incident of interest occurred on the march until we reached Big Birch River, in Braxton, on the evening of the 12th. At Bulltown, Suttonville, and Big Birch the enemy had block-houses and intrenchments, and had destroyed at each place large amounts of stores laid in for the summers campaign. I destroyed their quarters amid block-houses at these several places.
On the night of the 12th, I received a dispatch from Colonel Imboden, who was 12 miles in advance, that he had heard the enemy was preparing to evacuate Summerville, and had determined to attack them at once, and asking me to support him as soon as possible. At 2 a. m. that night another courier arrived with intelligence that Colonel Imboden had entered Summerville and found the enemy gone about an hour, his force consisting of the Ninety-first Ohio and two companies of cavalry; that he immediately pursued and overtook him about 6 miles on the way to Gauley Bridge; made a vigorous assault on the rear guard (mounted), capturing 23 prisoners, 28 wagons loaded with supplies, and 168 mules and their harness. Two of the wagons were smashed up in the melee. All the others he saved, and the teams. I immediately ordered reveille, and by a forced march of 20 miles, tired as my men were, reached Summerville at 3 p. in., and found all safe and quiet. Colonel lmboden had less than 200 men with him in this affair, in which he captured the train of over a regiment of the enemy and brought it safely away. The capture was most handsomely made, and was most opportune. The men had only been allowed half a pound of meal per day after leaving Beverly, and our scanty supplies were exhausted. We had but one days salt left, as a part of our original stores had been sent back from Beverly to lighten transportation, and expected to get none until we reached Greenbrier. The artillery and wagon horses were almost worn out, and these fresh mules enabled me to relieve them. General Jones arrived at Summerville the same evening with part of his command, the remainder coming up next morning.
We ascertained that the road to Carnifix Ferry over Gauley was blockaded to such an extent that it would take several days to open it, and the ferry-boat at Hughes Ferry was sunk. Finding the delay would be great in crossing my now large train at this ferry, I consented, at their own request, that the Twenty-second Regiment and Dunn's battalion might take that route, via Meadow Bluff, to Lewisburg, raising the boat for that purpose, and I, with the remainder of my command, would go up Gauley about 20 miles, by a country road but little known or traveled, and ford that river at the mouth of Cranberry, cross over to Cherry Tree River, and into Greenbrier near Frankfort by what is known there as the Cold Knob road, over which it was said but two wagons had ever passed before. I reached Sinking Creek, in Greenbrier, in four days, a distance of over 50 miles. On the third day out from Summerville I received my first dispatch from General Samuel Jones, a copy of which I inclose. It came too late for me to act upon its suggestions. Reaching Greenbrier, our troubles ended. We rested one day and came on to this place by easy marches.
The results of the expedition were not as great, perhaps, as they would have been with favorable weather and good roads. General Jones has doubtless communicated the immense destruction of property he effected on the railroad and elsewhere. In the horrible condition of the roads, I could not move with the celerity that was desirable, and deemed myself fortunate in being able, by pursuing an interior route, to keep the way of escape open at all times for General Jones, while he, being mounted, ventured to go much farther than I could do. I compelled the enemy to destroy large and valuable stores at Beverly, Buckhannon, Weston, Bulltown, Suttonville, and Big Birch; captured and brought away over $100,000 worth of horses, mules, wagons, and arms; burned their block-houses and stockades; forced them to burn three important and valuable covered turnpike bridges; burned six or eight wooden railroad bridges west of Fairmont; enabled the Government agents to buy and bring out to places of safety over 3,100 head of fine cattle, at a cost - stated to me by Maj. [W. M.] Tate, who procured a large part of them - of $300,000 less than they would sell for anywhere within our lines. I was thirty-seven days gone, marched over 400 miles, subsisted my command on half-rations a great part of the time. I lost 1 lieutenant (Vincent), Nineteenth Cavalry, and 1 man in the Eighteenth Cavalry, killed, and left to fall into the hands of the enemy 3 men, wounded, at Beverly, and 8 sick, and 3 prisoners captured; a total loss of 16. I secured between 75 and 100 recruits for my own command, including the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first Regiments, and Col. William L. Jackson got between 300 and 400. In this respect we were all disappointed. The people now remaining in the northwest are, to all intents and purposes, a conquered people. Their spirit is broken by tyranny where they are true to our cause, and those who are against us are the blackest-hearted, most despicable villains upon the continent. I learned much on this expedition that would be of deep interest to the Government to know, but this is not the proper time or place to communicate it.
I cannot close this already prolix report without expressing my admiration of the conduct of men and officers, with the exception of part of Dunn's battalion, referred to above. Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn and a large part of his battalion are excellent officers and soldiers, and it is to be regretted that their good example is lost upon the remainder.
I have heard scarcely a complaint of any wrong done to private rights of persons or property by the men under my command. They were nearly all Northwestern Virginians, and had much to provoke them to vengeance upon a dastard foe, who had outraged their unprotected families, but, with the willing obedience of the true Confederate soldier, every man obeyed all orders to respect private rights, even of their traitor neighbors.
J. D. IMBODEN,
Brig. Gen. R. H. CHILTON,
Asst. Adjt. and Insp. Gen., Army Northern Virginia.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
June 15, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded to the Adjutant and Inspector General.
Although the expedition under General Imboden failed to accomplish all the results intended, it nevertheless rendered valuable service in the collection of stores and in making the enemy uneasy for his communications with the west. The men and officers deserve much credit for the fortitude and endurance exhibited under the hardships and difficulties of the march, which interfered so seriously with the success of the enterprise.
R. E. LEE, General.
[Inclosure No. 1.]
EVANSVILLE, W. VA., April 27, 1863.
GENERAL: I arrived here this morning with my cavalry. I sent Colonel [A. W.] Harman, with Major [Ridgely] Brown and Captain [John H.] McNeill, to Oakland from Greenland night before last, moving myself with the residue of my command on Rowlesburg, or Cheat Bridge. My horses and men were much jaded by bad weather and my forced march from Moorefield to Cheat Bridge. What success attended Colonel Harman I have not yet learned. I did not succeed in destroying the bridge or trestling at Cheat River. I have come here to feed men and horses and wait for news and junction with Harman, when I will make my way to you. My movements, as a matter of course, will be controlled by circumstances. A rumor reaches us of your having driven the enemy out of Beverly. General Mulligan started from Webster, on the Grafton and Parkersburg Railroad, to succor the force driven from Beverly. I am impatient for news from you, as also from Harman.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. E. JONES,
Brigadier- General, Commanding.
General J. D. IMBODEN,
Commanding at Beverly.
[Inclosure No. 2.]
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, Va., May 14, 1863.
GENERAL: I have just now received Major [J. R.] Claiborne's letter of the 13th (yesterday), from Lewisburg, informing me that he left you and your command at Bulltown on the 9th instant; that Brig. Gen. W. E. Jones had left Weston to destroy the railroad between Clarksburg and Parkersburg; that after having accomplished that work you and Jones would unite at Summerville, and that then you would be ready to move on Charleston or any other point I might designate. He says, further, that you are without commissary stores, except beef, on which alone your men are subsisting. I have directed Brigadier-General [John] Echols to send from Lewisburg to Summerville a supply of flour for you, and all the small ammunition he can send, and to move forward with a regiment and battalion (or two battalions) of infantry, a section of artillery, and company of cavalry to Summerville to support you and relieve you of your surplus cattle, trains, or other property you may desire to send to the rear. I have also ordered Colonel [John] McCausland to move from Princeton to Fayetteville with about 1,200 infantry, a battery, and company of cavalry, to threaten Fayetteville, and be in readiness to profit by any detachment the enemy may make from that point to oppose you, and, if practicable, to co-operate with you. If you and W. E. Jones unite at Summerville, or if you alone reach that point, and your men are in condition to continue the expedition, I wish you to move from Summerville; strike the Kanawha River at or near Montgomery's Ferry, avoiding the enemy's defensive works near Gauley Bridge; clear out the Kanawha Valley, if you can (and since you have accomplished so much, I do not know well what else you are capable of), from Gauley Bridge to Charleston; then cross at or near Montgomery's Ferry, and appear in rear of Fayetteville. By that time McCausland ought to appear in front of the same place, and by co-operation you and McCausland can take Fayetteville and probably capture the troops there. That would be a handsome winding up of your brilliant expedition.
The latest and most reliable information I have of the enemy's force in the Kanawha is this: Twelfth Ohio, 230 strong, and Ninety-first Ohio, 650 strong, at Fayetteville Court-House; Forty-fifth Ohio, 500 strong, on Elk [River] and at Sissonville; Twenty-third Ohio, 500 strong, at Charleston; Thirteenth [West] Virginia. 300 strong, at Hurricane and Coal River; Eighth [West] Virginia, 120 strong, at Winfield; Second [West] Virginia Cavalry, 700 strong, distributed generally through the Valley, [making a total of] 3,000. No troops at Gauley. Report was current in Kanawha on 22d ultimo [that the enemy] was moving on Summerville. A small detachment of the Second [West] Virginia Cavalry and a battery of artillery were sent to Summerville. Since then, viz, on the 2d instant, Lieutenant-Colonel [George M.] Edgar handsomely repulsed the Second [West] Virginia Cavalry at Lewisburg, and punished them severely. It the above estimate of the enemy's force in the Kanawha Valley is correct, and I believe it is, you ought to be able to clear it out easily.
Communicate with me fully and freely whenever and wherever you can. I have only time to congratulate you on your success so far, and to wish you a brilliant winding up of the expedition.
In haste, very respectfully and truly, yours, & c.,
Brig. Gen. J. D. IMBODEN,
Summerville, W. Va.
Report of Brig. Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley, U. S. Army, commanding First Division, Eighth Army Corps, of skirmish at Greenland Gap.
GREENLAND GAP, HARDY COUNTY VA.,
April 28, 1863.
Just arrived at this point. Jones' reserve, left at Moorefield, is reported retreating on Franklin. I await here the return of my scout, sent to ascertain the fact. The affair at this place on Saturday was one of the most gallant since the opening of the war. Greenland Gal) is a pass through the Knobley Mountains, only wide enough for the road and a small mountain stream. This gap was guarded by Captain Wallace, Twenty-third Illinois, with a detachment of Company G, Twenty-third Illinois Regiment, and a small detachment of Company A, Fourteenth West Virginia Infantry (Captain Smith), in all between 70 and 80 men. Captain Wallace occupied a large church at the west end of and near the mouth of the gap, and Captain Smith held a log-house about 100 yards distant, both positions commanding the gap. Jones was compelled to capture or dislodge the little band before he could pass. His troops made three gallant charges, but were each time re-pulsed with great loss, especially of officers. The fight commenced at 5 p. m. and lasted till after dark. The rebels, availing themselves of the darkness, approached and fired the church, but the gallant Irish boys would not even then surrender till the burning roof fell in. The killed and wounded of the rebels outnumbered our whole force engaged. Five of the officers out of eight commanding the leading battalion which made the first charge were either killed or wounded, among the latter Colonel [R. H.] Dulany, commanding. Captains Wallace and Smith had only 2 men killed and 4 wounded. I counted to-day 18 dead horses within musket-range.
I most earnestly request the major-general commanding to apply to the Secretary of War to have every officer, non-commissioned officer, and private engaged in the fight presented with a medal, in recognition of the gallantry displayed.
B. F. KELLEY,
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTH ARMY CORPS,
Baltimore, Md., April 29, 1863. Respectfully forwarded to Major-General Halleck, General-in-Chief. The gallantry of the officers and men engaged in the defense herein described by General Kelley deserves special notice and commendation. I will hereafter obtain and forward the names. The result of this obstinate stand at Greenland Gap was a repulse of the enemy, and thus New Creek was protected.
ROBT. C. SCHENCK, Major- General, Commanding.
Report of Capt. Martin Wallace, Twenty-third Illinois Infantry, of skirmish at Greenland Gap.
NEW CREEK, VA., June 11, 1863.
ADJUTANT: In obedience to regimental order of April 21. last, I left camp at New Creek for Greenland Gap on the evening of the same day, with Lieutenant Fletcher and 52 men, and arrived theme next morning. About noon on April 25, I was informed by a citizen that the enemy were approaching in a large force, numbering several thousand, and were within a short distance and advancing upon New Creek. I immediately sent out mounted scouts to ascertain time facts.
About 4 p. in., Captain Smith, with 34 men of Company A, Fourteenth Regiment West Virginia Volunteer Infantry, arrived, with orders relieving me, and ordering me to rejoin my regiment, which had moved to Grafton. At this time my scouts came in rapidly, reporting the enemy advancing in force. A few minutes later they came charging through the gap. I was in the log church, about 50 yards south of the road. I immediately ordered Captain Smith to throw his men into two log-houses north of and between the church and the road. He immediately left to execute my order. Before this, however, I had had the windows of the church well barricaded, the chinking knocked out between the logs, and had ordered my men to be ready to repel any attack. I immediately ordered them to take the positions previously assigned and to be cool and deliberate. We opened fire upon the enemy when within 75 yards, and continued to fire until the enemy had approached within 20 yards of the church, when, so destructive had been our shots, they broke and fled in all directions, leaving men and horses dead and wounded on the field. In about fifteen minutes they rallied, and made another attack with the same result.
General Jones, who I then first learned was in command of the enemy, sent in a flag of truce demanding my immediate surrender, and stating that he had a force of thousands. I told the bearer: Go back with the rag; I don't care if he has a million I will not surrender until compelled. The firing was renewed. In the course of ten minutes the flag returned with a written from order General Jones that he had force enough to take me beyond a doubt, and unless I surrendered within fifteen minutes he would not be responsible for the consequences. I refused, and sent a note to General Jones in which I stated I would not surrender until forced to. About this time a messenger came from Captain Smith, asking what he should do. I told him to tell the captain to fight on.
While the flag of truce was coming in the second time, the enemy, who had dismounted, made a charge within 10 yards of the church, upon the south side. I repeatedly ordered them to fall back. They did not, and I ordered my men to fire, which dispersed them. Soon after, another attack was made from the south side, which continued for a considerable time, the enemy not coming into close range.
A flag of truce was again displayed. I beckoned it to advance. Upon coming up, the bearer stated that General Jones would bring his cannon to bear upon the church if I did not surrender. I replied, Tell him he has got none; if he has, bring them on. We are Mulligan's men, and we will fight to the last crust and cartridge. He then asked for time to remove his wounded. I gave them half an hour. During that time, and while the men were removing their wounded, I sent out a squad to gather up the arms of the killed and wounded. They brought in with them carbines, revolvers, sabers, bugles, &c. After the truce was over, for about another half hour the enemy only occasionally fired. Then they commenced firing briskly from a distance. I ordered my men to withhold their fire.
