The force at that camp consisted of the Third Arkansas, the First and Twelfth Georgia, the Twenty-third, Thirty-first and Forty-fourth Virginia regiments, the Twenty-fifth and Ninth Virginia battalions, the Virginia
batteries of Shumaker
, and Sterrett
's Churchville, Va., cavalry; while in its rear, near the summit of Alleghany mountain, guarding its flank and line of communication to Staunton
, was the Fifty-second Virginia, under Col. John B. Baldwin
The morning report of October 2d showed that this command had about 1,800 men for duty.
The left of General Jackson
's command, on the Huntersville
line, was composed of the Twenty-first Virginia, under Col. William Gilham
, located at Valley mountain
and guarding that approach to Huntersville
, with the Thirty-seventh Virginia, under Col. S. V. Fulkerson
, in his rear guarding the line of communication to Millboro depot and Jackson
's left flank.
At midnight of October 2d, Brig.-Gen. J. J. Reynolds
, with 5,000 Federal troops of all arms, marched from his Cheat mountain
fortress along the Staunton and Parkersburn turnpike
to make, as the Federal
commander reports, ‘an armed reconnaissance of the enemy's position on Greenbrier river
12 miles in advance.’
His force was composed of nine regiments of Ohio
infantry, two and a half batteries of artillery, and three companies of cavalry, all with four days cooked rations in their haversacks.
The numbers of the attacking column and the provision of rations indicate, very clearly, that the object in view was more than a mere reconnoissance.
The leader was doubtless fully informed as to the numbers and disposition of the opposing Confederate forces, and knew that a large portion of the army of the Northwest had been withdrawn to the Kanawha
It was, evidently, his intention to attempt to drive the Confederates
from Camp Bartow and pursue them toward Staunton
, and thus secure for himself an advanced position for better winter quarters, either on Alleghany mountain or farther to the east, and get in more direct communication with the Federal
force in the valley of the South Branch
of the Potomac
; or, having driven the Confederates
from their partially constructed works and which they were actively engaged in completing, to move down the Greenbrier
and fall upon the rear of Fulkerson
, on the Huntersville