have become acquainted with valuable facts, of which we were before ignorant. And in addition to the terrible punishment that was inflicted on the rebels at Droop Mountatn, we captured two hundred horses, three hundred cattle, five hundred sheep, brought out to freedom a number of contrabands, some of them waiters at the Springs; we have created a wholesome dread of “Averill and his Yankees,” and caused the country to rejoice over our brilliant success. General Averill has proved himself to be an earnest, energetic, and skilful general. Although we were in the saddle seventeen days, travelled three hundred miles, and suffered from the exposure of the cold winds of the mountains, yet I have not heard a word of complaint, nor was there a single case of sickness that occurred during the march that I heard of, and our horses, on the average, are in better condition than when we left Beverly.
Richmond Whig account.
Richmond, November 14, 1863.A correspondent, to whom we hope to be similarly indebted again, has furnished us with the clearest and most satisfactory particulars of the fight in Green Brier we have yet seen: The line defended by the Army of Western Virginia extended from Pocahontas County to the Tennessee line. Colonel William L. Jackson, with a small force of cavalry and a section of artillery, occupied the extreme right at or beyond Mill Point, in Pocahontas County--a point about forty miles from Lewisburgh, where was stationed the First brigade, commanded by Brigadier-General Echols, and Chapman's battery, with two regiments of Jackson's cavalry brigade and two pieces of Jackson's battery. On the night of the fourth instant, General Echols received a despatch from Colonel Johnson, stating that the enemy was advancing in force. It was determined to reinforce him at once, and the First brigade, with Chapman's battery, with one regiment of cavalry, (the Fourteenth Virginia,) and the two pieces of Jackson's battery, started at once for that purpose. The Sixteenth Virginia cavalry was left to scout and guard the roads leading from the Kanawha Valley. The command reached a point about fourteen miles from Lewisburgh, on the fifth instant. There it was learned that Colonel Jackson had retired before the superior force of the enemy, and held a position on the top of Droop Mountain, twenty-eight miles from Lewisburgh. Early on the morning of the sixth the march was resumed, and Colonel Jackson's position reached about ten A. M. The enemy were making preparations for the attack. The country was so densely covered with forests that it was impossible to ascertain the force of the enemy. Our position in many respects was a very strong one, but, as the enemy could easily get in our rear by taking a road on our right flank, it was necessary to detach the Twenty-sixth battalion to blockade it. The battle was joined about eleven o'clock by our artillery firing at the enemy's battery as it came into position. This was soon ended, as he was driven away by our well-directed shots. The enemy now massed his whole force on our left and centre, consisting of about four thousand cavalry under Averill, and three thousand infantry under Kelley. To oppose this force, we had eleven hundred, of which eight hundred were cavalry. For four hours we contended against these overwhelming odds. The enemy, moving his forces beyond our left, wheeled his men, and thus obtained an enfilading fire. Just at this time, our centre, which had been much weakened to reinforce the left, was attacked by a largely superior force and pressed back. General Echols, seeing it was useless to contend longer, gave orders to retreat. The enemy, badly cut up, made only a feeble pursuit. Our loss was necessarily very heavy, especially in killed and wounded. Major R. A. Bailey, of the Twenty-second virginia regiment, was woundded (reported mortally) and captured. Of ten officers in three companies of this same regiment that fought on our left, but two escaped unhurt. The Twenty-third battalion suffered severely, but as reports have not been handed in, no accurate information can yet be obtained. The retreat had continued but a short time, when General Echols received information that the Yankees, several thousand strong, were marching on Lewisburgh, by the Kanawha road, to cut him off. It was now all-important to get our teams and artillery by Lewisburgh and across the Green Brier River, before the new force could come up. This was done, and the enemy baffled, with the loss of one wagon and one piece of artillery, which was abandoned because the carriage broke down. General Echols crossed the river early on the morning of the seventh instant, and after resting a few hours continued the march toward Union, Monroe County. The Yankees, no doubt, supposed we would be easily caught, but after marching fourteen miles, and fighting four times his own number for several hours, he retreated, bringing off his trains and artillery. Men and horses are, of course, very much exhausted, but in a few days all will be again ready to meet the enemy. No troops ever displayed more endurance and courage. The long list of killed and wounded will attest how desperately they fought, and the failure of the enemy to follow them closely, how terribly he suffered.