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[164] upon his person a requisition for 930 rations; also a letter indicating they had very little subsistence. I brought only one prisoner back with me. The cowardice of the guard (not Arkansan) permitted the others to escape. Spies had evidently communicated our movements to the enemy. The fort was completed, as reported by the different prisoners examined separately, and another in process of construction. We got near enough to see the enemy in the trenches beyond the abatis. The most of my command behaved admirably. Some I would prefer to be without upon any expedition.

General Jackson requests me to say that he is in possession of the first summit of Cheat mountain, and hopes you are doing something in Tygart's valley, and will retain command of it until he receives orders from your quarters. My own opinion is, that there is nothing to be gained by occupying that mountain. It will take a heavy force to take the pass, and at a heavy loss. I knew the enemy had four times my force; but for the abatis we would have made the assault. We could not get to them to make it. The general says in his note to me, his occupying Cheat mountain may bring on an engagement, but he is prepared, and will whip them if they come. I see from the postscript that he requests his note to me to be enclosed to you. I can only say that all human power could do toward success in my expedition failed of success. The taking of the picket looked like a providential interposition. I took the first one myself, being at the head of the column when I got to the road.

General Lee held his positions in Tygart's valley on the 12th and 13th and during a portion of the 14th, awaiting information from Rust, which he received through the preceding letter, on the morning of the 14th, after which he issued the following special order:

Camp on Valley River, Va., September 14, 1861.
The forced reconnaissance of the enemy's positions, both at Cheat mountain pass and on Valley river, having been completed, and the character of the natural approaches and the nature of the artificial defenses exposed, the army of the Northwest will resume its former position at such time and in such manner as General Loring shall direct, and continue its preparations for further operations. The commanding general experienced much gratification at the cheerfulness and alacrity displayed by the troops in this arduous operation. The promptitude with which they surmounted every difficulty, driving in and capturing the enemy's pickets on the fronts examined and exhibiting that readiness for attack, gives assurance of victory when a fit opportunity offers.

R. E. Lee, General Commanding.

Gen. A. L. Long, in his Memoirs, referring to Colonel Rust's attack of September 12th, writes:

It was anxiously expected from early dawn throughout the day. On every side was continuously heard, ‘What has become of Rusty’ ‘Why don't he attack?’ ‘Rust must have lost his way!’ The Tennesseeans under Anderson became so impatient that they requested to be led to the attack without waiting for Rust. But Anderson thought that he must be governed by the letter of his instructions,

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