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Doc. 67. battle of Green Brier, Va.

Gen. Reynolds' official report.

Headquarters, First Brigade, army of occupation, West. Va., Elkwater, Oct. 4, 1861.
Geo. S. Hartsuff, Asst. Adjt.-General:
sir: On the night of the 2d of October, at twelve o'clock, I started from the summit of Cheat Mountain, to make an armed reconnoissance of the enemy's position on the Green Brier River, twelve miles in advance. Our force consisted of Howe's Battery, Fourth regular artillery, Loomis' Battery, Michigan Volunteer artillery, part of Daum's Battery, Virginia Volunteer artillery, Twenty-fourth, Twenty-fifth and Thirty-second Ohio regiments, Seventh, Ninth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Seventeenth Indiana regiments, (the last four being reduced by continuous hard service and sickness to about half regiments,) parts of Robinson's Company of Ohio, Greenfield's reserve and Bracken's Indiana Cavalry--in all about five thousand. Millroy's Ninth Indiana drove in the enemy's advanced pickets, and deployed to our right, driving the enemy on that flank into his intrenchments. Kimball's Fourteenth Indiana was advanced directly to the enemy's front and right, to drive his advanced regiments from a position suitable for our artillery; this was soon done in gallant style, and our batteries promptly took their positions [160] within about seven hundred yards of the intrenchments and opened fire. Some of the enemy's guns were visible and others concealed. We disabled three of his guns, made a thorough reconnoissance, and after having fully and successfully accomplished the object of the expedition, retired leisurely and in good order to Cheat Mountain, arriving at sundown, having marched twenty-four miles, and been under the enemy's fire four hours. The enemy's force was about nine thousand, and we distinctly saw heavy reinforcements of infantry and artillery arrive, while we were in front of the works.

We took thirteen prisoners. The number of killed and wounded could not be accurately ascertained, but from those actually counted in the field, and estimated in the trenches which could be seen from the heights, it is believed the number reached at least three hundred. Our loss was surprisingly small--eight killed and thirty-two wounded, most of them slightly — the proximity of our batteries to the intrenchments causing many shots to pass over us.

Very respectfully, &c.,

J. J. Reynolds, Brigadier-General Commanding. Geo. S. Rose, Asst. Adjt.-Gen.

List of killed and wounded.

Howe's battery.--Killed--Francis Enwright, private.--Wounded, Michael F. Andrews, Lance Corporal; Cornelius Daniels, private; Andrew Dougherty, severely, since died; George L. Rice, private, severely; John Ledwidge, private, severely.

Twenty-Fifth Ohio.--Wounded, John Everingham, private, Company E, slightly; Alex. Pemberton, private, Company E, slightly; Michael Mulgrove, Company E, slightly

Twenty-Fourth Ohio.--Killed, John Riddle, Company B, by a six-pound shot.--Wounded, John Bailey, Company B, private; Christ. Reiner, Company B, private; and William F. Fuller, Company F, private, all slightly.

Ninth Indiana.--Killed, Albert I. Abbott, private, Company C; Lewis E. Smith, private, Company H.--Wounded, James Arrick, Sergt., Company D; Murray McConnell, private, Company E; Thomas S. Bull, Sergeant, Company F; Henry Bishop, private, Company G; John H. Natus, private, Company F; Isaac S. Bryant, Corporal, Company E.

Fourteenth Indiana.--Killed, Amos Boyd, private, Company C.--Wounded, Captain S. A. Foote, Company E, slightly; John D. Lyon, Corporal, Company E; James S. Jackson, private, Company D; J. Urner Price, First Sergeant, Company A, since dead; Harrison Myers, private, Company H, since dead; Asa Smith, private, Company K.

Seventeenth Indian--Killed, Ezekiel Duke, private, Company B.

Seventh Indiana.--Wounded, First Lietenants Alexander B. Patterson, slightly; Alf James, private, Company A; Cyrus Guyringer private, Company H; James Lanesbury, private, Company A; Samuel Reynolds, private, Company B; Thomas Jones, private, Company D; William Wooley, private, Company H; William H. Funcell, private, Company C.

Thirteenth Indian.--Killed, David J. Hendrick, private, Company K.--Wounded, Jonathan B. Rummell, private, Company I; slightly. [Official.]

