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‘ [176] lament the loss of many valuable lives. Our casualties amounted to 20 killed, 96 wounded and 28 missing. Many of the missing have returned since the day of battle.’ In a report of December 15th, he wrote: ‘The enemy were totally routed and acknowledged they had been badly whipped. They were heard to accuse their officers of deceiving them, insisting that our numbers were largely superior to their own. They were much demoralized, and I hope they have received a good lesson.’

The Official Records contain no report from General Milroy concerning this engagement, but the official return of Federal casualties gives 20 killed, 107 wounded and 10 missing; total, 137.

Any account of the battle of Alleghany Mountain that fails to make mention of the grandly heroic leadership of Col. Edward Johnson in that memorable engagement, fails to give prominence to the most important factor in the winning of such a decided victory over so large an attacking enemy. The men in Johnson's command were the very pick and flower of Southern soldiery. Those in the Twelfth Georgia were the best that ‘Empire State’ of the South could furnish. The Virginia regiments were made up of the picked men from northwestern Virginia and from the Great Valley. With such men and a brave and dashing commander, success in a contest was almost certain against a large disparity of numbers; but without a leader of such character, even such soldiers would fail to win in almost any field. Colonel Johnson, in the rough dress of a mountaineer, had scouted the whole surrounding country on horseback and on foot His men were encamped so as to be ready for action, and he was among the first to hear the firing of the pickets on the morning of the 13th, and in the same dress he, in person, promptly ordered the call to arms. When the fight began, armed with a musket, he went from one portion of the field to another, on foot, encouraging and directing his men, and when these were hard pressed, with clubbed musket in his left hand and a long club (a ‘grub’ gathered from a farmyard) in his right, which he brandished over his head, while in thunder tones he encouraged his men to attack, he joined them in rushing upon the foe and driving them, with the bayonet and with severe loss, down the mountain side in full retreat.

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