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During the summer J. D. Imboden, subsequently colonel and brigadier-general in the Confederate service, had been organizing a cavalry battalion in Highland county, enlisting refugees from Braxton, Lewis and Webster counties and other regions, a large majority of his men having ‘but recently escaped from Pierpont's dominion, brimful of fight.’ In a private letter written about this time, he gave a graphic picture of the situation in the mountain region. He said:

No Oriental despot ever exercised such mortal terror by his iron rule of his subjects as is now felt by three-fourths of the true men and women of the northwest. Grown — up men came to me stealthily through the woods to talk to me in a whisper of their wrongs. They would freely have given me grain and meat, but dared not do so. They begged me in some instances to take it apparently by force, so that they might not be charged with feeding us voluntarily. Men offered to sell me cattle or horses secretly, if I would send armed men to seize and carry off the property. Their pious Union neighbors, they said, would watch and report their every act as soon as my back was turned, and the Yankees would strip them of all they possessed.

In conformity with orders, General Loring on August 22d sent out Brig.-Gen. A. G. Jenkins, with his cavalry, about 550 in all, to sweep around the northwest by the Cheat valley, destroy the Baltimore & Ohio railroad, and fall upon the rear of the enemy in the Kanawha valley, while the infantry under Loring in person advanced toward Gauley.

In the meantime Imboden, with about 300 men, had made an expedition, attended by several skirmishes, to St. George, and thence returned to Cheat mountain. Jenkins, who expected to surprise Beverly, found it reinforced by General Kelley, and though joined by Imboden he was not strong enough to attack. Consequently Imboden remained and amused the Beverly garrison, while Jenkins rode on, crossing Rich mountain by a trail through the unbroken wilderness. So arduous was this

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J. D. Imboden (3)
William W. Loring (2)
A. G. Jenkins (2)
Francis H. Pierpont (1)
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