George S. Rose, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Official report by Colonel Kimball.

Cheat Mountain Summit, Va., October 4th, 1861.
Brigadier-Gen. J. J. Reynolds, Commanding:
sir: In obedience to your orders, the Fourteenth regiment Indiana Volunteers proceeded from this point at 1 o'clock A. M., on the 3d inst., as part of the force in making the armed reconnoissance of the enemy's position at Green Brier River, near the Alleghany Mountains.

My command, on arriving near the front of the enemy's position, took post in their front, near the main road, and awaited your arrival. By your order, I deployed one company, (C) Captain Brooks, forward as skirmishers, to open up the way for a position for Loomis' Battery. They had proceeded only a few hundred yards, when they came in contact with the enemy's infantry, six hundred in number. I immediately ordered the rest of my companies forward, and deploying left companies over mountains, which were occupied by the enemy; my whole command was soon engaged, and I am proud, rejoiced to know that they drove the enemy back.

As the whole of this action was under your immediate observation, I need not tell you how gallantly my men behaved. Having succeeded in clearing the point, Captain Loomis soon had his guns in battery, and opening on the enemy. I then moved my regiment forward, one company supporting Howe's battery, in the road, my right resting in a meadow, directly in front of the enemy. At this time, Captain Daum brought one gun forward and took position near my left. He behaved with great gallantry, attending his gun in person, doing good execution amid a perfect storm of shot and shell.

I directed my line up the hill, and to the rear of Daum's piece. We occupied this position during the whole cannonading, the men being exposed to the continuous fire from the enemy's batteries. And, General, I am proud to say my men stood firm. They had never before been subjected to the hail storms of ball and shell, yet they did not waver.

Our position was held until we were ordered to deploy to the enemy's right of the mountain as skirmishers. I moved with seven companies, the other three were deployed over the summit, directly over the face of the mountain, exposed to the fire from the enemy's batteries. Here I was halted near the enemy's right by other regiments which were on my left. Here I formed a junction with Colonel Wagner, and while endeavoring to move forward, we were met by a portion of one of the regiments returning. We remained in this position for one [161] half hour, awaiting the movement of the regiment in our advance; but seeing all of our forces being drawn off, I marched my command, in good order, back to its former position in the road, and retired in front of the enemy's heavy fire.

General, you witnessed the conduct of my command during most of the day, and it is unnecessary for me to praise them to you. All I will say is, that the Fourteenth were true soldiers, and acted up to their profession, and in accordance with their motto, which is, “Keep cool, and a steady fire.” I must not fail to mention that my Major, W. Harrow, and Adjutant John P. Blinn, were with me, and acted with great gallantry and bravery, and deserve the highest praise. My lieutenant-colonel, owing to severe sickness, did not arrive until toward the withdrawal of the forces.

I have to report the loss of three killed and four wounded. Two of those reported killed, died after we returned to camp. One Sergeant, J. Urner Price, Company A, lost his left leg by a fraction of a shell. Price was a noble fellow, and died a Christian, as he had lived one.

The other, Harrison Myers, of Company H, had a spherical-case shot in his thigh, which was extracted, but he died immediately afterwards. Amos Boyd, of Company C, was killed on the field by the explosion of a shell from the enemy's guns. I recapitulate my loss as follows:

killed — J. Urner Price, Company A; Amos Boyd, Company C; Harrison Myers, Company H.

wounded--Captain L. A. Foote, Company A, and private John D. Lyon, Company E.

General, we are ready again, and hope that the Fourteenth will ever do as well as they have done heretofore.

Very respectfully and obediently,

Nathan Kimball, Colonel Fourteenth Regiment Indiana Volunteers.

Cincinnati times narrative.

Cheat Mountain Summit, Oct. 4.
We have had a fight, and a splendid one. Although intended only as a reconnoissance in force, it resulted in a handsome achievement. Early yesterday morning, Gen. Reynolds and staff, escorted by Brackan's cavalry, arrived in camp, and shortly after an order to prepare two days rations created excitement and cheerfulness in camp. The men were confident they were to have a fight, and it put them in the best of good humor. Knapsacks were repacked, haversacks and cartridge-boxes filled, and arms ovehauled and brightened to the highest polish. Each regiment to be used on the occasion received marching orders, all of which were for the night. The men were ordered to retire early, and get sleep, but little sleep was there in camp that night.

