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The Battle of Rich
McClellan approached the On the 13th, McClellan
McClellan's Report rear of the enemy, whom, was in Beverly, from which
however, he found strongly Garnett had fled in confusion, early in the day. intrenched at Rich Mountain, to the number | The Federal commander gave the results of of eighteen hundred, under Colonel Pegram. his two days' work, and indicated bis succeedSending (July 11th) General Rosecrans with ing course in his dispatch to the Department, a part of three regiments to assail them in dated from Beverly, July 13th. It read: the rear, while he himself should attack them
• The success of to-day is all that I could désire. in front, he hoped to capture the enemy en We captured six brass cannon, of which one is rimasse ; but, some want of co-operation fol- Aed, and all the enemy's camp equipage and translowed which interfered with the complete portation, even to his cups. The number of tents ness of the results. Rosecrans reached the will probably reach two hundred, and more than rear of the mountain to find it held by some sixty wagons. Their killed and wounded will amount three hundred rebels, but did not succeed in
to fully one hundred and fifty, with at least one huncommunicating with McClellan that he was
dred prisoners, and more coming in constantly. I
know already of ten officers killed and wounded. ready to attack. The command of McClellan
• Their retreat was complete. I occupied Bertherefore lay inactive for several hours.
erly by a rapid march. Garnett abandoned his camp Hence, though the attack of Rosecrans was early this morning, leaving much of his equipage. entirely successful upon the force before him, He came within a few miles of Beverly, but our Pegram took the alarm, and silently moved rapid march turned him back in great confusion, off during the night with his main body, to and he is now retreating on the road to St. George. join Garnett at Laurel Hill. He found it “ General Morris is to follow him up closely. I impossible, however, to do so ; and, after lying have telegraphed for the two Pennsylvania regiin the woods for two days, utterly destitute ments at Cumberland to join General Hill at Rowlesof provisions, was obliged to surrender, with burg. The General is concentrating all his troops a large body of his men, who came strag- at Rowlesburg, and will cut off Garnett's retreat gling into the Union lines for several suc
near West Union, or if possible at St. George. ceeding days, as our army pushed rapidly on
“I may say that we have driven out some ten their heels . Pegram wrote to McClellan, the thousand troops, strongly intrenched, with the loss
of eleven killed and thirty-five wounded. Provi day previous to his surrender, as follows:
sion returns found here show Garnett's force to have “Six MILES FROM BEVERLY, July 12th, 1861.
been ten thousand men. They were Eastern Virgin. “ To the Commanding Officer of the Northern Forces, ians, Georgians, Tennesseeans, and I think CaroliniBeverly, Virginia :
To-morrow I can give full details as to prison"Sir: I write to state to you that I have, in con
&c. I trust that General Cox has by this time sequence of the retreat of General Garnett, and the
drawn Wise out of the Kanawha Valley. In that jaded and reduced condition of my command
case I shall have accomplished the object of liber. most of them having been without food for two days ating Western Virginia. I hope the General-in-Chief -concluded, with the concurrence of a majority of
will approve of my operations." my Captains and Field Officers, to surrender my command to you to-morrow, as prisoners of war.
This dispatch shows how well ordered the
I have only to add, I trust they will only receive at
movements were—each detachment dropping your hands such treatment as has been invariably
to secure his destruction. shown to the Northern prisoners by the South.
These movements of Gar“I am, sir, your obedient servant,
nett will be more clearly “ JOHN PEGRAM, apprehended, by recurring to the action of “ Lieutenant-Colonel P. A.C. S., commanding." the force under General Morris, which YcThe Federal commander replied by accept. Clellan had ordered to move down from ing the surrender, but stated that it was not Philippi. This division immediately started, in liis power to relieve either Pegram or his under the skillful pilotage of Captain Benmen from the liabilities incurred by them in ham, of the Topographical Engineers, who taking up arms against their country. His well knew the face of the country. Beelingtroops came in to the number of six hun-ton, on the opposite side of the valley from dred with their officers."
