Page images



Rosecrans' Move


bers, exposed to a distress. We are not sure it is digThe Fight at Scarey

Floyd ! ing fire which could only nified to say it, but the

be partially returned. The supposition is so natural that we repeat brave fellows goon fell back, having lost what we presume was the design in sending heavily. The retreat soon followed under Floyd to supersede the elder Wise, viz.: tu cover of Cotter's guns, which were most ad- steal a march on Rosecrans. Floyd's eminent mirably served. The enemy did not pursue. qualifications in performances of that nature Prior to the charge, Colonel Lowe sent word must ever be the Confederate Government's for General Cox to send forward a second best defense for placing him in command beregiment, which was done, but it failed to yond the Blue Ridge mountains. reach the field in time for the fight. It join- Rosecrans prepared to ed the retreating companies. The Federal prosecute his work vigorloss was nine killed, thirty-eight wounded ously. After the rebel vicand nine missing. Among the casualties tory, at Bull Run, the subjugation of Western should be named the loss of Colonel Norton Virginia became, to the Confederates, one of as prisoner and wounded. A whole squad the fixed general orders, and thither troops of officers who, hearing of the fight, rode out soon began to centre. August 20th the Union from the camp to be lookers on, passed right commander issued an address to the people into the rebel ranks, supposing them to be of his department to settle the public mind those of our victorious troops. Among them in regard to Federal purposes and wishes. were Colonel Woodruff, Colonel De Villiers, The Secessionists, if they were good for anyLieutenant-Colonel Neff, and Captains Austin thing, were prolific of falsehoods which the und Hurd.

General soon found were worse than rebel This was Governor Wise's only conquest. bayonets in distempering the minds of those

The march of General well inclined toward the Union cause—the The March against

Cox against Charleston di-class with whom it was the especial wish of

rect was taken up on the the Federal Administration to make friends. 24th, Various skirmishes occurred - the In his address General Rosecrans took occa enemy being in position at several points sion to disabuse the people of the idea that along the river, but they uniformly fled after he came to conquer: he came to protect them a few rounds. A rebel steamer having two and asked in return their co-operation to put boats loaded with wheat in tow, was aban- | down the secession fallacy, to repress

violence doned and fired by the “legionists.” On the and to assist him in ridding the eountry of 25th two divisions of the Federal advance the guerrillas, whose almost daily assassinareached Elk river, one-fourth of a mile below tions of soldiers and outrages upon citizens Charleston, across which was a wire suspen- were rendering them sources of extreme ansion bridge. This fine structure the rebels noyance. He said that he should be obliged had attempted to destroy, but did only small to hold those neighborhoods, where outrages injury. The Federal army was enabled to were committed and sentries were shot, repass over on the 25th. Wise and his “legion” sponsible for the crimes committed, and thus, fled toward the East, and Cox was soon in in a degree, compelled the citizens to look pursuit. Gauley River was reached by the after the guerrillas and thieves. His address 29th. There it was discovered that Wise was at once kind but firm, and, so long as he had burned the heavy bridge to secure his governed in that Department was well sussafe retreat towards Lewisburg. This left tained by the people. the Kanawha Valley, for a brief period, free Cox's lines remained fixof the rebel forces.

ed on the Gauley River, To regain lost laurels as well as a lost and in that section frequent province, the Virginia and the Confederate skirmishes occurred. One affair assumed Governments dispatched John B. Floyd to noteworthy dimensions. Colonel Tyler, with the scene, as superior to Wise in emergencies the Seventh Ohio, was in camp at Summerlike those surrounding Western Virginia. / ville, twelve miles up the Gauley River. His


The Affair at Sum.






Battle of

The March from

pickets were posted along the river, up Approaching the vicinity and down, On the 21st of August, four- of Cross Lanes and Carni

Carnifex Ferry. teen men of one company were surprised by fex Ferry over the Gauley a portion of the Richmond Blues regiment of River, extended reconnoissances revealed the Wise's legion. The Unionists were cut to enemy's exact location to be on the cliffs pieces--only four escaping. On the 26th the overlooking the Carnifex Ferry road and Seventh Ohio was attacked in its camp, while ford. Benham was locating these positions, at breakfast, by a body of infantry and caval- with his advance (Lytle’s Irish regiment, ry--supposed to be about six hundred. The the Ohio Tentl), with no design to bring on a Unionists were completely surprised and battle, as the men were very weary with their were scattered in much disorder, losing about long day's tramp over the hills. But, the sixty killed and prisoners. Tyler retreated rebel pickets were stumbled upon and unwitto Cox's position above Gauley Bridge. Floyd, tingly pressed back upon their lines, when at that time, was reported to have about nine the long line of a blazing parapet revealed thousand men in the vicinity.

the whole extent of the rebel stronghold. Rosecrans started from The fight now became sharp. Benham