Officers and men shared alike in the excitement, and the gladness at the prospect of a fight.

three O'clock at night.
At ten o'clock, “Hail Columbia” floated sweetly over the camp. It came from the quarters of the Thirty-sixth Ohio, Col. Ford, encamped on the peak of one of the summits of the camp. A few minutes after, the heavy tramp of men was heard, and the Thirty-second were seen in the dark, moving along in the advance of the movement. It was accompanied by a detachment of cavalry, and a piece from Daum's Virginia battery. They were guided by A. F. Nicholas, the brave and daring Illinois scout.

Then there was quiet in camp, but not a long quiet. At half-past 11, first one hill-side and then another poured forth its column of armed men. A line was formed on the road, and at midnight precisely the Ninth Indiana, Colonel Millroy; the Fourteenth Indiana, Col. Kimball, and the Twenty-fourth Ohio, Col. Ammon, moved off in the order named. A half hour later, and the Seventeenth Indiana, Lieut.-Col. Wilder commanding; Capt. Loomis' celebrated Michigan artillery; the Fourteenth Indiana; Howe's battery of regular artillery; a detachment of cavalry, and one gun of Daum's Virginia battery, rattled down the mountain.

Then there was quiet again on the mountain, during which your reporter was enabled to take a short nap in the open air, before a log fire. It was nine o'clock when the strains of a soft call from a cornet, and the instant uprising of ten thousand men, disturbed my sleep. In the dim light of glimmering camp fires, I could see companies forming here and there, and marching with great regularity over the broken and rocky mountain side. In a few minutes the Fifteenth Indiana, Colonel Wagner, and the Twenty-fourth Ohio, Lieutenant-Col. Richardson commanding, were marching toward the enemy. These two regiments formed the rear of the column, and were to be stationed as a reserve, at the scene of conflict.

All the regiments had been greatly weakened by sickness and hard service; and the force which marched, counting artillery, cavalry, &c., was less than six thousand men. The batteries comprised thirteen pieces.

Since the flight of the rebels from Tygart Valley, they have had an advanced camp on the bank of the Green Brier, at a point where the Staunton turnpike ascends the Alleghany Mountains. In the late advance of Lee, a considerable force was detailed from that camp, and, as I have informed you, went back to it in a hurry. They have not advanced since. Our scouts have, from time to time, reported that the post was being fortified.

The point is about thirteen miles from this camp, and about the same distance from Monterey, where it is understood there is a large rebel force. The opinion has been entertained that there were additional camps between Green Brier and Monterey, from which the former could be readily reinforced, and to confirm this opinion was one of the objects of this movement. The scouts supposed that five [162] thousand or six thousand were encamped at Green Brier.

Colonel Ford's orders were to proceed about six miles to the Gum road Station, with a force, and Duam's gun, at the junction, and picket the road, so as to prevent all possibility of a flank movement. The only trouble he had was with the detachment of cavalry, who accompanied him, and cowardly refused to take the advance. He reached the Gum road, and had his men all stationed, and admirably stationed, too, by daylight.

Col. Millroy's orders were to deploy skirmishers in the advance from the Gum road, and drive in the pickets. He met with no opposition until he reached the first Green Brier bridge, just after daylight. A full company of rebels were stationed at the bridge, but on some account they were not seen until the enemy were aware of their advance, and fired at them at random. Two of Millroy's men fell one dead and the other severely wounded. Without waiting for orders our men dashed on to the bridge, pouring a volley into the picket guard; three rebels fell and the rest took to their heels.

Our men took after them, both parties dropping knapsacks, blankets, &c., to accelerate their speed in the chase. An exciting race of about a mile and a half was had, but the rebels proved, as usual, the fleetest of foot, and escaped without further harm.--Millroy's men picked up numerous knapsacks, blankets, arms, &c., as trophies.

Millroy, after driving in the pickets, was to remain a mile and a half from the enemy's fortification, the other forces to fall in his rear, and await the arrival of the General.

