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[163] greatly superior odds. Here also we met a Virginia regiment under the command of Colonel Scott retreating from Rich Mountain.

It being thus rendered impossible for us to join General Garnett's command, and not having a force with which we could hope to occupy the country in the face of the enemy's greatly superior numbers, we had no alternative but to retreat. Humiliating as was this movement, it seemed obviously the dictate of sound policy.

The details of the fight at Rich Mountain and Laurel Hill, and of the retreat of General Garnett's command have already been published through so many channels (and more fully than I could furnish them) that I will not encumber your columns with a repetition of them.

After a brief rest and supper we began our retreat a little after dark Saturday night, and continued through that night and all the next day, encamping Sunday night at Monterey, about forty-five miles from Staunton. Long will we remember this retreat. Two days and a night of continuous marching was rather a severe ordeal for soldiers as young as we; and, though feeling it perhaps as keenly as any, having been on guard duty the night preceding, I could not withhold the sympathising tear as I saw my companions, some of them delicate and weakly, weary and foot-sore, painfully measuring these almost endless miles of mountain road. When we reached our camp at Monterey we needed no soothing opiates to lull us to rest. The earth, rugged and damp as it was, with stones or canteens for pillows furnished a most inviting couch; and never have we enjoyed sounder, more refreshing sleep than on that evening with only these accommodations. Here we remained two or three days, and had the pleasure of greeting many of General Garnett's command who had made good their escape through the mountains, though suffering many privations and hardships in their flight. Among them also we met several members of the First Georgia regiment who were with General Garnett, and were glad to learn from them that that regiment had not suffered so severely as we had at first heard.

On Thursday, the 18th, we were ordered to return and occupy this place (which I have called Camp Alleghany, as it has no other name and is on the top of the Alleghany mountains), where we are still encamped. How long we are to remain or to what point we may be ordered I cannot tell. At present we occupy the advance position in this direction, the enemy's camp being distant about twenty miles by the road, though perhaps not exceeding twelve on an air line. We occupy the summit of the Alleghany, they of Cheat Mountain, and their tents are in full view from several points around our camp.

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