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[336] complaint. All night they toiled on through the darkness and storm, the soft earth yielding beneath their feet, till the gray dawn found them in the presence of the enemy.

Col. Lander reports that as they neared Philippi they were discovered by a woman, who fired at him twice, and who sent her little boy across the hills (as he afterward found) to apprise the enemy of their approach, He arrived on the hill across the river from, and below Philippi, and commanding the town and encampment, (just below the town,) a little before daylight this morning. They at once planted two pieces of artillery on the brow of the hill, just above the camp, and prepared to open on them when the time arrived--four o'clock was the hour at which the attack was to be made simultaneously by both divisions.

Colonel Kelly was to attack them in the rear and cut of their retreat, while Col. Lander was to attack them in front. But Col. Kelly's division was behind the appointed hour, owing to the terrible fatigue of their forced march of twenty-two miles, and, in addition to this, they missed the point, and instead of coming in on the Beverly road, above Philippi, and effectually cutting of all retreat, they came, when they did come, just.below the town.

When the day began to dawn upon the impatient forces of Colonel Lander, it discovered to them the camp below in a state of commotion, evidently in great alarm and preparing for fight. The hour appointed for the attack came and passed, but still Colonel Kelly's division had not arrived. Impatient to begin the attack, and fearful that the rascals, almost within his grasp, should escape without smelling powder, Colonel Lander ordered the artillery to begin the attack; and at a quarter past four the guns were unlimbered and dropped the first messengers of terror into the rebel camp less than a quarter of a mile away. Simultaneously with the roar of the first gun, Colonel Kelly, at the head of his command, came in sight across the river below the camp, and, comprehending the position of affairs, they rushed forward at once in the direction of the camp.

Meanwhile, the battery having, after the first shot or two, got an accurate range, played upon the camp with marked effect, tearing through tents and houses at a fearful rate. This the chivalry couldn't stand, and they scattered like rats from a burning barn. They had no time to retreat in order. They didn't even retreat at all — they ran, fled most ingloriously — ran like sheep in every direction that promised safety, after firing a random and scattering volley which did no damage whatever. Col. Kelly's command was close after, the Virginia troops in advance, the Henry Clay Guards in front, and Col. Kelly and Capt. Fordyce leading. At the same time Col. Lander's force came rushing down the hill to the bridge, and they all put out after the fugitives, yelling like Indians.

But the legs of the fugitive chivalry knew them too well, and they could not be overtaken by our already exhausted men, who, after chasing them a couple of miles, returned to the evacuated camp, to learn the painful fact that their victory, though complete, was dearly, too dearly bought. Col. Kelly, who, with a bravery amounting to rashness, was foremost from first to last, was rallying his men in the upper part of the town, the enemy having all apparently fled, when he fell by a shot from a foe concealed either behind a fence or in a house; some say the assailant fired from behind a wagon; others that Col. Kelly was pressing him hard with a view of capturing him, when he wheeled and fired. This is not substantiated. At any rate, the shot was fired after the engagement was over, and was just such a piece of assassination as that by which fell the loved and lamented Ellsworth. The assassin was an assistant quartermaster in the Confederate force. His name is Simms, and he hails from Chesterfield, across the river from Richmond. He was immediately seized, and it is a great wonder that they did not make mincemeat of him instanter. The pistol with which he shot Kelly is an old-fashioned, old Virginia horse-pistol, carrying a very large ball and inflicting a most dangerous wound. The ball entered the left breast, and passing clear through lodged beneath the skin, just underneath the shoulder blade. It has been extracted, and every attention of the highest medical and surgical skill is lavished upon the wounded officer. If human skill can save him he will be saved; but if he is beyond the reach of human aid, he will die, as he said to-day to a friend who bent over his couch, in a just and glorious cause. “I expect I shall have to die,” said the wounded Colonel; “I would be glad to live, if it might be, that I might do something for my country; but if it cannot be, I shall have at least the consolation of knowing that I fell in a just cause.”

Several hats, apparently belonging to officers, were picked up, and a horse and buggy, belonging to B. F. Martin, at Pruntytown, a lawyer and defeated secession candidate for the Legislature, were part of the spoils. Thos. Surghnor, “the inimitable Tom,” as Bill Cooper used to style him, “Captain of the Barbour forces,” as he styles himself, and late editor of the Barbour Jeffersonian, at the first approach of danger, made tracks; he ran with all the speed the shortness of his legs would permit, and as fear lent him wings, he managed to get out of harm's way.

The American flag has taken the place of the secession emblem in all the houses of Philippi. Several of these piratical flags were captured. The people are coining in from the country, and expressing their gladness at the change of colors.


--Wheeling (Va.) Intelligencer, June 6.

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