by saying that it is the county-seat of Pocahontas County, near fifty-two miles from this point, and forty-odd from Staunton, and it derives its chief importance from the fact that it has been employed as the central depot for supplies for the rebel army of Western Virginia. Being the nearest point to the Staunton railroad, supplies were wagoned there, and thence distributed to the rebels at whatever points they needed them. Gen. Lee's army, during its inglorious career in these parts, drew its supplies from this source. Having authentic information that large supplies of provisions, etc., were still stored there, under guard of several hundred cavalry and infantry, and conceiving that it would be a good thing to destroy the provisions, and, if possible, capture some troops, or whip them out, Gen. Milroy determined to send a sufficient force to do it. The force detailed for this service was composed of four hundred of the Twenty-fifth Ohio, three hundred of the Second Virginia, and a detachment of thirty-eight from Bracken's Indiana cavalry, under Lieut. Dalzell; the whole force being under command of Major Webster, Twenty-fifth Ohio; Major Owens, Second Virginia, had the immediate command of the Virginians. Capts. Askew, Williams, Washburne, Johnson, Green and Crowell, and Lieuts. Higgins, Houghton, Jones, Bell, Berblus and Blandy, Twenty-fifth Ohio, commanded the Ohio boys; but I do not know the company officers of the Virginians. Tuesday afternoon--the last day of the waning old year, 1861--we left camp, and turned our faces toward the interior of the Old Dominion. And a beautiful day it was, and beautiful scenery, even in mid-winter, greeted us. Precious little rest did any of us get New Year's night. It was freezing cold, and seemed as though all the mountain storms had concentrated in one terrific gale of wind, which poured through the open valley in which we camped, with mighty, resistless energy, the entire night. We had big fires, but they seemed to do little good, and I assure you, that there were very few happy or good-natured soldiers that night, and we were thankful when morning came, so that we could leave. At the blast of the bugle, we again took up our line of march, and proceeded twelve miles, and again camped for the night, at the foot of Elk Mountain, in a most beautiful pine grove, the rich, green tops of which were so thickly crowded together as to obscure the lurid glare of our fires, while beneath this natural covering of pines, the most animating scene, fit for an elegant picture, presented itself. Here we were compelled to leave our ambulances and wagons, under guard, in consequence of an impassable blockade of the road by the “Secesh.” They had fallen heavy timbers across the road for a mile and a half up the mountain side, and neither man nor beast could get through. So, getting ready Friday morning, we set out for Huntersville, fourteen miles distant, followed a mountain-trail around the blockade, until, on the top of Elk Mountain, we again struck the main road. The boys were in excellent condition, and were entertaining themselves with speculations about the probable events of the day, as Major Webster intended to attack the place that afternoon. Seven or eight miles this side of the town, we came across some suspicious-looking men, whom the Major took along with him. All along the road, it was amusing to observe the look of surprise which the residents gave our column as it passed by. The visual organs, especially of the female population, were considerably protruded, as they would suddenly discover the long line of blue overcoats winding along the road, a sight they had never before seen in that section, being accustomed to the gray coats of Secessia. At last, about one o'clock, we neared the bridge which spans Greenbrier River, six miles this side of Huntersville, where, our scouts had reported, we should first encounter the rebels. We halted, to let the cavalry pass, who were sent forward to attempt to cut off the rebel pickets at the bridge, and then moving forward soon struck the river about half a mile from the bridge. The cavalry moved forward quickly and crossed the river considerably above the bridge. At this point the valley is pretty wide, composed of meadow land, and as our cavalry, under Lieut. Dalzell, dashed up the bank and hastily formed for a charge down through the fields to cut off the rebels from retreating to Huntersville, the rebels discovered them and ran; the greater part being infantry, could not escape our cavalry on the Huntersville side, so they took the Lewisburg road and made fast time up the mountain side. The rebel cavalry, however, retreated to Huntersville, and the race across the bottom, between our cavalry and theirs, was decidedly exciting — the rebels flying at full speed, and our men, in good order, were charging in line of battle down the valley at the top of their horses' speed. The rebels, however, had the shortest road, and made good their escape. Leaving Capt. Williams, Co. C, Twenty-fifth Ohio, with eighty or a hundred men, to hold the bridges, Major Webster moved forward on Huntersville, then distant six miles, and we marched rapidly. The road leaves the Greenbrier River at the bridge, and strikes back through the mountains. When within two miles of the town, as we were moving along a mountain side, our advance guard was fired on by some rebel cavalry, who immediately retreated as fast as their steeds could carry them. Moving forward cautiously, we soon struck a valley which opened before us, and in which Huntersville is situated, being in a sort of square formed by two of these valleys crossing each other. As we went forward, through a field, we discovered a number of the rebels at a sharp bend in the road, and they immediately got in position behind a bank and opened a brisk fire on our column. They were dismounted cavalrymen, and used Sharp's carbines, the balls of which came whizzing past us, making quite lively music. I thought, then, that they intended to make a struggle to maintain their ground, and, knowing that their force was equal to, if not larger than ours, I thought the prospect was good for a respectable
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Doc . 2 .-fight at Port Royal, S. C. January 1 , 1862 .
Doc . 82 .-fight in Hampton roads , Va. , March 8th and 9th , 1862 .
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