Clarksburg, early in Sep- found it necessary either to press his advance, Clarksburg.

tember for the Gauley Riv- or to sound the retreat-an order which his er, passing down by way of Sutton to Sum- regiments were too much disinclined to hear merville, eight miles below which, at Cross at that moment, and he resolved to hold all Lanes, Floyd and Wise were in considerable to await the coming up of Rosecrans, to strength, both of fortifications and men. The whom he had dispatched the news of his Federal army, General Benham's brigade in operations. the advance, on the morning of Monday, Not a man was hurt by the first volley Sept. 10th, crossed Powell Mountain, the poured in upon the advancing Federal troops loftiest summit in Western Virginia. There from the enemy's elevated works. “ The evidences of a fresh camp were detected, and Tenth was deployed”—we quote from a good the enemy's position was fully determined by account of the affair by one present—“up the information obtained from the half-civilized hill to the right, and the Ohio Thirteenth, women inhabiting the cabins of that wild Colonel Smith, down the hill into the ravino and romantic region. Pressing on towards to the left-each regiment led by its Colonel Summerville, a second camp was discovered in person. Our batteries were still behind, in Muddlethy bottoms, from which, as one and Howe's Twelfth Ohio was some distance present remarked in the unique language of in the rear coming up slowly, so that the that region, “the whackers skedaddled beau- Tenth and Thirteenth had to support the tifully.” Early Tuesday morning tho march enemy's fire a long time without assistance. was resumed with extreme caution, as the But they did it gallantly, and continued to rebels were discovered fitting in all direc- advance until they got to the edge of the tions. The innumerable mountain pathis and abattis in front of the enemy, where they by-lanes, which only those familiar with that stood near the verge of the forest. In consemagnificent region could use, gave the enemy quence of the rugged and impracticable naample covert for their scouts; and it required ture of the ground, the line of the Tenth was the utmost vigilance to avoid their decoys as broken, and the right wing was separated well as to provide against any ambuscade or from the centre. Colonel Lytle could not see masked batteries. General Benham showed this on account of the jungle, and General great prudence and sagacity on the advance Benham was directing a movement to the and proved himself an able officer. *

extreme left, when Lytle ordered the colors * We particularly remark this, because the Gene- forward, and shouting 'Follow, Tenth,' he ral was, afterwards, suspended from command, made a dash up the road, intending to charge owing, it is charged, to his indiscretions and rash. battery, and succeeded in getting within litness on the advance against Charleston, S. C., in tle more than a hundred yards of the rebel May, 1862,

parapet before he was discovered. A terrific

Battle of
Carnifex Ferry.

[ocr errors]

fire opened upon him, and cool and skillful as a veteBattle of

his four gallant companies, ran. The Twelfth Ohio Carnifex Ferry.

who followed him with had found their route imfrantic cheers, suffered severely. A bull went practicable, and their brave Cc lonel carried through his left leg, and wounded his horse, them over a rugged route squarely into the which became unmanageable and threw him. front of the battle, and gave them an opporThe horse dashed over the rebel entrench- tunity to do their share of duty. Colonel ments, and was killed, and the gallant Lytle Lowe was encouraging and directing them himself was assisted into a house not a hun- in front, when he was struck by a shot fairly dred feet off, and heard the crash of cannon in the centre of his forehead, and he fell dead balls through it and over it until the battle without a groan. A moment afterwards a ended. Color-Sergeant Fitzgibbons, who charge of grape mangled both his legs. was behind the Colonel when he fell, had his “Snyder's two rifled six-pounders and Mcright hand shattered, but, gathering the Mullen's batteries were planted in the road Stars and Stripes in his left, he waved them about two hundred yards in front of the again enthusiastically, and was torn to pieces rebel main battery, and were served rapidly by a round shot. Sergeant O'Connor snatch- and with considerable effect. Subsequently ed the falling colors, and again held them part of each was removed to the right.

Capaloft, when he was also struck by a ball in tain McMullen was finally struck down, but his left hand, but he dropped behind a log, not seriously hurt. The rebel artillery was and kept the colors flying until exbaustion not regarded very formidable. The majoricompelled him to drop them. His Captain, ty of their balls and shells went whistling Stephen McGroarty, as gallant a fellow as and tearing through the tree-tops, making an ever wore sword, snatched them up again, infernal racket, and now and then a round and while rolling them up, ordered his men shell would stop, in mid career, in the trunk to retire to cover, and in bringing up the of a tree, and bury itself with a wicked crash. rear a ball struck him in the right breast, The cannon practice generally was not disand went through him without disabling tinguished for scientific accuracy. The rebels him, until he got out of the field with his flag. finally got short of legitimate ammunition, Every man of his company stuck to him with and played spelter canister upon us. Many unswerving fidelity.