About 8.30 o'clock in the evening they made a general charge upon the east end and south side of the church. The firing raged incessantly on both sides until 9 o'clock. They then were up to the building and resting the muzzles of their carbines upon the logs, from which the chinking had been removed. Their pioneers, with axes, were cutting the barricades from the windows and doors; they had fired the church, and, availing themselves of the darkness, had placed a keg of powder under it; the blazing roof was now falling in. I displayed a flag of truce. They would not notice it. I ordered my men to fix bayonets, and said: If they will not give us quarter, we will die like men. I then asked if they would give us quarter. One of their officers said yes. The firing ceased, and I surrendered, throwing my arms and all other property into the flames, to save them from the enemy. My force was 83 men, of whom 2 were killed and 6 wounded. The force of the enemy was 3,100, of whom 104 were killed and wounded. Too much credit cannot be given the men of my company. There was no shrinking among them. Each man held his post unfalteringly. They were ever obedient to orders and prompt to execute them. I strove to imitate Lexington.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Captain Company G, Irish Brigade (Twenty-third Illinois).
JAMES F. COSGROVE,
Adjutant Irish Brigade (Twenty-third Illinois).
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WEST VIRGINIA, Clarksburg, July 1, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded to Major-General Schenck, commanding Eighth Corps, for his information.
B. F. KELLEY,
HDQRS. MIDDLE DEPARTMENT, EIGHTH ARMY CORPS,
Baltimore, Md., July 18, 1863.
Respectfully returned to Brigadier-General Kelley, within whose department and command these men and officers now are. The general commanding this department hopes that he will have some distinguishing notice secured at the Headquarters of the Army of the men who have behaved so gallantly.
ROBT. C. SCHENCK,
Report of Col. James A. Mulligan, Twenty-third Illinois Infantry, of skirmish at Fairmont.
GRAFTON, April 29, 1863.
GENERAL: After a fight of three hours, our forces have been drawn back from Fairmont to Grafton. I will be attacked here to-night.
JAS. A. MULLIGAN,
Report of Lieut. George W. B. Dorsey, Sixth West Virginia Infantry, of skirmish at Fairmont.
GRAFTON, April 29, 1863.
COLONEL: Scouts just in report our force at Fairmont was captured before re-enforcements reached them. The rebels have fired the bridge at each end, blown up a middle pier, and destroyed the track this side of the bridge. They have driven the re-enforcements back, with a loss of 6 wounded. This is reliable, as a hand-car with the scouts left the train and brought the information. The train with re-enforcements has gone back toward bridge to pick up some skirmishers. Colonel Mulligan is in camp, about 1 mile from here.
G. W. E. DORSEY.
Col. N. WILKINSON.
Report of Got. George P. Latham, Second West Virginia Infantry, of skirmish at West Union.
WESTON, W. VA., May 18, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report to you that on May 4, being then in camp at Bridgeport, I received your order to proceed with my regiment on the railroad westward, for the purpose of protecting it from the incursions of the enemy. I immediately started, and leaving Lieutenant-Colonel Scott with three companies at Salem, 15 miles from Clarksburg, I proceeded with the other six companies to West Union, in Doddridge County, 14 miles farther, at which place I arrived about 3 a. m. the 5th instant.
During the morning of the same day a train arrived from Parkersburg, with one company of the Eleventh West Virginia Volunteer Infantry, having distributed the balance of that regiment at different points along the road.
Nothing of importance occurred here until about 6 p. m. on the 6th instant, when two regiments of rebel cavalry made their appearance, driving in our pickets on the Weston and Clarksburg roads at the same time. They approached to within about 600 yards, as though they would attack, but a volley from our long-range rifled muskets caused them to fall back, and night soon coming on, which was very dark, they drew off having destroyed two small railroad bridges at Smithton, 3 miles east of West Union.
At this place the enemy captured 15 of my outside infantry pickets and 3 scouts, all of whom were informally paroled, and have been ordered to duty. We took 1 prisoner. No other loss known on either side.
I remained at West Union until the 11th instant, when I received your order to join the balance of the command at this place. I started immediately and reached here on the 13th instant.
I have the honor to report my regiment in good condition with regard both to health and spirits.
I am, sir, with much respect, your most obedient servant,
G. R. LATHAM,
Capt. J. McC. BELL,
Assistant Adjutant- General, Weston, W. Va.
Itinerary of the First Division, Eighth Army Corps, April 1-30, 1863.
April 1. - Brigadier-General Kelley assumed command, by formal order, of the First Division, Eighth Army Corps, under General Orders, No. 19, Department Headquarters, at Harpers Ferry.
April 6. - The enemy’s cavalry attacked a forage train of the Fourth Brigade, Colonel Campbell, and captured five wagons. Pursuit was made, the enemy overtaken 18 miles from Romney, where a sharp skirmish ensued, and they drove back and followed to Moorefield, Va., their camp shelled, and the wagons recaptured.
April 20. – Alexander’s battery of light artillery, of the First Brigade, ordered to Berryville, to report temporarily for duty to Major-General Milroy.
April 25 [?]. - A rebel force, under General Imboden, having attacked and driven the forces of Brigadier-General Roberts at Beverly, the Twenty-third Illinois, One hundred and sixth New York, and Mulligan’s battery, Colonel Mulligan commanding, were sent to Grafton, Va., and from thence marched to Philippi, Va., to the relief of Colonel Lanham, of Brigadier-General Roberts command. Engaged the advance guard of the enemy, drove it back, and afterward, at 1 a. m. of the 27th, marched from Philippi to Grafton for the re-enforcement of that place.
April 25. - Captain Smith, Fourteenth [West] Virginia Infantry, and 30 men left New Creek, and proceeded to Greenland Gap, Hardy County, distant 25 miles, to relieve Captain Wallace, Twenty-third Illinois, on duty at the gap with his company (G), numbering 49 men. Arriving at 5 p. m., they found Captain Wallace assailed by a large force of the enemy, supposed to be 1,500 strong, under Brigadier-General Jones, C. S. Army. Captain Wallace took up position in a church and Captain Smith in a log-house, about 100 yards distant. They gallantly repulsed three attacks of the enemy, and surrendered only after the rebels, under cover of the darkness, had approached from the rear and fired the church, rendering further resistance impracticable. Union loss, killed and about 12 wounded. Rebel loss supposed to be about 35 in killed and wounded.
April 26. - A portion of the rebel forces approached the railroad at Rowlesburg, and attacked Major Showalter, Sixth [West] Virginia Infantry, in command of about 250 men, but were driven off. Company O, Sixth [West] Virginia Infantry, Captain Godwin ,on duty at Oakland, was surprised, captured, and paroled by the enemy, who then crossed the railroad at different points, and proceeded to Morgantown, Va., where they concentrated the different portions of their force, which moved against the railroad at different points; from thence to Fairmont, at which place was doing guard duty only a force of about 275, composed of parts of two companies of the One hundred and sixth New York, Thirteenth Pennsylvania, Sixth [West] Virginia, and a number of armed militia.
April 29. - An attack was made by the enemy, numbering over 3,000, and after a stubborn resistance the Federal force was captured and the bridge at that point destroyed. The enemy then retreated via Shinnston and Bridgeport (at which latter place they captured 14 men of the Sixth [West] Virginia Infantry), to effect a junction with Generals Imboden and Jackson at Buckhannon. A detachment sent by Colonel Mulligan from Grafton to Fairmont, to relieve the garrison there, arrived a short time after the surrender, and, after some protracted and desultory fighting, was compelled to fall back to Grafton.
Also on the 26th, Colonel Smith, commanding brigade, moved from Martinsburg, Va., with the One hundred and twenty-sixth Ohio and Maulsby’s battery, to New Creek, and on the 27th from thence to Greenland Gap, and on the 28th to Camp Storm, near the junction of the Moorefield and Alleghany turnpike and the Northwestern Virginia turnpike.
April 27.The Fourth and Seventh Regiments Maryland Infantry, of Brigadier-General Kenly’s command, were ordered to move westward. They were stationed - one regiment at Oakland, the other at Rowlesburg.
April 30.The First and Eighth Maryland and Miner’s [Indiana] battery, also of General Kenly’s brigade, moved to Grafton, Va., then threatened by a superior force of the enemy.
Report of Maj. Alonzo W. Adams, First New York Cavalry.
MOOREFIELD, April 27, 1863 - 4 p. m.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that I occupy Moorefield. The enemy left here 10 o’clock this morning, in the direction of Petersburg. This is unquestionably so, for the information comes from all quarters. I send you also a prisoner who deserted the enemy. He gives the same information.
General Jones left here two or three days ago, on Saturday morning, with the main body of his force, comprising cavalry, infantry, and artillery; the exact number I cannot ascertain. The last heard of him he was at Greenland, and on his way to New Creek or Oakland. He has not yet returned.
The force which left here this morning consisted of 350 infantry, Maryland Line, five 6-pounder rifled guns, and four regiments of cavalry, numbering not more than 2,100 in all, 1,600 of which are cavalry. This latter force left this morning; has gone to Petersburg, 11 miles southwest of Moorefield, but for what destination I cannot ascertain. Some of the citizens seem to think General Jones will return here to-night or to-morrow. I shall endeavor to hold Moorefield until I hear from you, in accordance with your instructions.
I am informed just a moment since that Imboden forms a junction with the force which left under General Jones on Saturday at some point on the railroad west of this, for the purpose of destroying it. In my conversation with a citizen it was hinted that he (Jones) would take care of General Milroy while we are up here. This, however, I attach very little importance to. It may have been said to save Jones. I hold this place till I hear from you.
I have the honor to be, in haste, your obedient servant,
A. W. ADAMS,
Major, Commanding, &c.
Brig. Gen. W. L. ELLIOTT.
Reports of Brig. Gen. William E. Jones, C. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS NORTHWEST VIRGINIA,
Weston, Va., May 4, 1863.
GENERAL: In compliance with instructions from your headquarters, on the 21st ultimo I left my camp at Lacey Spring, Rockingham County, with all my available strength in cavalry, infantry, and artillery, for the purpose of co-operating with General Imboden in Northwest Virginia. The men and horses unfit for a hard campaign were left, under Lieutenant-Colonel Funsten, near Harrisonburg, to repress marauding from toward Winchester and to afford protection to the people of the Valley. Close communications were formed with Brig. Gen. Fitz. Lee to secure timely succor in case of need. Unfavorable weather and the condition of the roads made the first three days to Moorefield exceedingly arduous. We found the South Branch past fording, and were compelled to make a detour by Petersburg to get over. Here the ford was rough and dangerous from the swiftness of the stream. When but a small portion of the Sixth Virginia Cavalry had passed, 1 man and horse were drowned and the others narrowly escaped. Citizens of Petersburg, whose names I will ascertain and report to you, came manfully to our assistance, recklessly plunging to the assistance of all in peril, and remaining for hours in the cold water until all were safe over. It was my intention to have packed from the old fields forage for our horses while engaged in the destruction of the trestling at Cheat River. The forage could not be had, so on the 25th we were compelled to start with our sacks empty, trusting to fortune.
The pass at Greenland, contrary to information we had received, was found occupied by the enemy. Finding a loss of time must be incurred by attempting to turn this post, and fearing our plans might in the mean time be discovered, I determined to attempt a surprise, and, failing in that, to carry the place by assault. Colonel Dulany, with the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, charged the place gallantly, but failed to prevent the garrison from securing buildings which completely defended the pass. Colonel Dulany had his horse killed and was himself wounded through the arm. The battalions of White and Brown were dismounted and ordered to assault the place at dusk. They did the work assigned to them in the most handsome manner. Under their protection, Lieutenant Williamson, of the engineers, succeeded in firing the building in which the main body were posted. This soon led to a surrender. We took 75 prisoners, 4 wagons, and 1 ambulance, with their teams. Our loss was 6 killed and about 20 wounded. We experienced an unfortunate detention of four hours here, depriving us of important captures afterward.
Arriving at the northwestern grade, Colonel Harman and Major Brown were sent on Oakland, and a squadron of the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry, under Captain [E. H.] McDonald, on Altamont. Both succeeded, and but for the delay at Greenland would have captured a train of officers belonging to Mulligan’s command. With the residue of my cavalry I attacked Rowlesburg. From the feebleness with which my orders were executed here, the attack failed. Being late in the day, and my horses having been on a forced march of thirty-six hours, without food, it was necessary to go for forage. About dark I moved on to feed and to join Colonel Harman and Captain McDonald, who had moved on Morgantown by the way of Kingwood.
On the evening of the 27th, having no tidings of General Imboden, I left Evansville in search of Harman, destroying a two-span bridge on the railroad at Independence. I met Colonel Harman about 12 miles south of Morgantown, turned him back, and, with my whole command, crossed the Monongahela on the bridge at that town, resting until dark to prevent knowledge of our route reaching the enemy. We marched on Fairmont, where we arrived early next day. Here we found about 400 infantry, which we attacked vigorously, and soon succeeded in capturing 260 and in securing the railroad bridge across the river there. This we destroyed completely, throwing the whole magnificent structure into the water. Two years were spent in its construction, and six months was required to build the centers on which to erect the super- structure. At dark we again marched for Clarksburg, resting a part of the night.
On the 30th, we moved on toward Clarksburg, but finding the place occupied by Brig. Gen. B. S. Roberts, we turned on Bridgeport, where Major Brown captured 46 prisoners. Here we fired a bridge and tall trestling, and captured a train, which we destroyed. In passing Philippi, my led horses and cattle were sent on to Beverly, while the remainder of my force joined General Imboden at Buckhannon.
We have destroyed nine railroad bridges, captured two trains, one piece of artillery, over 500 prisoners, and secured for the Government from 1,200 to 1,500 horses and nearly 1,000 cattle.
Our losses in men and horses will be small. When time and circumstances will admit, a more detailed report will be made.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. E. JONES,
Brigadier- General, Commanding.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia.
HEADQUARTERS, May 12, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded for the information of the Department. General Jones and his command deserve much credit for what they have accomplished.
