in so doing, to push on to Beverly
and cut off General Garnett
's retreat by Staunton
, forcing him to retire by the northeasterly road to Moorfield
The duty of turning the enemy's works was assigned to General Rosecrans
His instructions were to make a circuit to the south and endeavor to reach and occupy the top of the mountain, get command of the turnpike road from Beverly
, and then move on the rear of Pegram
His further order, constantly to communicate with General McClellan
, General Rosecrans
does not seem to have been able to carry out.
set out, with a force of eighteen hundred infantry and a small body of cavalry, at four o'clock on the morning of the 11th of July, to execute these orders.
After a fatiguing march through a country saturated with rain and covered with dense woods, he reached the summit of Rich Mountain
about one o'clock. The enemy had intercepted some letters, and thus obtained intimation of this movement, and had stationed a considerable force, with two pieces of artillery, at the top of the mountain, where some rude intrenchments had been thrown up. Rosecrans
formed his command, and had proceeded a short way towards the turnpike, when he came upon a party of skirmishers, who were driven back upon the main body.
The enemy now opened fire from their artillery.
A spirited attack soon carried the intrenchments, and the rebels retreated in confusion upon Colonel Pegram
, leaving their artillery in possession of the Federals
The success of the movement was complete; but