on the western side of the South Branch
and near the western end of the bridge there was a blockhouse, occupied by Federal soldiers, as well as an engine with an ironclad magazine attached standing there, also occupied by soldiers.
When the location of this blockhouse and magazine was discovered, a shell was fired from the artillery at the magazine.
The aim was accurate; the shell entered the magazine and burst inside of it, exploding the ammunition contained, destroying the magazine, and, as was afterward ascertained, injuring some forty of the Federal
The bridge was then cut, and White
retired to rejoin Early
's command near Martinsburg
On June 22d, Gen. John H. Morgan
, of Kentucky
, was assigned to command the department of Western Virginia
and East Tennessee
, and soon afterward General Crook
was given chief command of the Federal
's operations were all outside the State
, and the only Virginia
organizations in his army were Col. Robert Smith
's battalion, Witcher
's battalion and the Sixty-fourth cavalry.
Upon the death of Morgan
resumed command of the department, and under him in November, Colonel Witcher
had a brigade consisting of his battalion, W. H. Payne
's company and the two Thurmond
The other western Virginia
troops were mainly with Early
in the Shenandoah valley. Maj.-Gen. John Echols
was in command at Dublin
, and participated in the defeat of the Federal
raid into southwest Virginia
On August 4th, the brigades of Gen. Bradley Johnson
(W. E. Jones
' old brigade) and McCausland
, returning from Chambersburg, Pa.
, attacked New Creek
, and after a severe fight were repulsed with considerable loss.
The Confederate command then proceeded to Moorefield
, near where they were attacked in camp about daylight, August 7th, by Averell
's cavalry, surprised and routed, losing 27 officers and 393 enlisted men as prisoners and 400 horses.