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT,
Near Harrisonburg, Va., May 26, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor herewith to transmit the reports of the commanders of the different regiments and battalions that accompanied my late expedition into Western Virginia. Having already rendered a brief report of operations up to my arrival at Weston, Lewis County, I beg leave now to enter more into detail, and to include all worthy of your notice until my command reached this point. My authority to undertake an expedition into Western Virginia is in your letter of April 7, replying to mine of March 31. ln compliance with this authority, and arrangements made with General J. D. Imboden for a concert of action on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, I left my camp at Lacey Spring, Rockingham County, Virginia, with all my available strength in cavalry, infantry, and artillery. The infantry and artillery were taken with the hope of an encounter with the enemy on the South Branch of the Potomac. In this we were disappointed. The men and horses unfit for a hard campaign were left, under Lieut. Col. O. R. Funsten, of the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry, near Harrisonburg, to repress marauding from toward Winchester and to afford protection to the people of the Valley. Maj. S. B. Myers, of the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, an experienced and efficient outpost commander, was posted on picket duty near Strasburg, with three companies well acquainted with the country, from the Seventh, Eleventh, and Twelfth Virginia Cavalry. With these, and dismounted cavalry as sharpshooters, he rendered good service, inflicting, by a skillful ambuscade, heavy loss on a force of the enemy much his superior in numbers. He was directed to form close communication with Brig. Gen. Fitz. Lee, at Sperryville, for information and succor in case of need. In this position Major Myers fully sustained his reputation, and has proven himself a good officer and faithful public servant. His report, and that of Colonel Funsten, will give the details of their operations. Unfavorable weather and the condition of the roads made the first three days to Moorefield exceedingly arduous. A failure on the part of my brigade quartermaster to have supplies at Cootz's Store, as directed, entailed delay highly detrimental. It prevented our reaching the South Branch until a rise in the waters made a detour of 25 miles by Petersburg necessary, and this delay deprived us of the power of preventing the junction of General Mulligan with the other forces of the enemy The ford at Petersburg was wide, deep, rough, and, from the strength of the current, exceedingly dangerous. When but a part of the Sixth Virginia Cavalry, the leading regiment, had crossed, 1 man and horse were drowned and two others narrowly escaped. But for the timely assistance of Messrs. Hutton, Cunningham, and other citizens of Petersburg, and Private Aaron Welton, Company F, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, our loss must have been serious. The bravery and hardihood evinced by them on this occasion is worthy of the highest praise.
The conduct of the Rev. Mr. [Richard T.] Davis, chaplain of the Sixth Virginia Cavalry, was here conspicuously good. His example in courage and his abiding faith in Providence won the admiration of all.
The enemy having failed to make his appearance in the vicinity of Moorefield, and our subsequent movements to be successful requiring a celerity not attainable by infantry and artillery, it was deemed best to send these, under Lieutenant-Colonel [James R.] Herbert, as convoy to the wagon train on its way back to the Valley. He marched from Moorefield by way of Franklin, gathering up all the surplus bacon in his route. For particulars you are referred to his report.
It was my intention to have packed from the old fields on the South Branch forage for the horses while we were engaged in the destruction of the bridge and trestle-work near Rowlesburg, but the great scarcity of corn made it necessary to start with our sacks empty, and trust to chance.
The pass at Greenland, contrary to information received, was occupied by the enemy. The loss of time in turning this post might have endangered the success of the general plan, so I deemed it proper to attempt carrying the place by assault. The cavalry charge under Lieutenant-Colonel [Thomas] Marshall, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, failed to so completely surprise the enemy as to secure the log church and other building, into which a retreat was made. Colonel Dulany, in supporting this charge, had his horse killed, and was himself so severely wounded through the arm as to have to remain on the ground. This regiment had 3 men killed and 10 wounded, and suffered severely in horses. Enough passed to secure the rear of the position. The sharpshooters of this regiment secured the woods and hillside on the left. The Mounted Rifles of [Lieut. Col. V. A.] Witcher's battalion, under Captain [J.] Chapman, were dismounted and thrown to the right. They penetrated close to the buildings and secured the stone works erected by the enemy. A flag was now sent, demanding a surrender, which was refused. Being nearly dark, [Maj. Ridgely] Brown's and White's battalions were dismounted and formed the storming party. The pioneers, under Lieut. William G. Williamson, engineer, had torches and powder ready for firing and blowing up the buildings. The attack under Brown and White was made gallantly, and soon Lieutenant Williamson had the building in flames, which quickly caused a surrender.
Our loss in this attack, owing to the uncertainty of aim in the dark, was but 4 killed and 8 or 10 wounded. Among the latter, Major Brown, in the leg, slightly; Captain [R. C.] Smith, of Brown’s battalion, in the arm, severely; also Lieutenants [George W.] Booth, [J. A. V.] Pue, and [Edward] Beatty, of Brown's battalion. Our entire loss during the fight was 7 killed and 22 wounded. The enemy lost 2 killed and 6 or 8 wounded, 80 prisoners, 4 wagons and teams, and 1 ambulance and team. Owing to a lack of transportation, the arms (90 Enfield rifles) were destroyed. The detention here prevented the capture of a train in which were most of the officers of Mulligan's command.
Arriving at the northwestern grade, Colonel [A. W.] Harman was sent with the Twelfth Virginia Cavalry, Brown's Maryland battalion of cavalry, and [John H.] McYeills compaiy of Partisan Rangers, to burn the bridge at Oakland, and to march thence by way of Kingwood on Morgantown. A squadron of the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry, under Captain [E. H.] McDonald, was sent from the same point to Altamont, 12 miles east of Oakland, to burn some small bridges, and then to follow and join Colonel Harman. The remainder of my force moved on Rowlesburg by the northwest grade, arriving at Cheat River about 2 p. m. Sunday, April 26. Having captured the pickets of the enemy, and learning there was a garrison of only 300 men at Rowlesburg, Colonel [John S.] Green, of the Sixth Virginia Cavalry, was ordered to charge the place, and Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall, with the Seventh Virginia Cavalry, and Colonel [Lunsford L.] Lomax, with the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry, were ordered to follow in his support. Captain [O. T.] Weems, of the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry, with 80 sharpshooters of his regiment, and a part of Witcher's battalion, was sent across the hills from the bridge of the northwest grade to attack the east end of the railroad bridge at Rowlesburg, and to fire it at all hazards. Colonel Green was ordered not to be stopped by a mere interior infantry picket, which was posted about a mile above the town, but to charge by and leave these men to the care of the regiments in his rear. If a heavy force awaited him in the bluff above the road along the river, then to dislodge them with sharpshooters, and proceed. I remained at the bridge of the northwest grade, to burn it, if necessary, to guard the rear if attacked, and to sustain either party in case of need with the stragglers coming up. Colonel Green allowed himself to be stopped by less than 20 men, and Captain Weems attacked feebly with only 28 men, leaving the remainder of his command to guard his rear against an imaginary foe. Both attacks failed, and near sundown found my command without forage, after thirty-six hours of forced marching. One part of my command was penetrating the enemy's country already beyond recall. General Imboden had not been heard of, and could not be abandoned. To renew the attack without the hope of surprise was out of the question, with the difficulties of the ground against us. It was deemed best to pass on, leaving the railroad bridge and trestle-work unharmed, and the garrison at Rowlesburg in our rear. After a few hours of night marching, we found a scanty supply of forage, and went into camp.
Next morning, moving on Evansville, corn was secured for the horses and meat rations for the men. Couriers were sent to General Imboden, and scouts in all directions for information. Country rumor put strong forces on all the roads, and the truth was nowhere to be had. Late in the evening a courier brought the information that Lieutenant [C. H.] Vandiver and party (8 men) had captured Independence and a Home Guard of 20 men, where, in the morning, the most reliable information of the country had already two regiments. Soon Lieutenant [J. G.] Shoup returned with the telegraph operator and instruments from Newburg, and all the other scouts returned without information. Fearing news would travel rapidly along the railroad, a force was thrown at once into Independence, and the two-span bridge near that place was effectually destroyed. My whole command crossed the railroad about dark, going north to form a junction with Colonel Harman. About midnight, finding forage, and having heard of Harman, we went into camp.
At daylight Harman joined us, bringing the first tidings of his and McDonald's success at Oakland and Altamont. The whole command was marched on Morgantown that day, the 28th, arriving about 12 m., and crossed the suspension bridge to the west side of the Monongahela River. Here we fed our horses, and rested until dark, when the line of march was taken for Fairmont. At 9 o'clock the command went into camp, and resumed the march at 1 a. m. Learning the bridge over Buffalo Creek had been injured and was guarded, a detour by Barracksville became necessary. This brought us into town by the road from the west. Finding the hills commanding this road occupied by the enemy, the command turned to the right through the woods and fields, flanking their position, and entered the town at a charge, pell-mell, with the fugitives. Soon Colonel Harman, with the advance, secured and repaired the suspension bridge over the river, and crossed his regiment with a portion of White's battalion. A part of the hostile forces in Fairmont retreated up the east bank of the river, the remainder going up the west bank, both joining the forces stationed at the bridge for its protection. As soon as the position of the enemy could be ascertained, simultaneous attacks were made on both sides of the river. After moderate resistance, a white flag was shown, and 260 prisoners surrendered.
Their arms were scarcely stacked before a train with artillery and infantry arrived from Grafton. The enemy at once commenced shelling our troops on the west bank of the river, and moved forward the infantry to recover the railroad bridge. These were promptly met by Colonel Harman on his side of the river. Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall, with great presence of mind, moved his horses under shelter of a hill, and called on his men to dismount and take up the captured arms. This call was most gallantly answered by the ever-ready Seventh Virginia Cavalry, and the reception of the new-comers was soon too warm for a long tarry. Colonel Harman sent me word that with slight re-enforcements he could capture the whole command, but as the bridge was my main object, I preferred to exert my whole energy in its destruction, and to allow the troops who could do me no more harm to escape. Lieut. William G. Williamson, engineer, assisted by Captain [John] Henderson, formerly of Ashby's cavalry, in charge of working parties, commenced the task of destruction, and soon after dark had the satisfaction of seeing this magnificent structure tumble into the river. The bridge was of iron; three spans, each 300 feet. More than two ye is were required for its construction, and six months for the erection of the centers on which to fix the superstructure of iron. It cost $486,333. Much time must elapse before this gap can be closed. The fruits of this day's work (April 29) were 4 railroad bridges destroyed, 1 piece of artillery, 300 small-arms, 260 prisoners, and many fresh horses captured. Our loss 3 wounded; the enemy's, 12 killed and many wounded. The skill and daring of Colonel Harman were conspicuous on this occasion. Colonel Green again failed to execute the part assigned him.
Leaving our wounded in the hands of kind friends, at dark we resumed our march in search of General Imboden. Marching a few hours, we en-camped, resuming the march early next morning. From some captured furloughed men finding Clarksburg occupied by the enemy, we crossed the Monongahela, went up Simpsons Creek, and captured the force at Bridgeport, 5 miles east of Clarksburg. This work was done by the Maryland cavalry, under the gallant Major Brown. Forty-seven prisoners were captured, with their arms and a few horses. A bridge to the left of the town was destroyed and a captured train run into the stream. Tall trestling to the right of town was burned. Marching until some time after dark, we encamped.
Moving on early the next day, gathering horses and cattle, we reached Philippi about noon. The enemy had damaged the bridge, but Lieu-tenant Williamson soon had it in condition to pass over the Sixth Virginia Cavalry, the led horses, and the cattle, all of which moved on the road to Beverly. Rid of this incumbrance, the remainder of my force marched on the road to Buckhannon, where I expected to join General Imboden. Being less apprehensive of danger, the march became more moderate.
On May 2, a few miles from Buckhannon, was received the first certain intelligence of General Imboden, we having met a man of his command on furlough. On my arrival in Buckhannon, II found General Imboden ready to move to Weston. General Roberts had retreated to Clarksburg by this road, the more direct roads having been rendered impassable by winter hauling for the troops of the enemy. The original plan of campaign, as will be seen from my letter to you of March 31, contemplated simultaneous attacks on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Grafton and Oakland by General Imboden and myself. Nothing different was for a moment entertained until after all was in motion, when a letter from General Imboden came, stating that I would reach Oakland the day he reached Beverly, so as to cut off re-enforcements from the east. It was now too late to rearrange or halt. Knowing the difficulty of moving wagons over mountain roads in early spring, I stipulated with General Imboden no such impediment should clog his movements after leaving Huttonsville. I was surprised to find a train of 70 wagons at Buckhannon. Had our original plan been carried out, I feel confident Northwestern Virginia could have been cleared to the Ohio. At this point Colonel Harman was sent to bring up from Beverly the Sixth Virginia Cavalry and the stragglers from other regiments, many having accompanied the led horses. My cavalry moved on the direct road to Clarksburg, and then on by-roads, flanking on the right that followed by General Imboden's command. At Weston we rested two days, during which time Colonel Harman returned with the re-enforcements from Beverly. Feeling confident much danger would attend the attack of Clarksburg, on consultation with General Imboden it was agreed he should move south, while my cavalry should assail the North-western Railroad toward Parkersburg.
This movement commenced on May 6. Colonel Harman, with the Twelfth and Eleventh Regiments and Thirty-fourth (Witcher's) Battalion Virginia Cavalry, moved on West Union, while, with the remainder of my command, I took the Parkersburg pike to attack the railroad at Cairo. Both were entirely successful. Colonel Harman amused a strong infantry force with skirmishers while parties were burning the two bridges to the right and left of the town. At Cairo, the guard being small, surrendered without firing a gun. Three bridges, of probably 60 feet span, and a tunnel cribbed with wood, were burned. I captured 20 men and 1 lieutenant. Colonel Harman captured 94 men. All were paroled and their arms destroyed. This work was done by hard marching, my command having traveled upward of 80 miles without unsaddling.
From here we moved on Oiltown, where we arrived on May 9. The wells are owned mainly by Southern men, now driven from their homes, and their property is appropriated either by the Federal Government or Northern men. This oil is used extensively as a lubricator of machinery and for illumination. All the oil, the tanks, barrels, engines for pumping, engine-houses, and wagons - in a word, everything used for raising, holding, or sending it off was burned. The smoke is very dense and jet black. The boats, filled with oil in bulk, burst with a report almost equaling artillery, and spread the burning fluid over the river. Before night huge columns of ebon smoke marked the meanderings of the stream as far as the eye could reach. By dark the oil from the tanks on the burning creek had reached the river, and the whole stream became a sheet of fire. A burning river, carrying destruction to our merciless enemy, was a scene of magnificence that might well carry joy to every patriotic heart. Men of experience estimated the oil destroyed at 150,000 barrels. It will be many months before a large supply can be had from this source, as it can only be boated down the Little Kanawha when the waters are high. My orders were in all cases to respect private property, irrespective of the politics and part taken in the war by the owners. Horses and supplies were to be gathered indiscriminately. Two saw-mills (private property) were burned by my order - one, at Fairmont, was engaged on a contract with the Federal Government in making gun-stocks, and had on hand many thousands; the other, at Cairo, would have been used to repair the damages done the railroad. I am aware my orders were in a few instances disobeyed. The library of Peirpoint was burned, in retaliation for a like act on the part of the ambitious little man. One or two stores were plundered, but as far as practicable the goods were restored.
