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[25] retreat, and the enemy concentrated their whole fire on Adjutant Olds and his party, but without effect. After replying with some fifteen rounds of musketry, and observing a large force thrown out on his right, with intent to cut him off, he fell back upon the main body. The position of the enemy thus disclosed was as follows: Colonel Williams's regiment was behind a ridge at the head of the gorge, and on the right of the road, so that his fire commanded the gorge and road for a half-mile. Colonel Trigg's regiment, the Fourth Virginia, on the crest of the crescent-shaped hill on the left of the road, and commanding it by their flanking fire. The artillery between the two at the forks of the creek, and the turn in the road and gorge. The evident design of the enemy was to draw us up the road on to the cannon, and between the cross-fire of the three regiments, and thus annihilate us, and it was not ill-planned, but failed in the execution, for their nervousness would not allow them to hold their fire for the approach of the main body. The remainder of their force lay in the rear of their cannon in a strong supporting position. Occupying Graveyard Point, the end of a high ridge on the right of the creek, north of his main body, Colonel Garfield despatched a force of about a hundred men across the creek, to ascend the horn of the crescent farthest up the gorge. The ascent was most difficult, the men having to crawl on their hands and knees a great part of the way. The summit attained, they were greeted with the whole fire of Trigg's regiment, stationed at the base of the crescent and deployed along the other horn; also by a fire from the artillery and the reserve in the rear. On the top of the ridge, and at distances nearly equi-distant from each other, were three piles of stone, the possession of which was eagerly sought by the contending parties. Reenforced by two hundred men, and assisted by a galling fire from our reserve stationed on Graveyard Point, poured on the deployed right flank of the enemy, our forces were enabled to succeed in driving the enemy from the first, and occupying it themselves. A force of two hundred was then thrown out by Colonel Garfield for the ascent of the lower horn of the crescent, and soon reaching the summit and reenforced by Colonel Crane of the Fortieth with three hundred men, captured the third pile of stone, and the rebels were confined to the second and central pile. The fire was now exceedingly heavy. The rebel style was adopted, and our men betook themselves to the shelter of rocks and trees, as though it was their favorite way of fighting. About half-past 4 P. M. loud cheering betokened the arrival of our reenforcements, and soon up they came, their faces reeking with perspiration, their coats off, breasts bared, and bespattered with mud from head to foot. They had marched fifteen miles through the mud without breakfast, the last two miles on the double-quick, and now fatigued and faint, they loudly demanded to be led into battle. After resting about half an hour, they were thrown across the creek to ascend the right horn of the crescent, but before half-way up they were ordered back, and darkness descending upon the face of the earth, by mutual consent the firing ceased. Resting upon their arms, determined to renew the battle in the morning, our troops spent the night; but when morning dawned, the enemy it was found, had vanished. Under cover of the darkness he had burned his heavy baggage and retreated. He left eighty-five dead on the field, and it is definitely ascertained had some one hundred and twenty-five wounded, of whom forty have since died. We lost one killed and thirteen wounded, of whom two have since died. We were immediately removed to and quartered in Prestonburg, and thus endeth the first lesson — to the rebels.

C. P. G.

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Prestonburg (Kentucky, United States) (1)

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Daniel Trigg (2)
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Olds (1)
Lewis C. Crane (1)
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