Ohio mounted infantry, cut the railroad at Wytheville, Virginia, and destroyed two pieces of artillery, seven hundred muskets, and a large amount of ammunition and stores, and had a sharp fight in Wytheville. Captured one hundred and twenty-five prisoners, who were paroled. Killed, seventy-five. Wounded, not known. Our loss is seventy-eight killed, wounded, and missing. Seventeen were killed, including Colonel Toland and Captain Delaney. Colonel Powell is very dangerously wounded, and is a prisoner. We were fired upon from houses, public and private, by the citizens, even by the women. My men totally destroyed the town, and reached Fayette yesterday, after a march of about three hundred miles.
E. P. Scammon. Brigadier-General.
A National account
camp Piatt, Virginia, July 26, 1863.On the afternoon of the thirteenth instant, the Second Virginia volunteer cavalry, and the Thirty-fourth Ohio volunteer infantry, mounted, left Browntown, Virginia, under command of Colonel John Toland, and proceeded up Lens Creek to Lens Mountain. Crossing this, we reached Coal River, a small river which empties into the Kanawha. As the time allotted for our special duty was passing away, we travelled through the night, resting a few minutes at daylight to arrange our affairs for continuing our march. Moving along the river toward Raleigh Court-House, which place we passed to our left, we struck the Shady Spring road, and at eight P. M., encountered the enemy's pickets, of about one hundred men, who immediately fired upon our advance, killing two and wounding three others of the Second Virginia cavalry. The pickets immediately gave the news of our approach, and the rebels, though fortified, began to prepare for a backward movement, and fearing an ambush, we awaited the approach of day before renewing the attack. The night was intensely dark, and our command became divided, one taking the road to Raleigh, the other to Wyoming. However, the mistake was soon rectified, and on Wednesday morning, tired and hungry, the column again moved on the Wyoming road. The country is barren of grain and produce. No males remain at home, having either entered one or the other armies, or removed to places more secure. After travelling hard all day we reached Trumps's Farm, the owner being in the rebel army. Little or no attention was paid to our troops by the citizens, and they received little in return at this place. General Scammon had ordered a train of forage and rations, and orders were received to take six days rations for men, two for horses, and after a short sleep we arose from our grassy beds and prepared to continue our march toward Dixie. At three A. M., Thursday, we took the Marsh Fork road of Coal River, and struck the Guyan Mountain. The ascent of this mountain was tedious, as the road has not been travelled for a long time; consequently our way had to be cleared of obstructions that impeded our march. The summit at last reached, we began to descend, and enter a valley destitute of name or people. What few inhabitants live (?) here obtain a livelihood by digging ginseng and other roots, and are satisfied with that scanty allowance. The country is destitute of improvements. The grist-mills, if I may be allowed to call them such, are erected by joint-stock companies, with a capital of about seventy-five cents and a few hours' labor, and this does the work of two or more families. They live in huts that the Esquimaux would scorn to be invited into. Long, dirty, tobacco-dried, sallow-complexioned women stare at you as you pass. Ask them a question, they answer you, giving what information they possess, but it is so little as to render you no assistance. Continuing through the valley, we reached Wyoming Court-House, a place of no importance. It contains a few dilapidated buildings, and points again to the native genius and industry of the people, who eke out a miserable existence in this Godforsaken, country. Here a small dirty tavern stands, with two or three half-starved old men gazing upon the Yankees as they march along, eyeing them, expecting that they will destroy all property, and insult women and murder the children. We passed through this place about noon, and struck the Indian Creek road. Proceeding through a most miserable country, we camped for the night about thirty miles south-east of Wyoming Court-House, and grounded ourselves for the night. At two A. M., Friday, the seventeenth, “boot and saddle sounded,” and at three A. M. our column was in motion. We crossed the Tug range of mountains and met the Tug Fork of Big Sandy, continued down the creek to near Abb's Valley, where we learned the rebel Colonel Beckley was organizing a battalion at Camp Pemberton, under Captain Stoting. The rain came down in torrents, drenching all to the skin. No one, except they that have travelled through the mountains of Virginia, can conceive how it rains on the mountains. Arriving within four miles of this camp, our advance started on a trot, and about three o'clock P. M. the rebel pickets and entire camp were captured, consisting of one captain and thirty-five men; but one escaped, who was then on horse. We went ahead, and began to move more rapidly until within five miles of Jeffersonville, the county-seat of Tazewell County,where we encamped for the night. Through Abb's Valley the scenery beggars description for beauty. As far as the eye can reach stretch, in every direction, hills and vales. The country is rich, owned principally by wealthy citizens, who were very influential in bringing about the rebellion, living in luxury and ease. They little dreamed that they, living in so remote a place, should be made to feel the weight of the hand of war. On Saturday morning, at two o'clock, we left our camping ground, without feed for horses, and our men, having got all their rations wet while crossing rivers, began to feel the want of food. We left