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[47]

General McClellan, meanwhile, had resolved to push his forces to Beverly and cut Garnett's line of communication with Staunton. Reaching the field of operations in person, he had, by July 9th, pushed forward his forces, Gen. W. S. Rosecrans commanding the advance, and concentrated before Rich mountain, where Lieut.-Col. John Pegram, Twentieth Virginia, was now in command, some 5,000 infantry, two batteries and two companies of cavalry, over 6,000 in all. To oppose this force, there were 908 men at Rich mountain and 409 at Beverly, of which 252 were cavalry and 186 artillery. Another force, under General Morris, threatening Garnett at Laurel hill, had fully 3,000 men and a battery, besides cavalry, while Garnett had near 4,000 of all arms. The opposing forces contained about twice as many Federals as Confederates.

On July 1st, Garnett called for additional forces, and Lee informed him, on the 5th, that Col. W. C. Scott, with the Forty-fourth Virginia, had left on the 2d to join him, to be followed promptly by Col. Edward Johnson, with the Twelfth Georgia, and by Col. Stephen Lee, with the Sixth North Carolina.

About 4 a. m. on the 11th, Rosecrans, with his brigade, which numbered 1,842 infantry and 75 cavalry, began a flank movement against Pegram, ordering reveille beaten at the usual hour by those left in camp; first marching southward, up the valley of Roaring creek, thence eastward up a hollow and along a spur of Rich mountain, southward of the ones occupied by the Confederates, to the crest of the mountain, and thence along the crest northeast to gain the gap in the rear of Camp Garnett on the road leading to Beverly. By arrangement, McClellan was to threaten Pegram's front with his other two brigades and his twelve guns when Rosecrans attacked the rear, and thus inclosing the Confederates between two fires, force them to surrender.

Rosecrans found his march a difficult one through the damp and nearly pathless forest, especially as he made every effort to conceal his movement, thinking Pegram would be on the alert because of the alarm in his camp. A heavy rain set in about 6 a. m., and lasted until about 11, with intermissions, during which the Federal column pushed steadily and cautiously forward, and then halted to rest near the top of Rich mountain.. The movement

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