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[526] command of both Floyd's and Wise's troops, swelling his army to 20,000 men. Rosecrans, after remaining several days in his front at Big Sewell, retreated thirty miles to the Gauley, and was not pursued; Gen. Lee being soon after recalled to take a command on the coast, and Gov. Wise ordered to report at Richmond.

Gen. Lee, before leaving the North, had made a strong reconnoissance in force rather than a serious attack, on the position held by Gen. Reynolds on Cheat Mountain, in Randolph county, not far from the arena of Garnett's and of Pegram's disasters. There was skirmishing on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of September, during which Col. John A. Washington, one of Gen. Lee's aids, was killed, with nearly one hundred other Rebels. The Union loss was nearly equal to this, mainly in prisoners. Reynolds's force was about half that of his assailants, but so strongly posted that Lee found it impossible to dislodge him, and retired to his camp at Greenbrier. Here Reynolds, whose forces were equal, if not superior, to those in his front, after Lee's departure for the South, paid a return visit to the Rebels, now commanded by Gen. H. R. Jackson, of Georgia, on the 3d of October. Reynolds, in turn, found his adversary's position too strong to be carried by assault, and retreated unpursued, after a desultory contest of several hours.

On the 10th of November, at 8 P. M., Col. Jenkins, with his regiment of Rebel cavalry, which had been engaged for some time in guerrilla warfare, dashed into the village of Guyandotte, on the Ohio river, near the Kentucky line, surprising the Union forces stationed there and taking over a hundred prisoners. All who resisted were killed by the guerrillas, who left hastily next morning, with all the plunder they could carry. Col. Zeigler, of the 5th [loyal] Virginia, who arrived early next morning, ordered the houses of the Secessionists to be burned, on the assumption that they had instigated the Rebel raid, and furnished the information which rendered it safe and successful; and, the leading citizens being mostly rebels, the village was mainly consumed. This destruction was generally condemned as barbarous, though the charge was probably true, and would have justified any penalty that might have been inflicted on those only who supplied the information.

Rosecrans having posted himself at Gauley Mount, on New River, three miles above its junction with the Gauley, Floyd and Wise, after Lee's departure, took position on the opposite (south) side of New River, and amused themselves by shelling the Union teamsters engaged in supplying our army. Here Rosecrans attempted to flank and surprise them, but was first defeated by a great flood in the river, rendering it impassable; and next by the failure of Gen. Benham to gain Floyd's rear and obstruct his retreat, as he had been ordered to do. The attack in front was duly made,1 but Floyd retreated unmolested by Benham, and but faintly pursued. On the 14th, his rear-guard of cavalry was attacked and driven by Benham; its Colonel, St. George Croghan, being killed. No further pursuit was attempted. Floyd retreated to Peterstown, more than

1 November 12th.

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