of our shells did not explode at all, but oc“The Irish lads continued to stick to the casionally one would scatter the rebels in front with splendid determination, but they every direction. But our lads rarely caught were sadly cut up. Father O'Higgins, their a glimpse of the Virginians. They kept Chaplain, was with them constantly, and close under cover, and made no unnecessary Licutenant-Colonel Dorff, Major Burke, Cap- exposures. Even their gunners were exceedtain R. N. Moore and Captain Annis display- ingly careful to keep out of the way, and not ed conspicuous gallantry. Meantime, Colonel once did they attempt to display daring, or Smith worked off to the extreme right of the to move from their position toward us. rebels, under a furious fusilade of rifles and “At dusk McCook's brigade was ordered musketry, and was laboriously engaged in into position. The Ninth was carried around scaling a precipice which protected the rebel to the left of the rebel battery by Captain position in that direction. It was twilight Hartsuff, to make a rush upon it under a before he got into position for an assault, but flanking battery, which had been discovered his men lay on their bellies in the thicket, in the woods, on their extreme left, but playing away at the enemy not a hundred which had not been served during the enyards from them. The order for an assault gagement. The bold fellows, under their did not come, and the brave Thirteenth had Colonel, pushed forward under a galling wasted its energies and showed their pluck storm of musketry, and were about to dash for nothing. The conduct of Colonel Smith headlong at the enemy, under cover of darkand his regiment was a theme of admiration. ness, when they were ordered back, after The Colonel himself was brave to a fault, but I suffering a loss of one killed and ten wound

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]






Battle of

ed. The four companies | found our men groping around in perfect Carnifex Ferry.

under Major Hayes, after bewilderment among the cliffs and jungles of

infinite difficulty, scaling an unknown position. The “ armed reconprecipices and forcing their way through noissance” ordered ended, certainly, with the dense thickets of laurel and blackberry bushes, roar of musketry from the rebel main works; had been halted in a ravine in front of the and the attack commenced when the two centre of the rebel's right wing, and they Ohio regiments deployed for approach assault were afterwards supported by the Twenty- / -all of which may have been the fault of eighth, under Colonel Moor. The former Benham ; but, the fact that Rosecrans ordered met with no casualties, though under fire. forward supports, that he threw McCook's The latter pushed across the ravine, and ex- brigade into position for assault, as well as tended the line up a precipitous hill, until the artillery, gives to the Commanding Genethe whole of the main front of the enemy was ral the credit or discredit of the whole affair. enveloped by our lines. He lost two killed Floyd, in his report, placed his force at two and thirty-one wounded.

thousand men; and gave, as the excuse for " It was now pitchy dark. It was impos- his retreat from what could easily have been sible to distinguish an object a yard from rendered an impregnable position, that Wise your eyes, and it was so obviously unwise to did not come up with reenforcements as orstorm the works in such dense obscurity that dered. Therefore he reported Wise to the the General was compelled to withdraw the Confederate War Department for delinquen- . troops. They retired slowly and mad at their cy; and a sharp quarrel sprang up between disappointment, and bivouacked wearied and the rivals. supperless within musket range of the rebel Floyd reported his loss as twenty wounded front. It was nine o'clock at night when -none killed ! He conceded the Federal they got out of the forest where they had assault to have been very spirited and deterlabored and fought unflinchingly five hours.” mined. The Federal loss was fourteen killed

It is to be written that and one hundred and four wounded-several Floyd's Retreat.

Floyd, like his illustrious mortally, but most of them slightly. The predecessor, retired under the cover of dark- plunder found in the camp was considerable, ness, crossing the river just below his fortifi- consisting of all the officers' baggage, all cations, bearing off with him all his artillery, their commissary stores, tents, and large but leaving pretty much all his baggage. quantities of guns, blankets, wagons, &c. Even his own trunk was among the trophies Their destruction by fire would have discovfound in his camp, when, early next morning, ered their retreat-hence, everything was left tie Federal troops advanced to the assault which could not be borne away on a flying to tind the enemy gone. Like Longfellow's retreat. A few guns, pitched into the river, Arab, the rebel leader could not afford to were afterwards recovered by the Federals. stay. His own capture would prove

great Wise was in the vicinity

Rosecrans' Disposi. a disaster toʻhis own private fortunes ; hence of Gauley Bridge during he “retired.”

the operations just detailed. It is difficult to pass Cox still retained his position at that place Day.

judgment upon the Feder- awaiting Rosecrans' movements and orders.

al conduct of this attack. His force did not authorise any advance. That Floyd should have been captured is ad- Rosecrans' army was too small to pursue the mitted, and that he would have been caught fiying columns. So long as the Confederates is hghly probable had the intricacies of that kept three distinct armies in the field the section been at all understood by Rosecrans. Federal commander could not mass his troops Why the General had no guide capable of di- without losing ground at points considered recting him into every possible avenue of important. He therefore pressed the enemy rebel retreat, we cannot say; nor, can we only as prudence seemed to warrant, prefereven guess why that partial attack was al- ring to incur no hazard of defeat where relowed so late in the evening that darkness lief was so distant. The War Department

tion of Force.

