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[158] returns for October, 1861, give this brigade, present for duty, 377 officers, 10,421 men, and 26 pieces of artillery, stationed at Beverly, Elkwater and Cheat mountain. There are no official returns of the Confederate strength. Long, who was in a position to know, in his Memoirs of R. E. Lee, states that Loring's force was 6,000 and Jackson's 5,000; and that Reynolds had 2,000 in front of Jackson and 5,000 in front of Loring. So the opposing armies were about equal in strength, were both led by old army officers, and composed of the choice men of each nation. The Federals had the great advantage of fighting from behind well-located and properlycon-structed fortifications, and were in comfortable camps.

On the 8th of September, General Lee communicated, confidentially, his plan of campaign for the capture of the Federal positions in his front, to begin the night of September 11th and be carried into effect by assault on the Cheat mountain fortress and attack on Elkwater camp on the morning of the 12th. General Reynolds' headquarters and most of his force were at Elkwater, 2,200 feet above tide, 11 miles due north from Loring's headquarters and the camp of the larger part of his force, at Valley mountain. It was 8 miles due east from the Elkwater camp to that on Cheat mountain, and about the same distance by a very direct bridle path, for most of the way; but it was 17 miles between the two by turnpike roads to the rear by way of Huttonsville. From Loring's camp at Valley mountain, 3,500 feet above the sea level, it was 15 miles northeast, in a direct line across numerous ridges of the densely forested Cheat mountain chain, to Jackson's camp on the Greenbrier, 3,000 feet above tide, on the Monterey line. By the nearest wagon road between the two wings of the Confederate army it was nearly 30 miles, by the rear, toward Huntersville; and by the shortest line of communication, by bridle paths, it was fully 20 miles between the two camps. A single road, the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike, led from Jackson's camp some 14 miles westward to the Federal camp on Cheat mountain. Two good roads led from the front of Loring's camp to the Federal intrenched camp at Elkwater. One of these, the turnpike to Huttonsville, followed the Tygart valley river; the other, after crossing a divide to the westward, led down the Elkwater branch of Valley river to the Federal camp at its

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