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[91] where the Federals were strongly fortified. Near Moorefield junction he encountered the Twenty-third Illinois regiment obstructing the road. This command, driven back, joined the detachments of the Second Maryland and Fourth West Virginia, and the united force attempted to defend the wagons against Rosser, but gave way on the second charge and yielded the rich train to the yearning Confederates. In the fight Maj. Nathan Goff, U. S. V., was wounded and captured. The whole command then occupied Petersburg, the garrison fleeing, and gathered some commissary stores and 13,000 cartridges, after which Gilmor and McNeill were sent out after cattle, while Rosser destroyed the railroad and other bridges at the mouth of Patterson's creek. The enemy then appearing in force, Early withdrew, bringing out 50 wagons and teams, 1,200 cattle, 500 sheep and 78 prisoners, again cheering the hearts of the soldiers in the Shenandoah valley.

In January, 1864, Colonel Ferguson, Sixteenth Virginia cavalry, came into Wayne county, with a large part of his regiment and the Eighth cavalry, and during the remainder of the year the region between the Guyandotte and Big Sandy was practically controlled by the Confederate soldiers. Under this protection, the Big Sandy river became a channel of trade with Northern merchants. Judge H. L. Samuels, who had been prevented from holding court in Wayne under the West Virginia State government, reported that ‘a vast quantity of useful and indispensable articles find their way to Dixie through the medium of these guerrillas. The stolen horses are laden with this contraband trade. Sympathizers land large lots of barrels and boxes from steamboats. I myself have seen seven rebels taken with their arms whose shoes were not worn enough to erase the trademarks of neighboring Ohio merchants.’ During this period there were no captures of Northern steamboats on the Big Sandy.

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