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BATTLE ON THE GREENBRIER.
killed, fourteen wounded, and sixty-four prisoners. The Confederate loss was about one hundred killed' and wounded, and ninety prisoners.”
Lee, having failed in his designs against Reynolds, withdrew from the Cheat Mountain region with a greater part of his force, and joined Floyd at
Meadow Bluff, at the close of September. He had left General Sept.20
, H. R. Jackson, of Georgia, with about three thousand men, on
the Greenbrier River, at the foot of Cheat Mountain, and a small force at Huntersville, to watch Reynolds. IIe now proceeded to fortify Wise's position on Big Sewell Mountain, which confronted the Nationals on and near the Gauley River and New River, and there, as the senior officer, he concentrated his own forces, and those of Floyd and Wise, and found himself in command of an army of at least twenty thousand men.»
Reynolds now resolved to act on the offensive. At the beginning of October he moved with about five thousand men upon Jackson's intrenched camp, on the Greenbrier, near a noted tavern, called “ Travelers' Repose,” on the Staunton pike. His forces, composed of Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and
Virginia troops, left the summit of Cheat Mountain at a little before
midnight," for “ an armed reconnoissance," as he termed it. They reached the front of the Confederates, twelve miles distant, at dawn, when the Ninth Indiana, under Colonel Milroy, drove in the advance pickets. Kimball's Fourteenth Indiana took position directly in front, and Loomis's battery was planted within seven hundred yards of the works, where it opened fire. Howe, of the Fourth Regular Artillery, and Daum, also in command of artillery, brought their guns into position at about the same distance. Three of the Confederate cannon were disabled, when heavy reenforcements for the garrison were reported to be near. The Nationals were eager to storm the works before these should arrive, but the General would not permit it. They were allowed to make a flank movement on the Confederate right, and attempt a dislodgment. The Confederates, perceiving their design, were prepared at that point, and with a terrible storm of grape and canister they repulsed the assailants. Reynolds lost ten killed and thirty-two wounded. Jackson's loss in the picket-firing and in the trenches was estimated at over two hundred. The engagement had lasted about seven hours. Reynolds fell back to Elk Water.
6 Oct. 2.
1 Among the killed was Lieutenant-Colonel John A. Washington, of General Lee's staff. He was the former owner of the mansion and mansion-farm of the estate of Mount Vernon, which he sold to the Ladies' Mount Vernon Association a few years before the war broke out. He was out on the evening of the 13th, with two other officers, reconnoitering the works at Elk Water, when he was shot dead by three Minió balls, from a picket post of the Seventeenth Indiana. These penetrated his breast, which was covered by a rich white satin vest. In his pocket was found a complete description of the works at Elk Water. His remains were tenderly cared for, and sent to General Lee the next morning. Washington was about forty years of age.
? Report of General J. J. Reynolds to Assistant Adjutant-General George L. Hartsuff, September 17th, 1861 ; of General Robert E. Lee to L. Pope Walker, September 18th, 1861; The Cheat Mountain Campaign, in Stevenson's Inuliana Roll of Ilonor ; Pollard's First Year of the War. Whilst evidently giving Lee full credit for rare abilities as an engineer, Pollard regarded him as incompetent to execute well. He says: " There is reason to believe that, if General Lee had not allowed the immaterial part of his plan to control his action, a glorions success would have resulted, opening the whole northwestern country to us, and enabling Floyd and Wise to drive Cox with ease out of the Kanawha Valley. Regrets, however, were 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 best-laid plans that ever illustrated the consummation of the rules of strategy, or ever went awry on account of practical failures in its execution."
3 When Lee arrived at Floyd's camp at Meadow Bluff, he wrote to Wise, advising him to fall back without delay. Wise hesitated, and invited General Lee to visit him, and inspect his position. Lee did so, and, satisfied that it was the most advantageous place of the two, ordered him to remain. This tacit approval of Wise's insubordination offended Floyd; but the concentration of all the forces under Lee prevented any ill consequences.
