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[41] a half mile in advance, and believing them to be Yankees, got permission to steal up with two men and capture them. After a tedious climb over the rocks and through the mountain thickets, he suddenly burst upon the unsuspecting trio, and to his amazement found that one of them was General Lee.

About the middle of August, rain set in and continued for several weeks, making the narrow mountain roads impassable, while the troops unaccustomed to exposure fell easy victims to typhoid fever, measles and homesickness. These afflictions rendered nearly one-third the army unavailable if the rain had ceased. During this trying period, General Lee maintained his cheerfulness and busied himself in the exertions to find a practicable route leading to the rear of Cheat Mountain pass, the key to the northwest. Colonel Rust, of the Third Arkansas, finally reported a possible path, and on September 9th, General Lee issued orders for a general advance of the army of the Northwest. There was a skirmish at Marshall's store on the 9th with an infantry reconnoissance of the enemy, in which several were wounded on each side, and on the 11th a Federal outpost at Point Mountain pike, after a brisk skirmish in which they lost 5 killed and wounded, narrowly escaped capture. These were incidents preliminary to the battle which was planned. The attack was to be made early on September 12th. From Camp Bartow, Colonel Rust was to gain the rear of the Federal position at Cheat Mountain pass, with 1,500 men, and attack early in the morning; General Anderson, with two Tennessee regiments, was to get between Elkwater and the gap, and support Rust, while General Jackson was to make a demonstration in front. The pass, being carried, the whole Confederate force there under Jackson was to sweep down upon the rear of Reynolds at Elkwater, with the co-operation of General Donelson with two regiments, who was to have gained a flanking position. Meanwhile, Burk and Major Lee

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