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[90] at this time about equal in numbers. Loring's force was now six thousand, General Jackson's about five thousand strong. General Reynold's force had been increased to about eleven thousand men; of these, two thousand were on Cheat Mountain, about five thousand in position on the Lewisburg road in front of General Loring. The remainder of General Reynold's force was held in reserve near the junction of the Parkersburg turnpike and the Lewisburg road.

General Lee determined to attack on the morning of the 28th of September. The plan was that Colonel Rust should gain the rear of the Federal position by early dawn, and begin the attack. General Anderson, with two Tennessee regiments from Loring's command, was to support him; while General Jackson was to make a diversion in front. Cheat Mountain Pass being carried, General Jackson, with his whole force, was to sweep down the mountain and fall upon the rear of the other Federal position; General Donaldson, with two regiments, was to gain a favorable position for attacking the enemy on the Lewisburg road, in flank or rear; and Loring was to advance, by the main road, on the Federal front. In case of failure, Anderson and Donaldson were to rejoin Loring, and Rust was to find his way back to Jackson. The troops gained their designated positions with remarkable promptness and accuracy in point of time, considering the distance and the difficulties to be overcome. Colonel Rust's attack on Cheat Mountain was to be the signal for the general advance of all the troops. It was anxiously expected, from early dawn, throughout the day. On every side was continuously heard, “What has become of Rust?” “Why don't he attack?” “Rust must have lost his way.” The Tennesseeans, under Anderson, became so impatient that they requested to be led to the attack without waiting for Rust; but General Anderson thought that he must be governed by the letter of his instructions, and declined granting the request of his men. Thus we see a plan that offered every prospect of success come to naught by the failure of a subordinate officer to come up to the expectations of his commander. Anderson and Donaldson, finding that their situation was becoming critical-being liable to discovery, and being between two superior forces-rejoined General Loring on the 29th. On the same day, Colonel Rust reported in person his operations, which amounted to this: he heard nothing of General Anderson; his heart failed him; he passed the day watching the Federals, and then retired. When Colonel Rust rendered his report, General Lee, perceiving the deep mortification he felt at the great blunder he had committed, permitted him to rejoin his regiment. A council of war was then held, in which it was

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