From Oiltown we marched by Glenville and Sutton to Summerville, where the command of General Imboden was again overtaken. Our exhausted condition and exhausted supplies rendered homeward movements necessary. Our marches henceforward were easy, and little of interest occurred.
In thirty days we marched nearly 700 miles through a rough and sterile country, gathering subsistence for man and horse by the way. At Greenland and Fairmont we encountered the enemy's forces. We killed from 25 to 30 of the enemy, wounded probably three times as many, captured nearly 700 prisoners, with their small-arms, and 1 piece of artillery, 2 trains of cars, burned 16 railroad bridges and 1 tunnel, 150,000 barrels of oil, many engines, and a large number of boats, tanks, and barrels, bringing home with us about 1,000 cattle, and probably 1,200 horses. Our entire loss was 10 killed and 42 wounded, the missing not exceeding 15.
Throughout this arduous march the men and officers evinced a cheerful endurance worthy of tried veterans. They have shown a skill in gleaning a precarious subsistence from a country desolated by two years of oppressive tyranny and brutal war that would have won the admiration of the most approved Cossack. With such troops the country of the enemy can be reached at almost any point.
The attention of the general commanding is respectfully called to the gallant conduct of Private Thomas E. Tippett, of Company A, White's battalion, mentioned in the report of his commanding officer describing the affair at Greenland.
At the same place Private W. Alexander Buck, Company E, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, a mere youth, charged up to the church occupied by the enemy, fired all the loads of his pistol through the crevices of a barricaded window, holding his position until his pony was twice shot and bayoneted and killed. He is deemed every way worthy of a commission in our Regular Army.
If any one officer or man deserves especial mention it is Major Ridgely Brown, of the [First Battalion] Maryland Cavalry. He was shot in the leg at Greenland, there being two inches between the entrance and exit of the ball, yet he continued on duty, not even examining the wound until he arrived at Buckhannon, a distance of 168 miles, and then started home on the earnest solicitation of Dr. [R. P.] Johnson.
To my personal staff - Capt. W. K. Martin, assistant adjutant-general; Lieut. W. M. Hopkins, aide-de-camp, and Mr. A. E. Richards, volunteer aide-de-camp - my thanks are especially due for their efficient services in the prompt transmission of all orders and general attention to business under most trying circumstances.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. E. JONES,
Brigadier- General, Commanding. General
R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
June 15, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded to the Adjutant and Inspector General. The expedition under General Jones appears to have been conducted with commendable skill and vigor, and was productive of beneficial results. The injury inflicted on the enemy was serious, and he will doubtless be induced to keep troops to guard the railroad who might be otherwise employed against us. General Jones displayed sagacity and boldness in his plans, and was well supported by the courage and fortitude of his officers and men.
R. E. LEE,
Table of Casualties in Brig. Gen. W. E. Jones' command during expedition to Northwest Virginia, April 20-May 20, 1863.
Skirmish at Greenland Gap, W. Va., April 25.
First Maryland Cavalry (2 mortally) 15
White's Battalion Virginia Cavalry (1 mortally) - - 5
Seventh Regiment Virginia Cavalry (3 mortally) - - -. 13
Twelfth Regiment Virginia Cavalry (1 mortally) 5
Sixth Regiment Virginia Cavalry 1
Action at Fairmont, W. Va., April 29.
First Maryland Cavalry Battalion (2 mortally). - 3
Sixth Virginia Cavalry 3
Twelfth Regiment Virginia Cavalry - 1
Skirmish at Bridgeport, W. Va., April 30.
First Maryland Cavalry Battalion (mortally) 1
Eleventh Virginia Cavalry (mortally) 1
RICHARD P. JOHNSON,
Chief Surgeon Valley District.
Report of Lieut. W. G. Williamson, C. S. Engineers.
HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, May 26, 1863.
GENERAL: The following is a report of my operations during your recent campaign in Western Virginia:
I left camp near Lacey Spring with yourself and staff on April 21, having receipted to Lieutenant [A. W.] McDonald [jr.] for ordnance stores suitable for the work I was to undertake.
On April 25, opposite Moorefield, I took charge of the pack-mules, and attended to their being packed, and succeeded in getting them started. About the middle of the day I asked for a commissioned officer to be detailed to take charge of these pack-mules. Lieutenant [J. A.] Mohler, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, with a small number of pioneers, was ordered to report to me, and I put him in command. On reaching Greenland, where there was a small force of the enemy making a gallant stand in a log church, I went off on the right of the turnpike, where Lieutenant-Colonel Witcher's battalion was stationed as sharpshooters, and reconnoitered the enemy's position. Came back, and reported to you that I thought I could, with the pioneers, assist you in dislodging the enemy. You then ordered me to be ready, and made the detail of pioneers. You assigned me to position behind Major White's battalion. As soon as everything was ready, we advanced, fording a small creek twice; closed with the battalion on the church, knocked most of the windows out and some of the clinking, and set the church on fire. Soon after this the enemy surrendered. Most of the pioneers behaved very well and came up to their work boldly. I was next called on at Evansville to go to Independence, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, to destroy a small bridge across Raccoon Creek. I took with me Lieutenant Mohler and 4 or 5 of his men, and went with Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall, Seventh Virginia Cavalry, to within half a mile of Independence. There Colonel Marshall detailed Lieutenant [J. G.] Neff, with a detachment of his company, to go with me to the bridge, about a mile above Independence. We destroyed this bridge so as to render it entirely useless and require rebuilding.
On April 29, you ordered me to destroy two railroad bridges at Barrackville. These bridges were wooden, and I burned them. One was only 30 or 40 feet long; the other upward of 100. The same day - after you had captured a force of the enemy (268 in number) at Fairmont - I was ordered up to destroy the iron bridge over the Monongahela. Captain [John] Henderson, a civil engineer of considerable experience, was with me, and the pioneers not getting up as soon as we could have wished, and re-enforcements having come from Grafton to the enemy, we concluded to set fire to three kegs of powder placed under the iron piers, which we did, and we also set fire to the bridge in three different places. The three kegs of powder exploded, but did not do the slightest damage. After the detachment sent to re-enforce the enemy retired, I told you I thought the most that could be done now with the time we had was to burn up all the wood-work of the bridge. You then ordered details, and said we would try both to burn it up and blow it down. I took charge of the men, who were covering the bridge with rails and timber, while Captain Henderson and yourself went to work with the powder. The second experiment with the powder failed to throw the bridge, which was then on fire from one end to the other, so that I thought it almost impossible to work with a large amount of powder any longer. I then returned to town, where I soon joined you. About dark we heard several reports, and afterward heard that Captain Henderson had succeeded in blowing down the entire bridge.
On the 30th, by your order, I took a company from the Sixth Cavalry (Captain [W. T.] Mitchell) and set fire to some trestling about half a mile above Bridgeport.
On May 1, I repaired the bridge across the Tygarts Valley River at Philippi, the enemy having ripped up the flooring and cut some of the flooring joist.
On May 7, after you had taken Cairo Station, I was sent with a detachment of Major White's battalion to burn the bridges on the North Fork of Hughes River, above Cairo. I burned two, and told the men they might set fire to the centering of a tunnel near by, though I did not think it would do much damage. The destruction of these last bridges wound up my operations. Most of the powder was used up or thrown away through necessity, the mules backs being very sore and the sacks wearing out from the constant jostling of the kegs. The iron tools that I carried out with me were thrown away by your orders, it being almost impossible to carry them.
With great respect, I am, your most obedient servant,
W. G. WILLIAMSON,
Second Lieut. Engrs., Prov. Army Confederate States.
Brig. Gen. W. E. Jones,
Commanding Valley District.
Report of Lieut. Col. James R. Herbert, First Maryland Infantry (Confederate).
MAY 24, 1863.
Sir: Having been left in command at Moorefield by the general, April 24, with orders to move when I got ready via Franklin to this place, I collected upward of 350 stragglers, formed them in a battalion, had 350 bushels of wheat ground into chop, and on the morning of the 27th left for this place in the following order: Advance guard (infantry), battalion of infantry, [R. P.] Chew's battery, Baltimore Light Artillery; wagon-train, each regiment to itself, under its quartermaster or commissary, the whole train under the especial care of Captain [P. H.] Woodward, whose services were invaluable to me in having the train parked at night and move at sun-up in the promptest manner. Next came a guard of cavalry, to prevent any one on horseback getting in the way of the train, the rear being brought up by battalion of cavalry, under Lieutenant [J. C.] Allen, followed by rear guard with myself.
The prisoners sent from Greenland to me were (after my arrival here) sent on to Richmond, with the exception of one - a man by name of Shreve, said to be a noted bushwhacker - I ordered to be heavily ironed and left in jail at Staunton, subject to the general's order. The Jews I returned to Richmond.
The morning we left Moorefield I rode into the town to see that all the men were out. Just as I left the place and had got half-way to the toll-gate, about half a mile from town, I heard a dozen shots fired, citizens. running, and a man rode up and reported the Yankees as having ran him into town, and they were going up on the other side of the river to cut us off. The command was at least 4 miles ahead. I had 20 men with me. I dispatched a courier to Major [William W.] Goldsborough, First Maryland Battalion, to halt and send me one company of infantry back. I stopped on the hill where our camp was, but could see or hear no more of the Yankees. They came into Moorefield that evening about 3 o'clock.
I reached Harrisonburg the evening of the 30th, and reported at once to Lieutenant-Colonel Funsten.
To Maj. George H. Kyle I was under the greatest obligations for his zeal and activity in the double capacity of quartermaster and commissary. Having my command unexpectedly increased by the prisoners, guard, and 450 to 500 men, stragglers, for whom no provision had been made, through his aid I was enabled through a scarce country to bring everything through safely. Thinking the general would like to have it, I make this report.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES R. HERBERT,
Capt. WALTER K. MARTIN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Valley District.
Report of Capt. Frank A. Bond, First Battalion Maryland Cavalry (Confederate).
May 25, 1863.
I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this command in the late expedition through Northwestern Virginia:
The battalion numbered about 230 men, all told, when we left camp on April 21. The first obstacle which presented any serious difficulty was the fording of the South Branch at Petersburg. This was overcome without much delay, and all crossed safely with the exception of 5 men. Three of these were not allowed to cross, owing to the weakness of their horses, and the other two attempted it, but were obliged to return with a thorough wetting.
On Saturday (the 25th) we came upon the enemy at Greenland. The Seventh Regiment had the advance, followed by our battalion. The Seventh promptly charged and took the pickets, but owing to the reserve taking refuge in a strongly built log church, they failed to capture them, and retired with some loss. Upon this being discovered, Company B, Lieutenant [A.] Cooke commanding, was sent out upon the New Creek road to guard against any surprise, and Companies E, Captain [W. I.] Rasin commanding, and D, Lieutenant [W. H. B.] Dorsey commanding, were dismounted to open fire with their long-range guns upon the house. This they did, but with little effect, and being deceived by the flag of truce sent by order of the commanding general by the hands of one of the prisoners, they rushed upon the house, thinking the enemy had surrendered, and only discovered their error when a well-directed volley was poured into them at a distance of 20 yards. By this mistake, Company D lost Private Swamley, killed, and Private [Charles] Lambden, wounded; Company E lost Private Spencer, killed.
Affairs remained in this position until dark, when the remaining two companies of the battalion (Company C, Captain [R. C.] Smith commanding, and Company A, commanded by myself) were dismounted to storm the house, Major Brown taking command of the two companies. The necessary arrangements being made the advance was ordered about 9 p. m. Advancing cautiously until by the enemy's opening a heavy and well-directed fire upon us we knew they had discovered our intention, we then plunged into a mountain stream, and, crossing it, surrounded the house and houses held by the enemy as soon as possible. A brief delay was now inevitable, owing to the pioneers not being up, during which time we were enveloped in a heavy fire, not only from the enemy but from Companies D and E of our battalion and from a portion of the Seventh Regiment and Thirty-fourth Battalion (who were in entire ignorance of our presence, and thought the enemy were attempting a sortie), and from an advancing fire from White's battalion, which wounded one man by my side after we had been at the house some time.
I feel it my duty to say that, as far as I could see, the men generally behaved with great coolness and courage, going round the house and firing in wherever they could discover a crack large enough to admit the muzzle of a pistol.
Almost immediately upon the arrival of the pioneers, the windows and doors were knocked open, the house set on fire, and the enemy to a man either killed or captured.
Color-Corporal Carvill, of Company B, was here killed, as also was Private Samuel Dorsey, of Company C. Major Brown was slightly wounded, Adjutant [G. W.] Booth and Captain Smith severely.
Private [K.] Grogan, of White's battalion, had left his command and went into the fight by the side of his brother [Robert R. Grogan], who was in Company C, of our battalion. He was instantly killed and his brother severely wounded.
Our loss has been previously reported, and I will not enumerate it here any more than to say that by our losses and the men left to take care of the wounded the battalion was reduced to 180 men, and only 6 commissioned officers to the five companies.
Company C was commanded by Second Sergt. Thomas [J.] Green from this time to our return to the Valley, and he is deserving of much credit for the manner in which he did his duty.
Major Brown's wound, though painful, did not disable him, and as soon as possible we took the road again for Oakland, Md., under command of Colonel Harman, the larger portion of the brigade having gone to Rowlesburg. The night being very cold (ice making freely), and all who were in the fight at the house being wet to the waist, the suffering was intense.
We reached Oakland about noon the next day (Sunday), and assisted in the charge there, which resulted in the capture of the place and about 40 Yankees, without any loss to us.
Encamping that night on the Cheat River, we the next day (Monday) advanced toward Morgantown, distant 30 miles, our battalion being in front. My company was sent ahead to charge Kingwood, which we did, but found no enemy. Here all halted to feed but our battalion, which kept directly on to Morgantown. Learning that several hundred citizens had armed themselves and collected here, prepared to offer resistance to our entrance, and feeling sure of the loss of life and destruction of property which would follow upon our being fired upon by citizens, I offered to carry a flag of truce into the town to demand its unconditional surrender, which was allowed by Major Brown, and, being carried out, was agreed to by the citizens, who deposited their arms in the court-house and retired to their homes. Taking possession of the town, we destroyed the above-named arms, and placed guards to prevent surprise and suppress any rioting or unmilitary conduct.