I proceeded to the field of battle with the Fifteenth Indiana, Colonel Wagner leading the reserve. At three o'clock I was in the saddle, and beside the gallant colonel. The regiment was soon formed, and this order given--

“Attention, Fifteenth! Let your captains do all the talking. Fifteenth, forward, march!”

The night was to me fearfully dark, and I was uneasy as to my riding over a precipice, until I found my pony more trustworthy than myself. Down the mountain we marched in this terrible darkness, the whole column stepping with precise regularity. The tramp, tramp, tramp, tramp of over a thousand feet, all moving as if by machinery, deadened all other sounds.

Not a word was spoken by the men, as they moved at common time behind their silent leader. I was rather melancholy that morning, having been indisposed the day before, and while riding at the head of this silent column of armed men, in the heavy darkness, experienced a peculiar sensation. At a distance of three miles, a halt was ordered for rest. I dismounted, and lay down on a log, holding my horse by the bridle. I observed that even in the halt the men were obedient to the order of silence. Not a word was spoken above a whisper. While listening to those whispers, lying on a wet log, holding my horse by the bridle, I fell fast asleep! The colonel had to give me a hard shake to get me awake when he was ready to move. I readily saw how it was that the exhausted soldier could lie down and sleep among the dead and dying.

I know not how long we halted, but we had not proceeded much further, when welcome daylight appeared. We had just made the descent of the Cheat Mountain ridge, and were passing through a small farm and extensive “deadening.” We followed the valley until we reached the Gum road, where the Thirty-second Ohio was stationed, where we made another halt. In a few minutes, General Reynolds and his Staff, with a cavalry escort, who had left camp at daylight, came up and rode on. I joined that party, and moved at a swifter pace. Making a long buteasy descent of another mountain, we soon came to the Green Brier. As we neared the bridge, we saw the body of one of Millroy's men lying in the bushes, just where he had fallen when shot by the rebel pickets.

“They had a fight at the bridge,” was the only remark, and we passed on.

At a farm-house near the bridge, we came across the rear of the column ahead of us, with piles of knapsacks in an adjoining field, left there under guard, the infantry thus relieving themselves in expectation of the fight. The General rode on to near the head of the column, where he obtained a distant view of the enemy's camp. Soon the order was given to forward.

The rebel camp is located on a high steep elevation known as Buffalo Hill. It is located at a sharp turn of the road, and so situated that an attacking force had to come directly under the guns and intrenchments of the right of the camp, to obtain even a view of the left. The formation of the ground is particularly favorable for the formation of terraces, and the rebels had made good use of the advantage. Their defences rose one above the other, far up the hill, extending even into the forest above the camp. It was estimated from the number of tents, that ten thousand men held the posts. The sole attack contemplated was directly in front, with artillery, the infantry to be used merely to protect the batteries.

It was discovered that the rebels had placed a large infantry force three-fourths of a mile in front to dispute our approach. They lay in ambush beside a fence thickened with small trees to the right of the road, and in the timber on the hill-side to the left. On making this discovery, Colonel Kimball was ordered to clear the way for the artillery with the rugged Indiana Fourteenth. The boys received the order with a shout, and firing a volley into the ambush, rushed upon it with a wild cheer.

The concealed enemy instantly took to their heels, some rushing across the valley, and others up the mountains on our left. The gallant Fourteenth, its ragged breeches flapping in the air, started up the mountains with a cheer, [163] popping over the rebels at every crack. The Ninth Indiana, its colors flaunting beautifully above the green grass, rushed after those across the valley. A cheer went up from the whole line, as the ambushed rebels took to flight, the Hoosiers in pursuit.

The Fourteenth made sad work with the rebels on the mountain. Eighteen of them were found dead in one pile, and seven in another. They also captured several prisoners, and took care of a few wounded. The Seventh came near the retreating rebels on the opposite side of the valley, and poured a raking fire into them as they sought a laurel cover. How many were killed and wounded there, the enemy must tell, for our boy did not search the laurel.

In less than ten minutes the rebels were driven to their intrenchments. Loomis immediately moved rapidly forward, unlimbered his pieces, and gave them an invitation in the shape of a shell. The enemy immediately responded with pounders, all of which fell short of our battery. In the mean time Howe had discovered a favorable position very near to the enemy's first line of fortification, and, bold as a lion, dashed into it with his full artillery. The first shot from his battery was greeted by a shout from our infantry.

