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The telegraph wire was cut, coiled, and burned slid, and swam three hundred and fifty-five miles for half a mile.
since the eighth instant. W. W. AVERILL, The water-station, turn-table, and three cars
Brigadier-General. were burned, and the track torn up and rails
A NATIONAL ACCOUNT. heated and destroyed as much as possible in six hours. Five bridges and several culverts were
WEBSTER, West-VIRGINIA, January 3. destroyed over an extent of fifteen miles.
The Second, Third, and Eighth Virginia mounted A large quantity of bridge-timber and repair- infantry, Fourteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, Gibing materials were also destroyed.
son's battalion and battery G, First Virginia arMy march was retarded occasionally by the tillery, composing the “Nountain Brigade" of tempest in the mountains and the icy roads. General Averill, left New-Creek, West-Virginia,
I was obliged to swim my command, and drag on the morning of the eighth of December, and a my artillery with ropes across Craig's Creek seven march of two days brought us to Petersburgh. times in twenty-four hours. On my return, I On the morning of the tenth, resumed the march, found six separate commands under Generals after being joined by detachments from the First Early, Jones, Fitz Lee, Imboden, Jackson, Echols, Virginia, Fourteenth and Twenty-third Illinois and McCouslin, arranged in a line extending from infantry, a section of Rook's Illinois battery, and Staunton to Newport, upon all the available the Ringgold cavalry, under command of Colonel roads, to prevent my return. I captured a des- Thoburn, of the First Virginia infantry. We passpatch from General Jones to General Early, ed through Franklin, and camped for the night giving me the position and that of Jackson at on the South-Branch. During this day's march Clifton Forge, and Covington was selected to we again destroyed the saltpetre works that the carry.
rebels had begun to repair. Met a party of refuI marched from the front of Jones to that of gees, who were endeavoring to get into our lines, Jackson at night. His outposts were pressed in and at night had a fight with bushwhackers. at a gallop by the Eighth Virginia mounted in- The weather thus far had been cold, but after fantry, and the two bridges across Jackson's night it began to rain, and next morning we River were saved, although fagots had been piled started on the march, Colonel Thoburn in the ready to ignite.
advance. When we arrived at the cross-roads, My column, about four miles along, hastened Thoburn's brigade taking the road to Monterey across, regardless of the enemy, until all but my and Staunton, whilst our brigade took the road ambulances, a few wagons, and one regiment had leading to Hightown and the Buck Creek valley. passed, when a strong effort was made to retake It rained very hard, and we were enveloped in the first bridge, in which they did not succeed. the clouds of the mountain tops. This day cap
The ambulances and some sick men were lost, tured a rebel mail-carrier, and at night camped and, by the darkness and difficulties, the last near Burdtown. regiment was detained upon the opposite side Next morning resumed the march down the until morning. When it was ascertained that Buck Creek valley, finding the streams very the enemy seemed determined to maintain his much swollen from the rains. During the day a position up the cliffs which overlooked the bridges, party of refugees, who were armed, came to us; I caused the bridges, which were long and high, they had been lying in the “brush" ever since to be destroyed, and the enemy immediately the Droop Mountain fight, to keep out of the changed his position to the flank and rear of the way of the rebel conscript officers. About dark detachment which was cut off. I sent orders to we arrived at Gatewood's
, where we intercepted the remnants to destroy our wagons and come to Mudwall Jackson's train, that was on its way me across the river, or over the mountains. from Huntersville to Warm Springs, to get out of
They swam the river with the loss of only four reach of Colonel Moore. The train was guarded men, who were drowned, and joined me. In the by two companies of Jackson's ragged chivalry, mean time, forces of the enemy were concentrat- and loaded with clothing, shoes, and ammunition. ing upon me at Callaghan's over every available We captured in addition to the train twenty-nine road but one, which was deemed impracticable, prisoners, while the balance escaped to the mounbut by which I crossed over the top of the Alle- tain, and bushwhacked us at long-range, but ghanies, with my command, with the exception of hurt none. four caissons, which were destroyed in order to The rebels, not expecting another raid, had increase the teams of the pieces.