The remainder of the command coming up in about two hours, at 5 p. m. we took the road to Independence, and encamped about 7 miles from the town. Starting at 2 a. m., we met General Jones with the portion of the brigade which left us near Greenland, and, retracing our steps, came back to Morgantown and encamped near the town, but on the opposite side of the river. It was when returning to the town that, being in command of the advance guard, we were fired upon by three bush-whackers, killing Captain Rasin's horse. We succeeded in capturing them after a chase down a steep mountain, and, giving them a short trial, I had them shot on the spot where they were taken.
On the morning of the 29th we arrived at Fairmont, held by about 300 infantry. Company E was here dismounted, and acted under Colonel Harman's orders during the fight. The battalion made a charge here which was only prevented from being entirely successful by the character of the ground and the fence, which prevented our coming to close quarters with the enemy, but, passing under a heavy fire, we effectually cut off all retreat, and the enemy immediately surrendered. We here lost 1 man killed and 2 wounded.
The next day (Thursday) our battalion, being in front, was ordered to charge Bridgeport. This was well executed, under the command of Major Brown, and nearly the entire garrison, which consisted of one company of cavalry and one of infantry, were captured or killed, with a loss of 1 man killed upon our part.
I have neglected to state that, when within 4 miles of Bridgeport, Company B was sent on picket on the Clarksburg road. They were soon after attacked by what seemed to be a body of mounted infantry, numbering about 200. They retreated before them to the ford, and there made a stand, which checked the enemy until our object was accomplished. Owing to the small number of long-range guns in Company B, they had to reply to the infantry with their pistols, which, while keeping them in check, prevented our inflicting much or any loss upon them.
We now proceeded by easy marches to Buckhannon, at which place Major Brown's wound was so much worse as to force him to give it some attention, and the command devolved upon myself It was at this place that I learned that the led horses had gone back to the Valley, and that my command was only 120 men.
Passing on through Weston and resting our horses for a few days there, we arrived with the brigade at Cairo Station on Wednesday evening, May 7. This place was held by a small force only. Company E was again dismounted, and it being left to my own discretion what to do with the rest of the battalion, I moved around to the rear of the town, and throwing them into single rank, to magnify our numbers, I advanced in full view. Soon after I saw the white flag, and, going down to the town, assisted in destroying the bridge.
At Oiltown, where we arrived on the 9th, we assisted in firing the oil-works.
It was not our good fortune to have the opportunity of doing anything else worthy of mention during the expedition.
I do not think the command is as well mounted as before starting out, even where the men are using the captured horses, but they are in high spirits, with great confidence in themselves and their leaders, and anxious to be again led against the enemy.
Very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
FRANK A. BOND,
Captain Commanding [First] Maryland Battalion.
Captain [WALTER K.] MARTIN,
Assistant Adjutant- General.
Report of Lieut. Col. John Shac Green, Sixth Virginia Cavalry.
CAMP ASHBY, May 26, 1863.
CAPTAIN: Under instructions from your headquarters, I respectfully submit herewith a report of the part taken by the Sixth Virginia Cavalry in the recent expedition to Northwestern Virginia.
On Tuesday, April 21 last, the regiment left camp, under the command of Maj. C. E. Flournoy, and proceeded to Brock's Gap, the place of rendezvous for the different regiments of the brigade.
On the following day, under order from General Jones, I joined it at that place, and took the command. We marched on with the brigade until the 24th instant, when, crossing the South Branch of the Potomac at Petersburg over a ford that was very rocky and swift, we had the misfortune to have three of our horses and their riders swept down the stream. One, William Evans, of Company F, was drowned.
Nothing of interest occurred in which we participated until the 26th, when we arrived within a short distance of Rowlesburg, a point where the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad crosses the Cheat River. The Sixth was there ordered by the commanding general to the front, with instructions to make demonstrations upon the place, and in certain contingencies to charge and take it and get possession of the bridge. On approaching within a mile or less of the place, and after having captured the pickets at two posts, it was ascertained that the enemy could not be surprised, and that they occupied the heights commanding the road, which was very narrow. It was found necessary to send the sharp-shooters around and above them to dislodge them from their strong position. This was done in part, driving them from positions nearest us, but they took others farther back and still commanding the road, and from which, with a re-enforcement of sharpshooters from the Seventh and Eleventh Regiments, they could not be driven that evening. In this skirmish one man of Company F, Sixth Virginia Cavalry, was severely wounded through the lungs. I was ordered by General Jones, who came up and was present during part of the skirmishing, to hold my position until dusk, and then to recall the sharpshooters and move back, following other regiments on the Evansville road, where we encamped for the night.
On the morning of the 29th, we arrived at Fairmont. In advancing upon die place I was ordered to move with my regiment around the town and across a small stream to take possession of the bridge. We found the principal part of the enemy's force in charge of the bridge. After some skirmishing, they were charged by the sharpshooters of the Sixth and a few of the Seventh, and pressed most gallantly by them until their surrender. An order for a charge of the cavalry had been given by General Jones, but circumstances prevented its being made in the manner in which it was expected. After the surrender of the enemy, and before we left the field, they were re-enforced by way of the railroad with some sharpshooters and a piece of artillery. While we were crowded together in rather a confused mass around the prisoners, they opened upon us with artillery. I immediately moved my regiment off a few hundred yards (out of range) and formed it. In a short time I was ordered to dismount the regiment and move down to aid or relieve the Seventh, who, under Colonel Marshall, was gallantly holding them in check with the guns of the prisoners just captured. We relieved the Seventh, and, with the assistance of the Twelfth, which was on the other side of the river (the same side with the enemy), succeeded in driving them nearly a mile, and finally entirely off. The regiment was then detailed to destroy the bridge, which they aided Captain [John] Henderson in doing, and by dusk it was thrown entirely into the river.
In this action we had 3 of the Sixth slightly wounded; none killed. Much praise is due to the gallant sharpshooters and their leaders, to whom, I think, we are mainly indebted for our success with so little loss of life.
After dark we marched toward Bridgeport, which place was captured on the 30th, we only participating by throwing out sharpshooters and picketing the roads. At Philippi my regiment was detached and ordered to escort the led horse train back to the Valley. When near Huttonsville, was ordered to rejoin the brigade at Weston and to leave one company to picket at Beverly. After joining the brigade, we marched with it to Cairo, where we assisted in the destruction of the railroad bridge and timbers and a tunnel near by. We proceeded thence to the oil-works in [Wirt] County, which were destroyed, together with a large quantity of oil; from thence to our present locality, at which place we arrived on the 22d.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN SHAC GREEN,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Sixth Virginia Cavalry.
Capt. WALTER K. MARTIN.
Report of Lieut. Col. Thomas Marshall, Seventh Virginia Cavalry.
NEAR JAMES CITY, VA.,
June 4, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I herewith submit a report of the part taken by the Seventh Regiment Virginia Cavalry in the recent scout to Northwest Virginia.
We left our camp near Timberville on April 21, with an aggregate (according to company reports) of about 500. Encamped that night at Brock's Gap; next night stopped at Matthias'. Reached Moorefield about 3 or 4 o'clock, and remained in its vicinity that night.
On the next day moved up the river to the ford near Petersburg, where we found the river very full, current swift, and crossing rough and dangerous. A good many of our men were here deterred by faint-heartedness or weak horses. At various points on the route, up to this included, by sickness, breaking down of feeble horses, &c., our numbers were diminished sensibly - not less than 50 men. Having effected the crossing at Petersburg, we moved down the South Branch in the direction of Moorefield, and encamped for the night at Mr. Whiting's, nearly opposite to said place.
On Saturday, the 25th, we marched in the morning somewhat in the direction of an intermediate point between New Creek and Romney. Halted early in the day and fed, and then abruptly diverged from our course and moved on toward Greenland Pass. When within 3 or 4 miles of the entrance of the pass, bearing the enemy still held it in some force, at my suggestion Colonel Dulany (our regiment being in front) gave me charge of selected sharpshooters and a portion of Company A. I learned that there was certainly one and perhaps two companies in the pass, but not probably any piece of artillery. I ascertained also, to some extent, the character of the pass and the former position of the pickets, which afterward we found somewhat changed. By the time I had gained this information, our regiment had closed, and understanding the orders to be that we must force our way, I ordered, with Colonel Dulany's approbation, the sharpshooters to their several companies. The regiment then moved up at a rapid charge, but having to go a considerable distance, and the way being rough and narrow, we could not keep well closed up. We drove in, wounded, and captured the pickets, and then pressed on upon their reserve, charging through the town (so called). We had thus far (such had been the rapidity of the movement) effectually surprised the force in reserve, and could we have been well closed in column of fours I am satisfied we could have overwhelmed the enemy with scarce any loss of life on our side. We were, unfortunately, however, a good deal strung out. The enemy seeking the houses, commenced a fire, which checked for a time our advance and left to others the completion of the work. The intensity of the fire will appear when it is stated that of 16 or 17 horses in Company E, which charged upon the town, 14 were either killed or wounded.
The portion of the regiment remaining took part in the conclusion of the fight.
Our loss in men was 3 killed and 10 wounded, among the latter our highly esteemed colonel, severely, in the arm. Lieutenant [P. P.] Kennon, of Company B, was also among the wounded.
Of horses we had 13 killed and 9 wounded. I desire to say that I never saw men stand up to their work better than that portion of the regiment with which I happened to be thrown, and I would especially note the gallantry of the officers, of whom a very large proportion passed through in the charge. Company F had been detached from us for some days on picket, and Company C left in the Valley. After the capture of Greenland, we marched all night, and on Sunday (26th) went to Rowlesburg. The Seventh Regiment was ordered to support the Sixth. Nothing having been accomplished at this point, we moved on, and encamped 6 miles east of Evansville.
Monday (27th) marched on, and having halted some hours at Evansville, two scouting parties, severally under Lieutenants [C. H.] Vandiver and [J. G.] Shoup, were sent out by order of General Jones, and in consequence of information received from them the Seventh was ordered to a station on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, called Independence, to destroy a bridge, and also some buildings at another station not far distant (name now forgotten), which being accomplished, we moved on in rear of some other regiments, and encamped west of independence several miles.
The strength of the command had been considerably diminished by the affair at Greenland and hard marching. Our column was decreased by killed and wounded men and horses, and horses broken down and men sent in charge of prisoners - about 75.
Tuesday, the 28th, rejoined the Twelfth, Eleventh, and Maryland Battalion, which had been on detached service, and, passing through Morgantown, crossed the Monongahela River, and halted until nightfall within a mile of the town. Leaving camp about 8 p. in., we marched some miles in the direction of Fairmont, halted about 11 or 12 o'clock, took a few hours sleep, and resuming the march an hour or two before day, we avoided the direct road to the towns and came upon it by a flank movement on Wednesday morning, April 29. My regiment having been ordered to bring up the rear of the line of march, was later getting into action than some others. I received an order to follow the regiments (Twelfth and Sixth). On arriving upon the ground, I failed to find immediately the regiments indicated. By a subsequent order of General Jones, a portion of the sharpshooters of the Seventh were dismounted and ordered to report to the colonel of the Eleventh. The rest of the column was afterward ordered to charge obliquely across the hills upon the enemy's lines, being required to throw down several fences in front of the column. The order was only partially obeyed by me. Upon gaining the brow of the hill, I found the enemy posted behind a fence, with several others intervening. We then moved on the flank down the road leading to the bridge, becoming a good deal mixed with the Maryland Battalion. By this movement the enemy's retreat was cut off. After having thrown my men into line, I moved in column of eights on the flank of the enemy, and commenced tearing down a strong post and rail fence, preparatory to a charge, meanwhile causing a few sharp-shooters, who were near, to annoy them. A moment afterward the white flag was raised by them.
By the order of the general, nearly one-half of the Seventh then present was detailed to guard the prisoners off the field Their arms had just been stacked, and they handed over to us, when the ominous whizzing of a cannon-ball told that a force sent to the relief of the enemy was attacking us. Our men dismounted, seized the long-range guns of the prisoners, and opened upon the train and infantry force which was endeavoring to gain the railroad bridge, and succeeded in checking their advance. The enemy subsequently retired from the field, being very glad, no doubt, to make his escape.
The regiment remained at Fairmont until about 10 p. m., when it took up the line of march with the column on the Clarksburg road, stopping next morning about 9 o'clock near Shinnston to feed. Passed through Shinnston about noon, thence toward Clarksburg, and when within about 4 or 5 miles of the town changed our direction to the left, and crossed the Parkersburg Branch at Bridgeport, about 6 miles from Clarksburg; thence moved in the direction of Philippi and encamped for the night.
Friday, May 1, approaching Philippi, our column was divided, the second part being sent toward Beverly. The general giving all who desired it permission to go home, the strength of the command was again materially weakened. The portion of the regiment remaining with me proceeded in the direction of Buckhannon and encamped for the night.
On Saturday, May 2, we moved on toward Buckhannon, and when within a few miles of that place were directed to countermarch, which we did for a short distance, afterward taking the road to Weston, and encamped for the night not many miles off.
Pursued our line of march next day, and halted for the night within 2 or 3 miles of Weston.
Moved the next morning through the town, and encamped on the Parkersburg road about a mile beyond the town.
On Tuesday, moved a mile or two farther on the Parkersburg road.
Wednesday (6th), moved on the Parkersburg road and encamped in a meadow.
Thursday (7th), left the pike at Smithville and marched north 16 miles to Cairo, on the Parkersburg Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Assisted in taking the place, burning the bridge, &c., and returned the same evening some 3 or 4 miles upon the road we had marched over in the morning.
Friday (8th), moved on the pike, and encamped near Webb & Prince's store.
Saturday (9th), moved for a short distance on the Parkersburg road, and then diverged to the left, and moved on to the oil-wells in Wirt County, which we reached in the evening, and in the vicinity of which we encamped. Leaving said camp about 2 o'clock that night, we passed up north of the Little Kanawha River, and encamped on Holt's farm.
Monday (11th), passed through Glenville.
Tuesday (12th), crossed the Elk River at Sutton, and encamped 5 or 6 miles beyond it.
Wednesday (13th), destroyed, by order of the general, a Yankee stockade fort (a pretty hard job) near Birch River, and, passing on, encamped for the night on Hills farm.
Thursday (14th), passed through Summerville, crossed the Gauley, and encamped at Dorsey's, 15 or 20 miles from Summerville, on the Wilderness road. Passed through the mountains in Nicholas [County] to Meadow Bluff; and encamped on McFarland's farm.
Saturday (16th), encamped 1 mile west of Lewisburg.
Sunday afternoon, moved to White Sulphur Springs, and encamped for the night.
Monday (18th), encamped 7 miles east of Calahan's.
Tuesday (19th), crossed Jackson's River, and encamped at the Warm Springs. Staid at Glendie's Wednesday, 20th.
Thursday (21st), encamped at Hogshead's, in the Valley.
