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[533] an old house called “Folk's old house,” and on the north side was a corn-field on Mrs. Brierly's land, both of which points furnished excellent positions for artillery within easy range of the work I proposed assaulting, which was on the summit of a hill on Fahnestock's land, adjoining the Pughtown road. To the desired point I was guided by a worthy and intelligent citizen whose name I withhold, as he has already been the subject of the enemy's persecutions, and I was so fortunate as to reach it without meeting with any scouts, pickets or stragglers of the enemy, or exciting his attention in any way.1 I reached this point about 4 P. M., and as the day was excessively hot and the men had marched a circuit of some eight or ten miles without getting any drinking water, and were very much fatigued, I massed them in the woods out of view of the enemy to give them time to blow. In the meantime, having proceeded to reconnoitre the enemy's position and the ground on which I would have to operate, I discovered the two favorable positions for my artillery before mentioned, and that the intervening woods afforded an excellent cover under which troops could advance to within a short distance of the foot of the hill on which was the work I wished to assault. I also discovered that the enemy occupying this work, which was a bastion front presenting the appearance of an enclosed work from my point of view, were not keeping a lookout in my direction, but were looking intently in the direction of Gordon's command, on which a gradual advance was being made by infantry deployed as skirmishers and some pieces of artillery well supported. Meanwhile Col. Jones had quietly prepared for running his artillery into position as quick as possible when the moment for attack should arrive; and the men having been allowed to rest as much as possible under the circumstances, I directed Gen. Hays, whose brigade had been selected to make the assault, to move near to the edge of the woods facing the enemy's work, and to keep his men under


1 My guide was Mr. James C. Baker, who resided a few miles from the town. As we were moving along an almost unused path or road north of the Romey road, at a sudden turn in it we came upon a young girl 13 or 14 years of age on horseback, with her small brother behind her and a large bundle of clothes tied up in a sheet. She was very much startled and frightened at meeting us, but on discovering the Confederate gray she pulled off her bonnet, waved it around her head, cried, “Hurrah!” and then burst into tears. The enemy had been shelling the country about her father's house, and one or two shells had fallen near to or on the house, and she had been sent from home to get out of danger. She said, “Oh, I am so glad to see you! I had no idea any of our men were anywhere near here.” That girl will make a good wife to some Confederate soldier, if she does not already occupy that position.

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Pughtown (West Virginia, United States) (1)

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J. William Jones (1)
Harry T. Hays (1)
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Fahnestock (1)
Brierly (1)
James C. Baker (1)
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