Down with his single gun followed Howe, and in a few minutes — before, in fact, the retreating rebels had fairly reached the intrenchments — our whole thirteen guns were banging murderous shot and shell at them. The rebels responded with seven guns. Loomis now ascertained he could do better execution a little closer, and took position square in the valley, in full view of the whole opposing force.

I at first took position on an eminence just in front of the reserve, and nearly a mile in the rear of our batteries; even there I could plainly perceive the white tents of the enemy, and see the shells whizzing through the air. Every crack of a gun rolled through the valleys, and reechoed upon the mountain sides. The reverberations were terrific, and the scene, even at the distance, one of exciting grandeur. After Loomis changed his position, I could see nothing but the white smoke rolling up against the breast of the mountains, nor hear any thing but the incessant roar of artillery.

My reportorial inquisitiveness got the better of my timidity, and determining to have a closer and better view, I mounted, and rode nearer to the scene of strife; in fact, before I knew it I was upon the road nearly opposite Loomis' battery, with shell and shot flying over my head. But having confidence in the shelter of a high, rocky bank, I stood my ground, at least long enough to pick up a few items.

The enemy's camp was in full view. His terraced battery was belching forth fire and smoke. Shot from our batteries were tearing up the ground all through the encampment, and shells were scattering destruction and insuring death.

There was no cessation of the infernal roar of the artillery. Sometimes a half-dozen of our pieces would send forth a simultaneous roar, making the earth tremble, and the return fire seemed spiteful, as it whizzed the shot mostly over our heads. For thirty-five minutes every gun on our side was worked without cessation. Now a shell would go ringing through the air, making a beautiful curve, and, dropping just on the spot intended, burst, and destroy every thing for yards around. Of all the infernal inventions of war, it is these shells. They tear men and horses to tatters in an instant, as they fall whizzing among them.

And as you hear their unmusical hiss coming toward you, you, if as green as I in military strife, will try to dodge the screeching devil. With the shell flew the round shot into the enemy's camp, and all about our batteries. With a whack they would strike the earth, and bore themselves into it like iron moles operated by steam.

Such was the distant view of the picture. A little in advance of me, and on a line with our batteries, standing on a knoll, was the General, his countenance calm and indicative of satisfaction at the result.

Around him, in the saddle, were his aids, one or more of whom were constantly dashing over the field to convey his orders. He was so near the enemy's camp that he could observe their movements with the naked eye. Several shells fell near him, but did not in the least disturb his composure.

To my rear were the ambulances, with the surgeons, distinguished by green sashes, waiting to perform their duty. Some were very careful to remain out of harm's way, while others braved danger to search for the wounded.

The ambulances were not long idle. First came a man carried on a blanket, writhing with pain. He had received a shot in his stomach. Next, another who had lost an arm, and was fainting from loss of blood. Then came three or four slightly wounded, leaning on the shoulders of their comrades. Not far from me, in a little ravine, lay three rebels, one dead, another dying, and a third slightly wounded. The latter was placed in an ambulance, and carried to our hospital.

Away up the road, scattered on its sides, some sitting, some lying, were exhausted infantry men, most of whom seemed totally unconcerned as to the strife; and at other points of a viewing distance, groups of unengaged cavalry were viewing the strife with deep interest.

For thirty-five minutes our batteries kept up an unceasing fire. First one, and then another rebel gun was dismounted, until only one remained. This was peppered with shell and shot, but we were unable to do more than slacken its fire.

It was the only well served piece in the rebel fortifications, its shots doing all the artillery mischief to our side. When our shot became too hot for the gunners there, they would load the piece rapidly, fire, run under cover, remain there a few minutes, and then repeat the [164] performance. The thirty-five minutes firing was a magnificent artillery duty. Old soldiers, who have been in many a fight, say they never have seen any thing equal to it.

While this was going on, the Fourteenth Indiana, under the gallant Kimball, the dashing Harrow, and the enthusiastic Blynn, and the Twenty-fourth Ohio, under the veteran Ammon, and Gilbert and Butler, had been scouring the mountain on our left, to prevent a flank movement. They were much exposed to shot and shell, but were successful in dodging them. The other regiments, except the Fifteenth Indiana and the Twenty-fifth Ohio, held as a reserve, were protecting our right, and the batteries.

