would say which, that he laughed the enemy to scorn, and that he was ready to do, suffer and die for the cause, but that any imputation upon his motives would make him ‘perhaps, no longer a military subordinate of any man who breathes.’
then ‘went to the mountain,’ and on the 23d, learning that Rosecrans
had occupied in force the crest of Big Sewell, brought up Floyd
to the mountain position which Wise
had held with such tenacity.
He did this, because it was the most defensible line, and he also caused reinforcements to be sent by Loring
, which increased the Confederate strength at Little Sewell mountain
to 8,000 or 9,000 men. General Wise
was relieved from command, and assigned to another field of equal importance and dignity.
on Big Sewell mountain
had about the same number of men as Lee
, but each had exaggerated reports of the strength of the other, and it was difficult for either to make an offensive move.
naturally anticipated that Rosecrans
would attempt to continue his advance, and waited for an opportunity to thwart it. Thus the two forces observed each other across a deep gorge for eleven days, during which period the Confederates
, poorly sheltered from the tempests of wind and rain, suffered severely.
‘It cost us more men, sick and dead,’ General Floyd
averred, ‘than the battle of Manassas
Finally, on the morning of October 6th, it was found that Roseorans
had retreated, and on pursuit it appeared that he had fled with considerable precipitation and disorder.
While this was going on, there was renewed activity before Cheat mountain
. General Reynolds
, on October 3d, set out to make an attack upon Camp Bartow, 12 miles from the summit of Cheat mountain
, taking with him 5,000 Ohio
troops and Howe
's pickets were driven in early in the morning, but were reinforced by 100 men under Col. Edward Johnson
, Twelfth Georgia, who held the enemy in check