« PreviousContinue »
sake of repressing this, and partly from the military consideration that Northwestern Virginia, advancing within a short distance of Lake Erie, almost bisects the Free States, troops were without delay dispatched into it to enforce its adhesion to the Confederacy.
Troops enter it from other parts of the state.
The Richmond authorities had seized Harper's Ferry immediately upon the passage of the ordinance of secession (p. 83). Occupying it as strongly as they could, they cut off all communication between Western Virginia and Washington along the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
CAMPAIGNS OF WESTERN VIRGINIA.
CAMPAIGNS OF WESTERN VIRGINIA.
No movement was made by the national government until after the day (May 23d) appointed for the election to ratify or reject the ordinance of secession, it being thought expedient to do nothing that might be interMcClellan ordered preted as an interference with the Border to cross the Ohio. States. After that election, however, General George B. McClellan, who had been assigned to the
command of the Department of the Ohio, including Western Virginia, received orders to cross the Ohio and advance along the line of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to Harper's Ferry. He issued addresses to the people and to his soldiers, in the former denouncing the "infamous attempt of the traitorous conspiracy dignified by the name of the Southern Confederacy." He then proceeded to occupy Parkersburg, the terminus of the railroad on the Ohio River. A secession force lying at Grafton, the place of junction of the two branches of the road to Parkersburg and to Wheeling respectively, was forced off the road southward to Philippi. Here its commander, Colonel Por terfield, issued an address to the people urging them not to allow the people of other states to govern them. McClellan, however, ordering an advance to Philippi, Porterfield had to retreat, first to Beverley, and then to Huttonsville, where he was joined by re-enforcements under Governor Wise, who assumed command.
He forces the secessionists from the railroad.
MCCLELLAN CROSSES THE OHIO.
An Indiana regiment, under Colonel Lewis Wallace, had been directed to join General Robert Patterson, who was in command of the Department of Pennsylvania, and who was preparing to attack Maryland Heights, which command Harper's Ferry. On approaching the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in the direction of Cumberland (June 9th), Wallace learned that there was a force of 1200 Confederates at Romney. Making a march of eighty-four miles, of which forty-six were on foot, in twenty-four hours, he drove the Confederates from their post, and so alarmed General Joseph E. Johnston, who was holding Harper's Ferry, that he evacuated that place (June 15th), after having burned the railroad bridge over the Potomac, spiked the guns he could not carry away, and blown down rocks so as to obstruct the railroad and canal. Pat
Affair at Romney.
Evacuation of Harper's Ferry by Johnston,
terson at once crossed the river in pursuit of him, but was speedily compelled to return, General Scott having or dered him to send all his regulars and Burnside's regiment to Washington.
Patterson, however, renewed his attempt under instruc tions from Scott (July 2d), and at Falling Waters, encountering Johnston's advance under Stonewall Jackson, forced it back to Bunker Hill. On the 15th of July Patterson moved forward on that place, occupying it without resistance. On the 17th he suddenly turned to the left, and moved away from his enemy toward Charlestown; Johnston at once gave him the slip, and, joining Beauregard at Manassas, won the battle of Bull Run (p. 126). Little suspecting the consequences of his negligence, Patterson remained at Charlestown until the 22d. A few days after he was superseded by General Banks. While these events were taking place on the Potomac, the Confederate troops were operating on the south of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in Northwestern Virginia, their intention being to prevent McClellan from coming through any of the mountain gaps into the Shenandoah Valley, and joining Patterson. Porterfield had been succeeded in his command by General Garnett, who had distinguished himself in the Mexican War.
Affair at Rich
The forces of General McClellan, who still remained at Grafton, had increased, by the 4th of July, Mountain. to 20,000 men. As his antagonists could scarcely muster one third of that strength, he directed an advance upon them. Their main force under Garnett was at Laurel Hill, near Beverley, having a detachment under Colonel Pegram at Rich Mountain. Colonel Rosecrans, with 1800 men, attacked this detachment, which was about 900 strong, on the 11th of July. His march
who is pursued by Patterson.
Garnett endeavors to check McClellan.
had been through mountain paths and trackless forests, in a heavy rain. Pegram was put to flight, and lost nearly half his men. McClellan now coming up with his main army, Garnett, who had been joined by some remnants of Pegram's force, and whose rear was exposed to Rosecrans, was compelled to abandon his camp and cannon, and move toward Beverley. McClellan had, however, entered that place before him, and drove him into a precip itate flight northwardly. Pegram, cut off from support, and without food for two days, was obliged, with 600 men, to surrender, and Garnett, after throwing away every thing that could impede his flight, was overtaken by General Morris, who was conducting the pursuit, at Carrick's Ford. Here the Confederates, their ammunition exhausted, were finally dispersed. Their General Garnett, attempting in vain to rally them, was killed. The fugitives wandered over the Alleghany Mountains, and eventually joined Stonewall Jackson at Monterey.
In a dispatch to the government, General McClellan says, "We have completely annihilated the patch to the gov- enemy in Western Virginia. Our loss is about 13 killed, and not more than 40 wounded, while the enemy's loss is not far from 200 killed, and the number of prisoners we have taken will amount to at least 1000. We have captured seven of the enemy's guns in all."
Another national force was meantime advancing from Operations on the Guyandotte up the Kanawha Valley. It met Kanawha. some resistance at Scarytown, but pressed forward with a view of attacking General Wise. He, however, having learned of the disaster that had befallen Garnett, retreated, burning the bridge over the Gauley River to delay pursuit, and made his way successfully to Lewisburg. At this place he was joined by General
Surrender of Pegram.
Affair at Carrick's
Junction of Wise Floyd, the former Secretary of War, who, outranking him, took the command, and at once assumed the offensive. He surprised and routed an Ohio regiment at Cross Lanes, and, moving southwardly, endeavored to gain the rear of the national general Cox; but, while attempting this, was suddenly attacked by Rosecrans, who had come down from Clarksburg, Lanes and Carnifex at Carnifex Ferry (August 10th). The attack began at three o'clock in the afternoon. Floyd, outnumbered, acted on the defensive. He had ordered Wise to come up to his support, but that officer failing him, he was compelled to abandon his position during the night, retreating to Big Sewell Mountain.
Affairs of Cross
R. E. Lee.
Floyd now complained to the Confederate government Arrival of General of what he regarded as Wise's neglect in the affair of Carnifex Ferry, and General Robert E. Lee, destined to future celebrity, who, upon the retreat of Garnett from Rich Mountain, had been appointed to succeed him, arriving with large re-enforcements, and outranking both of the disputants, took the command.
Lee's previous op
Previously to this junction being effected, General Lee had attempted unsuccessfully to dislodge erations at Cheat Rosecrans's forces, under command of General Reynolds, from Cheat Mountain. The attack miscarried through the failure of an expected combination. This want of success brought upon Lee the Dissatisfaction with disapprobation of the Confederate governhim at Richmond. ment. It was said in Richmond that "he might have achieved a glorious success, opening the whole Northwestern country, and enabling Floyd and Wise to drive Cox with ease out of the Kanawha Valley, Regrets, however, are unavailing now. General Lee's plan, finished drawings of which were sent to the War Department at Richmond, was said to have been one of the bestlaid plans that ever illustrated the rules of strategy, or