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wered the most simple interrogatories with great solemnity and caution. Our strength from such sources of information was put down at from seventy-five thousand to one hundred thousand; while the truth was, our whole army there assembled did not muster more than twenty thousand men, and twenty guns; Johnston having ten thousand men and twenty guns with him in the Shenandoah Valley. Daily reports now began to possess interest. Pegram had been surprised and defeated by McClellan, at Rich Mountain in Western Virginia, (July twelfth,) and from reports of killed and wounded, it was very evident the Federals had no idea of amusing themselves by throwing snowballs at us. Scott began to push his outposts towards Fairfax Court-House, and sharp skirmishing was of daily occurrence; but with little damage to either side. We learned that our independent scouts around Alexandria caused much annoyance and loss by their unerring aim; and judging by the exploits of some few of those adventurou
of filling the seat of Minister of War, and, upon going to Richmond, was installed in that office, and fulfilled its Herculean duties with great talent and despatch. The line of the Rapidan and Rappahannock rivers was selected by him as our point of defence; while Beauregard preferred Manassas and Bull Run-much inferior situations, although accidental victory crowned our efforts and immortalized the latter place. The defeat of Pegram in Western Virginia by McClellan and Rosecrans, at Rich Mountain, occurred before Manassas, as I have mentioned in another place. A few weeks after the Yankee rout at Manassas, Lee was sent to Western Virginia, with only a few raw recruits, under Wise and Floyd, to contend against the numerous and well-provided thousands who flocked to the Federal standard from Ohio and other adjacent States, having canal and railroad communication beyond all their necessities. What Lee needed in men he made up by skilful manoeuvres, and by well fortifying differ
he poor lass. Well, said another, the locality is forever famous, but I see that McClellan, as usual, claims it as a victory. You were not foolish enough to suppose he would commence telling the truth at this stage of proceedings? It is true he is the best man they have, but when the North, displeased with Scott's defeat, were beating about for a successor, had not McClellan fed the national vanity by sending flaming sensation despatches about his defeat of Pegram at Rich Mountain, Western Virginia, they would never have given him a thought; for it must be confessed politicians do not seek out and reward true merit, while any dependents remain unprovided for. McClellan has attained his present flattering position by falsehood, and will seek to maintain it in the same manner. Falsehood is their settled plan of action. You remember the column of lies that appeared after Manassas, Leesburgh, etc. They have the most fertile imaginations of any race on the globe, and coul
in advance of us, is said to be in the hands of the secession troops. To-morrow, or the day after, if they do not leave, a battle will take place. Our men appear eager for the fray, and I pray they may be as successful in the fight as they are anxious for one. June, 29 It is half-past 8 o'clock, and we are still but eight miles from Clarksburg. We were informed this morning that the secession troops had left Buckhannon, and fallen back to their fortifications at Laurel Hill and Rich mountain. It is said General McClellan will be here to-morrow, and take command of the forces in person. In enumerating the troops in this vicinity, I omitted to mention Colonel Robert McCook's Dutch regiment, which is in camp two miles from us. The Seventh Ohio Infantry is now at Clarksburg, and will, I think, move in this direction to-morrow. Provisions outside of camp are very scarce. I took breakfast with a farmer this morning, and can say truly that I have eaten much better meals i
the Alleghanies can now be seen plainly. We are at the foot of Rich mountain, encamped where our brothers of the secession order pitched thefter, and before we had pitched our tents, the clouds came over Rich mountain, settling down upon and hiding its summit entirely. Heaven gavtheir friends in retreat. Soon after reaching the summit of Rich mountain, we caught glimpses of Tygart's valley, and of Cheat mountain lly. They are a portion of the force which fought Rosecrans at Rich mountain, and Morris at Laurel Hill. We started up the Valley river tify. The Colonel has gone to Beverly. The boys repeat his Rich mountain speech with slight variations: Men, there are ten thousand secessionists in Rich mountain, with forty rifled cannon, well fortified. There's bloody work ahead. You are going to a butcher-shop rather thaave been a spy, and obtained his reward in the loss of a leg at Rich mountain. July, 19 To-day, eleven men belonging to a company of ca
