division Ohio militia, I left Scott's Landing on the morning of the twenty-second instant, with a portion of my brigade, for the purpose of intercepting Morgan's forces on the Muskingum River, at any point where he might attempt to cross. His movements during the day, as indicated by my scouts, led me to suspect he would attempt to cross at Beverly, or at some other point between that place and McConnellsville — most probably at Windsor. Placing guards at the fords, and covering my entire front with scouts, I landed my main force at Windsor for the night. At an early hour the next morning a courier from McConnellsville brought intelligence that Morgan was within five miles, on the opposite side of the river, and approaching that place. I moved my command promptly, but upon reaching McConnellsville I ascertained that the enemy was crossing at Eagleport ferry, seven miles above. Before I could accomplish this march he had crossed the river. By taking an unfrequented route over the hills from the river, I succeeded in flanking him, and opening upon him with my artillery. His entire force was thrown into confusion, throwing away their arms, clothing, etc., along the route of his retreat. I followed with infantry and artillery, opening upon him from every available point, until about four o'clock P. M., when General Shackleford's cavalry came in, moving upon Morgan's rear from the left. My forces being completely exhausted, I drew them off, and moved back to the river. I have the honor to be, Governor, respectfully your obedient servant,
Commander pitch's report.
United States steamer Moose, above Buffington Island, Ohio River, July 19.After chasing Morgan nearly five hundred miles, I at last met him at this point, and engaged and drove him back, capturing two pieces of his artillery, and abandoned the rest to General Judah. The enemy broke in confusion from the banks, and left his wagon trains, many horses, and small arms in my possession. Since writing the above, I followed further up the river, and met another portion of Morgan's force fording fourteen miles above; shelled and. drove most of them back. Several were killed, fifteen or thirty wounded, and twenty horses captured. I have but two men wounded slightly. Our shell and shrapnel created great confusion in the rebel ranks, killing and wounding many.
To Son. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy:
To Son. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy:
Leroy Fitch, Lieutenant Commanding.
Captain Oakes's letter.
steamboat Imperial, July 21.dear sir: We left here on Tuesday last, in the capacity of despatch-boat to the gunboat fleet under command of Commodore Fitch, in pursuit of John Morgan. I think that the credit of the rout and damage of Morgan and his band belongs to the gunboats. The gunboats were on hand at all fording points all along the river, and kept him from crossing, and so checked him until the arrival of our troops completed the work. Morgan came in and camped there during Saturday night, and our forces came up and attacked him during Sunday morning. The gunboat Moose, under command of Commodore Fitch, was anchored at the foot of Buffington, having arrived there on Saturday evening, and, as you are aware, the river is low, and there is but little water in Buffington chute. The night being dark, Commodore Fitch kept his boat at the foot until daylight, when he started up through the chute. Morgan's men made an attempt to plant a cannon on the bank opposite the chute, when Commodore Fitch gave them a shell or two, and they left. Commodore Fitch then went on through the chute, and took his position at the head of the island, and shelled them during the battle, throwing them into confusion and disorder. They then started at full speed up the river road. Commodore Fitch met them at a narrow place in the road, and gave them some more shell, when Morgan abandoned all his guns, wagons, buggies, surplus horses, dry goods, boots, shoes, hardware, etc., of which he had a good supply, and made his escape with what men he had left, and they kept on up the river at such a distance that the gunboat could not reach them. A part of them came in at the head of Belleville Island, numbering one hundred to one hundred and twenty-five men. We had the gunboat Moose in tow, and were at the foot of the island, coming up as fast as we could. Commodore Fitch shelled them while they were in the river fording. We/saw three empty saddles, and got the horses. The balance of this party made their escape into Virginia. We came on up, and at the foot of Belleville bar, saw fourteen more cross, but they were at too great a distance to reach them, and they got over to the Virginia shore, and as we came by, fired at us in ambush; so Commodore Fitch shelled the woods. We went on to the foot of Mustapha, and as we were ahead of them, the; having gone back into the bills, he thought best to return, and landed at Reed's Landing, opposite Belleville, and took on board some rebel horses. These two parties of men are all we saw cross the river. From Reed's we came to head of Bufflngton, and took on what captured cannon, wagons, horses, etc., we could, and got down the chute. We followed the Moose through the chute, and tied up to her at the foot of Buffington Sunday night. On Monday morning, Commodore Fitch ordered us to Cincinnati, at which point we arrived this morning, at one A. M. The other gunboats were at other points all along the river, as Commodore Fitch thought best to station them to guard the ford. I think the credit of this defeat of Morgan is due entirely to