the attacking party was divided.
Twenty-one companies under immediate command of Colonel Kelley
started out by rail ostensibly toward Harper's Ferry
, and after proceeding 6 miles disembarked and took the wagon road for Philippi
, and nineteen companies and a battery were sent forward on the west side of the river from Webster
These forty companies marched through the night in a heavy rain that had quieted Colonel Porterfield
's fears of such an attack, and reaching the Confederate
camp at very nearly the same time, at daybreak, June 3d, surprised the pickets, opened fire with artillery, and charged with the intention of capturing the entire command.
Such a result should certainly have followed, under the conditions of surprise and great disproportion of numbers.
Nevertheless the raw and undisciplined troops, both officers and men, conducted themselves with such courage and coolness that they caused the enemy about as much loss as fell upon themselves, and the whole command, after leaving the town, was restored to the good order which characterized a considerable part of it from the first firing.
About six Virginians
were killed and several wounded, but the wounded were not abandoned.
On the Federal
side the main loss was the severe wounding of Colonel Kelley
, as he was leading his men in a charge.
He was reported mortally wounded, but he survived to receive promotion to brigadier-general and to figure prominently in the war history of the State
's command then retreated further down the river and through the mountain gap to Beverly
, behind the mountain line of Rich mountain
and Laurel hill
, where more sanguinary contests were soon to occur.
At Beverly Colonel Porterfield
reported his misfortune to General Lee
, also giving an account of the depredations of the Federal
troops and the ‘state of revolution’ which existed in the section in the hands of the enemy.
responded in a kindly letter, giving the welcome information that Gen. Robert S. Garnett