October, 1861. October, 2 Our camp is almost deserted. The tents of eight regiments dot the valley; but those of two regiments and a half only are occupied. The Hoosiers have all gone to Cheat mountain summit. They propose to steal upon the enemy during the night, take him by surprise, and thrash him thoroughly. I pray they may be successful, for since Rich mountain our army has done nothing worthy of a paragraph. Rosecrans' affair at Carnifex was a barren thing; certainly no battle and no victory, and the operations in this vicinity have at no time risen to the dignity of a skirmish. Captain McDougal, with nearly one hundred men and three days provisions, started up the valley this morning, with instructions to go in sight of the enemy, the object being to lead the latter to suppose the advance guard of our army is before him. By this device it is expected to keep the enemy in our front from going to the assistance of the rebels now threatening Kimball. October, 3
It takes two to make a fight, as it does to make a bargain. General John Pope is the only warrior of modern times who can find a battle whenever he wants to, and take any number of prisoners his heart desires. Even his brilliant achievements, however, afford the people but temporary satisfaction, for, upon investigation, they are unable to find either the captives or the discomfited hosts. I predict that in twelve months Rosecrans will be as unpopular as Buell. After the affair at Rich mountain, the former was a great favorite. When placed in command of the forces in Western Virginia, the people expected hourly to hear of Floyd's destruction; but after a whole summer was spent in the vain endeavor to chase down the enemy and bring him to battle, they began to abuse Rosecrans, and he finally left that department, much as Buell has left this. Our generals should, undoubtedly, do more, but our people should certainly expect less. November, 19 At Tyree Springs. Am the pres
Robert Underwood Johnson, Clarence Clough Buell, Battles and Leaders of the Civil War: The Opening Battles. Volume 1., McClellan in West Virginia. (search)
is between Cheat Mountain on the east, and Rich Mountain on the west. The river, of the same name Parkersburg route passing over a saddle in Rich Mountain, and the Wheeling route following the riveap, p. 131.] Garnett thought the pass over Rich Mountain much the stronger and more easily held, anaurel Mountain position and 5 from that at Rich Mountain. He was pretty accurately informed of McClroad, which, at the time of the affair at Rich Mountain, consisted of 16 Ohio regiments, 9 from Inm Colonel Pegram's position at the base of Rich Mountain. The advance on both lines had been made ng, of which about 2000 were before him at Rich Mountain. A reconnoissance made on the 10th showed, watching for the effect of the attack at Rich Mountain. In the evening Rosecrans took to McClell to make a longer circuit Map: combat at Rich Mountain. than he at first intended, and it took tthe evening by messenger from Beverly that Rich Mountain summit was carried, and evacuated his camp[2 more...]
John Esten Cooke, Wearing of the Gray: Being Personal Portraits, Scenes, and Adventures of War., General Pegram on the night before his death. (search)
he cavalry detachment to Colonel Phillips, I entered the old wooden building and found General John Pegram. This gallant young officer had been my school-fellow and intimate friend in boyhood; and I had seen him every day almost until his departure for West Point. After graduating there he had entered the cavalry, served on the prairies, and in 1861 returned to offer his sword to Virginia, where he was received in a manner highly flattering, and placed in command of the forces near Rich Mountain. The unfortunate result of that campaign is known, and the proud and sensitive spirit of the young soldier was deeply wounded. In spite of the assurances of brave and skilful soldiers that the issue there was unavoidable, considering the great force brought against him, he persisted in brooding over it. It would always be known as Pegram's surrender, he said. It was soon forgotten, however; greater events and greater disasters threw it in the background, and the young soldier fought
The Annals of the Civil War Written by Leading Participants North and South (ed. Alexander Kelly McClure), Lee's West Virginia campaign. (search)
re relate an adventure of De Lagrel, connected with Garnett's defeat, which exhibited great courage, endurance and address. De Lagrel was an old army officer, and commanded the artillery of Pegram's detachment. When attacked by Rosecrans at Rich Mountain, he fought his guns with great gallantry and effect. His men behaved well until the enemy began to close in upon them; they then fled, leaving De Lagrel almost alone. Undaunted by the desertion of his men, he served a gun himself until disa and, with all his ingenuity, he could not escape detection; his boots had betrayed him. These traitors were drawn off, and in the leg of one the name of De Lagrel was found, and he was at once recognized as the officer whose disappearance at Rich Mountain had led to so much inquiry. He was sent a prisoner of war to the Federal headquarters, where he was courteously received. The defeat of General Garnett left McClellan in undisputed possession of all Northwestern Virginia. In order to se
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