rebuilt their camp and saltpetre works. These My loss is six men drowned, one officer and we again burnt, together with the potash factory. four men wounded, and four officers and ninety Started next morning for Callaghan's; during the men missing
morning captured one hundred and fifty cattle, We captured about two hundred prisoners, but that the farmers were driving out of the valley, have retained but forty officers and eighty men, and a contraband directed us to an extensive on account of their inability to walk; we took saltpetre works, which we destroyed. We aralso about one hundred and fifty horses. rived at Callaghan's at four o'clock, where we
My horses have subsisted entirely upon a very heard of the operations of General Duffie and poor country, and the officers and men have suf- Colonel Moore, and the retreat of Echols. We fered cold, hunger, and fatigue with remarkable marched out on the Sweet Springs road, and enfortitude. My command has marched, climbed, i camped for the night on Dunlap's Creek.
Hitherto our marches had been by easy stages, destroyed, and fifteen miles of the road torn up, twenty miles per day, and had taken special care and the rails heated, water-station and turn-table of our horses; but now we were in the enemy's burned, together with the materials that were on country and the great object of the expedition the ground for repairs. This was a heavy blow before us, and our movements must of necessity to the rebels, considering their facilities for rebe rapid. At two o'clock A.M., started for Sweet pairing a damaged road, and the absolute necesSprings, in Monroe, where we arrived at ten sity for keeping open communications with Longo'clock, and halted for two hours for refreshment street. and to groom our horses. At the Springs cap- According to their own accounts, it has taken tured a large quantity of manufactured tobacco, twelve days to put the road in running order that was divided amongst the men, furnishing an again. We did that work in six hours; while abundant supply for a long time. Began the as- Lee, with his, army of seventy-five thousand cent of the mountain at noon, and in the gap men, had the control of the Baltimore and Ohio captured a wagon-load of salt. The day was Railroad for fourteen days, and, after all the fine, and from the top of the mountain had a damage that was inflicted, the Company repaired grand view of the mountains far off in Dixie, as the road in four weeks. In addition to the dewell as the Alleghanies in our rear. These struction of the railroad, was the immense mountains correspond with the North-Shenan- amount of stores destroyed in the three dépôts,
After crossing this mountain and mill, and warehouse; two thousand barrels flour, the valley, we ascended the Eleven Mile or Pe- ten thousand bushels wheat, one hundred thouter's Mountain; and in the gap an amusing inci- sand bushels shelled corn, fifty thousand bushels dent occurred. Our advance captured, not a oats, two thousand barrels meat, several cords rebel picket, but a wedding party, bride, groom, leather, one thousand sacks salt, thirty-one boxes preacher, and guests. They, together with the clothing, twenty bales cotton, a large amount of whole country through which we had passed, harness, shoes, saddles, and equipments, tools, were taken by surprise; but the scamp of a oil, tar, and various other stores, and one hunpreacher made his escape in the confusion caused dred wagons, and, in addition, three hundred by the tears and distress of the women, who had boxes tobacco. The amount of property deso unexpectedly become acquainted with the stroyed was immense, and we can form some Yankees. We descended the mountain and idea of its value from the prices of the above halted for two hours at Mrs. Scott's tavern, on articles in Dixie. The citizens stated to us that Barbour's Creek. We started up the valley, the value was five millions of dollars. This, inand the advance captured a company of Georgia cluding the damage to the railroad, is not far troops, with ninety horses. We then crossed from the mark. It must be borne in mind that Patt's Mountain, and dashed into New-Castle, Salem is the dépôt for Western Virginia, as well the county-seat of Craig. Here we captured a as for Longstreet's corps, and that the stores portion of the home guard, with their arms, and had been removed from other points to Salem, without halting kept on for Roanoke. Our march for safety. After we had performed this work, was up the Craig Creek valley, and during the we began the retreat, and fell back six miles to morning captured a rebel patrol party, and a the foot of Poverty Mountain, where we camped rebel Colonel Chapman, who attempted to es- for the night. We had two good days in succape, and was killed. We also burned another cession ; but after night it began to rain, and saltpetre works, and after crossing two mountains, toward morning began to freeze, and a high, at about half-past ten o'clock reached Salem. blinding wind with it. Our blankets and clothAfter we entered, a train containing a rebel bri- ing became saturated with water, and at daylight gade came up the track from Lynchburgh, but we began the retrograde movement. The march three shots from one of our Parrotts caused the over the mountain was very fatiguing, and the engineer to reverse his engine, and, with a snort road so icy, that we had to dismount and lead from the whistle, the train took the back track.
