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[447] Jeffersonville to our right, and struck Clinch River. The country is beautiful; good farms, poorly attended. We then crossed Rich Mountain. From this mountain the scenery is grand, and nothing can be traced to lead one to believe that desolating war has ever paid them his visits. The people had heard much and seen little of Yankee soldiers; none, save prisoners, had ever passed through this part of Dixie, and the white population looked upon us with fear, ready to give all when asked. On the other hand, the negroes assembled in groups, threw themselves in every conceivable form; jumping, singing, dancing, yelling, and giving signs that “the year of jubilee had come.” The white men fled, as we approached, leaving their homes at our mercy, which were not molested, except used in some way to benefit the rebel army; in such cases, they were always destroyed. We now struck Beartown Mountain, and then entered Buck Garden, a place of resort, owned principally by Erl Perry, a man of considerable influence among the ignorant. At this place a store was owned by the rebel Colonel Callahan, and in his charge the brother of the thief J. B. Floyd had placed a splendid medical library; the buildings were destroyed, as well as a flour-mill in the same vicinity. Passing through this rich strip to Garden Mountain, Bland County, Virginia, which is well worth a visit in peaceable times, and crossing this, we enter Rich Valley and continue to Walker's Mountain; crossing this, we strike Strong Fork road toward Wytheville, Wy.the County, Virginia, (a place of one thousand eight hundred inhabitants, on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad;) after proceeding a few miles, we came in sight of the enemy's pickets; skirmishing immediately commenced, and when we were within four miles from the town the charge was sounded and the cavalry put in motion. The charge was led by Captain Delany, of the First Virginia cavalry. About four o'clock P. M., we came in sight of the town of Wytheville. The charge began in earnest. The cavalry, under command of Colonel Powell, all expected to find the enemy in line of battle; but, instead of this, they assembled in various buildings commanding the principal streets, and opened a deadly volley upon our advancing column. The town was entered, and scarce had the first company passed ere the citizens and soldiers opened from every house a terrible fire; one volley killed Captain Delany and his First Lieutenant, and severely wounded his Second Lieutenant; but three companies entered the town on the charge, two companies, the First Virginia cavalry, and company I, Second Virginia cavalry, the remainder having been thrown in disorder by the dead horses and men that strewed the narrow street. These three companies now in town began to work in earnest, dashing from one end of the town to the other; they discovered two pieces of artillery being placed in position; one grand dash and the pieces changed hands, with the commander and four men. Word was now sent to Colonel Toland for reenforcetnents; the Thirty-fourth dismounted and came double-quick to our relief. Charging on the buildings, they soon began to dislodge the rebels; the town was ordered to be burned, to drive them from their fortified places. Colonel Toland rode from the rear, and took his position in the centre of the street; sharp-shooters immediately began to play destruction among the officers, and ere he had been there ten minutes a fatal shot struck him in the breast, producing instant death. Colonel Powell, who had just received a wound in the right shoulder, was carried from the field; thus in an instant both commands lost their leaders, and all deeply felt the loss. Reenforcements were sent to the rebels from Dullin's Depot and other places, and the town of Wytheville, from this moment, was eras ed from existence; the small bridge near the town, was burned, and we fell back, not being able to procure our dead for burial. All our wounded having been left in the enemy's hands, we fell back about two miles, and awaited the approach of day. At this time we learned our rear-guards were attacked; they having all prisoners captured up to this time in their possession, were compelled to divide their force, but the rebel numbers being four to one, soon captured the prisoners, killing two of their own, and two of the Thirty-fourth Ohio regiment, and taking thirteen prisoners; they made good their escape. Upon the approach of daylight on Sunday, the nineteenth, the question was what was best to be done. Lieutenant-Colonel Franklin, of the Thirty-fourth Ohio, assumed command. It appears that the orders given Colonel Toland were in cipher, and understood by no others than the General and himself. To return by the road we came all knew would be attended with difficulty, and loss of life and property; however, the course was adopted, and we began the backward movement. A few miles from this place we found two dead Zouaves lying on the road; one had been stripped of his boots and pants by his murderer, and left thus to be devoured by the starving swine, or lie thus exposed to the scorching sun, an idea too horrible to dwell upon. I thought, certainly, we would have taken time to perform the last and sacred rite, but through no apprehension and fear of further trouble in front and rear, they were left to be disposed of as kind Providence should dictate. On we journeyed, until we reached East River mountain, and learned that the road had been blockaded to prevent our escape, and trouble us, till a sufficient force could be had to capture us. We had already been forty-eight hours without food for ourselves and horses. The latter began to show signs of exhaustion. Proceeding on, toward evening, the column was halted, and the rebel cavalry announced in front.

We at once drew up in line of battle, awaiting their approach. After a skirmish of three quarters of an hour, they withdrew. We at once asscended Blue Stone Mountain by file. The road was very steep, and ere we reached the top twenty-three horses lay stretched across the road, having fallen from exhaustion; we now had to go afoot, one hundred and eighty miles from


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