After the enemy had been driven from their lower intrenchments, and their battery reduced to one gun, our artillerists slackened their fire, and took it more easily. The infantry brightened up, expecting orders to charge the works. But the General, who was more observant, did not give the order. When the fire of our batteries was raging most fearfully, the rebels sent up two or three rockets, which the General supposed was a signal to hurry up expected reinforcements from the mountains. He consequently kept a sharp look-out on the mountain road, as did others, who were of the same opinion.

They did not have long to wait. Down the mountains, in the rear of the camp, came a column of men estimated at five thousand, bringing with them several pieces of artillery of a superior character. The reinforcements were received with cheers by their rebel and badly-routed comrades. The fresh pieces were planted upon the upper works, and sent forth a new tune from the rebel side. They were at first badly served, the shots going far overhead. This they ascertained, and began to take pretty good aim.

Our artillerists, delighted with the new guns, went at it once more with full force, and no more cheers were heard in the rebel camp. They also threw shells into the timber above, where it was supposed the fresh infantry had sheltered themselves, and with the naked eye a great scampering from the bushes could be observed.

In the mean time the Colonels began to grow fidgety. They did not like the idea of the artillery enjoying all the fun, and asked that the infantry be allowed to “go in.”

A council of war was held. The Colonels proposed to take the new batteries by storm. The General opposed this at once, as, even if successful, it would involve a great sacrifice of life. They then proposed to outflank the enemy, and take the camp in that way. Their blood was up, and though they knew that if the position was taken it would be a barren victory, they wanted to try their hand. I say a barren victory, for if the enemy had been routed, the position is now of no use to us, and had our infantry worked in on the flank, the road was open for the enemy to scamper off up the mountain.

But General Reynolds, appreciating the valor of our troops, consented to let the infantry try a flank movement, and, if they could do nothing more, gain information as to the location of the ground. The regiments selected for the movement were the Seventh, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Indiana, and the Twenty-fourth Ohio. The Seventh Indiana, Colonel Dumont, was selected to lead — why, I cannot imagine, as it is a new regiment, but its Colonel is an experienced and fearless soldier.

The enemy observed the movements, and, paying but little attention to our batteries, prepared to receive the infantry as they marched up through the woods. All the regiments received the order to advance with cheers, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth throwing off their coats, and preparing for a free use of the bayonet. The Seventh took the lead, and the rest followed bravely. They had proceeded but a short distance, however, before the rebels turned several of their guns to the timber, and sent into it a terrible fire of shell and canister.

The Seventh Indiana broke and ran, their officers endeavoring in vain to stop them. Their conduct caused some trepidation among the other regiments, but at the command, they righted, and were about to advance, when orders cane from General Reynolds to withdraw. Though the trees seemed to rain shot and shell, but few men were hurt under them.

The artillery had now fired about one thousand two hundred shot and shell, and were nearly out of ammunition. Loomis had nothing left but cannister, and Howe was nearly as bad off. Daum's piece had been disabled and hauled off.

Under these circumstances, the General, having gratified the infantry, ordered an end to the engagement. Loomis gave the Green Brier Camp a parting blessing in the shape of cannister, and the artillery was despatched on its return to this point. The infantry followed, tarrying, however, some time in the valley, hoping the rebels would come out and give them afield fight of three to one. But the rebels did not show themselves as long as a blue coat remained in sight of Green Brier.

I have stated our force. At least half of it was not brought into action at all. The rebels taken prisoners state that their force in camp, before our arrival, was ten thousand, which, with the reinforcements received, makes fifteen thousand; yet the rebels had not the courage, at any time, to come out of their intrenchments. It is the experience in Western Virginia that they fight bravely behind fortifications, and will not fight otherwise.

Our loss is twenty--ten killed, and ten so badly wounded as to be unfitted for duty. Their loss is terrible. The groans of the wounded could be distinctly heard at our batteries when the guns were silent. The dead were seen strewn all over their camp, and the lower trench [165] was said to be full of them. Our fifteen hundred shells and explosive shot made fearful havock. Besides, some forty or fifty were killed by our infantry in the first dash outside of the fortifications. We took thirteen prisoners--they none.

