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Chapter 6:

During the early part of 1863, Echols and Jenkins were still in Greenbrier county, but Floyd had withdrawn from Wyoming, which was penetrated by a Federal scouting party in February. In the same month a similar expedition did considerable damage in Pocahontas county. On the 11th a detachment of Col. R. W. Baylor's cavalry had an encounter with the enemy in Jefferson county, and on the 16th, Captain McNeill made his third successful foray against Federal wagon trains near Moorefield.

On December 29th, Gen. W. E. Jones had been assigned to command the Valley district, in the absence of Stonewall Jackson, and Imboden's command, which included McNeill's rangers, came under the direction of Jones. Colonel Imboden's force was then designated as the First Virginia partisan rangers, and his headquarters in Hardy county as Camp Hood. In pursuance of a request from General Cooper he set about making a regular enlistment, and the formation of the ‘Northwestern Virginia brigade,’ which in March was composed of the Sixty-second Virginia infantry, the Eighteenth Virginia cavalry, and a battery of artillery. The cavalry brigade under the immediate command of W. E. Jones included the Sixth, Seventh and Twelfth regiments, the Seventeenth battalion, Maj. E. V. White's battalion, and Chew's battery. [73]

During the winter of 1862-63, the citizens of Hardy and Hampshire counties were severely afflicted. The Federal forces were in possession of the region, and had constructed blockhouses along the railroad, and earthworks at various stations, which seemed to insure them against attack. There had also been constructed a number of ironclad cars, carrying pieces of heavy artillery, to aid in the defense of the road. General Milroy levied assessments upon the inhabitants, which caused great suffering, and not content with that issued an order banishing those who in any manner expressed sympathy with their State and the South. Hundreds of families were arrested under this order and forcibly expelled from their homes, without permission to carry with them the necessary means for support. Numbers of helpless women and children were sent through their lines without protection, but found a generous reception among the loyal people of the valley, who, on their own part, had not yet realized the terrible destruction awaiting them. An even greater terror to the citizens were the ‘Swamp Dragons’ and ‘bushwhackers,’ deserters and outlaws who harbored in the mountains and made predatory raids, in which the most fiendish outrages were committed.

In the hope of relieving the people from their oppressions, General Jones advanced upon Moorefield, while Imboden's battalion moved toward the same place through Highland and Pendleton counties. Moorefield was attacked January 2d, but Jones was repulsed. He succeeded in compelling the enemy to burn their stores at Petersburg, and then retired to New Market. The services of Colonel Dulaney, Captain McNeill, Lieut. C. H. Vandiver, and Privates J. W. Kuykendall and J. S. Hutton were particularly commended by the general commanding.

As the season for resuming military operations in Virginia approached, it was apparent that the Federals were massing their strength for another advance toward Richmond, [74] and General Lee determined to delay and embarrass such an operation by striking at the railroad over which a great portion of the supplies and reinforcements were sent to the army of the Potomac. Imboden, who had now organized his brigade and had been commissioned brigadier-general, and Gen. W. E. Jones were intrusted with the performance of this work.

Imboden left camp at Shenandoah mountain on April 20th with the Twenty-fifth, Thirty-first and Sixty-second Virginia infantry, the Eighteenth cavalry, and J. H. McClanahan's battery, and was joined by the Twentysec-ond infantry, Col. A. C. Dunn's Thirty-seventh battalion of cavalry, dismounted, and the Nineteenth cavalry, mostly dismounted, from Samuel Jones' command, making an aggregate force of 3,365 men. He again encountered bad weather, and had to march through snow and sleet, reaching Huttonsville on the 23d. Pressing forward the next day he endeavored to surprise the enemy in camp at Beverly, but warning was given by the ‘bogus’ but heroic sheriff of Randolph county, J. F. Phares, who, though shot though the lungs, managed to reach Beverly and give the alarm. The enemy was strongly posted and made a bold front; but Imboden, by a flank movement, assisted by a gallant cavalry charge, dislodged him, and kept up a running fight for several hours, but failed to capture the garrison. The enemy attempted to burn his stores and destroyed about a third of the town, but many valuable supplies fell into the hands of the Confederates.

