119 1/2.-Occupation of Charleston, Va. July 25, 1861.
After passing a very tedious day in camp yesterday, and every thing after dress parade had quieted down to the preparations of the night, orders were very unexpectedly conveyed to the different commands to draw rations for a two days supply, and to be ready by five o'clock to-morrow morning to move forward upon the rebels.
Every thing instantly changed from its former quietude to the wildest excitement.
The boys were wild with delight at the prospect of a forward movement.
Squads of men were here and there congregated, discussing the various scenes to be enacted — some singing with joy, music playing, and others cheering for their different commanders.
, of the river fleet, was busy as a bee in a tar bucket, transferring the chattels from boat to boat, making the necessary changes for the conveyance of the troops and stores of the army — as many as the boats could accommodate.
At daylight on the morning of the 24th tents were struck, wagons packed, and the whole column ordered under arms.
The Eleventh Ohio had moved three miles on the march last evening, which placed them in the advance.
The line of wagons was then moved up, followed by the artillery under the command of Captain Cotter
; then, followed by the Twenty-first Ohio, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Nibling
, the whole covered with the First and Second Kentucky, under Colonel Enyart
and Acting-Colonel Sedgwick
The view of this whole column in line and on its march was most splendid.
Every thing being in line, the column was all in motion at eight o'clock A. M. The river fleet, with six companies of the Twelfth Ohio, under the immediate command of Major Hines
, started up the river at nine o'clock A. M. The Economy, Commodore Beltzhoover
's flag-ship of the fleet, led the van, provided with one piece of artillery, placed upon the bow to answer any summons from the shore.
The other four companies of the Twelfth regiment were with the main body of the army, under command of Lieutenant Colonel White
The boats proceeded cautiously up the river, Major Hines
keeping scouts on the river banks to prevent any surprise from masked batteries.
After proceeding about seven miles, Major Hines
came upon the enemy strongly intrenched in a commanding position.
sent back word to Colonel Lowe
, who was one mile behind on the boats with three companies of the Twelfth regiment, to come forward and support him in the attack.
, not knowing the position of the enemy, and not expecting to meet the enemy in position on the right hand side of the river, did not feel willing to risk an engagement.
After reconnoitring their position, Colonel Lowe
thought it advisable to fall back to a safe position, and send word to General Cox
, on the opposite side of the river, of the condition of things here.
The orders from General Cox
were to move forward immediately.
In the mean time the main army, under General Cox
, had pushed forward and came out upon the Kanawha River
, one mile above tile enemy on the right.
At this point they found the steamer Julia Maffett
, with two flat-boat loads of wheat in tow, destined for the use of the enemy.
, of the artillery, soon brought one of his guns to bear upon her, putting one shot and one shell through her hull, when the rebels fled, setting fire to the boat as they left.
One of the rebels was left dead on the shore.
, then proceeding on up the river one mile and a half to Tyler creek
, suddenly came upon the enemy on the left, quietly cooking their evening repast, it being then sundown.
The enemy, when perceiving the advance of the Federal
troops, left their supper, ready cooked, upon the field and fled in all directions.
The boys pursued them a short distance, but the enemy were so scattered, and proved so swift of foot, they could not overtake them.
The boys returned to the encampment and feasted on the enemy's prepared supper, which
proved a great feast to them.
The rebels had appropriated every chicken, duck, and goose, all the eggs and butter, and every other luxury that could be found in this section of the country, without so much as saying “with your leave.”
Here Gen. Cox
encamped for the night.
The other portion of the army, with the river fleet, moved up the river at daylight, and found that the enemy had abandoned their position on the right, and moved on up the river.
Both divisions of the Federal
army were again connected at Elk River
one-fourth of a mile below Charleston
Here the rebels had attempted the destruction of the wire suspension bridge across Elk River
; but not having sufficient time, succeeded in burning only about forty feet of the flooring, without materially damaging the wires.
A large force of men was set to work repairing the bridge.
After working all night they had the bridge in a proper condition for the crossing of the army and train.
The cantonments of the enemy here were burned down by order of General Cox
There appears to be quite a Union sentiment here at present.
All the way from here to Malden
great cheering for the Union
July 26.--On the evening of the 25th the steamer Economy
, with a detachment of men under Major Hines
, was sent up the river six miles to Malden
, to look after a foundry at that place, said to be casting cannon for the enemy.
Not finding such to be the case, she returned to Elk River
. One piece of the enemy's artillery, which was disabled at Scarey Creek
battle, was found at a wagon shop, in Charleston
, fully repaired and ready for service.
It was duly cared for, and is now one of the Union
The army will commence moving at noon.
volunteered his services to Col. Woodruff
, of the Second Kentucky regiment, when at Guyandotte
soon placed him upon his staff.
The doctor being an experienced cavalryman led the charge upon Jenkins
's cavalry at the Muddy Creek bridge
fight, and had them at one time surrounded; but from the imbecility of Capt. George
, of the cavalry, in not closing in upon him, he made good his escape.
The doctor was injured by a horse at the time, and has since been upon the medical staff, where his valuable services are fully appreciated.
James M. Gray
, of Company F, Second Kentucky regiment, was accidentally shot on the 23d.
He and another of the company were practising the bayonet exercise, when, becoming locked, his companion suddenly jerking his musket, caught the hammer of the lock in his pants, shooting Gray
through the arm and bowels which caused his death.
, of the First Kentucky, has been placed upon Gen. Cox
The rebels, from the best authority that can be obtained here, have fled the country, and are not expected to stop until they reach the eastern shores of Virginia
Should this be the fact there will not be much more fighting in this valley.
, will, however, proceed on up the valley with dispatch, to Gauley Bridge
10 A. M.--The steamer Eunice
has just arrived with the companies of the First Kentucky, with Col. Guthrie
, July 31.