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Doc. 121.-occupation of Monterey, Va. April 8, 1862.

A correspondent of the Pittsburgh Dispatch writes from the headquarters of the Second Virginia (Union) regiment at Monterey on the fourteenth of April:

The past eight days have been the most eventful of our campaign in virginia. The rebels having evacuated Allegheny Mountains precipitately, we were ordered to march on Saturday, April fifth. We accordingly left that mountain at noon, and encamped at Greenbrier, accompanied by the Thirty-second Ohio. Having no tents, we took the open heavens for shelter, and a stiff breeze kept up till morning. Your correspondent was out on picket with twenty good men, and got no rest; but we remembered that we were “out a soldiering.” Sunday morning opened up clear and beautiful, and we resumed our march at eight o'clock. About two P. M. we reached the deserted rebel fortifications on Allegheny Mountains, and had no difficulty in finding quarters, for all the cabins erected for five or six regiments still remain standing. Since we fought them on the thirteenth of December last, they had made vast improvements, so much so that I could scarcely recognise the place. It was made strong on all sides, and nothing but extreme necessity could have induced them to abandon it.

We had just got settled down in our new quarters, supposing we might remain there a little while, when, after dark, we were ordered to advance to Monterey on Monday morning at eight o'clock. Morning dawned bleak and cold, and as we formed in line to march, the snow began to fall. It is sixteen miles from Camp Allegheny to Monterey, and we travelled this distance through a heavy snow. We reached this place about three o'clock P. M., and found the village in possession of a small detachment of two of our companies. The citizens had nearly all fled with the rebel army, leaving quite a number of vacant houses for us to quarter in. Part of the Twenty-fifth Ohio came in the next day, and Major J. S. Krepps, with a few of the First Virginia cavalry, accompanied by Gen. Milroy and staff.

The Seventy-fifth Ohio came in on Friday. The Thirty-seventh Ohio left us at Allegheny, to scout the country toward Hunterville, and meet us at Monterey. But Saturday was our big day. The rebels attempted to repossess themselves of the place, and early in the morning they commenced firing on our pickets. A regiment of infantry, two companies of cavalry, and two pieces cannon had remained at a village called McDowell, ten miles out on the Staunton pike. They got word that there were but few troops here, and the General ordered them back to capture us and repossess the town. Monterey is the county-seat of Highland County, and is located in a beautiful valley between two spurs of the Allegheny Mountains. The attack was made on what is called “Jack Mountain,” and our whole force was drawn out in line of battle. Several companies were sent out as skirmishers, and the firing was briskly kept up for about three hours. About this time another company of the First Virginia cavalry arrived, and the Thirty-second Ohio also came in, their excellent brass band playing “Hail Columbia.” Capt. Hineman took one of his cannon over on the pike, when he finished up the job by throwing a few shells among the rebels. Major Krepps, with one company of cavalry, followed them some four miles, but they fled at quarter-horse speed. After the fight, we ascertained that their force amounted to about fourteen hundred, with two pieces of cannon. Six or eight of them were killed, and quite a number wounded. Only two Union troops were injured, both of the Seventy-fifth Ohio.

Sunday morning Capt. McNally, with one hundred and fifty infantry, and a small detachment of cavalry, in command of a Lieutenant, started out to visit McDowell; and shortly after noon a courier arrived from “Crab bottom,” with the news that the rebels, nearly two thousand strong, were flanking us, and would be in directly. The long roll beat, and we sprung to arms. Such expedition in donning equipments I never saw before. Our regiment marched off down the valley, to command a road crossing to Crab Bottom; and as I was along, I cannot tell what disposition was made of the other regiments. After marching through mud for more than two miles, we found out that the alarm was false; and we said “Bully for Cox,” and came back.

Such is soldiering in Virginia; but onward we go. Refugees and contrabands come in daily. The “cullored population” is getting up and dusting. No use for any more underground railroads.

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J. A. McDowell (2)
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