Imboden proceeded to a point midway between Philippi and Buckhannon, and soon occupied the latter place, where all the stores had been destroyed and the bridge burned. Col. G. W. Imboden advanced to Weston and found that place abandoned and the enemy concentrating before Clarksburg.

Meanwhile Gen. W. E. Jones had advanced from Rockingham county with his available force to Moorefield, but [75] was compelled to go back to Petersburg to make a crossing of the South Branch, and even then lost some men in crossing the icy stream, swollen by the spring thaw. He was compelled to send back from Moorefield his infantry and artillery. Greenland Pass was found occupied by the enemy, and it was carried by assault, April 25th. The garrison, composed of 52 men of the Twenty-third Illinois, Irish brigade, under Capt. Martin Wallace, and 34 men of Company A, Fourteenth West Virginia, under Captain Smith, displayed heroism equal to their assailants. Throwing themselves into a little church and two other log houses, they met the charge led by Col. Thomas Marshall, Seventh cavalry, supported by Colonel Dulaney, with a destructive fire, wounding Dulaney and a number of the attacking party. A second assault being repulsed, sharpshooters were posted, and Chapman's mounted rifles (Witcher's battalion) secured the stone works close to the building. Under a flag of truce, three times sent in, demands of surrender were made, but the reply was that they were ‘Mulligan's men and would fight to the last cartridge.’ Finally, after dark, a general assault was made; Ridgely Brown's and White's battalions stormed the buildings, while Lieutenant Williamson's pioneers applied the torch, and amid the flames the garrison surrendered. In the fight the Confederates lost 7 killed and 22 wounded.

A detachment was then sent to burn the railroad bridge at Oakland, under the command of Col. A. W. Harman, consisting of the Twelfth cavalry, Brown's battalion and McNeill's rangers, while a detachment of the Eleventh cavalry under Capt. E. H. McDonald was sent against Altamont, and the remainder of the force moved on Rowlesburg, where the trestle bridge had been burned some time before by a Confederate party. There they found a garrison of 300, against which the Sixth cavalry was sent in front, supported by Colonel Marshall, with the Seventh, and Col. L. L. Lomax, with the Eleventh [76] cavalry, while Capt. O. T. Weems, with 80 sharpshooters of the Eleventh cavalry and a part of Witcher's battalion, was ordered to fire the railroad bridge. Both efforts failed, and Jones moved on to Evansville, while Lieutenant Vandiver and 8 men captured Independence and a home guard of 20 men. Jones then crossed the railroad at that point and was joined by Harman and McDonald, who had been successful in their expeditions.

On the 28th the command crossed the Monongahela at Morgantown and marched on Fairmount, which they occupied on the morning of the 29th, capturing the garrison of 260 after a brisk fight. Scarcely was this capitulation concluded before reinforcements arrived, who began shelling the Confederates, but the enemy was held off, mainly by Harman and Marshall, while under the direction of Lieutenant Williamson and Capt. John Henderson the magnificent iron railroad bridge of three spans, each 300 feet, erected at a cost of about half a million dollars, was completely destroyed. The Confederate loss at Fairmount was but 3 wounded. At dark the command started out to join Imboden, and finding Clarksburg occupied by the Federals, the Maryland cavalry under Brown made an attack on Bridgeport, 5 miles west of that place, capturing 47 prisoners, burning the bridge to the east and the trestle work to the west, and running a captured train into the chasm. Next day they reached Philippi, and the captured horses and cattle were sent to Beverly. The junction was completed with Imboden at Weston on the 5th, and on the same day their picket was attacked at Janelew.

