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[69] against the railroad at Parkersburg and Clarksburg, while General Jenkins would be sent against Cheat river bridge. Loring announced to his troops, October 11th, that they would be withdrawn to another field, but soon becoming aware of the increasing strength of the enemy in his department, he advised the government that he could not do more than possibly hold the valley. His infantry, meanwhile, had retired to the verge of western Virginia He was relieved from command October 15th, and Gen. John Echols, appointed his successor, was ordered to reoccupy the valley, where only Jenkins' cavalry had remained. The army started back toward Charleston on the 17th, though very poorly supplied.

But overwhelming forces were being massed against Echols. Gen. J. D. Cox had been returned to the department of Western Virginia from corps command under McClellan, with his old division, which, with Milroy's brigade, was sent to Clarksburg, while Lightburn was reinforced at Point Pleasant by Morgan's division from Ohio, and a brigade under Colonel Cranor was sent into the Guyandotte country against Floyd. The Confederate artillery checked Lightburn's advance up the Kanawha at Poca on the 23d, and later a stand was made at Tyler mountain and Two-mile creek, but perceiving that the enemy was advancing in force on both sides of the Kanawha, while a division under Crook was threatening his flank by Nicholas Court House, Echols fell back in good order by way of Gauley and Fayetteville toward Raleigh, General Jenkins protecting the rear, obstructing the roads and destroying the river transportation behind him. Crook was in the vicinity of Gauley by November 1st, and the country to the north was in the hands of the Federals as far as Beverly. It was feared that Crook would advance against the Virginia & Tennessee railroad, but according to the reports of Cox and Echols alike, the most effective protection against such a movement was the absolute destitution of the country. Even the inhabitants

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