decided that the position of the Federals
was too strong to be attacked in front with any reasonable prospect of success, and that a flank attack was now out of the question, inasmuch as the Federals
had been aroused by the discovery of the danger which had so recently threatened them; so the troops were ordered to resume their former positions.
During the operations just related, there had been but little skirmishing, and the Confederate
loss had been slight.
One circumstance, however, occurred which cast a gloom over the whole army.
Colonel J. A. Washington
, while making a reconnoissance, fell into an ambuscade, and was killed.
He had, by his soldierly qualities and high gentlemanly bearing, gained the esteem of all. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the troops for their courage and patient endurance in this campaign; and Colonels Burk
were worthy of the gallant fellows that it had fallen to their lot to command.
We will now examine into the condition of affairs on the line of the Kanawha
entered the Kanawha Valley
in August. General Cox
was then near Charleston
After some maneuvring, Floyd
fell back to the junction of the New river
and the Gauley
, where he was joined by General Wise
's force now numbered between eight and ten thousand men. Being uncertain whether Cox
would advance up the New river
line or upon that of the Gauley
, he posted a force, under Wise
, on the New river
line, while he occupied a favorable position on the Gauley
At Carnifax's Ferry, Floyd
were in easy supporting distance of each other; but there was no cordiality between them.
About the 15th of September, General Floyd
, seeing that it was the evident intention of Rosecrans
to attack him, ordered Wise
to his support, which order Wise
failed to obey, and Floyd
was left to receive alone the attack of a greatly superior force, which, however, he succeeded in repulsing with considerable loss; but, being still unsupported by Wise
, he was obliged to retire.
Among the casualties on the side of the Confederates
, General Floyd
received a painful wound in the arm. General Wise
having finally joined Floyd
, they fell back to a position on the James river
and Kanawha turnpike, near the Hawk's Nest
About the last of September General Rosecrans
, having reinforced Cox
, took command in person and advanced on the James River
and Kanawha turnpike, gradually pushing back Floyd
in the direction of Lewisburg
, it being his intention to turn the Confederate
position on Valley Mountain
and the Greenbrier river
Such was the condition of affairs on the line of the Kanawha