We captured a number of horses, a lot of cattle, and enough small arms to show how the enemy was supplied.

During the whole engagement the enemy threw but three effective shots. One struck one of Howe's artillerymen, another took an arm from a gunner of the same corps, and I think shattered an axle of Daum's gun, rendering it unserviceable. All these came from the same troublesome little piece our gunners could not dismount. Howe had two horses wounded and one killed. Loomis and Daum, for a wonder, did not have either man or beast injured. I cannot speak too highly of the artillery. Guns were never better served, nor by livelier men.

The fight lasted about four hours. Between twelve and one the return march was commenced, the artillery taking the right. The cavalry followed, escorting the General and his staff. We took it more leisurely, stopping to dispose of our rations, and rest, about three miles from the rebel camp. The Twenty-fifth Ohio, Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson commanding, brought up the rear, having charge of the dead, wounded, and prisoners. The wounded, whose wounds had all been dressed on the battle-field, were carried in easy-riding ambulances.

Before we had proceeded very far on the return, we found that a frightened Union man of this vicinity, who had followed the troops out to see the fight, seeing our troops returning without capturing the rebel camp, had mounted his scraggy horse, and going ahead at full speed, announced that we had been whipped and were on the retreat. He told such an alarming story to Col. Ford, that the Governor had called in his pickets and prepared to cover the retreat. He had the Thirty-second admirably formed for that purpose, but laughed at his trouble when he learned the actual result of the conflict.

The same messenger brought the terrific news to this camp, causing astonishment and uneasiness here; and how much further he went with it I do not know.

It was past nine o'clock when Col. Richardson marched up the mountain with the rear, and after supper, and a bit of rejoicing over our success, the lights were extinguished, and the whole camp, except those on guard, were enjoying sound and welcome slumber. But few had slept any the night before, and, besides the fatigue of battle, had marched twenty-six hours during the day. Sleep was welcome indeed.

The artillerist who lost his arm never uttered a groan. He looked at the bleeding stump, and smilingly said, “That is pretty well done.” The limb was taken off as evenly as if it had been done with a knife.

In Daum's Artillery is a young German, who had never stood fire before. He became frightened, and fled from his post. Daum pursued, caught, and brought him back, lashing him with his sword. The poor fellow bellowed wofully, but after ramming home one or two charges, and finding himself still alive, became the bravest of the brave, and worked nobly to the end.

The rebels would have done more mischief, but most of their shells did not explode. The cause, I understand, was a fault in the fuzes.

The rebels must have been terribly frightened. Their guns were heard from this camp during last night, and it is supposed that, frightened at their own shadows, they took the trees for Yankees, and fired at them.

Among the wounded rebels was one engaged as a scout. His brother is in the Federal army, and took part in the action. The rebel brother died before we left the scene of action.

There were, of course, a thousand hair-breadth escapes. Col. Wagner had his cap knocked off by a piece of a shell, and hundreds of others had cannon-balls and shells whiz by them in uncomfortable proximity. It is astonishing how near a soldier can come to being killed and yet remain unhurt.

With one exception, the prisoners taken have a healthy appearance. There are Georgians, Arkansians, and Virginians among them. They are treated with kindness, and seem to be thankful for their lives. They were sent to Beverly jail to-day, and will probably go to Columbus.

Gen. Reynolds accomplished all he sought by the movement. His loss was small, and he now thoroughly understands the position of the enemy before him. When he gets ready to move forward, he can take that position without trouble.

Lieut. Anderson, of Cincinnati, aid to Gen. Reynolds, exhibited great bravery in conveying the orders of his chief. He was constantly galloping over the ground through showers of shot. Capt. McDonald, of Indiana, also aid to the General, was subjected to the same exposure.

While Col. Kimball was leading the Fourteenth Indiana in the flank movement, he had a narrow escape. An officer by his side threw up his arm to gesticulate to his men, and as it was parallel with the Colonel's forehead, it received a cannister-shot.

But for this obstruction, the shot would have entered the Colonel's forehead. He behaved most gallantly throughout the entire engagement.