We found the Catawba very much The citizens had been apprised that we were swollen, and across the mountain, and after we in the country, but had not expected us so soon, reached the Craig Creek valley, the rain poured and to our utter surprise, both along the road down in torrents, and it was a work of great and in the town, we were received with a kind labor for the artillery and the trains to move. and cordial greeting, and the waving of white Every small stream had become a foaming torhandkerchiefs. Now that we had arrived, we rent, carrying rocks and drist before it; the were invited to their houses, and treated with pine-trees forming a crystal forest, with beautiful kindness and hospitality; and our healthy ap- festoons and arches bending over the road. pearance, our clothing, and especially our boots, When we came to Craig's Creek, the water as well as our gentlemanly deportment, were all was so deep, and the current so strong, and besubjects of wonder and adiniration.
sides, the drist was running, it was supposed The destruction on the railroad and dépôts that our way was completely blockaded; but began immediately; the government buildings our General was equal to the emergency, and and dépôts were fired, and the Third Virginia we were ordered to attempt the ford—the Genand the Fourteenth Pennsylvania were sent out eral directing and encouraging in person--the each way to tear up and destroy; and inost ef- men riding into the cold icy water chcerfully, fectually they did the work; fine bridges were and by using caution, and obeying the directions
of the General and the officers, the first, second, this road we met a party of Jackson's cavalry, and third fords were crossed. This consumed and skirmished with them, pressing them close. nearly the whole day, with the train, the artil- When we reached the river, they turned to the lery, and the rear-guard still to cross. We were right, in the direction of Jackson River dépôt, now on the New-Castle side, and, by the road, while we turned to the left, toward Covington. several more fords to cross; but as it was but a Here we captured a messenger from Jones to few miles to town, it was determined to cut a Early, with a despatch to be forwarded to Early road through the woods, which was done, and by Jackson, by telegraph. (Early was supposed at eleven o'clock at night, the Eighth entered the to be at Warm Springs.). This proved of imtown. Here we took possession of the govern- portance to the General, for it disclosed the rement corn-cribs, where the corn-tithe, or tenth, bel plans, and the movements of Jones, Echols, was deposited. This we fed to our horses, and and McCauslin. The advance hastened at a trot afterward made demonstrations on the different toward the bridge, and when they came to it, roads, while the balance of the brigade were the rebel guard opened fire upon them, but we endeavoring to extricate themselves from the charged through with a cheer and at a gallop, watery blockade that had so suddenly stopped the rebs retreating at their highest speed.
We our progress; but it was not until the next found piles of combustibles on the bridge ready evening that the artillery and train reached the for the torch, and fire burning and torch ready ; town, The efforts of the quartermasters, of- but the advance, by its gallantry, saved the ficers, and men were very fatiguing and labor- bridge. As the brigade moved so rapidly, it ious, in dragging the artillery and wagons through left the artillery, trains, and rear-guard far in the water by means of ropes, and the whole the rear, with perhaps a gap of two miles open. work superintended by the General, who had This was taken advantage of by Jackson, who made it a point of honor to save the artillery marched in his force, and ambushed themselves and transportation ; but the provisions were lost, in the cliffs with the cavalry, ready to inake a except the soldier's great reliance, coffee. This charge on the trains. They made a dash to take was preserved, and when the brigade reached the bridge, but were repulsed by the guard that the town, it was issued to the men.