Judging his exhausted force not sufficient to meet the enemy in pitched battle, after resting two days General Imboden retired southward, while Jones' cavalry started against the Parkersburg branch of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad. Colonel Harman, with the Twelfth and Eleventh regiments and Witcher's battalion, moved on West Union, where he burned two bridges, meanwhile [77] skirmishing with the enemy, while Jones, with the remainder of the cavalry, destroyed three bridges at Cairo. At Oiltown, May 9th, all the oil and everything connected with the oil works were fired, causing an appalling spectacle. Oil boats burst with a report like artillery, dense volumes of smoke arose, and the inflammable fluid, floating down stream, made a burning river, as Jones reported, ‘carrying destruction to our merciless enemy, a scene of magnificence that might well carry joy to every patriotic heart.’ Then turning southward, Jones again united with Imboden at Summersville, whence Col. G. W. Imboden had pursued a force of the enemy to Gauley, capturing 23 prisoners and a wagon train, and the forces returned to their former positions. Imboden reported that he had compelled the enemy to destroy large and valuable stores at Beverly, Buckhannon, Weston, Bulltown, Suttonville and Big Birch, captured $100,000 worth of horses, mules, wagons and arms, burned several bridges, and brought out over 3,000 head of cattle, paid for in Confederate money. But he was disappointed in recruits, only about 400 having been received. He had, marched 400 miles and lost 16 men. Jones had destroyed sixteen railroad bridges and one tunnel, two trains of cars and many engines, captured 700 prisoners, and brought off 1,000 horses and a greater number of cattle. His march had covered 700 miles, and he had lost about 75 men. He reported that his men had ‘shown a skill in gleaning a precarious existence from a country desolated by two years of oppressive tyranny and brutal war that would have won the admiration of the most approved Cossack.’

In the spring of 1863, the following was the organization of the army of Western Virginia, Maj.-Gen. Samuel Jones commanding:

First brigade, Brig.-Gen. John Echols: Twenty-second regiment, Col. George S. Patton; Forty-fifth regiment, Col. William H. Browne; Twenty-third battalion, Lieut.- [78] Col. Clarence Derrick; Twenty-sixth. battalion, Lieut.-Col. George M. Edgar; Chapman's battery.

Second brigade, Brig.-Gen. John S. Williams: Sixty-third regiment, Col. J. J. McMahon; Forty-fifth battalion, Lieut.-Col. H. M. Beckley;—cavalry regiment, Col. James M. French; Twenty-first cavalry, Col. William E. Peters; partisan rangers, Capt. D. B. Baldwin; Lowry's battery.

Third brigade, Col. G. C. Wharton: Fiftieth regiment, Col. A. S. Vandeventer; Fifty-first regiment, Lieut.-Col. A. Forsberg; Thirtieth battalion sharpshooters, Lieut.-Col. J. Lyle Clark; Stamps' battery.

Fourth brigade, Col. John McCausland: Thirty-sixth regiment, Maj. Thomas Smith; Sixtieth regiment, Col. B. H. Jones; Bryan's battery.

Cavalry brigade, Brig.-Gen. A. G. Jenkins: Eighth regiment, Col. James M. Corns; Fourteenth regiment, Col. James Cochran; Sixteenth regiment, Col. Milton J. Ferguson; Seventeenth regiment, Col. William H. French; Nineteenth regiment, Col. William L. Jackson; Thirty-fourth battalion, Lieut.-Col. V. A. Witcher; Thirty-sixth battalion, Maj. James W. Sweeney; Thirty-seventh battalion, Lieut.-Col. A. C. Dunn.

Unattached: Fifty-fourth regiment, Col. R. C. Trigg; partisans, Capt. P. J. Thurmond; partisans, Capt. William D. Thurmond; Otey's battery.

Aggregate present and absent, 9,747.

On March 18th General Jenkins started out from Jeffersonville with a part of his brigade on another brilliant raid across western Virginia, while McCausland made a demonstration against Fayetteville to distract the enemy, and Williams sent the Forty-fifth regiment to Raleigh. The major part of the Federal troops was now withdrawn under Cox to the army of Rosecrans. On March 27th, Jenkins reached Hurricane bridge, Putnam county, and summoned the garrison, mainly consisting of West Virginia Federals, to surrender. The demand being refused, a brisk fight ensued of several hours' duration, ending in Jenkins' withdrawal. On the 29th he reached Hall's landing just as the steamer Victress was passing, with a Federal paymaster on board. The pilot was signaled [79] to touch for passengers, but just before it was too late he realized the situation and the boat escaped, riddled with bullets from the ambushed Confederates. Jenkins reached Point Pleasant on the next day, and surprising the Federal West Virginia company, Capt. John D. Carter commanding, that constituted the garrison, drove it into the courthouse, which was besieged for several hours. The news being carried across the river, preparations were there made to bombard the town, but this calamity was fortunately averted. Jenkins failed to dislodge the garrison, and after several men had been killed and wounded on each side, crossed the Kanawha, and returned on the south side of the river.

