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[46] of Lieut.-Col. William L. Jackson, of Parkersburg, former lieutenant-governor of Virginia, and the other, later the Twenty-fifth Virginia, under Lieut.-Col. J. M. Heck, a prominent lawyer of Morgantown. Leaving three companies at Huttonsville, under Porterfield, to guard his line of communication, Garnett made a forced march, on the night of June 15th, with his two regiments and Rice's New Market battery of four guns, preceded by the Churchville cavalry, to Beverly, whence he detached Heck's regiment, two guns and the cavalry by the Parkersburg turnpike, across Rich mountain, to a position at the western foot of that mountain, 7 miles beyond Beverly. Garnett himself pushed forward with Jackson's regiment, two guns, and a company of cavalry, and took possession of Laurel hill, the northeastern extension of Rich mountain. Garnett made this strategic movement because he had learned that the enemy was advancing from Philippi, presumably to get possession of the same position which he had thus promptly seized.

Garnett's two intrenched camps were really on the same mountain range, cut through by Tygart's valley river, which turns sharply to the northwest some 12 miles below Beverly. As a whole, this range is the most westerly of the Appalachian system. Its occupation enabled him to cover his base of supplies at Beverly and the lines of communication from northwest Virginia to Staunton by way of Huttonsville, from Huttonsville to Lewisburg on the Kanawha line, and between these towns to the Virginia Central railroad at Millboro. He really held the gates to northwestern Virginia.

Reinforced by the First Georgia under Colonel Ramsey, Garnett made Laurel hill more defensible by blocking with fallen trees all the country roads from the northwest; placed Colonel Porterfield in command at Beverly, with two regiments which he was organizing, and sent out escorts to collect grain and cattle from the country in his front, making Beverly a depot of supplies. Realizing that his chief objective was to again secure control of the Baltimore & Ohio through Virginia, he felt that his force was too weak for aggressive movements against the enemy, reported to him as 2,000 men at Clarksburg, Grafton, and Cheat river bridge on the railroad, and he asked General Lee for reinforcements. These so far as available were promptly ordered to him.

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