November 4, 1864
The Late Fight At Beverly – How The Rebels Were Deflated. – We conversed yesterday with a soldier who participated in the late fight at Beverly and who accompanied the rebel prisoners who arrived in the city yesterday morning. It appears that just before daylight on Saturday morning last three hundred rebels under Major Hill, crept in between our pickets and made a charge upon three hundred of the men of Colonel Younell’s 8th Ohio Cavalry. Our men were nearly all asleep and being aroused by the first valley of the rebels soon ran away from the camp in great confusion. The rebels instead of following up the attack as they might have done successfully betook themselves at once to plundering. The most of them rushed for the horses hoping to saddle and mount them and make their escape. Col. Younell, taking advantage of this disposition on the part of the rebels to plunder the camp and steal the horses, rallied his men who had nothing but their revolvers and by a fierce assault threw the men into utter confusion. They ran in all directions through the streets of the town our men firing at and wounding and killing them immediately. At last about half the gang were completely surrounded and compelled to surrender. About twenty rebels gathered up the next day and hurried, and the number of wounded is estimated at fifty.
Lieut. Lerty who arrived yesterday with the rest of the rebel prisoners, says he is the only officer of Major Hill’s command that was not killed or wounded. Major Hill was mortally wounded, and is now lying at Beverly. – Those who escaped, were rapidly pursued and many of them were overtaken and captured. About fifty fled to the woods and have since reported themselves at Clarksburgh and other points, asking to be permitted to take the oath of allegiance.
During the fight the women and children rushed into the streets so alarmed and surprised as to be utterly heedless of the shots that were flying in every direction, but fortunately none of them were seriously hurt. The rebel prisoners says that some of their friends were killed in the streets when they might have been captured, but our informant says that the confusion was so great that it was impossible to tell who had and who had not surrendered. Our loss was eight men killed, and several wounded; among the former, Lieut. Peck. The bodies were brought up yesterday morning, and crossed the river at Benwood. They are being sent home to Ohio for internment.
The rebels say that their object in attacking the camp, was to get horses and supplies, of which they stand much in need.
The Recent Fight at Beverly
November 11, 1864
The Recent Fight at Beverly
Beverly, Nov. 7th, 1864
As a matter of justice to the 8th Ohio Volunteers, I request you to correct your account of the fight at Beverly. The rebels were three hundred strong. The attack was before daylight, and the rebels lost all their officers but one. The camp was not surprised. The men were standing in ranks for revile roll-call. The dismounted picket challenged the rebels, and his shot alarmed the camp. The men seizure their arms, and part of one company was thrown out as skirmishers. Major Hill’s charge swept back the skirmishers, and three companies, withdrawing from camp to the breastworks, ordered so through error, gave his men possession of part of the camp. Instead of charging through it, Hill threw half of his force to the rear to capture what force was left in camp. Through the exertions of Capts. Evans, Bechtle and Lysle, the men left in camp were rallied at the northwest corner of the camp.
Major Shaw having fought his way through the scattered Johnnies between his quarters and camp, took command, and ordered a charge on the force in the rear of the camp, under command of Major Bill, who by this time held the officers’ line of quarters. The charged started them, and in it the Major was severely wounded. Captain Evans then took command, and ordered another charge on the rebels, who had rallied in and about the stables. The charge was vigorously made and routed the rebels. By this time it was light, and the rebels that were in our rear, and between us and town, having been routed, Lieut.-Colonel Gouart made his way to camp alone; and took command. He immediately about faced the men who had whipped the rebel force in the rear of the camp, and after some fighting routed and captured the force operating in front of camp. “The revolver” and “fierce assaults” made with them are all imagination. There is not now a dozen revolvers, in this command. Some of the men did flee but they were unarmed. We have over a hundred in that fix. We would be thankful for revolvers even good arms, but have been condemned all summer to hold an extreme outpost with no arms but he Union carbine which is condemned by the Ordnance Department itself as a worthless weapon, and one foisted on it by “political influences.” Nevertheless, we whipped the rebels with them in a hand to hand conflict, when they had a third more men than we engaged, and the advantage of perfect organization. The arms we captured give us a tolerable outfit. Good arms are on the may. There was no fighting in the streets of Beverly. No women or children fled through the streets – They were in bed and wisely staid there. No bullets whistled through the town except such as overshot the mark. The rebel dead and wounded as well as our own were all found in and about the camp. Your informant’s story slanders the gallant dead. – Taking off the picket detail who were not engaged, we had about two hundred men to fight with, and some of them only had stones and bats.
After the fight the Union ladies of the place, among whom we particularly noticed Mrs. Capt. Maupin, Mrs. Bucky, Mrs. And Miss Arnold and Miss Morrison took tender care of our wounded. Col Gouart ordered rebel sympathizers to take care of the rebel wounded. Major Hill still lives. To-day ten deserters and refugees gave themselves up. They brought in fifteen horses. Before the fight the average to come in per week was about one hundred.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: October 1864