Laurel Hill, was safely reached, and, in spite
Battle of Carricksford.
of the enemy's sharp attacks by skirmishers Federal scouts discovered Garnett's provision and artillery, was fortified so as to hold it train at a halt (at noon of the 13th.) A muspending the approach of McClellan's column ket, recklessly discharged by an overjoyed from the south. When Pegram was so un- trooper, set the train in motion, and a further expectedly pressed out of his burrow at Rich pursuit of three miles followed the train beMountain, Garnett, apprehending his great ing covered by two strong regiments. danger of being caught between the two In crossing the stream at columns, sought to extricate himself from the Carricksford, the enemy threatening grasp of the Federal commander. again was overtaken. GarLeaving his works on Laurel Hill, he pushed nett there determined upon an obstinate deout for Beverly. This, his advance had fense-assisted greatly by the nature of the scarcely occupied when the fugitives from ground. Cheat River wound around a bluff Pegram's camp, flying before Rosecrans' hot fifty feet in height, whose base was covered pursuit, informed him that further delay with an almost impenetrable laurel jungle. there was impossible without capture. The On this bluff Garnett planted two guns so only avenue of escape was to retrace his path as to command the Federal approach. Two to Leedsville, where another turnpike road thousand infantry supported the battery, with branched off to the north-east, on the other the reserve of three thousand one mile in the side of Laurel Mountain, Pursuing this rear, The infantry was ensconced behind a route with all speed, he passed Leedsville rail fence and trees felled on the brow of the during the afternoon of the 13th, and pressed hill, with flank lines also under cover down on along the base of the mountains down the to the road. Cheat River, hoping to find some practicable The Fourteenth Ohio, Colonel Steedman, path across the mountains into the valley of came up first and received the galling fire of Virginia. Throwing away all superfluous the bill. The Seventh Indiana, Colonel Dubaggage, he fled rapidly, and soon turned mont, flung themselves into the river, preparaoff from the main road into a narrow path tory to an attempt to scale the bluff. They along the mountains, in which pursuit might were only restrained by the emphatic orders be more easily obstructed. Here he closed of Benham, who soon found a suitable point the narrow path after him, filling every de- for the ascent which would flank the enemy. file through which he moved by felling the The Seventh was ordered to cross the stream largest trees into and across it.
under fire; then having gained the foot of The flight from Laure! the bluff, to pass down the river to the point
Hill discovered by of ascent, some distance below. The gallant General Morris early on the morning of June fellows executed the movement with alacrity, 12th. Pursuit was at once made—Captain and, ere long, their shout, as they marched Benham on the advance. Leedsville was up the declivity upon the enemy's left, told reached. There the advance awaited the the troops still assailing in the front, that coming up of the whole division. At two, their comrades had won the position. The A. M., (13th.) the pursuit was resumed. Ben- struggle was short. The enemy fell back ham again led, with eighteen hundred men. slowly from the brow of the hill towards his Up and down the mountains, through defiles, reserves, leaving one gun in the hands of the and over rugged ridges, everywhere impeded Indianians. Our forces then prepared to by the obstructions thrown in the way by pass the stream to follow up the attack. the flying enemy-the pursuit was pressed Garnett, with great bravery, rode along his with unflagging ardor. Many men fell be- ranks and in vain sought to bring his men up hind, exhausted with hunger and exertion. to the stream to contest the crossing. He But on the regiments rushed, forgetful of appoached the bank only to be shot by the hunger, weariness, pain, in the eager desire advancing Federalists. His men fled in utter to put their foe at bay.
confusion. The reserves catching the panic, At length their quarry was reached. On the retreat soon became a disordered rout. one of the branches of Cheat River, the The officers sought to reach Romney. Only
Pursuit of Garnett.
one (Georgia) regiment | his part of Scott's well-conceived programme pursued its way unbroken. for forcing the enemy out of Virginia. Pat
For several days the terson executed his allotted task with less Federal scouts brought in the rebels in
-indeed, so illy as to cause McDow. great numbers. They proved to be a ell's defeat at the very moment of victory. forlorn set of vagabonds at best. But, all General Scott's injunctions to engage and were treated humanely; and, obeying the hold the rebels at Winchester, at all hazards, injunctions of orders, those were released who were not acted upon, and Johnston's entire chose to take the oath of allegiance. Many army of about fifteen thousand men pushed of them took the oath, were clothed, were down upon McDowell's advancing divisions fed for several days, and then were allowed to snatch from them the victory just within to depart. It was ere long ascertained that their grasp. The flush of success was changed, the large majority of those thus released in an hour, to the panic of a rout; and the were again in the ranks of the enemy.* country witnessed the humiliating spectacle
General Hill failed to perform his allotted of its finest army flying before a non-pursuing task by catching the remnant of the routed enemy, leaving behind it the wounded and forces. He pushed for Oakland to find that sick and millions of dollars in stores, arms the rebels had passed through that place a and transportation. In such an hour all eyes few hours previous to his arrival. Hasten- sought for an acting commander, capable of ing on toward Romney, he approached to bringing order out of that chaos. The list within a few miles of that stronghold, but of commanders was large, but all, comparaonly to gather up a few stragglers and aban- tively, were untried men. None had done doned arms. About two thousand of Gar- so much and wrought so well as McClellan. nett's men finally reached Romney to be ad. He was young, strong, loyal and eager for ded to Johnston's army, then watching Pat-duty. He had shown tine capacity for comterson's advance from Harper's Ferry, and mand. His experience, for one so young, Williamsport. The rebel loss in these seves had been such as to qualify him for directing ral engagements was two hundred and fifty and leading in the field. He was the peokilled, over one thousand prisoners, five ple's choice, Scott's choice, Government's guins, twelve colors, fifteen hundred stand of choice. He was relieved immediately of the arms, and great quantities of camp equipage,
command in Western Virginia to enter upon stores, horses, &c. The Union loss was twenty the herculean task of restoring order, of girkilled and sixty wounded.
