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[52] advancing with the Twelfth Georgia from the east.

Hotchkiss and party, learning at Huttonsville that Scott had gone into camp six miles further on, followed after; not finding him there, they went on to the foot of Cheat mountain, which was reached about dark, where they gave up the chase, having already marched 30 miles, since between 1 and 2 a. m., through swamps and forests and across Rich mountain, in drenching rains and mud. They went into camp, putting out pickets from the 75 or more armed men then in the command. Resuming retreat on the 13th, they found the Churchville and Bath cavalry companies and portions of many infantry companies bivouacked on the middle top of Cheat mountain, where they had spent the night. This body of Virginians, who had in various ways escaped capture, although of the rawest kind of soldiery, understood thoroughly the importance of retaining this stronghold against a Federal advance further into the State. The officers present held a conference and delegated Engineer Hotchkiss to go forward to Greenbrier river and urge Governor Letcher to allow them to remain and hold Cheat mountain. To this patriotic request the governor consented, but soon after the envoy left to return to his companions, he was overtaken by orders to abandon the mountain and continue the retreat. Scott's exaggerated idea of McClellan's force and of an energetic pursuit by him, had so impressed Governor Letcher and Colonel Johnson, the latter now in command as the ranking officer present, that a retreat was ordered to the top of Alleghany mountain, where Brig.-Gen. H. R. Jackson, of Georgia, who had been sent to take command, met the army and thence continued the retreat to Monterey, where he established headquarters on the 14th and awaited reinforcements and the return of the remnant of the Laurel hill force from its circuitous retreat through Maryland, and Hardy and Pendleton counties, Va. McClellan, with his advance, reached the Cheat mountain summit at about 3 p.. of the 14th, nearly two days after Scott had passed that point, and about twenty-four hours after the Confederate cavalry, by orders, had reluctantly left it.

When Pegram reached the head of the column that had waited for him just north of Camp Garnett, soon after

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