had overcome the almost insurmountable difficulties of his march through the forest, which his men had courageously endured, and had his command in front of the right of the Cheat mountain
fortress, on the same ridge, and in the road in its rear, and was ready for the assault; while Jackson
was in position near Cheat river
, in the immediate front of the frowning redoubts.
All were anxiously awaiting the opening of the fire of Rust
's assault as the signal for a general attack, but the dawn came and passed, and no sound was heard from Cheat mountain
Early on the morning of the 12th, Col. Nathan Kimball
, of the Fourteenth Indiana, who was in command of the Federals
on Cheat mountain
, started a supply wagon train toward the Elkwater camp.
About three-quarters of a mile from his camp, that train was attacked by the left of Rust
's command, which had gained his rear.
Informed of this, Kimball
at once took two companies to drive away the attacking party, supposing it to be merely a scout.
He deployed his men as skirmishers, and they advanced and developed the presence of Rust
claims that his force, by a vigorous fire, drove away the Confederates
, who ‘threw aside guns, clothing and everything that impeded their progress.’
At the same time Kimball
sent forward a strong detail to open the way to his picket on the path leading to Elkwater
, which, without his knowing it, had been cut off by Anderson
This detail met Anderson
's force, on the western Cheat mountain
, nearly 3 miles from the Federal
camp and joined in an engagement which, Kimball
claims, drove the Confederates
back, aided by the picket which had been cut off but now came up and attacked Anderson
At this juncture Kimball
was informed that the Confederates
were in his front, to the east of his camp, and had captured a picket of 35 men; and that his two companies that had attacked Rust
's left were driving him to the Federal
then advanced a strong force from his front to move up Cheat river
and fall on Rust
's right, 2 miles above the bridge, which he says forced Rust
claimed that he was attacked by nearly 5,500 men, which he engaged and repulsed with less than 300.
His report of the 14th concludes: ‘I think my men have done wonders, and ask ’