ing efficiency to the army covering the Capital. In the midst of opera
Transferring his comtions, when his campaign mand to Brigadier-General
had but fairly opened, Mc- Roserrans, (July 22d,) McClellan was suddenly called to Washington, Clellan departed from Beverly for Grafton to assume the active Command-in-Chief of the and Wheeling. Thence he proceeded to Army of the Potomac. The operations of Pittsburg and journeyed rapidly to WashMcDowell in the direct march upon Rich- ington, Rosecrans had proven himself to mond had resulted in a reverse which threat- be an able man. To him Government was ened a general demoralization of the army, willing to confide the responsible trust of while it opened the way for an enterprising saving Western Virginia from the Confedeenemy to walk up to the very vicinity of the rates and the blind fury of Governor Letcher. National Capital. McClellan had acted well | The loyal efforts for reorganizing the State
called for the exercise, by the enemy, of all * This infamous disregard of oaths and honor was
available resources to save the dismember. happily satirized in the sarcasm of a Captain in one of the Ohio regiments. A rattlesnake was caught ment of Virginia, and Rosecrans soon found alive on the mountains and brought into camp. Af- that the second campaign on the line of the ter tiring of its presence, its captor asked the Cap. Kanawha would claim vigilance, activity, tain what he should do with the reptile. “Oh, sagacity and bravery wbich had not yet been swear him and let him go!" was the curt reply. demanded of that commande
McClellan's Transfer to the Command
Rosecrans in Com
An uprising of the loyal control, and direction of the Movements of the
Movements of the element in Western Vir- President of the Confederate Loyalists.
Loyalists. ginia followed the reign of States, upon the same princityranny inaugurated at Richmond. As al- ples, basis and footing as if the Commonwealth were
now a member of said Confederacy, and all the acts ready stated, [pages 149–151,] steps were taken by the inhabitants of the counties lying of said agreenient and Ordinance, are plain and pal
of the executive officers of our State in pursuance west of the Blue Ridge mountains, early in pable violations of the Constitution of the United May (1861), to assert their legal rights. The states, and are utterly subversive of the rights and various town meetings sent delegates to a liberties of the people of Virginia. preliminary Convention, which convened at
* 4. Resolved, That we earnestly urge and entreat Vheeling May 13th. A session of three days the citizens of the State everywhere, but more es. resulted in the appointment of a Central pecially in the western section, to be prompt at the Committee of nine-who were instructed to polls on the 23d instant; and to impress upon every issue an Address to the people setting forth voter the duty of voting in condemnation of the Ordithe views of the Convention and preparing nance of Secession, in the hope that we may not be
involved in the ruin to be occasioned by its adoption, them for the independent movement deter
and with the view to demonstrate the position of the mined upon. The resolutions adopted were
West on the question of Secession. strongly loyal to the Union in tone, and de
" 5. Resolved, That we earnestly recommend to claratory of a purpose to resist the revolution
the citizens of Western Virginia to vote for members attempted, by demanding a separation from
of the Congress of the United States and the State the Eastern section of the State. We may of Virginia. give place to the following, as illustrative of “ 6. Resolved, That we also, recommend to the the spirit which animated the people: citizens of the several counties to vote at said elec
“1. Resolved, That, in our deliberate judgment, tion for such persons as entertain the opinions exthe ordinance passed by the Convention of Virginia, pressed in the foregoing resolutions for members of on the 17th day of April, 1961, known as the Ordi- the Senate and House of Delegates of our State. nance of Secession, by which said Convention under- “7. Resolved, That in view of the geographical, took, in the name of the State of Virginia, to repeal social, commercial and industrial interests of Norththe ratification of the Constitution of the United western Virginia, this Convention are constrained States by this State, and to resume all the rights, in giving expression to the opinion of their con. and powers granted under said Constitution, is un- stitutents to declare that the Virginia Convention in constitutional, null, and void.