we had left there; and next morning, Jackson's We now found that the rebels held the gap, force, with artillery, infantry, and cavalry, made to dispute our march, and heard that Fitz-Hugh an attack on the rear-guard and the train, but Lee was in our rear. We did not fear the rebel were repulsed, while we succeeded in destroying force in our front, for they had not sufficient the train, to prevent its falling into their hands, time to unite their scattered forces. A squadron and the loss that we met with, was in having a of the Eighth was sent to force them back, and portion of the men, who were cut off, captured. a brisk skirmish ensued, when reënforcements Our loss was sixty men captured. These were from the Second and Eighth were sent to assist mostly dismounted men. We also lost three in driving back the enemy. The rebels retired, officers captured. and at midnight the brigade reached Mrs. Scott's, The brigade moved rapidly to Covington, where at the foot of the Eleven Mile Mountain. But the advance captured several of the home guard here a new danger arose, for Jones held the and a number of fine horses, and pushed on toSweet Springs Mountain in force, and that was ward Callaghan's. The advance crossed the secour only apparent outlet, and besides, our limit- ond bridge and surprised a rebel picket of sixed supply of ammunition had become partially teen men. These, with their horses, arms, and damaged from the wet. Here our young chief equipments, were captured except one of the performed a master-stroke of generalship, com- party, the captain, who escapel. pletely deceiving, as well as mystifying Jones. When we reached Callaghan's, strong pickets He sent a force to the top of the Eleven Mile were sent out on all the roads. We began to breathe Mountain, to make a bold demonstration, drive more freely, but our privations began to tell from in the rebel pickets, and make the rebels believe hunger and cold. Our clothing was frozen stiff, that our whole force was advancing. In the a large proportion of the men had their feet and mean time, the column was ordered to move up fingers frozen, but the greatest sufiering was from a creek and by-road, in the direction of the Cov- want of sleep. The pickets were forbidden to make ington and Fincastle turnpike. The General had fires. After the videttes had been placed, the got the information of this road from a citizen, balance of the men lay down in the road, and the with the statement that no vehicle had passed night was intensely cold, but the officers aroused over the road in two years, and Jones's scouts the men and would not permit them to sleep; told him that the road was totally impracticable, and a short time before day they were permitted but we passed through in safety, Jones waiting to make fires in the pine-thickets, and with the the whole day, and expecting an attack every comfortable bed, and a cup of strong coffee, they hour. In the afternoon, we struck the Fincastle soon regained their accustomed spirits. Our pike, and distant from Covington ten miles. We crackers were now exhausted, and nothing to eat had now eluded two rebel armies, but still we but fresh pork and coffee. knew that they were on both flanks, and per- Here the General sent out scouting-parties to haps in our front; but we were ordered to move ascertain the movements of the enemy. We here rapidly, and the advance to dash to the Jackson learned that Early held the Back Creek valley, River bridge, to prevent its being burnt. On and that there was a force at Gatewood's, cover
Ing the Huntersville road, while it was supposed small allowance of hay for our horses. Next that Echols was in the direction of the White morning, resumed the march over the same kind Sulphur and Rocky Gap. With the detachment of roads, crossed Elk Mountain, and camped for and train on the other side of the river, our Gen- the night on the top of the Valley Mountain, at eral, who had shared all our privations, and by the Mingo Flats. his skill had brought us through so many dan- Here we felt almost home, and visions of crackgers, felt his responsibility, and was greatly dis- ers and bacon began to float in our imaginations, turbed ; but if he could have heard the kind and at this time our stock of coffee was exhaustwords of sympathy that fell from the lips of cd. We reached the mouth of Elkwater at noon, those tired, rugged veterans, he would have felt where we met a supply-train from Colonel Moore, refreshed and encouraged, but he was equal to with the wished-for crackers, and with our crackthis emergency also. Although it was thought ers and coffee forgot, in a measure, the hardships that we were surrounded by six rebel columns, of the expedition. We camped for the night near yet there was one road open; he sent an order to Huttonville, and Christmas day, in the afternoon, Lieutenant-Colonel Thompson to burn the bridges, made our triumphal entry into Beverley, where and, if the rebels changed position, for the rear-we rested one day, and, by easy marches, reached guard to swim the river; this was done, and a the railroad on New-Year's day. IRWIN. Union lady pointed out a ford by which they crossed. In the afternoon, the brigade started up a path
RICHMOND, December 28, 1863. that led up a ravine, from Callaghan's to the top An officer who participated in the recent fight of the Alleghanies, and crossed with the artillery, between the forces under General William L. and camped for the night on Dunlap's Creek, with Jackson and the Yankees under Averill, gives three open roads, but supposed that the enemy us the following interesting narrative of that held the one leading to Huntersville.
