From wise's Legion — position of the enemy — an Ambuscade, &c.
Hdqrs. Wise Legion, Fayette co., September 5th, 1861.
Our forces are now stationed at two different places.
The larger portion is encamped near the Hawk's Nest
, on New river
, and the remainder is at Dogwood Gap, which has been fortified; and being originally a very strong place, is now rendered doubly so. This place is about four miles in the rear of the main camp, and very convenient to fall back upon should necessity require it.
The enemy are in pretty strong force between Hawk's Nest
and the place where Gauley Bridge
formerly stood, and are fortifying all along the road to that place.
It will take a good force and hard fighting to dislodge them if they are disposed to stand and can fight, though they have done some very poor fighting lately.
Several days ago, our cavalry were led into an ambush of the enemy.
They were concealed in large numbers in the woods, and on both side of the road, behind the fences.
At the signal, they showed themselves, and poured a hot fire into the cavalry, who of course were compelled, from the nature of the ground, to retreat to the main body, which they did, running the gauntlet through a hot fire for half a mile, delivering a running fire as they retreated.
But, strange to say, we only lost one man mortally wounded, two others slightly, and two horses, while they lost four killed.
We are taking prisoners every day. Gen. Wise
offered the enemy battle on Sunday week, when they engaged our cavalry; but they retreated, notwithstanding their numbers were superior, as we had reason to believe.