assuming to change the relation of the State of “ 2. Resolved, that the schedule attached to the Virginia to the Federal Government have not only Ordinance of Secession, suspending and prohibiting acted unwisely and unconstitutionally, but have the election of members of Congress for this State, adopted a policy utterly ruinous to all the material is a manifest nsurpation of power, to which we ought interests of our section, severing all our social ties, not to submit.
and drying up all the channels of our trade and “3. Resolved, That the agreement of the 24th of prosperity. April, 1861, between the Commissioners of the Con- ** 8. Resolved, That in the event of the Ordinance federate States and this State, and the Ordinance of Secession being ratified by a vote, we recommend of the 25th of April, 1861, approving and ratifying to the people of the counties here represented, and said agreement, by which the whole military force all others disposed to co-operate with us, to appoint and military operations, offensive and defensive, on the 4th day of June, 1861, delegates to a General of this Commonwealth are placed under the chief Convention, to meet on the 11th of that month, at
Address to the
Address to the
such place as may be designated by the Committee I knowing, dare maintain hereinafter provided, to devise such measures and them? If we are, we will take such action as the safety and welfare of the resist the usurpers, and
People. people they represent may demand-each county drive from our midst the rebellion sought to to appoint a number of Representatives to said Con
be forced upon us.
We will, in the strength vention equal to double the number to which it
of our cause, resolutely and determinedly will be entitled in the next House of Delegates; and the Senators and Delegates to be elected on the 23a stand by our rights and our liberties, secured inst., by the counties referred to, to the next Gen- to us by the struggles of our Revolutionary eral Assembly of Virginia, and who concur in the Fathers, and the authors of the Constitution views of this Convention, to be entitled to seats in under which we have grown and prospered the said Convention as members thereof."
beyond all precedent in the world's history. Several others were adopted expressive of We will maintain, protect, and defend that their wishes and purposes, and calculated to Constitution and the Union with all our forward the movement inaugurated.
strength, and with all our powers, ever reThe Address proposed membering that 'Resistance to tyrants is by the Committee was a
obedience to God.'”
The Convention arranged for by the prijured the people to enter at once upon the mary Convention, to be held on the 11th of great work to be done, to prepare for the June, was referred to as demanding for its struggle at hand with treason.
members the most resolute, temperate and should the people of Northwestern Virginia, wise of the people for its delegates; and the they said, “allow themselves to be dragged voters were besought to give their hearts, into the rebellion inaugurated by ambitious hands, souls to the work of representation, and heartless men, who have banded them. The document closed :
Fellow-citizens of Northwestern Virginia : The is. selves together to destroy a Government
sue is with you. Your destiny is in your own formed for you by your patriot fathers, and
hands. If you are worthy descendants of worthy which has secured to you all the liberties con
sires, you will rally to the defense of your liberties, sistent with the nature of man, and has, for
and the Constitution, which has protected and near three-fourths of a century, sheltered you blessed you, will still extend over you its protecting in sunshine and in storm, made you the ad- ægis. If you hesitate or falter, all is lost, and you miration of the civilizeď world, and confer- and your children, to the latest posterity, are des red upon you a title more honored, respected tined to perpetual slavery.'' and revered, than that of king or potentate This was signed by the entire Committee. --the title of an American citizen. Will Its wide circulation produced an exciting you passively surrender it, and submit to be canvass of the whole question of National used by the conspirators engaged in this ef- and State relations. Day by day the feeling fort to enslave you as their instruments by of loyalty gained in strength and solidity, which your enslavement is to be effected ?”
aided by the presence of Federal arms, which The question of secession was considered. had alriven the emissaries of despotism from Local feeling against the domineering East- much of the northern section of the State. ern section of the State added keenness to Judge Thompson-whose
Judge Thompeen's their invective against the conspirators who charge to the Grand Jury aimed to render Virginia the battle-ground. | defining treason we haveal“Why should we thus permit ourselves to be ready referred to (page 151)—followed this tyrannized over and maile slaves of by the address by a proclamation ordering the dishaughty arrogance and wicked machinations persion of armed rebels and disloyal combiof would-be Eastern despots? Are we sub- , nations. The Judge spoke as a justice on missionists, craven cowards, who will yield the bench, fully resolved upon preserving to daring ambition the rich legacy of Free- the peace, order and course of justice, dom which we have inherited from our fath- ' in the circuit over which he presided. His ers, or are we men who know our rights, and words were those of a wise and resolute map