close of the second day's conflict, but that now the project of opening the Kanawha valley
could only be attained by an advance upon the enemy along the south bank of the Kanawha
He estimated the Confederate forces at hand as 4,200 and the enemy at 12,000.
The secretary of war responded, conveying the congratulations of the President
and himself ‘on this brilliant affair, in which the good conduct and steady valor of your whole command were so conspicuously displayed,’ and promising reinforcements.
soon abandoned the Gauley river
, and moved to a junction with Wise
near Dogwood gap.
advanced on the 12th and the Confederates
retired to Sewell mountain
, occupying first the crest of the ridge and later a more defensible position about a mile and a half in the rear, which appears to have been selected by Wise
Here the latter established ‘Camp Defiance,’ and in the spirit of that title awaited the advance of Cox
, and disregarded the orders of Floyd
to fall back to Meadow Bluff
, a point 16 miles west of Lewisburg
, in a fertile country, at the union of the only good roads to the Gauley
and the New ferries
Meanwhile there was some skirmishing going on with the Federal
advance, and Col. Lucius Davis
, commanding the First regiment of Wise
's legion, operated on the south side of the New river
, capturing over 40 prisoners.
Up to this time, General Lee
had not visited the forces in the Kanawha valley
, and had left the conduct of operations entirely to General Floyd
, and we will now turn to that even more rugged and difficult field in which the department commander was endeavoring to dislodge the enemy.
The Federal force before Huttonsville
was under the immediate command of Brig.-Gen. Joseph J. Reynolds
, who with about 5,000 men lay at Elkwater
, about 10 miles below Huttonsville
in the Tygart valley
, on the Huntersville
road, while three regiments under Colonel Kimball
held the impregnable pass of Cheat mountain