Friday (22d), arrived in camp, 1 mile west of Dayton, Rockingham County, about 12 o'clock.
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Seventh Virginia Cavalry.
Capt. WALTER K. MARTIN,
Report of Col. Lunsford L. Lomax, Eleventh Virginia Cavalry.
MAY 30, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I beg leave to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the late expedition into Western Virginia:
In compliance with circular of April 20, I moved from camp, near Crotzer's Springs, on the morning of the 21st, having with me about 400 men, one company (Captain [Joseph T.] Hess) being detached, under Major [S. B.] Myers, and remained in the Valley during the time we were absent. I joined the brigade at Brock's Gap, and moved the following morning toward Moorefield, encamping on Lost River, and reaching the neighborhood of Moorefield the next day.
The day following we crossed the north fork of the South Branch at Petersburg, leaving about 100 men on this side of the river who were unable to cross on account of the depth and rapidity of the current. After several days marching we reached the top of the Alleghany, where Captains McDonald and [P. A.] Daingerfield were detached with their companies, with instructions from the general commanding. This squadron proceeded on the Northwestern road in the direction of New Creek Depot, and struck the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Wilson's Station, 15 miles west of Piedmont, cutting the telegraph wires at this point. They followed the railroad in the direction of Oakland, destroying the railroad in several places and burning some small bridges and a water station. At Altamont, 9 miles west of Oakland, they captured an engine and train, which, in order to destroy it, was steamed up, and, through mistake on the part of one of the men, was started up the road, but was subsequently recaptured by Colonel Harman. Moving on through Kingwood and Morgantown, they joined the command on the 28th. The brigade meantime had moved in the direction of Rowlesburg, near which place (at Cheat River Bridge) a detachment of men with long-range guns from this regiment, were dismounted and placed under Captain Weems. (No report has been received from Captain Weems.) The regiment was halted beyond the bridge, and remained until evening, when we withdrew, and marched in the direction of Evansville, encamping beyond Independence the second day after, when joined by Captains McDonald and Daingerfield.
The day following we passed through Morgantown, and moved that night toward Fairmont. Upon reaching the railroad, was ordered by the general commanding to take position on the Fairmont road, between Fairmont and Barrackville, and hold it, which I did. Dismounting the men with long-range guns of my regiment and the Maryland Battalion, and placing a detachment under Captain [M. D.] Ball, ordered him to push forward on the right and dislodge the enemy's sharpshooters, who occupied the hills on the right of the road, and ordering Captain McDonald to move with the regiment down the road into the town, I took the remaining men with long-range guns of this regiment and the Maryland Battalion, and, with Captain Daingerfield's squadron, moved forward on the left. I entered the town on the left, the enemy giving way rapidly before our line of dismounted men, and pushing on to the bridge met Captain Ball, who had entered on the right, followed by Colonel Harman with the remaining regiments and battalions, and Captain McDonald with my own regiment. The enemy having surrendered at this point, I moved my regiment to the hill opposite the railroad suspension bridge, passing under a hot fire from the enemy's infantry, covered by fences on the side of the road, without injury. Having formed the regiment, I was compelled in a short time to move out of range of a small piece of artillery with which the enemy had opened upon us, the shells falling among the horses and wounding some of them. Remaining here until after dark, the entire command moved into camp beyond, on the Clarksburg road. In the attack made upon the rear of the column next day by the enemy's cavalry, Private [Peter] Armstrong, Company G, was killed. We struck the railroad at Bridgeport about 3.30 p. m. A. squadron of this regiment, under Captain Weems, was detached, and burned the bridge and a large freight engine and car and a full set of Government carpenter tools. From this place we moved through Philippi and Buckhannon to Weston, when this regiment, with the Twelfth, were sent under Colonel Harman in a northwest direction. Within a few miles of West Union, Captain Daingerfield was sent off to the right toward the Northwest Branch Railroad. The column moved on, an advance guard under Lieutenant [Edmund] Pendleton charging and capturing the enemy's picket, whom we found expecting us. We approached the town through a narrow gorge, precipitous and rocky on our right and low and swampy on our left. We found the enemy, 350 to 400 strong, drawn up in line on either side of the town. After occupying them in front until Captain Daingerfield had accomplished his object on the right, we withdrew, and were joined by Captain Daingerfield, who reported the destruction of the railroad bridges. Striking the West Union and Harrisville road, we moved toward Harrisville, when Colonel Harman captured this picket and drove the enemy from the town. Encamping a few miles from here, we rejoined the brigade and proceeded to Wirt County. Captain McDonald, being sent ahead, captured several wagons and teams. The column reached the oil-wells, and, having destroyed the works, moved the same night from there. By order of the general commanding, I crossed the Little Kanawha about 21 miles from Glenville, and moved with Whites battalion to Calhoun Court-House, where we encamped, and marched the day following toward Glenville, when I received orders from you to move up Steer Creek and proceed to Sutton. I reached Sutton on the evening of the second day, and was directed by the general commanding to take the most direct route from that place to the Warm Springs. I accordingly moved up Elk River, crossing its various tributaries; reached Back Creek after three days severe marching, and the Warm Springs the morning of the fifth day, having laid by one day to recruit our horses. The day following, the brigade reached there. Moving next morning, we reached this camp on the third day.
During the thirty days of severe and uninterrupted marching, I was compelled to abandon many horses from disease and fatigue that were unable to be brought on. I brought out 72 horses, bought and impressed by those whose horses had given out. The casualties in the regiment during the time absent were small - 1 man killed, 1 wounded, several captured.
Throughout the whole of this long and arduous march, characterized by the severest duties and exhausting privations, the spirit of officers and men never flagged. Every service that was demanded of them, every danger that was to be met, was encountered with a zeal and alacrity that baffled opposition and insured success. Hardships even endured without murmuring and dangers without shrinking. While the conduct of all has afforded the highest satisfaction, I cannot forbear commending Captains Ball, Daingerfield, and McDonald for the eminent services they rendered.
L. L. LOMAX, Colonel, Commanding.
Capt. WALTER K. MARTIN.
Report of Col. A. W. Harman, Twelfth Virginia Cavalry.
MAY 26, 1863.
GENERAL: On April 21, I moved my regiment to Brock's Gap, with eight days rations and 40 rounds of ammunition.
On the night of the 26th, with Major Brown’s battalion and Captain [John H.] McNeill's company, I moved in the direction of Oakland, destroyed the turnpike bridge over the North Branch of the Potomac, and reached Oakland at 11 a. m.; surprised and captured a company of 57 men, with 2 commissioned officers, and paroled them. Destroyed a railroad bridge east of the town and the railroad and turnpike bridges over the Youghiogheny River; also a train of cars. At Cranberry Summit I captured the guard (15 men) and paroled them, with 20 citizens, and destroyed the railroad property.
From here I moved to Kingwood and Morgantown, which places I took without opposition. The suspension bridge over Cheat River was destroyed on the turnpike.
I rejoined the command near Independence on the morning of April 28.
At Fairmont, on April 29, the Twelfth Regiment, under Lieut. Col. T. B. Massie (I having taken charge of the skirmishers from the Eleventh Regiment and Brown's battalion), supported the skirmishers and drove the enemy from the town, crossed the suspension bridge, and drove the enemy from Palatine, and cut off their retreat by the railroad bridge.
In this movement, Major White, with the dismounted men of his battalion, supported the Twelfth, and when the enemy's re-enforcements arrived I dismounted my men, and with pistols alone drove the enemy off, and enabled the force on the North Branch of the river to destroy the bridge.
From Fairmont we covered the rear of the command until it reached Philippi. I had Captain [A. C.] Swindler, Lieutenants [J. W.] Kratzer and [William F.] Anderson, with 4 privates, wounded near Clarksburg. At Fairmont I had 1 man wounded and left there, and 5 men taken prisoners from straggling.
From Weston, on May 6, with the Eleventh Regiment and Witcher's battalion, I moved to West Union. Found the enemy too strong to capture the town, but employed him in front until the bridges (two in number) were destroyed east of the town. Captured and paroled 19 prisoners.
Next day proceeded to Harrisville, captured and paroled 75 Home Guards, and rejoined the command on the same night. My regiment continued with you to the Valley.
I left Harrisonburg with 405 men, rank and file, and returned with 415. Only 3 men of my command left improperly.
Officers and men bore the hardships of the arduous trip with cheerfulness and fortitude. I cannot discriminate between them. The men who returned to camp were either sent back by the surgeon or on duty.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. W. HARMAN,
Colonel Twefth Virginia Cavalry.
Brig. Gen. W. E. Jones,
Commanding Valley District.
Report of Lieut. Col. Elijah V. White, Thirty-fifth Virginia Cavalry Battalion.
MAY 25, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in compliance with your order of April 20, I left my camp, 2 miles north of Harrisonburg, and arrived at Brock's Gap on the evening of April 21, with an aggregate of 250 in my command.
On the morning of April 22, took up the line of march, and encamped at Mathias'. Encamped on the night of the 23d near Moorefield.
On the morning of the 24th, moved up the South Branch of the Potomac to Petersburg, where we crossed the river. In consequence of the swollen state of the waters, I was here compelled to leave my weak horses, amounting in all to about 50. Moving on with the rest of my command, I encamped for the night at Old Fields.
On the 25th, at about 11 o'clock, took up the line of march for Greenland, where I arrived at 5 o'clock with my command. Here we encountered a force of Yankees, and by your order I dismounted all my men except those absolutely necessary to hold the horses, each man holding from 5 to 6, and all seeming anxious to engage in the fight. I formed my dismounted men, numbering in all about 170, in rear of the Maryland Battalion. About 6 o'clock moved up the road, crossed a stream of water about 2 feet deep, and passed along the foot of the mountain until arriving within 100 yards of the church in which the enemy was concealed. Here Major [Ridgely] Brown, with his command, obliqued to the left, while I moved straight on. I then ordered my command to charge. This order was obeyed with alacrity and effect, the men promptly crossing a rocky and rapid stream in the face of a galling fire from the enemy in the church, and an enfilading fire from a portion of the enemy concealed in a building to the right of the church. They rushed bravely on until they arrived at the church, where, knocking out the chinking and firing through the holes, they soon drove the enemy from our side of the house.
In the meantime the pioneer corps coming up, broke out the window, set fire to a bundle of straw, and threw it in, thus firing the lower part. of the building.
I cannot here fail to notice the gallant conduct of Private Thomas [E.] Tippett, of Company A, who, under a galling fire, ascended the chimney and set fire to the roof of the church. I called repeatedly for the powder with which it was intended to blow up the building, but it failed to come. The enemy, finding death certain, surrendered. During this part of the engagement, which lasted about twenty minutes, the enemy were pouring a galling fire into my ranks from the building on my right. Immediately on the surrender of the church, I charged this building and took it.
My loss was as follows: Sergt. K. Grogan, Company F, killed; F. Foley, Company A; F. Williams, Company B; S. Fouch and M. Foster, Company C; M. Rhodes, Company E, severely wounded. Thomas Spates, Company A, and Sergeant Thrift, Company F, slightly wounded.
About 11 p. m. took up line of march; crossed the Alleghany Mountain and Cheat River, and encamped on the night of the 26th on Cheat Mountain.
On the morning of the 27th, moved on through Evansville; crossed the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Independence, and encamped about 10 miles from Morgantown.
On the morning of the 28th, moved on to Morgantown, leaving this place late in the evening. We moved on the road to Fairmont about 10 miles and encamped for the night.
Started on the 29th, at 3 a. m., for Fairmont. When we had reached the outside picket (which was captured by Company H, under the command of Captain [J. H.] Grabill), I, in accordance with your order, dismounted my sharpshooters, and deployed them as skirmishers to the left of the road leading from Barnesville to Fairmont. The enemy appeared in front some 400 or 500 yards off. Receiving orders from you to drive the enemy in and charge the town, I ordered an advance, drove the enemy from the hill through the town and across the bridge which spans the West Branch of the Monongahela River. This force I still pursued and compelled to recross the river on the railroad bridge, three-quarters of a mile above the town. I then took up a position directly opposite the enemy, and continued to fire on them until they surrendered. I had none either killed or wounded. Lieutenant [B. F.] Conard, of Company A, with 4 men, drove 4 of the enemy from a piece of artillery and took possession of it. This piece was afterward spiked and thrown into the river. After the surrender of the enemy, we moved out on the Clarksburg road and encamped for the night.
On the 30th, we continued on this road to within 4 miles of Clarks- burg, when, suddenly turning to the left, we crossed the Monongahela River and took the road to Bridgeport. When within 2 miles of this place, I received orders from you to move up the railroad and protect the men who were destroying a railroad bridge, which order I executed. While remaining there, I tore up a portion of the track. I then returned, passed through Bridgeport (which place had been previously captured by a portion of your command), and encamped for the night on the road to Philippi.
May 1, moved on to Philippi. Turing to the right, before reaching this place, we took the road leading to Buckhannon.
The next day, moving on, we took the Weston road, which place we reached on the 4th, without anything worthy of note occurring. From this place we went to Cairo, where we arrived May 7, when, in accordance with your orders, I dismounted my sharpshooters, and moved them to the right of the road on which we were traveling, taking possession of a high bluff south of the town, and opposite to the house in and around which the enemy were stationed. The rest of my command were formed into a squadron for the purpose of charging the town. The enemy, however, surrendered without firing a gun.
Starting the next morning (the 8th), we went on to Oiltown, which we reached on the 9th. From this point we went to Arnoldsville, separating from the command at the river, and now being under Colonel Lomax, of the Eleventh Virginia Cavalry.
On the 9th, we reached Sutton, where we rejoined the brigade.
On the 14th, we arrived at Summerville, and on the 16th encamped for the night within 2 miles of Lewisburg, without anything worthy of note occurring.
Left our camp near Lewisburg on the 17th, and arrived safely in camp near Mount Crawford on May 21, after an absence of thirty-one days.
Before closing this report, I only pay a just tribute to my men when I say that the promptness and alacrity with which they obeyed orders, their cheerfulness and fortitude under trials, dangers, and fatigue, the patience with which they bore all manner of hardships, and their general good conduct, was truly gratifying, and I am proud of them.
I forgot to mention that a part of my command at Cairo, under the charge of Lieutenant [W. G.] Williamson, and commanded by Captain [F. M.] Myers, Company A, destroyed several bridges and set fire to some cord-wood in a tunnel, causing the top of it to fall in from the heat, and thus damaging the road to a considerable extent.
E. V. WHITE, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.
Brig. Gen. W. E. JONES,
Commanding Valley District.
Reports of Maj. Gen. Robert H. Milroy, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division, Eighth Army Corps.