An expedition was sent in pursuit from Camp Piatt, by way of Chapmanville, and a sharp skirmish resulted April 5th on Mud river. Minor operations of this period deserving notice were McNeill's brilliant skirmishes with superior forces at Burlington and Purgitsville and Going's Ford, in the vicinity of Moorefield; the handsome repulse of a Federal assault by Col. G. M. Edgar at Lewisburg, May 2d; Colonel McCausland's demonstration against Fayetteville, May 20th, and the rout of a Federal scouting party on Loup creek late in June, by Maj. E. A. Bailey, who captured 29 prisoners and 45 horses. June 28, 1863, Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley became the Federal commander of the West Virginia department.

On June 29th, Col. William L. Jackson, Nineteenth Virginia cavalry, commanding the camp near Huntersville, made an expedition against Beverly, which was held by about 1,000 Federals, hoping to capture the garrison. Advancing beyond Valley mountain, Maj. John B. Lady, with five companies commanded by Capts. D. Evans, W. W. Arnett, Joseph Hayhurst, Duncan and W. W. Boggs, was sent by way of Rich mountain to the rear of the enemy, while Lieut. A. C. Dunn occupied the Philippi road. The pickets, meanwhile, had been quietly captured by Captain Righter, and the main body of Jackson's [80] command was well upon the enemy before his presence was suspected. An advance of the Federals on the Buckhannon road was checked by Captains Marshall and Spriggs, and artillery fire was opened by Lieutenant Thrasher, of Chapman's battery. But no attack was made that day, and on the next morning the Federals being reinforced by Gen. W. W. Averell, now for the first time figuring in this region, Jackson withdrew, and was presently followed by the enemy for a short distance. On July 3d, Maj. D. Boston Stewart's battalion repulsed the enemy's cavalry in a gallant little affair at Daniel's farm. In the various reports the officers specially commended were Majors Claiborne and Lady, Captains Spriggs, Marshall, Righter, Hutton, Evans, Arnett, and Lieutenants Thrasher, Gittings, Wamsley and William Harris, the latter falling mortally wounded in the charge of Stewart's battalion.

Brig.-Gen. E. Parker Scammon was now in command at Charleston, and Col. John T. Toland was in charge of the brigade stationed at Camp Piatt. With seven companies of the Second Virginia, U. S. V., the Thirty-fourth Ohio mounted, and two companies of First Virginia, U. S. V., cavalry, Toland marched against Wytheville, Va., July 13th, through Boone, Wyoming and McDowell counties, with instructions to destroy the railroad. On the 17th the expedition surprised Camp Pendleton in Abb's valley, Tazewell county, capturing J. E. Stollings' company and some stores, but allowing one man to escape, who carried the news to Williams. At the same time McCausland was pressed back from the vicinity of Raleigh by General Scammon, and retreated to Mercer Court House, when, learning that Toland had gone down through Tazewell, he sent his cavalry to follow and moved his infantry to Bland Court House. As Toland approached Wytheville, Major May, from Williams' command, attacked his rear, inflicting severe punishment [81] and recapturing Stollings' company. Gen. Sam Jones had had time to throw two companies into Wytheville, under Maj. T. M. Bowyer. A gallant fight was made against the Federals as they entered the town by Lieutenant Bozang and his company, but he was wounded and captured with his men, and the remainder of the Confederate force was driven from the town. During the street fighting Colonel Toland was killed, and Colonel Powell, second in command, wounded. The best houses of the town were burned, Colonel Franklin, who succeeded to command, claiming that soldiers and citizens alike fired from the houses. The railroad was torn up slightly, and Franklin then retreated, harassed by the Confederate cavalry, by way of Abb's valley and Flat Top mountain.

