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Capture of General Seammon.

Telegram from General Samuel Jones.

[Received at Richmond, February, 1864, by telegraph from Dublin 15th.]

To General S. Cooper, Adjutant-and Inspector-General:
On the 3d instant Major Nounnan, with a detachment of forty men of the Sixteenth Virginia cavalry, captured the armed steamer, B. C. Lera, at Winfield, Putnam county, Virginia, with a valuable cargo and twenty-nine prisoners, including Brigadier-General E. P. Scammon, commanding forces in Kanawha Valley, a captain and two lieutenants of his staff. General Scammon and two officers of his staff are there now, and will be forwarded to Richmond to-morrow, unless you order otherwise, in charge of Lieutenant Vertigan, the gallant young officer who boarded the boat with only twelve men. Colonel Ferguson, whom I sent with his regiment, the Sixteenth Virginia cavalry, to the lower Kanawha, some weeks since, has made several captures, and rendered valuable service.


Sam. Jones, Major-General.
[Official copy of telegram received, and respectfully submitted to the Honorable Secretary of War.]


Jno. Withers, A. A. General.


Letter from General Jones.

Headquarters Department West Virginia, Dublin, February 15, 1864.
General,--I enclose with this a copy of a letter received this morning from Major Nounnan, of the Sixteenth regiment Virginia cavalry, together with a parole signed by twenty-three enlisted men of the United States army.

Lieutenant Vertigan, of the same regiment, of whom the major speaks in complimentary terms, will start to-morrow for Richmond with Brigadier-General Scammon and the two officers of his staff, Lieutenants Pinckard and Millward.

Major Nounnan and his small party, especially Lieutenant Vertigan, have performed their duty in the most creditable manner.

I sent Colonel Ferguson with his regiment, the Sixteenth Virginia cavalry, to the lower Kanawha, late in December last. He has so far conducted the expedition with judgment and discretion, has captured much of the enemy's property, and a number of prisoners, and diverted the attention of the enemy in that quarter from this part of the country to the protection of their own border.

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Sam. Jones, Major-General. Gen. S. Cooper, Adjutant-and Inspector-General C. S. A., Richmond, Va.

Letter from Major Nounnan.

Logan county, Va., February 7, 1864.
General,--I left Colonel Ferguson in Wayne county on the 25th ultimo, with indefinite orders and discretionary powers, and moved in the direction of the Kanawha river, along which stream I manoeuvred in the counties of Mason and Putnam until the 3d instant.

I entered Winfield, Putnam Court-house, on the morning of the 3d instant, at 3 o'clock, with forty men and found a number of government officials there (whom I failed to secure) and a government steamer, with a strong guard and a piece of artillery, lying upon the opposite side of the river. With great difficulty I secured a small craft, capable only of carrying four men, with which I crossed a small party of twelve men under Lieutenant E. G. Vertigan, who obeyed my [84] instructions as speedily as possible in cutting the telegraph and assaulting the boat, which surrendered without firing a gun, although having moved several yards from the shore.

I found a valuable cargo on board, consisting chiefly of medical stores and tarpaulin, a lot of arms, &c., and Brigadier-General E. P. Scammon, Captain Wm. G. Pinckard and Lieutenant Frank Millward, of his staff, and Lieutenant William C. Lyon, Twenty-third Ohio volunteers, and twenty-five men — commissioned officers and privates. I secured about twenty horses and some of the most valuable medicine, demolished the telegraph office--instruments, wire, &c.--and moved to the mouth of Big Hurricane, where I burned the boat and cargo of over $100,000 worth of medicines, destroyed the piece of artillery and a quantity of ammunition. Paroled all the non-commissioned officers and privates, except one, and determined to make my way through with the most valuable prisoners with as much speed as possible. The enemy pressed me heavily at all points in their efforts to recover the prisoners, and compelled me to come to this point.

I herewith send you General Scammon, Captain Pinckard, Lieutenants Millward and Lyon, and Sergeant Thomas McCormick, who refused to take a parole.

I take great pleasure in bringing to your notice the coolness, discretion and courage displayed by Lieutenant Vertigan, as well as the good behavior and daring courage and fortitude of my entire force.

I shall report to Colonel Ferguson, in Wayne county, as speedily as possible, and send the prisoners through from this point with a mounted guard.

I remain, General, with much respect,

Your obedient servant,


James H. Nounnan, Major Commanding detachment Sixteenth Virginia Cavalry. Major-General Sam. Jones, Commanding Department West Virginia.
P. S.--I send General Scammon and Lieutenants Millward and Lyon in charge of Lieutenant Vertigan. The rest will be forwarded as soon as I hear from Colonel Ferguson.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

James H. Nounnan, Major, &c. Official. Charles Stringfellow, A. A. General.

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