ROSECRANS AND FLOYD ON NEW RIVER.
Lee's position on Big Sewell Mountain was directly in front of that of Rosecrans, who occupied the country in the crotch formed by the Gauley River and New River. His main camp was on New River, and his lines extended down to the Gauley. The breach between Wise and Floyd widened, and, late in September, the former was recalled to Richmond by the Confederate “Secretary of War." Lee held Sept. 24,
1861. Wise's position on Big Sewell for about three weeks, in sight of Rosecrans, who had been re-enforced ;' but did not venture to attack him. The latter then fell back, without Lee's knowledge, and concentrated his forces near the junction of the rivers. Lee, too, was then recalled to Richmond,' and was soon afterward sent to take charge of the coast defenses of South Carolina and Georgia.: Floyd and Rosecrans were once more competitors for the possession of the Kanawha Valley. The former, late in October, took position on the left bank of New River, and erected batteries there a little above its junction with the Gauley, and on the first of November he opened an annoying fire on the National camp. Already very troublesome raids had been made by small parties of Confederates, and on one occasion they had approached within twelve miles of Charleston.
Floyd's batteries now commanded the road over which Rosecrans's supplies had to pass to his camp at the junction, and it was resolved to dislodge or capture him. Troops were thrown across for that purpose. An attempt of General Schenck to cross behind Fayetteville, and strike Floyd's rear, was frustrated by a sudden flood in New River, and the Confederates were struck only in the front, opposite the mouth of the Gauley, by the First Ken
REGION OF MILITARY OPERATIONS IN WESTERN VIRGINIA. tucky, under Major Leeper. This was gallantly performed, and Floyd recoiled. General Benham had crossed below the mouth
1 His army now numbered about 10,000 men, composed of the brigades of Generals Cox, Benham, and Schenck, the latter havin; been transferred from the Army of the Potomac.
? Lee's campaign in Western Virginia was a failure, and the hopes centered on him were signally disappointed. The Confederate historian of the war, Pollard, coinmenting on Lee's failure to attack Rosecrans, says (i. 171): “Thus the second opportunity of a decisive battle in Western Virginia was blindly lost, General Lee making no attempt to follow up the enemy, who had so skillfully eluded him; the excuse alleged for his not doing so being innd, swollen streams, and the leanness of his artillery horses."
: See Lee's letter of resignation, note 3, page 421, volume I.
DEFEAT AND FLIGHT OF FLOYD.
of New River, with his brigade. Rosecrans, fearing Floyd would retreat, ordered Benham to push forward at once to Cassidy's Mills, on his flank and rear, to intercept him. This was not accomplished in time, and
Floyd filed precipitately, strewing the way with tents, tent-poles, working utensils, and ammunition, in his efforts to lighten his wagons. Benham pressed his rear heavily through Fayetteville, and on the road toward Raleigh; and near the latter place he struck the Confederate rear-guard of four hundred caralry, under Colonel Croghan,' who was mortally wounded.
Onward Floyd sped, with Benham close at his heels; but the pursuit was ended near Raleigh, after a thirty miles' race, by the recall of Benham, and the fugitive escaped to Peterston, full fifty miles southward from his point of departure. He soon afterward took leave of his army, in a stirring proclamation, praising his men for their courage and fidelity, and reminding them that for five months “hard contested battles and skirmishes were matters of almost daily occurrence.” General Rosecrans also issued an address to his troops, in which he recapitulated their services, and implored them to prepare for greater deeds in the future. Thus ended the campaign in the Kanawha Valley.
But little more effort was needed to rid Western Virginia of the insurgents. Already General Kelly, who had behaved so gallantly at Philippi in June,“ had struck them a severe blow on the spot where Colonel Wallace first smote them a few months before. 5 Kelly had recovered from his severe wound, and, with the commission of Brigadier-General, was in command of troops in the autumn, guarding the Baltimore and Ohio Railway along its course through West Virginia. Ascertaining that a considerable insurgent force, consisting of cavalry, under Colonel Angus McDonald, and militia under Colonel Monroe, was at Romney, preparing
1 St. George Croghan was a son of the eminent Colonel George Croghan, who so gallantly defended Fort Stephenson, at lower bandusky, in the War of 1812. His family were residing in Newburgh, on the Hudson River, at this time.
