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[172] Twelfth Georgia, the Thirty-first, Fifty-second and Twenty-fifth Virginia regiments and the Ninth Virginia battalion, Flournoy's company of Virginia cavalry, and Anderson's and Miller's Virginia batteries, and at once entering upon the duties of his command, take ‘the necessary steps to insure the safety and comfort of his troops.’ The Forty-fourth Virginia and a section of Rice's battery, located on the road to Monterey, were made part of his command. Previous to that time, on the 18th of October, General Jackson had ordered the construction of huts on the top of Alleghany mountain within lines of fortification, laid out under the direction of Lieut.-Col. Seth M. Barton, of the Third Arkansas. These were gladly occupied by Johnson's men, who had been suffering from the inclemency of the season. The same orders directed Col. William B. Taliaferro to take command at Monterey with the First Georgia, the Third Arkansas and the Twenty-third and Thirty-seventh Virginia, with cavalry to scout down the branches of the Potomac toward Petersburg and Moorefield.

At about the time of the withdrawal of the Confederate troops to Alleghany mountain, General Reynolds resigned the command of the Cheat Mountain district of the Federal army to Brig.-Gen. R. H. Milroy. At about the same time General Kelley was placed in command of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad district, and with a Federal force moved up the South Branch valley and took possession of Romney, thus threatening the line of communication from Alleghany mountain to Staunton, since Monterey, in that valley and on that line, was but 70 miles, by a good road, from Romney. Kelley asked McClellan for 10,000 men, saying that with these he could go up the South Branch valley and, falling on the rebels, ‘utterly destroyed their whole force at Monterey and Greenbrier.’ Pierpoint, the bogus governor of Virginia, also urged the same thing, saying that a combined movement by Reynolds and Kelley would ‘bag all the rebels on Cheat mountain.’ (He meant Alleghany mountain; being mixed in his geography.)

Ambitious of winning reputation on the line to Staunton on which his predecessor had signally failed at Greenbrier river, Milroy, without waiting for co-operation with Kelley, and doubtless informed, through his numerous traitorotis West Virginia spies and deserters from the army of

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