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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
Undated
November 1861


Richmond Daily Dispatch
November 22, 1861

From Gen. Floyd's command Hard Fighting and Safe Retreat.

In Wednesday's Dispatch appeared a telegraphic dispatch from Lynchburg, stating that the Republican would publish a letter from Gen. Floyd's camp, denying that he had been cut off or suffered any disaster. The following is a copy of the letter referred to. It will be seen that Gen. Floyd has been all the time gallantly fighting the enemy at every turn, and only retiring before overwhelming force. He has not lost his sick or his guns as reported, but has brought all safely off to Raleigh Court-House:

Raleigh Court-House,Nov. 17, 1861.

We have been fighting the Yankees (who outnumbered us almost triple) for the past week. It was ascertained, while we were at Cotton Hill, that the enemy had been reinforced by five large steamers full of men, ammunition, &c.

Gen. Lee's command had retired to Meadow Bluff, thus leaving the Yankees' front unthreatened.

We received information that the Yankees had crossed in large force and were advancing upon us. We threw up temporary fortifications and awaited their attack, but they would not advance upon us; so we went out of our works to make an armed reconnaissance of their position, &c., and proceeded until we came to their outposts, and opened fire upon them. They brought up regiment after regiment, and the engagement promised to be a general, one. They got on one side of the creek (a small stream) and we on the other. They behind the trees and we in the bushes. Our regiment received orders to advance down a road leading to the creek to cross it, ascend the hill on the opposite side, in full view of the enemy, which was done without the loss of a man. The firing then became general for a while, but our men had so well secured themselves behind the brush and a few trees that we sustained but little damage only two men killed and one or two wounded. We then fell back, hoping to draw them to our works, but night set in and the Yankees thought it bad policy to attack us then and there.

We had no sooner gotten to our camp than intelligence reached us that the enemy were approaching on another route with the design to entrap us. Our General, with his usual sagacity, determined on a plan to disappoint them, and started a little after dark to fall back, so that "Mr. Yankee" would have to "gnash his teeth" at being again outgeneraled. He fell back, moving ice sick, from Fayette to Raleigh Court-House Beyond the reach of them. When about nine miles this side of Fayette Court-House, we were informed that the Yankees were in hot pursuit, and upon us. Our brigade, composed of the skeletons of the 45th, 50th, and 51st Virginia regiments, were ordered out to meet them.--We formed in line of battle and awaited their advance; and very soon they made their appearance, when a brisk skirmish took place, and they got their artillery in position and opened fire on us. We sustained no great injury only, I fear some of our men who were skirmishing were taken prisoners, as they are missing. We were immediately ordered to retire, which we did, being a strategical movement to draw the enemy into defile, where we would have had them safe, although they had about 5,000 against our brigade, (the rest of Floyd's forces were in supporting distance, however;) and we are now here, about four miles this side of Raleigh Court-House, nearer to the railroad, and now on the ground.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: November 1861

West Virginia Archives and History