gallant affair: A rebel column came to Callaghan's the same On the thirteenth instant, scouts belonging to evening, and encamped five miles from us. General Jackson's brigade reported that a Yankee
Our march the next day was over by-roads; force of about five thousand cavalry, including and late in the afternoon crossed the Green Briar, two batteries of artillery, were advancing down and, after a rest of an hour, pushed on to Hills- Black Creek, toward Gatewood's, within twelve borough, and camped on part of the Droop Moun- miles of Warm Springs, in Bath County. tain battle-field. Here we began to feel a degree Information had at that time been received of security, as we knew that we had an open road from General Samuel Jones, that a heavy force before us, and the enemy were far in our rear. of Yankees were also advancing upon Lewisburgh
Major Gibson was sent with his battalion to from the Kanawha valley. General Jackson it blockade the Huntersville road, but found that once concluded that the force of tive thousand Jackson had done it effectually, from fear of Col- under Averill would strike for the Tennessee onel Moore; so, after the most comfortable night's Railroad, by way of the Sweet Springs, and he rest that we had enjoyed during our retreat, and immediately put his force in motion to intercept paying a visit to our wounded that had been left them on their return, as he could not pursue after the Droop Mountain fight, we resumed the them, owing to having only about one hundred march. Our rations consisted of parched-corn, and twenty-five mounted men, the balance of his coffee, and frozen apples. The wind was so cold command being dismounted infantry. Crossing that it was painful to the eyes, and our poor at McGraw's Gap, General Jackson came to horses almost worn out. Their shoes, owing to Jackson's River, and found it swollen and past the rocks and ice, were worn perfectly smooth. fording, with no bridge except the railroad bridge. We left Marling Bottom during the morning, and Infantry could cross on that, but it seemed to be began the ascent of the Green Briar Mountain; it madness to attempt to cross wagons and artillery began to sleet, and the icy road so smooth that on it. Jackson, however, with indomitable enerit was with the utmost difficulty that our poor gy and perseverance, had the wagons and arhorses could walk at all. The sufferings of the tillery drawn over the bridge by the men. men and horses were almost intolerable, and our then continued the march on to Callahan's, but, march was very slow, and a number of the horses from information derived from his scouts, he was that had stood the other raids were abandoned convinced that Averill would return by the Rich that evening and night. It was touching to see Patch road, which taps the Covington turnpike the poor animals, after being stripped of saddles near Jackson's River dépôt. He forthwith moved and equipments, with sunken eyes, the bright- his command down to Jackson's River dépôt, ness gone, shivering in the road, with not suffi- and directed the Island Ford bridge to be burned cient life to get out of the way of the moving as soon as it was ascertained that the enemy column, which would part to the right and left, were advancing toward it. Jackson then took a as if commiserating the condition of the poor an strong position near the Jackson's River dépôt, imals that a sad necessity consigned to the cold at the point where the Rich Patch road connects solitude of the mountains.