Rosecrans said: “When ourgillant young commander was called from us, after the disaster of Bull's Run, this department was left with less than 15,000 inen to guard 300 miles of railroar, and 300 miles of frontier, exposed to bushwhackers, and the forces of Generals Floyd, Wise, and Jackson. The northwestern pass into it was fortified and held, Cheat Mountain secured, the rebel assaults there victoriously repelled, and tho Kanawba Valley occupied. A march of 112 miles, over bad roads, brought you upon Floyd's intrenched position, whence the rebels were dislodged and chased tu Sewell. Finally, your patience and watchings put the traitor Floyd within your reach, and though, by a precipitate retreat, he escaped your grasp, you have the substantial fruits of victory. Western. Virginia belongs to herself, and the invader is expelled from her soil. In the name of our Commander-in-Chief, and in my own, I thank you."
3 On the 10th of November, a most unbappy event occurred in the extreme southwestern portion of Virginia. The village of Guyandotte, on the Ohio River, near the Kentucky line, was held by a small Union force under R. V. Whaley, a loyal Virginian, cominanding the Ninth Virginia Regiment, who had a recruiting statio: tbere. At eight o'clock in the evening, a guerrilla chief, named Albert G. Jonkins, who, with his mounted men, had been for some time carrying on a distressing warfare in that region, dashed into the little village, surprised the Union force, and made over 100 of them prisoners. They killed every man who resisted. With prisoners and plunder, Jenkins fled the next morning. It was reported that the Secessionists in the village had entrappeal znany of the Union soldiers in the coils of social enjoyments, and then gave Jenkins notice that he could easily win a prize. This so exasperated Colonel John J. Zeigler, a loyal citizen of Wayne County, who was in command of the Fifth Virginia, and who entered the town the next morning, that he ordered the houses of the disloyalists to be burned. Almost the whole village was laid in ashes. Jenkins had represented his section of Virginia in Congress.
The guerrilla bands who infested portions of Virginia during the whole war, were composed of the disloyal citizens of that State. Seme of thein gave themselves names significant of their character and intentions. А portion of one of these bands, composed of residents of Flat Top Mountain, in Mercer County, were captured near Raleigh, in Western Virginia, by Colonel (afterward General) Rutherford B. Hays, of Ohio, and be found by papers in their possession, that their organization was known as “ The Flat Top Copperheads," their avowed ubject being the destruction of the lives and property of Union men. * See page 496, volume I.
See page 518, volume I.
MILROY IN WESTERN VIRGINIA.
for a descent on the railway, he led about twenty-five hundred Ohio and Virginia troops against them, from the New Creek Station, along the route first traversed by Wallace. He came upon the insurgents a few miles from Romney, at three o'clock in the afternoon of the 26th of October, drove in their outposts, and, after a severe contest of about two hours, completely routed them, capturing their three cannon, much of their camp equipage, a large number of prisoners, besides killing and wounding between thirty and forty in the fray. This victory paralyzed the rebellion in that region for a time. It was followed by a proclamation from General Kelly, assuring the inhabitants that full protection should be given to those who were peaceable, at the same time telling them that, if they joined in guerrilla warfare, they should be treated as enemies. He required all who had taken up arms against the Government to lay them down immediately, and take an oath of allegiance to the National Government. For a while that region of the State enjoyed repose.