In May, General Jenkins' brigade had been ordered into the Shenandoah valley, and in June many West Virginians accompanied him with Ewell's corps into Pennsylvania, fighting at Bunker Hill and Martinsburg in the defeat of Milroy, and leading the advance to Chambersburg, whence they proceeded almost to Harrisburg before the concentration was made at Gettysburg. There they fought gallantly, and on the retreat, under command of Colonel Ferguson, Jenkins having been wounded, were one of the two brigades under the immediate command of Stuart, moving by way of Emmitsburg. Fighting their way through the Catoctin mountains, they attacked the enemy at Hagerstown, and after defeating him, rapidly moved to the relief of the army train at Williamsport. In the fight near that place, according to Stuart's report, ‘Jenkins' brigade was ordered to dismount and deploy over the difficult ground. This was done with marked effect and boldness, Lieutenant-Colonel Witcher, as usual, distinguishing himself by his courage and conduct. The enemy, thus dislodged, was closely pressed by the mounted cavalry, but made one effort at a countercharge, which was met and gallantly repulsed by Col. [82] James B. Gordon. This repulse was soon afterward converted into a rout by Colonel Lomax's regiment, the Eleventh Virginia cavalry, which now took the road with drawn sabers, and charged down the turnpike under a fearful fire of artillery. Without this attack it is certain that our trains would have fallen into the hands of the enemy.’ In the fight of the 10th, ‘Lieutenant-Colonel Witcher's cavalry, on foot, behind a stone fence on the Boonsboro road, performed a very gallant part in the repulse of the enemy, standing their ground with unflinching tenacity.’

On July 21st, General Imboden was assigned to command of the Shenandoah Valley district. Gen. Sam Jones was in chief command of the department of Western Virginia and East Tennessee, with headquarters at Dublin, with an army of about 10,000 at the various posts. Echols' brigade, under Col. George S. Patton, occupied Lewisburg, and Col. William L. Jackson was in command on the Huntersville line with his regiment, the Nineteenth cavalry, under Lieut.-Col. W. P. Thompson, and the Twentieth cavalry, under Col. W. W. Arnett. On August 2st, Jackson received information from Colonel Arnett that Averell, with a large force, was in Monterey. Averell had crossed to that point from Huttonsville under orders to drive Patton and Jackson from Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties, destroy the saltpeter works in Pendleton county, and carry the law library of the Virginia court of appeals to Beverly. Before reaching Beverly a detachment against Moorefield had been severely handled by the partisans there. Colonel Jackson, believing Averell's objective was Staunton, called for aid from Patton, but was soon convinced of the real purpose of Averell. Arnett fell back skirmishing, and Jackson moved to Gatewood. Averell occupied Huntersville and Camp Northwest, burning the stores, while Jackson, whom Arnett had joined, skillfully extricated himself from a dangerous position and retreated beyond Warm [83] Springs, Bath county, when it appearing that the Federals were withdrawing in turn, he followed toward Camp Northwest.

Averell, meanwhile, had made a rapid movement against Lewisburg, and encountered Patton in line of battle at White Sulphur Springs. The battle was opened on August 26th with an artillery duel, in which Chapman's battery did excellent service, followed by repeated assaults by the enemy, which were repulsed. Col. A. R. Barbee, of the Twenty-second, commanding skirmishers, fell wounded while displaying notable gallantry; the Forty-fifth held its ground with great steadiness; the Twenty-third, under Major Blessing, reinforced the Twenty-second under a galling fire; Major Bailey handsomely repulsed a charge upon the center; Colonel Edgar, Twenty-sixth, whose men had done the first skirmishing, repulsed two cavalry charges, and Colonel Browne and Major Claiborne held the right without wavering. The last attack was made at sunset against Edgar, but was again repulsed. The fight was renewed next day, but the enemy had lost spirit under severe punishment, and retreated, Colonel Corns, with the cavalry, leading in pursuit. A junction was made with Jackson, and Colonel Arnett skirmished with the retreating columns, but his force was inadequate.

In this raid, Averell had about 3,000 men, but claimed that he fought the battle of the 26th with but 1,300. Jackson had 1,000 and Patton 1,900. Jackson's loss was about 20 killed and wounded, Patton's, including missing, 162, Averell's 218. The battle of White Sulphur Springs deserves to be remembered as one of the most gallantly fought in the department of Western Virginia.