The I istakes of the

[ocr errors]


the enemy.

The Battle of Cheat Mountain.

[ocr errors]

was, at that moment, devoting all its ener- | Mountain, and threw two regi.

The Battle of giés in other directions, and Western Virginia ments to the right and rear of

Cheat Mountain. scarcely sufficed to make a shadow on its Cheat Mountain, which united troubled “ field of operations.”

with the three regiments from the other column of Rosecrans, in arranging

(The two posts, Cheat Summit and

Elk Water, are seven miles apart by a bridle-path his plans of offense and de

over the mountains, and eighteen miles by the wa. fense, had placed Briga

gon-road via Huttonville. Cheat Mountain Pass' dier-General Joseph R. Reynolds in position the former headquarters of the brigade, being at the at Cheat Mountain to cover the approaches foot of the mountains, ten miles from the summit.) towards Beverly and to act as a left advance The enemy advancing towards the Pass, by which of the Federal forces. Against Reynolds the he might possibly have obtained the rear or left of rebel leaders resolved to dispatch their best Elk Water, was met there by three companies of men, hoping, by driving him before them, to the Thirteenth Indiana, ordered up for that purpose, obtain a hold on Rosecrans flank and rear, and one company of the Fourteenth Indiana from and, by a rapid sweep, to concentrate the the Summit. These four companies engaged and forces of Floyd and Wise for a march direct gallantly held in check greatly superior numbers of on Grafton. The Confederate programme,

the enemy, foiled him in his attempt to obtain the

rear or left of Elk Water, and threw him into the at that moment, was to crowd the war over

rear and right of Cheat Mountain-the companies into Maryland. To this end they occupied retiring to the pass at the foot of the mountains. every point along the Upper Potomac requi

“The enemy, about five thousand strong, were site for a movement forward when the line closed in on Cheat Summit, and became engaged of the Baltimore and Ohio Railway was se- with detachments of the Fourteenth Indiana, Twen. cured at Grafton-thus to prevent reenforce-ty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Ohio, from the Summit, ments from reaching the Federal forces by in all only about three hundred, who, deployed in that route.

the wood, held in check and killed many of the To Major-General Robert E. Lee was com

enemy, who did not at any time succeed in getting mitted the work of turning Rosecrans' ad- sufficiently near the field redoubt to give Dean's vance into a retreat. The Confederate com

Battery an opportunity of firing into him. So mat

ters rested at dark on the 12th, with heavy forces mander appeared before Cheat Mountain, on

in front and in plain sight of both posts, communithe 12th of September, having a force of

cation cut off, and the supply train for the moun. about nine thousand strong and ten pieces tain, loaded with provisions which were needed, of artillery. Reynolds had disposed his waiting for an opportunity to pass up the road. Deforces in three sections to guard as many ap- termined to force a communication with Cheat, I proaches to his position. Lee advanced on ordered the Thirteenth Indiana, under Colonel Sul. Elk Water, with his main force, by way of the livan, to cut their way, if possible, by the mail road, Huntersville pike. Reynolds thus detailed and the greater part of the Third Ohio and Second the operations which followed :

Virginia, under Colonels Manon and Moss, respect“ Our advanced pickets---portions of the Fifteenth ively, to do the same by the path; the two comIndiana and Sixth Ohio-gradually fell back to our

mands starting at 3 o'clock A. M. on the 13th, the main picket station; two companies of the Seven- former from Cheat Mountain Pass, and the latter teenth Indiana, under Colonel Hascall, checking the

from Elk Water, so as to fall upon the enemy if posenemy's advance at the Point Mountain Turnpike, sible, simultaneously. Early on the 13th, the small and then falling back on the regiment which occu.

force of about three hundred from the Summit en. pied a very advanced position on our right front, gaged the enemy, and with such effect, that notand which was now ordered in. The enemy threw withstanding his greatly superior numbers, he reinto the woods on our left front three regiments, tired in great haste and disorder, leaving large who made their way to the right and rear of Cheat quantities of clothing and equipments on the ground, Mountain, took a position on the road leading to

and our relieving forces, failing to catch the enemy, Huttonville, broke the telegram wire and cut off our marched to the Summit, securing the provision

While communication with Colonel Kimball's Fourteenth train and reopening our communication. Indiana Cavalry on Cheat Summit. Simultaneously this was taking place on the mountain, and, as yet another force of the enemy of about equaf strength, unknown to us, the enemy, under Lee, advanced op advanced by the Staunton Pike on the front of Cheat Elk Water, apparently for a general attack, one

« PreviousContinue »