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[93] the New River, Cox's main force was then stationed. Floyd had just settled his command at Carnifex Ferry, when he received intelligence that some National troops were approaching from the direction of Summersville, north of him. These were the Seventh Ohio, under Colonel E. B. Tyler, who, as a fur-trader, had made himself well acquainted with that region. Floyd had been placed in a perilous position in passing over the Gauley, by the cap-sizing of a ferry-boat. His command was severed; most of his cavalry and four pieces of artillery being on the southern side of the river, whilst his infantry and a small portion of his cavalry were on the opposite shore. Tyler had information of this affair, and hoped to strike Floyd before he could reunite his troops. But he was a little too late. lie was encamped at Cross. Lanes, not far from Summersville, on the night of the 25th of August, and, while at breakfast the next morning,
Aug. 26, 1861.
his command was surprised by a force of Virginians sent out stealthily by Floyd, severely handled, and dispersed with the loss of about fifty men.

General Rosecrans, soon after this defeat of Tyler, marched to the aid of Cox against Floyd. He issued a stirring proclamation to the loyal inhabitants of Western Virginia, and promised them ample protection. General Cox, of Ohio, in the mean time, had advanced from Charleston to the site of Gauley bridge, which Wise, in his hasty flight, had burnt; and, at the junction of New River with the Gauley,1 he had reported to Governor Pierpont, on the 29th of July, that the Kanawha Valley was “free from the Secession troops,” and that the inhabitants were denouncing Wise “for his vandalism.” He had moved up the Kanawha, by land and water, having under his control a number of steamboats. His whole force proceeded cautiously, for masked batteries were dreaded. His scouting parties were very active. One of these, under Colonel Guthrie, composed of the First Kentucky cavalry, routed a Confederate troop at Cissonville. Others were driven from their camps, and as Cox moved steadily onward, Wise, as we have observed, becoming alarmed,2 abandoned his strong intrenchments at Charleston, and fled up the river, burning the bridges over the streams in his rear. When appreaching the abandoned town, Cox captured a Confederate steamer, and on the 25th of July he entered the

Joseph J. Reynolds

village, just after the Confederate rear-guard had left. He found the fine suspension bridge over the Elk River in ruins, and Wise beyond his reach; so he fortified his position there, and, with some of his troops, followed his fugitive foe as far as the confluence of the New and Gauley Rivers, and took position, as we have observed, in the region between them.

1 New River rises among the spurs of the Blue Ridge, in North Carolina, and, uniting with the Gauley, forms. the Great Kanawha.

2 See page 587, volume I.

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