The Confederates continued to occupy their positions, and detachments were stationed in the Elk river country and up toward Weston, where several minor skirmishes occurred. In the northeast during September there were several Federal parties sent out from Martinsburg. [84] On the 4th there was a severe skirmish at Petersburg Gap, and on the 15th one at Smithfield. On the night of September 6th, 26 men under Captains Burke and Blackford attacked the camp of two companies of Pennsylvania six months men at Bath, killed Captain Hebble and a number of his men, and brought away 23 prisoners and 50 horses. On the 11th, Captains Imboden, McNeill and Hobson, with about 150 men, attacked 300 Federals under Major Stephens at Moorefield, at dawn charging into their camp with a yell, effectually surprising the enemy. Thirty Federals were killed or seriously wounded, 8 officers and 38 privates captured, and all the ammunition and supplies taken in charge. Two attacks were made upon the little band on their retreat, but they escaped with the loss of only 8 or 10 men and some of the captured horses.

Reconnoissances and skirmishes continued all along the line. On the 24th there was an encounter at Greenbrier bridge with Averell's command. Bailey, Morrow and Gilmor made a demonstration against Charlestown, October 7th, and encountered a detachment under Captain Summers, who was killed. The West Virginia, U. S. V., garrison at Bulltown was attacked by Colonel Jackson October 13th, but after a fight which continued through the day, the Federal troops held their fortifications. Being reinforced the next day they pursued Jackson, but were checked at Salt Lick bridge.

The continual fighting about Charlestown had weakened the Federal force there, but it was thought by the Federal authorities that the Ninth Maryland regiment, under Colonel Simpson, was sufficient. He made a reconnoissance, and found no force in his front except the Forty-first Virginia battalion under Maj. Robert White, at Berryville, ‘not the old White (E. V.), but another man,’ the Federals reported, ‘whose men say they have been in the valley but two or three weeks’ But Imboden joined White, and on Sunday morning, [85] October 18th, they surprised the Charlestown garrison, surrounding the enemy in the courthouse, jail and other buildings they had fortified in the heart of the town. Simpson was called on to surrender and given five minutes for deliberation, upon which he said, ‘Take us if you can.’ An artillery fire was opened at a distance of 200 yards, and the garrison speedily left the buildings and formed for retreat to Harper's Ferry, when they were met by a detachment at the edge of town, and after one volley threw down their arms, the mounted officers escaping. Two hours later the Harper's Ferry forces arrived on the scene and the Confederates fell back slowly toward Berryville, fighting all the day till 10 o'clock at night. They carried safely to Shenandoah county 434 prisoners; their loss was about 6 killed or mortally wounded, 20 wounded and a few stragglers.

Colonel Beckley was about this time organizing cavalry near Logan Court House on the Guyandotte, and a reconnoissance was sent in his direction under Gen. A. N. Duffie, without results.

Early in November, simultaneous with an advance of Federal cavalry in east Tennessee, General Averell set out from Beverly and General Duffie from Charlestown, against Echols and Jackson, General Scammon's infantry brigade to join them at Lewisburg, the united cavalry command then to proceed to Dublin Station and destroy the New River bridge. The first intimation of this formidable movement was received by Jackson, who concentrated at Mill Point and informed Echols, who prepared to move to his relief from Lewisburg. Jackson made a stand at Mill Point, Lurty's battery engaging the enemy, but was soon compelled to fall back to Droop mountain, about half way between Lewisburg and Huntersville, on the west side of the Greenbrier river, where he took a strong position.

Colonel Thompson had gallantly disputed the enemy's advance step by step, and, aided by Lurty's shells, reached [86] the Droop mountain position in safety, giving Jackson about 750 men. Jackson was also reinforced that night and on the morning of the 6th by the Fourteenth Virginia cavalry, the Twenty-second regiment, Derrick's battalion, and Jackson's and Chapman's batteries, which were under the brigade command of Colonel Patton, while General Echols took general command. About 11 a. m. on November 6th the enemy advanced to attack, opening with artillery on the right and threatening the center, but making the serious attack on the left, where Colonel Thompson soon called for help. The Fourteenth cavalry and Derrick's battalion were sent there, then several companies of the Twenty-second, and finally Colonel Patton moved to that point, but was unable to withstand the pressure. Arnett and Cochrane at the center meanwhile gallantly repulsed several charges, but when it became apparent that the left was turned, the whole force fell back under a severe shelling and enfilading fire of musketry. Major McLaughlin, and Captains Chapman, Jackson and Lurty, with their artillery, gallantly held the enemy in check.