Soon after Reynolds's attack on Jackson, at “Travelers' Rest," a large portion of the Cheat Mountain troops were sent to Kentucky, and Colonel Robert H. Milroy, who had been commissioned a Brigadier
. Sept. 3, General," was kept with a single brigade to hold the mountain passes. Reynolds was ordered to report in person to General Rosecrans, who at the close of the Kanawha campaign had retired to Wheeling, and, in December, Milroy succeeded to the command of the Cheat Mountain division of the army. Milroy had at first established his headquarters on Cheat Summit, and vigorously scouted the hills in that region, making the beautiful little Greenbrier Valley lively with frequent skirmishing. Jackson had withdrawn from Camp Bartow at “Travelers' Rest,” and, being ordered to Georgia, had left his command of twelve hundred Confederates and about eight hundred Virginians with Colonel Edward Johnston of Georgia, to confront Milroy. lIe made his head-quarters at Allegheny Summit; and Milroy, when he took chief command, established his at Huttonsville, in Tygart's Valley.
Milroy determined to attack Johnston, and for that purpose moved a little over three thousand men on the 12th of December. He directed Colonel Moody of the Ninth Indiana to lead his regiment, with a detachment of the Second Virginia, around to make a flank movement, and charge and capture a battery on a bluff commanding the Staunton pike. At the same time the Twenty-fifth Ohio, Colonel Jones, with detachments of the Thirteenth Indiana, and Thirty-second Ohio, was to assault Johnston's front. This was done, but Colonel Moody did not arrive in time to co-operate with Jones. The fight was continued, but Jones was not successful. The Confederates became the aggressors, and they in turn were discomfited. Milroy
EVENTS ON THE SEA-COAST.
had lost about one hundred and fifty men when Moody commenced his flank attack. This, too, was unsuccessful, and the whole force retired in
, good order, unpursued by the Confederates. The losses on both sides appear to have been about equal, and amounted to very nearly two hundred men each. Both parties had fought with the most commendable valor.
Milroy was not discouraged by his failure on the Allegheny Summit. Late in December he sent a force to break up a Confederate post at Huntersville, and capture or destroy military stores there. The main expedition consisted of a battalion of the Twenty-fifth Ohio, and a detachment of the Second Virginia, with Bracken's cavalry, and was commanded by Major Webster, of the first-named regiment. Other troops were sent to co-operate
with these. The expedition was successful. After a weary march of about fifty miles, the ground covered with snow, the post was attacked, the Confederates were dispersed, a large amount of stores were burned, and the jail, which was used for the confinement of Union prisoners, was partially destroyed. This event closed the campaign of 1861 in Western Virginia, and armed rebellion in that region was effectually crushed.
Whilst the scenes we have just recorded were transpiring in the Middle Mississippi Valley, and in West Virginia, others even more remarkable, and quite as important in their relations to the great contest, were occurring on the sea-coast. Let us see what official records and narratives of eye-witnesses reveal to us on this subject.
In a previous chapter,' we have considered some stirring events at and near Fortress Monroe, in Southeastern Virginia. In Hampton Roads, in front of that fortress, a great land and naval armament was seen in August, 1861, destined to strike a severe blow at the rebellion farther down the coast. It had been collected there while the smoke of the once pleasant village of Hampton, near, was yet making the air of Old Point Comfort murky with its density. Let us see how that village, whose ruins have already been depicted in this work, came to destruction.
We have observed that, after the disastrous Battle of Bull's Run, General Butler, in command at Fortress Monroe, was compelled to reduce the garrison at Newport-Newce, and to abandon the village of Hampton, the latter movement causing a general exodus of the colored people living
there," who flocked into the Union lines. The whole country between Old Point Comfort and Yorktown was now left open to
Confederate rule; and General Magruder, commanding at the latter post, . moved down the peninsula with about five thousand men, infantry, cavalry, and artillery, to menace Newport-Newce, and take position at or near Hampton, for the close investment of Fortress Monroe. A deserterhad swum across Hampton Creek, and given General Butler such timely notice of the movement that preparations were made at both posts for Magruder's warm reception.
Camp Hamilton, commanded by Colonel Max Weber, was soon alive with preparations for battle, and a force stationed at the redoubt at Hamp
a July 26,
1 Chapter XXI., volume I.
? See pages 511, 512, and 514, volume I. 3 Mr. Mahew, of the State of Maine. He was in Georgia when the war broke out, and had been pressed into the Confederate service.