February 20, 1863
Sutton, West VA, Feb 10
For the satisfaction of the friends of my Company I beg leave to submit through your columns the following report of our Pocahontas expedition.
We left Beverly under command of Maj. Flesher in the morning, and marched to Greenbrier Bridge, a distance of fifty-eight miles, by three o’clock the following morning. From thence we marched to a place called Cockley Town, where we expected to find some fifty or upwards of the rebels with as many or more horses. On arriving at the place we found they had abandoned the place, with the exception of a very few, and some horses which we picked up. We found however, that they were about two miles further on, at a place called Hillsboro. Instead of pursuing them we were ordered to return, and on our return we were pursued by the enemy and attacked on our rear, and had two killed and ten taken prisoners. The killed are Sergeant Henry M. Whorter, and Private Andrew J. Fulkeneer; Captured, Lieut. T.F. Roane, F.M. Nay, Nimrod A. Spencer, Lafayette Rutherford, William Stonestreet, Wm. F. Robinson, Charles Wayland, Walter T. M’Whorter, John T. Webster, John M. Fulkeneer. Lieut. Roane was immediately exchanged. All the rest of the men remain as yet unexchanged.
As far as I can say, I was of the opinion at the time that we should have advanced to Hillsboro, and captured the whole force, which I am confident we could have done; but for some reason we were not permitted to do so. I shall ever regret the disaster, but we can only expect to improve the future by the experience of the past. The men killed and captured were brave patriots. I had the honor to lead the charge with my detachment, and I am confident that if necessary, my men would have marched with me through whatever might have presented itself. I do not expect ever to see men act better than they did when we were expecting to meet the enemy, by dashing right into his midst. Every man was his place true as the needle to the pole. If anybody thinks the Harrison county cavalry won’t fight, just let them show the enemy and that will test it. We are catching some grey bucks here occasionally, but Braxton County is scarce of them as well as provender.
This is hard place to subsist a cavalry company, horses especially. If we had the forage on the river we might get along. We can build boats and make canoes as well as any other set of Yankees ever in this country; but the great trouble is what forage we get has to be carried to the clouds before the river is reached. I never before witnessed such mountains. It is a healthy country, and I don’t suppose there ever would have been a grave yard started had it not been for the war. I did hear of one settlement where they had to kill a man to get a graveyard started, but I won’t vouch for the truth of it.
It is evident that the rebels in this country are getting tired of the war, and many would doubtless return home if they could get to stay. I expect to see a great many come in before long. One secesh told me had given the government a great deal, and would give as much more to get back in the union. Others say they would give all they have to get back and all we get to universally curse their former political leaders, and say they are the rascals who ought to and must suffer.
Captain 1st Va. Cavalry
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: February 1863