WINCHESTER, VA., April 29, 1863.
General Elliott arrived at Strasburg at 4 p. m. yesterday. Had an engagement with the enemy at Fishers Hill, 2 miles beyond Strasburg, and repulsed him with considerable loss. Our loss, 8 killed and 6 wounded. He remained there last night, but will come down to-day. Had I any assurance that our forces would occupy Loudoun and Fauquier, so as to prevent the enemy from flanking me by way of Front Royal, I would occupy Strasburg permanently.
R. H. MILROY, Major-General.
Maj. Gen. R. C. SCHENCK,
WINCHESTER, VA., April 29, 1863.
General Elliott returned to-day, bringing in 20 prisoners, including 1 lieutenant. I learned from the prisoners, through one of my detectives I put in with them, hand-cuffed, that there is one rebel brigade at Petersburg and five brigades at Harrisonburg, under A. P. Hill, en route for this place.
R. H. MILROY,
May 16, 1863 - 11.30 p. m.
The Federal cavalry captured at Charlestown were recaptured by detachments of Virginia and (Thirteenth) Pennsylvania Cavalry, under Captain Utt, this afternoon, about 3 o'clock, at Piedmont Station, in Fauquier County. We also captured 40 of the rebels and corresponding number of horses. Two rebels killed. I regret to add that we lost Captain Utt and 1 sergeant. Number of our cavalry recaptured; a lieutenant, 50 privates, and their horses. Major Adams, of First New York Cavalry, who arrived after the recapture, still in pursuit of the rebels. The Virginia and Pennsylvania Cavalry, who made the recapture, were sent out by me yesterday.
R. H. MILROY,
Report of Col. James A. Galligher, Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, of scout from Winchester, Va., into Hampshire County, W. Va.
May 9, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report the result of the expedition commanded by me, in obedience to your orders of the 4th instant:
At 1 o'clock p. m. of the last named day, I proceeded with regiment, the Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, the First New York Volunteer Cavalry, under Major Quinn, and one section of Battery D, First Virginia Artillery, under Lieutenant [Chalfant]. My instructions were to proceed to Moorefield, ascertain if any force of the enemy was in the direction of Petersburg, and, if so, to harass their retreat as much as possible.
The first night I halted at a place east of Wardensville, about 17 miles from Winchester, the march being without incident. The next morning I marched at 4 o'clock, amid passed through Wardensville, and halted for the night within 10 miles of Moorefield. One mile this side of the halting-place, the advance, consisting of the First New York Cavalry, was fired upon, without loss, by a small body of the enemy, and 3 of the latter captured and left with Major Quinn, to be delivered to the general commanding. On this march great difficulty was experienced in crossing Lost River with the artillery and train.
At 5 a. m. of the 6th, I marched to Moorefield, reaching there at 9 a. m. From the most reliable information and scouting, I ascertained that there was no force of the enemy as near as Petersburg, nor had any recently been in that neighborhood, with the exception of two companies of infantry, which had been encamped on the Franklin pike, 8 miles beyond Petersburg, but had fallen back two days before my arrival at Harrisonburg, on hearing that Jones and Imboden were re-treating by the way of Cheat Mountain.
While at Moorefield, I received a dispatch from Col. B. F. Smith, commanding a brigade at Greenland Gap, giving the following information: That there were none of Jones' stragglers returning by any route near him, and that from all he could learn the rebels making the raid on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad were retreating by Cheat Mountain, some 60 miles distant from him.
There being no enemy within reach at Moorefield, or any duty to be performed, I decided to return by way of Wardensville, and cross to Woodstock, and back by Strasburg, to make a scout through that region, but I received reliable information that the Lost River had become so swollen by the continued rains that it would be impossible to cross it with my artillery within a week. It was more swollen than it had been for years. Upon the report of Major Quinn that his command had but one days rations, and at his request, I gave him permission to return by the nearest route. I then designed to cross the South Branch with the rest of my command, and take the pike to Romney, but that stream was also far too much swollen, and I was forced to take the old Romney road to the latter place, arriving on the 7th at 9 a. m. The march was exceedingly severe, the road being filled with water and so washed that the train could accomplish no more than 1 mile per hour, with every exertion.
Nothing worthy of report occurred at Romney, nor until reaching Cacapon Bridge, yesterday evening, when the advance guard was fired upon by bushwhackers, without effect, who escaped, though the country was scoured in every direction.
I reached here at 12 m. today, with trains, artillery, and regiments, and without loss. The horses of the train and artillery were, however, so much overworked that they were brought in with great difficulty; the horses of my regiment also suffered severely from the work and exposure.
My duty will not allow me to close this report without mention of the conduct of the First New York Cavalry. All my attempts to keep them in order were ineffectual, and the regiment seemed entirely undisciplined, and beyond the control of its own officers. At no time was more than half the regiment together; but they straggled in all directions, and I am informed stole about 15 horses, which were taken with them, and for which the various [owners] are now demanding restitution.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES A. GALLIGHER,
Colonel, Commanding Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Maj. Gen. R. H. MILROY,
Report of Lieut. Col. O. R. Funsten, Eleventh Virginia Cavalry.
May 31, 1863.
GENERAL: As commanding officer of that portion of your command which remained in the Valley during your recent expedition to Western Virginia, consisting mostly of dismounted cavalry, I have the honor to make the following report:
On April 22, about 500 of the enemy's cavalry advanced up the Valley as far as Woodstock. Maj. S. B. Myers, Seventh Regiment Virginia Cavalry, who was in command of the picket on the line of Fishers Hill, bravely disputed their advance with his little command. His loss was 1 killed, 2 wounded, and 12 taken prisoners, of whom 2 were afterward killed by the enemy in cold blood after they had been several hours in their hands as prisoners of war. The conduct of the enemy during this expedition was marked by acts of brutality and fiendishness unknown in civilized warfare, such as the murder of prisoners of war, firing into a funeral procession, and burning the dwellings of un-offending citizens, &c.
Immediately after this raid, I re-enforced Major Myers with 150 dismounted cavalry, armed with long-range guns, and under the command of Captain [Joseph L.] McAleer, of the Maryland Battalion of Infantry. On April 28, two regiments of the enemy's cavalry, four regiments of infantry, and some artillery came in sight of our picket post at Fisher's Hill from the direction of Wardensville, supposed to be a part of the force from Winchester, which had advanced a few days previously toward you in Hardy County. Major Myers, with a great deal of skill, drew their cavalry (Twelfth and Thirteenth Pennsylvania) into an ambuscade, in which the 150 dismounted men opened upon them from a so. cure position a very effective fire, at a distance of from 30 to 40 yards. They were routed ma few minutes, with a loss of at least 70 in killed, wounded, and prisoners.
Our only loss was the mortally wounding of 1 man.
All of this occurred in sight of the enemy's whole force, which was soon advanced, and our handful of men were moved back in perfect order to a position of safety across the river, and the next morning, the enemy having retired toward Winchester, we resumed the picket line.
Much credit is due to Major Myers, Captain McAleer, and other officers for the skill and bravery which they displayed in this affair.
On May 6, Major Myers reported that the enemy were advancing up the Valley with one regiment of cavalry, one brigade of infantry, and nine pieces of artillery. I re-enforced him with nearly all of the cavalry I had.
On the morning of the 8th, they had advanced above New Market, and I moved up the Maryland Battalion of infantry and all the dismounted cavalry who had guns, with the artillery, below Harrisonburg and prepared to give them battle.
We remained in this position until about 8 o'clock the next morning, when I was informed that the enemy were falling back toward Winchester.
Major Myers, by his skill in checking the advance of the enemy, enabled the citizens to drive off all of their stock, of which an immense quantity came up the road, and the raid was consequently entirely fruitless to the enemy.
On the night of May 16, a party of 45 men under Captain [R. Preston] Chew and Lieutenant [John W.] Carter of Chew's battery, and Lieutenant [G. B.] Philpot, of the Seventh Regiment, was sent down to attack a cavalry company which was stationed in Charlestown, Jefferson County, which numbered about 93 men. The expedition was entirely successful in the beginning. The enemy was surprised about 1 o'clock at night, and, besides several who were killed and wounded and left behind, Captain Chew brought out 56 prisoners and 75 horses. Unfortunately, they were attacked the next day at 2 p. m., after having marched 85 miles on their return, at Piedmont, in Fauquier County, by about 120 of the enemy's cavalry, and after a firm resistance (in which the captain commanding the enemy's cavalry was killed, besides several of his command), they were obliged to abandon the prisoners and captured horses.
Our loss in this whole affair was only 5 men wounded and 2 or 3 taken prisoners.
The officers and men deserve a great deal of credit for this affair, which was one of the boldest of the war.
Several other incursions were made by smaller parties within the enemy's lines, generally resulting in the capture of prisoners and horses.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
O. R. FUNSTEN,
Brig. Gen. W. E. Jones,
Comdg. Valley District, Army of Northern Virginia.
May 6, 1863
Extraordinary Capture. – Lieut. H. A. Myers, of the Ringgold Cavalry, W. T. Singleton, Quartermaster of the 1st Virginia Infantry, Lieut. D. F. Gordon, Quartermaster of the 54th Penna. Infantry, Dr. Wishart, of Washington, Pa., and Private John Meeks, of the Ringgold Cavalry, came up yesterday on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. They were captured by the rebels on Sunday morning of last week at the village of Burlington, on the road leading from New Creek to Romney, under the following circumstances: Lieut. Singleton was returning from Romney to New Creek with an empty train, guarded by about two hundred men. The Ringgold Cavalry was about a mile in front of the train, and the parties above named were riding slowly along about midway between the train and the cavalry, when eight rebels suddenly emerged from a thicket and demanded a surrender. The officers being greatly surprised, and knowing that their friends were near, were inclined to hesitate; but the rebels knew that too, and putting their carbines to the breasts of the officers, demanded them to dismount instantly. They no sooner did so than they were pushed suddenly into the woods and hurried up to the top of a mountain.
They were forbidden to speak above a whisper, and after remaining a short time on the mountain top, they were marched to what is known as the range of Knobly mountains, where they remained a couple of days. They were then taken along the Knobly mountains until they reached the North Western turnpike, which they crossed and entered Patterson’s creek valley. After wandering around for a few days longer, they were released upon parole, and upon emerging into civilization, were surprised to find themselves only a short distance from the town of Burlington, where they had been captured. During the four days of captivity, the officers think they must have traveled with their captors not less than a hundred miles – up almost perpendicular mountain sides and along all sorts of devious windings and unknown paths. As soon as the capture of the officers was made known to the First Virginia infantry, a detachment of that regiment was sent in pursuit, and scouting parties were also sent out. Lieut. Singleton and his companions several times saw their friends searching for them, but the rebels who had them in charge threatened to kill them if they made the slightest noise. On one occasion a scouting party of the First Virginia infantry passed within fifty yards of where the rebel squad and their captives were concealed. On another occasion, a detachment of the First Virginia, under Major Stephens, were encamped upon the New Creek road, when one of the rebel squad took off his shoes and slipped down the mountain, and approached so near the camp fires that he could hear the conversation in the camp. On the second night of the capture Lieut. Singleton and his companions were taken so near to New Creek that they could see the camp fires of their friends at that point. The squad who had the officers in charge had a new guide almost every day and night. The guides went away as mysteriously as they appeared, and often in the night the rebels made signals which were responded to by friends who were watching in the mountains. The squad that captured the officers were led by a Captain and claimed to belong to Gen. Jones’ command.
Lieut. Singleton thinks that the object of the rebels in marching them about for so long a time was to get them out of the mountains and take them to Richmond, but finding that they could not be safely done they were paroled.
The Rebel Raid In Western Virginia.
A Full History of It – Its Origin, Progress, and Results – The Damage to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad – Deep Strategy of the Rebels – How They Escaped and the Failure to Capture or Defeat Them – Gallant Conduct of Colonel Mulligan and His Irish Brigade – Present Situation of Affairs.
Special Correspondence of the Philadelphia Inquirer
May 13, 1863
The Rebel Raid In Western Virginia.
A Full History of It – Its Origin, Progress, and Results – The Damage to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad – Deep Strategy of the Rebels – How They Escaped and the Failure to Capture or Defeat Them – Gallant Conduct of Colonel Mulligan and His Irish Brigade – Present Situation of Affairs.
Special Correspondence of the Philadelphia Inquirer
Grafton, Taylor County Va,
May 8th, 1863.
My last letter was from Wheeling. Everything being quiet there, I left at half past 10 A. M. by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad for Grafton, one hundred miles southeast of Wheeling. The railroad is in good running order east as far as Fairmont, eighty miles from Wheeling, where a fine iron bridge spanned the Monongahela, where the railroad crossed at this point. This bridge was blown up and destroyed by the rebels on their late raid, nothing being left of it except the piers and abutments.
A large force of workmen were engaged in erecting a temporary structure, which will be ready for the passage of trains in a week or ten days. The passengers from Wheeling for Baltimore were taken across the Monongahela in ferry boats, and transferred to cars on this side, the road being in running order through to Baltimore. One or two smaller bridges along the railroad, at Barracksville and other points a few miles west of Fairmont were destroyed by the rebels, but the railroad company having duplicates of all these bridges on hand, ready for such emergencies, the damage was repaired immediately. They have exhibited extraordinary enterprise and energy in overcoming the most discouraging obstacles, in the repeated destruction of bridges, rolling stock and other property in these frequent rebel raids.
It is gratifying to state that on the last raid the Company lost no rolling stock, and the track was torn up only for a short distance near where the fighting occurred. The only serious damage was the destruction of the fine bridge at Fairmont, and the interruption to travel occasioned thereby.
On board the train for this point were Brigadier General James S. Wheat, commanding the brigade of Ohio militia, called into service on Monday last, by Governor Peirpoint, and now on duty at Clarksburg, twenty-two miles southward from here. Gen. Wheat is also the Attorney General of the new State of West Virginia, under Governor Peirpoint’s administration. He was accompanied by a number of surgeons from Wheeling, and a company of militia all bound for the rendezvous at Clarksburg.
On arriving here, I met Col. Mull[i]gan, the hero of Lexington, Missouri, in command of the post. From him I obtained many facts relating to the origin, progress and movements of the late raid, which, although somewhat lengthy, will be read with interest, as it places the whole subject before the reader at once, and enables him to comprehend it, which could not be done from reading small detached paragraphs and items respecting the movements which have appeared from time to time in the Eastern papers.
