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[143] West-Point, an officer in the regular army, he has, during the long winter, drilled and disciplined in the most faithful and thorough manner the Thirty-sixth regiment, and he cannot but be gratified, and even exultant, that his officers and men, in their maiden battle, should fight so magnificently. Col. Gilbert is equally proud of his regiment, the Forty-fourth. Why should not such a brave, thorough, and accomplished officer as Col. Crook, be made a real instead of a nominal Brigadier?


New-York Tribune account.

Two regiments, the Thirty-sixth and Forty-fourth Ohio infantry, of the Third provisional brigade, under command of Col. George Crook, had a battle at this place yesterday morning with a considerable rebel force, under command of Brig.-Gen. Heth. We were encamped on a hill north of the town. General Heth, by a forced march, came from Union, Monroe County, and drove in our pickets at Greenbrier Bridge, three miles south, and rapidly followed them up with his whole force, which consisted of the famous Twenty-second Virginia regiment, the Forty-seventh Virginia, Edgar's battalion, a part of the Fiftieth Virginia regiment, two companies of artillery, and two companies of the notorious Jenkins's cavalry — in all, from two thousand five hundred to three thousand men. Colonel Crook sent out companies G of the Thirty-sixth and D of the Forty-fourth to ascertain the force of the enemy and check his advance, and meantime ordered the regiments to form. The two advance companies drew the enemy's fire, but did not check his advance. Gen. Heth at once got some of his cannon in position, and occupied with his whole force a high hill commanding the town.

The Thirty-sixth and Forty-fourth were speedily formed in line of battle under the hill, the first on the left and the latter on the right, and began their firm and brave march upon the enemy. We were protected in part by the hill from the balls and shells of the enemy's cannon, though several shells exploded in the air over our heads, and one man of the Forty-fourth was killed. On rising the hill we were at once engaged with the enemy's infantry, who reserved their fire until we were within short range. On the right, the Forty-fourth, by two volleys, broke the rebel left, composed of the Forty-seventh Virginia, Edgar's battalion, and two companies of the Fiftieth Virginia. Once broken, the left could not rally, and the Forty-fourth soon captured their four guns, (two rifled six-pounders, one twelve-pounder, and one large field-howitzer,) and that part of the field was won.

On the left the Thirty-sixth met with a more stubborn resistance. The enemy (the Twenty-second Virginia) was organized in the Kanawha valley, and made up largely of the rebel elite of that region, and had been in several battles, Scarey Creek, Carnifex, Cotton Hill, and Giles Court-House, and boasted of its invincibility. They declared that they would be in possession of Lewisburgh in half an hour. They fought bravely, but, notwithstanding the advantages of position and the cover of high, large rail-fences, could not stand the rapid advance of the Thirty sixth. The Thirty-sixth never broke its firm line of battle. In about fifteen minutes the Twenty-second Virginia was driven back over the brow of the hill, and completely routed. Gen. Heth's retreat was much more precipitate than his impertinent advance, and he at once burned the large Greenbrier bridge behind him, to prevent our pursuit.

Our before breakfast work sums up as follows: Thirteen hundred Ohio Union boys formed their line of battle under fire, and utterly routed nearly three thousand of the enemy, under Gen. Heth, a regular military man, a graduate of West-Point, and a General who stood high in the confederate service, killed fifty of the enemy, wounded seventy-five, took one hundred prisoners, including Lieut.-Col. Finney, commanding the Fiftieth Virginia regiment, Major Edgar of Edgar's battalion, a surgeon, several captains and lieutenants, four field-officers, all the enemy brought upon the field, and three hundred stand of arms. How many of the enemy's killed and wounded were carried away by them is not known, doubtless a considerable number, as a trail of blood was left behind them. Had the ground been favorable for a cavalry pursuit, we should have taken more prisoners, although the rout could not have been made more complete. Our loss was eleven killed and fifty-two wounded, of which the Thirty-sixth lost five killed and forty-one wounded, the Forty-fourth six killed and eleven wounded. Four men of the Thirty-sixth, on picket at Greenbrier Bridge, were captured.

This was the maiden battle of the two regiments engaged. They are, however, believed to be the best. drilled regiments in the Mountain Department. Col. Crook of the Thirty-sixth regiment is a regular West-Point graduate, and has taken unwearied pains with his regiment in bringing it to a high degree of perfection in drill and discipline. He was quartered during the winter at Summersville, Nicholas County, Western Virginia, and there built a drill-house, seven hundred feet long, and drilled his regiment daily, and in all weather. He is now amply compensated by the veteran-like manner in which his regiment moved forward and vanquished a greatly superior force. The Forty-fourth, commanded by Col. Gilbert, is also a well-disciplined and drilled regiment, and deserve high honor for their part in this, the most signal victory ever won in Western Virginia. By a misunderstanding, the artillery connected with our brigade was not ordered forward in time to take part in the battle. Indeed, the enemy was routed by the infantry before there was time to make much use of our artillery against them.

Last week Col. Crook marched a part of his brigade some fifty miles south-east of Lewisburgh on the Stanton turnpike in search of an enemy, but found none, and returned. Gen. Heth came

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Heth (6)
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May 24th, 1862 AD (1)
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