Col. Anderson's coolness was the subject of general remark. In the flank movement he set an example to his men that nerved them to the task.

I could detail a thousand interesting incidents, but must defer until my next. [166]

The following are the names of the prisoners taken. They are from Arkansas and Virginia. Of Col. Rust's Third Arkansas regiment--J. W. Brooks, J. Garian, (slightly wounded,) J. G. Carter, G. S. Harris, all privates. Of Col. Jackson's Thirty-first Virginia regiment-- First Sergeant Andy Husman, James Alford, George P. Morgan, Evan Evans, G. Thompson, Thomas West, P. Wolf, Solomon Gainer, and J. H. Nay, all privates except the last, who was a teamster, and undertook to have a little fight. These, with a number of others at Beverly, will be immediately sent to Ohio.

The following is a list of the killed and wounded on the Federal side: Howe's Artillery--James Enyart and George L. Price, killed; Andrew Dougherty, arm shot off; M. Leedridge and Corporal Andrews, wounded. Ninth Indiana------Smith, of Company II, killed; Isaac Bryant, slightly wounded in the shoulder. Fourteenth Indiana--Amos Boyd, Company C, and Harmon Myers, Company H, killed; Capt. Foote, Company E, grape-shot wound in the arm — not serious; James S. Jackson, Company D, Corporal John Lyon, Company E, Asa Smith, Company K, all slightly wounded ; Sergeant Urner Price was wounded in the thigh by a shell, and his leg was amputated this morning, and he is likely to recover. Seventeenth Indiana--E. T. Dukes, of Company B, killed. He was from Thorntown, Boone County. He was cut nearly in two with a cannon-ball. One private slightly wounded. Thirteenth Indiana--Private Hendricks killed by a shell. One private slightly wounded. Seventh Indiana--Wilson Fossett, slightly wounded. Twenty-seventh Ohio--Corporal McCann, of Company B, from Zanesville, and a private, name not ascertained, killed. Twenty-fifth Ohio--John Everingham, Company E, severe buckshot wound in the ankle.

I have given you as full a report of the affair as it is possible to furnish at present. Although a battle was not intended, the contest was certainly the best fight our troops have yet made in Western Virginia. The rebels received a touch of loyal thunder and lightning that they did not expect in these mountains. The idea occurs to me that if Gen. Reynolds deals such heavy blows in a mere reconnaissance, what will he do when he marches out for a full fight?

Gen. Reynolds has now made a full reconnoissance of the enemy, on both roads before him, and when the Government sees proper to fit him out for an advance, he will go through in spite of all opposition.


Secession account.

The Richmond Examiner of October 7, contains the following:

Additional intelligence received at the War Department gives full confirmation of the victory gained by General Jackson on the Greenbrier River. The following is the official despatch of General Jackson himself, addressed to the Secretary of War:

Greenbrier River, Oct. 3, 1861.
The enemy attacked us at eight o'clock this morning in considerable force, estimated at five thousand, and with six pieces of artillery, of longer range than any we have. After a hot fire of four and a half hours, and heavy attempts to charge our lines, he was repulsed, evidently with considerable loss. We had no cavalry to pursue him on his retreat. The loss on our side has been inconsiderable. A fuller report will be given through the regular channels. For several days my correspondence with General Loring has been interrupted. The enemy's force was much superior to ours, but we had the advantage of position.

H. A. Jackson, Brigadier-General Commanding.

Further private accounts of the battle, obtained last night, state that the fight was principally between the artillery, our artillerymen shooting well and fighting gallantly. We had only five or six killed, and eight wounded. The loss of picket guard, who were stationed between our camp and that of the enemy, was not precisely known. The loss of the enemy was estimated at a hundred killed. The most remarkable circumstance of the action is that of the part taken by our pickets, about two hundred of whom are said to have held the enemy in check for an hour and a half. The locality of the battle was on the pike leading from Beverly to Staunton. On their retreat the enemy had fallen back about six or seven miles, to the neighborhood of what was known as Slabin's Cabin. It was not known under whose command the enemy were. Among the killed was Surgeon Graves, of Captain Rice's artillery company. Captain Rice was badly wounded, having had one of his feet shot off by a cannon-ball.

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