be to ‘prevent, if possible, and to restrict his limits within the narrowest range, which, though outnumbered, it is hoped by skill and boldness you will accomplish.’
The Forty-fourth Virginia, Col. William C. Scott
commanding, was already approaching Beverly
, followed by the Second Georgia, Col. Edward Johnson
, and a North Carolina regiment under Col. Stephen Lee
To further relieve Garnett
, General Lee
on July 11th ordered Wise
to move from Charleston
But reinforcements and diversion were alike too late.
The blow had already fallen.
The entire Confederate force on July 8th consisted of 3,381 men at Laurel hill
, 859 at Rich mountain
, and 375 at Beverly
The position at Rich mountain
, on a spur near its western base, called Camp Garnett, was fortified with a breastwork of logs covered with an abatis of slashed timber along its front, and the position on the Philippi
road at Laurel mountain
was similarly strengthened.
On July 6th the Confederate
picket was driven in from Middle Fork bridge between Buckhannon
and Rich mountain
, and that position was occupied by McCook
's brigade, while Morris
advanced from Philippi
to within a mile and a half of Garnett
On the 9th Mc-Clellan's three brigades encamped at Roaring Run
flats, in sight of the Confederate
camp at Rich mountain
, and on that day and next made reconnoissances in force.
There were now about 1,300 Confederates at Camp Garnett under command of Col. John Pegram
, afterward distinguished as a brigadier-general.
He, as well as General Garnett
, underestimated the Federal
strength, and he even contemplated a night attack upon the 10,000 troops confronting him. But perceiving signs of a flank attack, he posted pickets on the top of the mountain about two miles to the rear, and early on the morning of the 11th he learned that six regiments of infantry, under General Rosecrans
, were already on their way to seize a position