the Covington turnpike. He then directed his This night we encamped near Mrs. Gibson's, mounted men, under Captain Sprague, to move on the head of Elk River, and within our own on the Rich Patch road until they met the enlines, but had hardly any thing to eat, and alemy's advance, and to attack them desperately,
and cut the column in two if possible. At four the Shenandoah Mountains, through Covington o'clock on Saturday evening, the nineteenth in- to Salem, burnt things generally, and returned stant, a courier from Captain Sprague announced over nearly the same route. Imboden seized the the approach of the enemy by that road, and that gap where the Parkersburgh turnpike crosses he had commenced a skirmish with Averill's ad- the Shenandoah, and prevented a raid on Staunvanced forces. Jackson immediately ordered an ton. Averill left five hundred men to hold Imadvance of the Twentieth Virginia regiment by boden there, and pushed on toward Salem. a blind road, so as to attack the enemy obliquely. That General could not pursue without uncofHe also ordered the Nineteenth Virginia regi- ering Staunton, the force threatening nearly ment to advance on the Covington turnpike road, equalling his own. General Lee was informed and to attack the enemy directly. At that point of the situation of affairs, Jackson conceived the idea of taking a detach- Here commences the reign of Major-Generals ment of about fifty men, and move forward with and military science. Major-General Tubal A. them for the purpose of striking the enemy vig- Early came; Major-General Fitz-Hugh Lee came; orously and cutting his column in two. In this Brigadier-General Walker came; Brigadier-GenJackson succeeded perfectly. One half of the eral Thomas came; their staffs came. They all Yankees were thus separated from the other half, took a drink. General Early took two. Brigawhich was under the immediate command of dier-General Wickham came; Colonel Chambliss, Averill, and who rapidly passed forward toward commanding a brigade, came. They smiled also. the Island Ford bridge. Persons intrusted with When Averill was opposite Staunton, Fitz Lee the burning of the Island Ford bridge failed to was at Fry Dépôt, on the Virginia Central Raildo so, however, owing to the rapid advance of road, a day's march from that town--a fortunate the enemy upon that point. The advance, under occurrence, indeed. Every body thought Averill Averill in person, thus managed to make their was “treed " now. Lee was ordered across the escape across the bridge; but that portion of his Blue Ridge. He passed through Brown's Gap, command which had been cut off-consisting of and struck the valley turnpike at Mount Crawone regiment and an entire wagon train-were ford, eight miles above Harrisonburgh—a misheld in check by Jackson's detachment of fifty erable mistake; one day's march lost. He then men during the entire night. Soon after sunrise marched toward Staunton; another day gone for on Sunday, the twentieth, the heavy force whic nothing. He finally reached Staunton, where Averill had left at the bridge after he had cross- he ought to have been the first night. Still, ed, to prevent Jackson from burning it, then- there was plenty of time to cut Averill off. Lee selves fired it, and in a short time it fell into the and Imboden marched day and night to Lexingriver; and this produced much consternation ton, and then toward Covington, They had yet among the Yankees who had been cut off from time enough to intercept him. Here was comthe bridge by the detachment under Jackson. mitted the fatal and foolish blunder. While Lee Had Jackson's order to attack the Yankees furi- and Imboden were on the road to Covington, in ously not been so tardily obeyed, the whole striking distance of that place, word was sent force which had been cut off, together with the that the Yankees were marching toward Buchanentire wagon train, would have been captured. an instead of Covington. No man ought to have By failing, however, thus to attack, the Yankees put credence in a statement so utterly absurd as had time to burn their train and to escape by thạt the enemy was going from Salem to that swimming; in doing so, however, many of them place. Such a statement presupposes Averill were drowned.
deliberately placing himself past escape, and, The result of Jackson's operations was the therefore, run raving mad. Such improbable complete capture of the Yankee ambulance train, rumors should never be entertained a moment, about two hundred prisoners, their horses and much less made the basis of important military equipments, a number of carbines and revolvers, movements. The order was obeyed. The troops forty or fifty negroes, (whom the Yankees were turned and marched back, and at night were taking off,) eight of Averill's officers, including neither at Buchanan nor Covington. his adjutant-general, a lieutenant-colonel, Averill's The story is told in a few words. The Yanhorse, his servant, and a number of his maps of kees passed through Covington, and, to their fifteen or twenty counties, in which nearly every great amazement, escaped. The rumor about house was put down, and, in numerous instances, Buchanan was the tale of some frightened fool. the occupants of the houses given. Jackson also The enemy, in terror and demoralization, fled captured a number of mules and wagons. Jack- from Salem at full speed, destroying their train son's loss was small.
and artillery. Jackson knocked some in the head; the citizens beat the brains out of others.
One farmer in Alleghany killed six. Some are To the Editor of the Richmond Examiner : scattered in the mountains, and are being picked
The raid is over. Averill has gone, not "up up here and there. The rapid streams drowned the spout,” but back into his den. Cast your many, but the main part have gone whence they eye upon a map, and I'll tell you how he went came, wondering how they did get away. It is and how he came. He came from New-Creek, a hardly necessary to add, the humblest private in dépôt on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in the ranks, if he possessed sense enough to eat the county of Hardy, along the eastern base of land drink, not only could but would have man