A short time ago Gen. D. H. Jones, a rebel partisan leader, organized a force at Harrisonburg, Rockingham county, Va., especially designed for an extensive raid upon the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
This force was composed of the Sixth, Seventh, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Virginia cavalry, a battalion of the Maryland line of infantry, and two sections of a battery of artillery. The Virginia cavalry was that known as Ashby’s, which has been so conspicuous in the numerous raids in this section of country, and is described as being a most efficient and formidable body of men, bold and daring, and mounted on fleet horses. The Seventh regiment was formerly commanded by Ashby, and was very strong, so much so that it was divided and formed into two regiments, the Seventh and Eleventh.
In consequence of the high stage of water in the streams, the Maryland infantry and the two sections of artillery did not arrive at Harrisonburg in time to unite with the force, so it was composed entirely of the Virginia cavalry, numbering some three thousand men.
While General Jones was organizing this force at Harrisonburg. General Imboden,another Rebel partisan leader, organized a force at Franklin, Pendleton county, designed to co-operate with Jones. This force consisted of four regiments of infantry, one regiment of mounted infantry, one regiment of Virginia cavalry, and a battery of six pieces of artillery, the whole about two thousand men. Two of the regiments composing this force were taken from Lee’s army at Fredericksburg, and the whole movement, as will appear in the sequel, was designed as a diversion on a large scale, to attract the attention of the Union commanders, and detach, if possible, a portion of the Union forces before Fredericksburg, to protect the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, or draw them off in pursuit of the raiders, as was done in the case of Jackson’s raid up the Shenandoah Valley, last summer.
Jones and Imboden were to have united their forces at Moor[e]field, in Hardy county, preparatory to commencing operations, but Imboden failed to reach the appointed place in time, so this part of the plan was abandoned, and the Rebel leaders agreed to meet at Phillippi [sic], in Barbour county, west of the Allegheny Mountains.
While these movements were taking place, Col. Latham in command of the 2d and 8th Virginia Federal regiments, was stationed at Beverly, in Randolph county, thirty miles southeast of Phillippi, and Col. Mulligan, commanding the Fifth Brigade, First Division, of the Eighth Corps, was stationed at New Creek, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, one hundred miles to the northwest of Latham’s position. Imboden moved on Latham, hoping to cut him off by occupying Phillippi, which is between Beverly and the line of railroad. Learning of Imboden’s approach, Latham fell back to Phillippi.
Colonel Mulligan, at New Creek, was then ordered to advance to Grafton, as it was considered to be in danger. He moved with the 23d Illinois (called the Irvin Brigade, and the same regiment he commanded at Lexington, Mo.,) and the Mulligan Battery, of six guns, to Grafton. On arriving here, Col. Mulligan received orders from Gen. Roberts, commanding the Cheat Mountain district, to march at once to Phillippi to the assistance of Col. Latham. Col. Mulligan moved, and arrived at Phillippi at noon on Sunday, April 26th, when he found that Col. Latham had evacuated the place only a few hours before, and moved over to Buckhannon to join Gen. Roberts.
At four o’clock the same afternoon, Imboden’s advance arrived at Phillippi, in pursuit of Latham, but instead of meeting Latham, the rebels encountered Mulligan, whose artillery engaged them as they dashed into town. The rebels knew of Latham’s retreat, but were not aware of Mulligan’s entrance, and they were completely surprised and thrown into confusion by the discharge of grape and canister from Mulligan’s artillery. This checked their advance, and they fell back upon their artillery, planted it upon the heights adjacent the town and opened fire.
Mulligan’s Battery, under command of Capt. Rourke, replied briskly and effectively, preventing the rebels makin[g] a lodgment in the town. The cannonade lasted till dark, when it ceased. At this time, Col. Mulligan received information that Grafton was seriously threatened, and that his presence was needed there.
Col. Mulligan started his camp fires, as if intending to hold the place, but at midnight he moved off silently, with his whole command, to Grafton, nineteen miles, giving Imboden the slip. He reached the vicinity of Grafton in the afternoon of Monday, April 27th, when he was met by a messenger from Col. Clunk, of the Twelfth Virginia regiment, in command of two companies at Grafton, asking him to hurry forward, as the town was in danger, as the rebel Gen. Jones was reported to be advancing, and would probably reach the town before Col. Mulligan. Col. Mulligan took a section of his battery, under Lieut. McAfee, and a detachment of infantry, and leaving orders for the main body to hurry up, he went forward at a double-quick step, and took position on the heights of Grafton just as the rebel Gen. Jones, with three thousand cavalry, was entering the opposite side of the town. Gen. Jones having no artillery to oppose Mulligan, took the back track, and retreated to Thorn, 6 miles to the eastward. Mulligan then occupied Grafton, and saved the extensive works and valuable rolling stock of the company from destruction.
When Col. Mulligan was at Phillippi, Gen. Jones formed a plan to capture him, and sent out a heavy force to occupy the road between Phillippi and Grafton, but the midnight march of Mulligan defeated that scheme, and the Rebel detachment was left far in his rear.
On the morning of Monday, the 27th, General Imboden was making preparations to attack Mulligan at Phillippi, when he discovered that he had no attack, the bird had flown. So quietly did Mulligan conduct his retreat, that even the citizens of Phillippi were not aware that he was gone till daylight revealed the fact.
The citizens of Grafton, on learning of General Jones’ approach, became panic-stricken, and, seizing two passenger cars and an engine, fled to Clarksburg, on the line of the Northwestern Virginia Railroad, twenty-two miles distant, where General Roberts and Colonel Wilkinson were in command of some Union troops. Believing the representations of the fugitives that Grafton had been captured by Jones, Gen. Roberts ordered the railroad bridge over the Monongahela, at Bridgeport, five miles above Clarksburg, to be destroyed, to prevent Jones from advancing in that direction and attacking Clarksburg. This was most unfortunate and needless, for Jones did not even enter Grafton, and if the citizens had only waited a short time they would have been protected by Mulligan’s advancing force. The destruction of this bridge cuts off railroad communication for the present between this point and Parkersburg, on the Ohio River, the direct line from Baltimore to Cincinnati, but trains are run at intervals, the passengers being transferred across the river at the point where the break in the connection occurs. The damage will be repaired in a few days.
On Tuesday, April 28, General Jones still remained at Thorn, Colonel Mulligan determined to resume the offensive, and ordered out Lieutenant Colonel Embick, of the One hundred and sixth New York Regiment, with six companies and two pieces of artillery, to advance upon Jones at Thorn, to feel his position and advance to Rowlesburg, if possible, to the assistance of Major Showalter, who was reported to be in great danger. Major Showalter has one of the stationery commands at this point, on the railroad, composed of the Sixth Virginia Union Cavalry, attached to Colonel Wilkinson’s Brigade.
Rowlesburg is a point of great interest on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, on account of the extensive bridge and tressel work there. The trains always stop at that point to allow the passengers to view and admire the work, which is very expensive and substantial.
The Rebel Jones, finding it impracticable to capture Grafton, and after falling back to Thorn, formed a new plan, to move northward, capture Morgantown and threaten Pennsylvania. Previous to advancing upon Grafton Jones had encountered Major Showalter, at Rowlesburg, when the Major’s command behaved very well, and repulsed the Rebels. Jones’ new plan threatened to cut off Major Showalter, who, becoming alarmed, retreated into Pennsylvania, and finally brought up at Pittsburg[h], where it was reported the Rebels were twenty thousand or thirty thousand strong, under the redoubtable “Stonewall” Jackson, intending to invade Pennsylvania.
While Jones and Showalter were both going north, Lieutenant Colonel Embick advanced to Rowlesburg, and occupied it after it had been evacuated by Major Showalter, and thus saved in beyond peradventure.
Major Showalter and his command went from Pittsburgh to Wheeling, and back to his old place again, after making an extensive circumbendibus, and almost frightening the honest old farmers of the southern counties of Pennsylvania out of their property, by the rumors that the ubiquitous “Stonewall” was about the visit them to relieve them of their horses and produce. “Stonewall,” I imagine, has rather too much sense to be caught in a thieving expedition into the old Keystone State, for his stay there would be short. It would be the last of him.
These extravagant reports of alarmists also caused Wheeling to be excited, as the citizens did not know the extent of the enemy’s forces, and believed it was part of the plan to make a lodgment on the Ohio river. So the militia was called out, the city put under martial law, and there was a “big time” generally. By this time, however, matters have cooled down considerably, and reason resumes its sway.
A Convention of delegates from the different portions of the new State of West Virginia, to nominate officers for the new State Government was in session at Parkersburg, on the Ohio river, near the southwestern corner of the Old Dominion. Though upwards of one hundred miles from the nearest armed rebel raider, the Convention took the panic, and adjourned somewhat precipitately. Steamboats going up stream to Wheeling were suddenly filled with delegates, who struck a bee line for the nearest haven of safety. After being in Wheeling a day or two, and finding their fears groundless, the members of the Convention returned to Parkersburg, and it is now again in session. The election takes place on Thursday, the 28th of May, for Governor, members of the Legislature and State officers.
The marauders under Jones, to the number of three thousand, in pursuance of his new plan, advanced to Morgantown. They sent a flag of truce in, and asked for the Mayor, waited to know if any resistance was to be made, and was informed that the town was surrendered to them. The main body then entered, and they stole all the horses they could get, asked for provisions, which some purchased, while others appropriated store goods of various kinds without paying for them. They remained all day, and detailed squads which scoured the country round for miles, capturing horses and whatever they could carry along with them. The people had nearly all left, so the raiders met with no opposition and took what they pleased.
Some few remained, and among them were those who hoped to gain favor with the rebels by assuring them that their sympathies were with the South. But the inexorable rebels, in nearly every case, remarked, as they took a valuable horse from some unwilling “sympathizer,” “you are just the men we want to meet with. If your feelings are with the South you ought to be willing to contribute your property to help the cause.
While at Morgantown the raiders fired the suspension bridge over the Monongahela, but extinguished the fire before it had done much damage.
They killed two Union men and wounded one, alleging that these men were resisting them. In the county of Monongalia they stole about two hundred horses, and robbed the stores of drugs, boots, hats, groceries, and dry good to the amount of $6,000.
The capture of Morgantown took place on Monday, April 27.th. After ransacking the town they bivouacked eight or ten miles outside until next day, when they were joined by Jones himself, with all his forces.
Jones And Imboden Unite Their Forces.
While Major Showalter made his short stay in Morgantown, the rebel troops were not far off, in the direction of Fairmont, scattered all over the country, stealing horses. During Tuesday and Wednesday morning, the troops of Imboden united with those of Jones, and advanced upon Fairmont.
Anticipating an attack on Fairmont by the Rebels, Col. Mulligan determined to reduce his force still further at Grafton, and ordered Captain Chamberlain, of the 106th New York Regiment, with two companies to Fairmont. These two companies comprised 105 men, besides which there were two companies of the 176 Virginia militia, 117 men, 38 men of Company A, Sixth Virginia, and about 50 citizen soldiers, militia, making all told, 300 men, to oppose a force of 5,000 Rebels.
These troops were posted on the hills surrounding the town, and made a gallant defense, but the overwhelming numbers of the enemy compelled them to fall back step by step, when the defenders took possession of the houses and fought till the last hope was gone, and, being surrounded on every side, the Rebel officer in command shouted out, “Why the ___ don’t you surrender?” To this summons the little band sent back a defiant response, when the firing recommenced with more fury than ever. Finding it useless to hold out longer, they displayed the white flag and surrendered. About 150 were taken prisoners; the balance escaped. They were immediately taken to the Court House and paroled. They have since been sent up to Pittsburg by way of the Monongahela, and returned home by way of Baltimore.
While the capitulation was in progress a company of the One hundred-and-sixth New York and one gun, mounted on a rail road truck car, arrived at the eastern side of the bridge at Fairmont. This forces was sent by Colonel Mulligan for the relief of the garrison at Fairmont. Not aware of the surrender, this detachment opened fire on the Rebels from the piece of artillery and musketry, and caused a commotion amongst them. The Rebels immediately dispatched a force across the river by way of the bridge at the turnpike road, and getting in the rear of the reinforcement and their piece of artillery, which was worked from the platform of the car, they commenced to tear up the track, to prevent the car from returning, whence it came, and to capture the whole party, if possible. The rebels also piled up cross-ties and cord wood on the track to obstruct it.
Major Moore, in command of the detachment, finding such a sharp fire in his rear, as well as in front, turned his whole attention to the railroad obstructionists, and, at the point of the bayonet, soon succeeded in clearing them away sufficiently to allow the engine and car to return towards Grafton.
One of the first acts of the Rebels, after the surrender, was to destroy the railroad bridge over the Monongahela, which was one of the finest structures of the kind in the United States. It was of iron, supported by two heavy piers of massive stonework, and was about 300 yards long.
The iron work was supported by tubuler [sic] columns of cast iron. They knocked holes into the tubes with hammers, axes and stones, and filling the tubes with powder, and slow matches, and in a few moments the beautiful structure tumbled into the river, a mass of ruins. The bridge is said to have cost $496,000, the greater portion of which was expended in getting the foundation for the piers and the heavy stone work. These piers and the abutments are not injured, all the damage being done to the iron work.
Fairmont is the county town of Marion county, and the residence of Gov. Pierpoint the Union Governor of West Virginia. The Rebels ransacked his mansion from top to bottom, and taking the books from his private and law libraries, tossed them into the street, and set fire to them.
The office of the Fairmont National, an uncompromising Union paper, was gutted, and the type and printing materials destroyed. The rebels showed particular malignity to this paper, denouncing it as a “___ Yankee concern.”
The home sympathizers or rebels pointed out the private property they wanted destroyed, and it was done. Every horse in the town and the surrounding country was taken by the rascals. At least five hundred horses were taken from Marion county alone.
On Thursday, the 30th of April the rebel raiders, having secured their fill of plunder, left Fairmont, and proceeded to Phillippi, from whence they proceeded to Beverly, in Randolph county, in the direction of the Alleghenies, whence they can cross thro’ some of the gaps, and return to their old starting point of Harrisonburg. They being cavalry, it would be useless to pursue with our infantry.
The present position of affairs west of the Alleghanies, is believed to be about as follows: - That Jones is in the neighborhood of Beverly; that Imboden has moved to the neighborhood of Weston, and that Jenkins, from the Kanawha valley, is in the vicinity of Buckhannon, with about two thousand men, and that the entire force (seven thousand men) will be under the command of, and co-operate with Jones. Whether they will resume the offensive or return to their haunts beyond the Alleghanies, time alone can determine.
This district is under the command of General Schenck, commanding the Eighth Army Corps, whose head-quarters are at Baltimore. I do not think it would be proper for me to state the number and disposition of our forces, and shall content myself with stating that doubtless the most complete arrangements have been made that the circumstances demand.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: April 1863