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[177] His heroic and inspiring presence everywhere increased the valorous ardor of his men. His conduct on that day won for him, for all time, the name of ‘Alleghany Johnson.’

Secretary Benjamin wrote to Brig.-Gen. Edward Johnson, on the 23d of December:

The report of the engagement of the 13th inst., in which your gallant command met and repulsed a vastly superior force with a steady valor worthy of the highest admiration, has been communicated by me to the President, and I rejoice to be made the medium of communicating to you and to your officers and men the expression of his thanks and of the great gratification he had experienced at your success. I am happy to add that the President readily and cheerfully assented to my suggestion that you should be promoted to the rank of brigadier-general as a mark of his approval of your conduct, and your nomination will accordingly this day be sent in to the Congress, and take date from the day of the battle.

On the 3d of January, 1862, Secretary Benjamin, in a letter to the President, wrote:

I have the honor to submit herewith for communication to Congress the official reports of the battle of Alleghany Mountain, in which our troops, 1,200 in number, successfully stood the assault of more than fourfold their number, and drove the enemy from the field after a combat as obstinate and as hard fought as any that has occurred during the war. . . . I doubt not that Congress on the reading of this report, will cordially concur with the Executive in the opinion that in this brilliant combat officers and men alike deserve well of their country and merit its thanks.

In consequence of this battle, which revealed the intention of Milroy to gain possession of the pass in the Alleghany mountain and form a junction with Kelley at Moorefield or Romney, if he should succeed in his attempt, General Johnson was ordered to remain at Camp Alleghany while Loring with the rest of his command was sent down the Shenandoah valley to join Stonewall Jackson at Winchester, in an expedition against Romney that would successfully checkmate Milroy's plans and intentions.

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