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From the army of the Kanawha.

the retreat of Rosencranz--Gen. Floyd's Column on the March--appearance of an army in motion — an Incident, &c., &c.

The Lynchburg Republican, of the 22d, contains an interesting letter from its editor, R. H. Glass, Esq., attached to General Floyd's staff, dated ‘ "Richmond Ferry, 20 miles west of Sewell, Oct. 12,"’ from which we extract the following:

‘ The latest information in reference to the movements of Rosencranz is, that he has retired the last of his men from the south side of the Gauley, and is, probably, in hasty retreat with his main strength to the banks of the Ohio. He has probably left small detachments at Gauley Bridge and Carnifax's Ferry, to defend those passes, but this is only conjecture. We are little capable up here of judging the cause of this sudden backward movement of the enemy, but we have reasons to suppose that it was occasioned in great part by the conscious impossibility of breaking through our compact lines at Sewell, and by the imminent dangers which seem to threaten Cincinnati itself.

The rapidly advanced movements of the Confederates in Kentucky and Missouri will have a wonderful tendency to weaken the enemy's lines in Western and Northwestern Virginia.

On Friday morning last our encampment on Sewell was struck, and General Floyd's column took up its line of march to the Kanawha Valley by the road running west of New River, through Fayette, Raleigh, Boone, &c., while Lee and Loring still remain on Sewell. It is the purpose of Gen. Floyd to strike the Kanawha about ten miles above Charleston, and thus throw himself in the rear of the enemy, unless he retreats before him to the Ohio. In either event, the expedition, it is confidently believed, will prove a most important and successful one. It is understood that the movement will be greatly strengthened by the speedy advance of the central column of Lee and Loring along the line of Rosencranz's retreat. You will not be surprised, therefore, if our combined forces winter in the rich valley of the Kanawha, and the enemy be expelled our soil in that section of the State.

We felt sad in leaving our entrenched position upon Sewell, where we expected our little army to have covered itself again with the laurels of a glorious victory. But it may be that our work has not been in vain, as the continually changing tide of war may yet float us back to them, and make them of great importance in our defence. They cover a space of about four miles, and though temporary in their character, were nevertheless quite formidable. The earthen portion of them on Burwell's Mount will probably remain for a century, and be the object of curious interest to our children's children.--‘"'T was from this point,"’ they may exclaim, "that the tide of Northern aggression was turned back in the war of our independence in 1861.

You can form no adequate conception of the condition of the roads in these mountains. The like of them, I presume, has never been seen. Between the two Sewells they are impassable to any single team. It requires six horses to move a two-horse load, and even then it is a slow and tedious business. It is almost impossible for a horse to move out of a walk from General Floyd's to Gen. Lee's camp, and before we could take up our march on yesterday, we had to cut a new road nearly four miles long! It was impossible to move over the old road, and, even now, we have to keep large forces in front repairing the road to make it passable.

Did you ever see an army in motion? It is a most interesting and imposing sight, though the most tedious mode of traveling in the world. A regiment moves off in double file, led by its Colonel, and is followed by a long train of lumbering wagons. Then comes another regiment, followed by its baggage train; then comes a park of artillery, then another regiment and its train, and so on, alternately, moves the line for miles out of your sight. If a single wagon stalls the whole rear train has to stop until the vehicle is dragged out of the mud, for in many places the road is so narrow that not even a horse, and sometimes not a footman, can pass a single wagon. The consequence is we move about ten miles a day, and when night comes both men and horses are well broken down with the excessive labors of the day. We then have our horses to feed, our beeves to butcher, our tents to pitch, and our suppers to cook, when refreshing sleep closes in upon our labors. But when the roads and the weather are good we make 15 or 20 miles a day with much less fatigue and trouble.

I have been curious to note how soon volunteer service accustoms men to all the hardships and inconveniences of life. A thousand incidents, which would cause men to curse themselves out of their boots at home, are endured in the army with the greatest patience, and sometimes become the sources of his greatest amusement. We soon learn to laugh at our own troubles, and to surmount difficulties, incur dangers, and endure hardships from which we would involuntarily shrink at home. War, therefore, as well as adversity, bath its uses, and is to a nation what the latter is to an individual. When peace returns, we will be a more hardy, self-reliant, moral, and religious people.

I had intended to sketch several interesting and heroic incidents connected with the battle of the Gauley, but I have deferred it so long, that I shall omit it altogether now.--But there is one incident which I will venture, even at this late day, to record. When Gen. Floyd had crossed the river in his retreat, he discovered that, by the oversight of his servants, his fine sword, which he seldom wore, had been left at his late headquarters. To get it was a question of intense importance to him and his friends, for I verily believe he would as soon lose his life as his sword should have fallen into the hands of the despised foe. Day had just dawned — our troops were all across the river — it was a full mile and a half to our deserted breastworks, and to return to them was certainly a most perilous undertaking.

The Rev. J. J. McMamon, of Smythe county, chaplain in the 45th regiment, happened to be the only person by the General at the moment the loss was discovered, and without a moment's hesitation he heroically volunteered to return for the left prize. He trudged the whole distance on foot, passed through our encampment to the point where the General's headquarters had been, directly at the breastworks, and in full view of the enemy's position, obtained the sword, and returned with it to the river, just as the bridge was thrown down and the last boat but one had been destroyed! Such an act of disinterested courage is seldom performed, and never by one who is not a brave man and a true friend.

We have been deeply pained to learn to-day of the death of Mr. J. A. Totten, a volunteer from Logan county, who, for a long time, has been acting at our headquarters as Clerk, Provost Marshal, and Postmaster. He was much esteemed by all of us for his business habits and private virtues. He had just been promoted to a Quartermaster's place, when he was stricken down by that terrible scourge of the soldier — typhoid fever. He was a good Christian, but leaves a large and dependent family to mourn his loss.

Lieut. Arrington, of Concord, is quite sick, and has been removed to Lewisburg. A good many of his companions are also sick, and one of them, whose name I have forgotten, has died. Capt. Rector, himself, has been quite sick, and is not yet fit for duty.

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Floyd (6)
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