The retreat to Lewisburg was rapid, as information was at hand that Duffie was already at Little Sewell mountain in the rear. The Sixteenth cavalry, Col. M. J. Ferguson, from Jenkins' brigade, also participated in the engagement. General Echols reported that he had but 1,700 men in the fight. The total strength of Averell's brigade was about 5,000, and his force in battle must have considerably outnumbered that of Echols. The Confederate loss in killed, wounded and missing was 275. Among the killed was the gallant Maj. R. A. Bailey of the Twenty-second. That regiment went into battle with 550 men and lost 113; the Twenty-third lost 61 out of 356. The total Federal loss was reported at 119.

Echols won the race to Lewisburg, passing through there seven hours before Duffie arrived and much longer before Averell came up. He had successfully avoided [87] the capture of his command that had been planned. General Imboden, at Bridgewater, hearing of Averell's advance, moved toward Huntersville, when he was informed of the battle and retired to Covington, where he checked a detachment which Averell sent out against the furnaces in Rockbridge county. Averell then returned to his post on New creek, the great object of his raid, the destruction of a part of the Virginia & Tennessee railroad, having been defeated by the gallant stand made by Echols, Jackson and Patton at Droop mountain. The battle, though a technical defeat, was a tactical victory.

On November 17th a Federal cavalry expedition left Charlestown with 700 men under Col. W. H. Boyd, encountered Confederate skirmishers at Edenburg, who contested their advance, and at Mount Jackson, in the Shenandoah valley, had a sharp fight with Maj. Robert White commanding his battalion, a portion of Gilmor's battalion, Captain Davis' company, and a section of McClanahan's battery. Major White then took position on Rude's hill and the enemy was handsomely repulsed, after which Davis pursued the Federals and compelled them to break camp near Woodstock. On the same day, the 16th, Captain McNeill, with his own indomitable company and a detachment from the Sixty-second regiment, in all 100 men, attacked a train of eighty wagons near Burlington, en route to Averell, whipped the escort of 100 infantry, and brought away 25 prisoners and 245 horses, though hotly pursued by 600 cavalry. This caused a Federal court-martial.

Early in December another movement against the Virginia & Tennessee railroad was ordered by Halleck, the Federal commander-in-chief, Sullivan (9,500 strong) to advance up the Shenandoah valley to threaten Staunton; Averell's brigade (5,000) to move by Monterey, to destroy the railroad in Botetourt or Roanoke county; while Scammon's division was to make a feint toward [88] New River bridge. Colonel Moor, also, with two regiments, was to move from Beverly to Droop mountain. General Averell reached Petersburg December 10th.

General Echols, at Lewisburg, suspecting a Federal advance from Charlestown, sent Capt. Philip J. Thurmond on a reconnoissance, and he dispersed some Federal pickets on Big Sewell mountain and forwarded the startling intelligence to Echols of the proximity of a large body of the enemy. Thurmond skirmished with their advance as far as Lewisburg, where Echols made a stand before the town until all public property was removed, when he moved across the river, driving back the enemy's advance with McLaughlin's artillery. Being advised then of Moor's approach from the north, he fell back into Monroe county, where he was joined by McCausland's force, Gen. Sam Jones also arriving and taking command on the 14th. Averell meanwhile, making feints to confuse Jackson and Imboden, made his way safely to Salem on the 16th, and destroyed the stores at that point, destroyed four bridges and injured the track to some extent, but was compelled to make a hasty retreat in the afternoon of the same day. He found his way beset with difficulty, as General Early had reached New Market to direct the movement for his capture, and Gen. Fitzhugh Lee with two brigades had been ordered into the field. Echols was placed near Sweet Springs, and Jackson, ordered in every direction in the confusion, finally brought up at Clifton Forge near Covington.

Averell attempted to re-enter western Virginia by the Sweet Springs road, but meeting Echols, turned off on an obscure road to Covington, reaching there just as a detachment from Jackson was firing the Rich Patch bridge. He succeeded in getting part of his men across when Jackson cut his command in two, Colonel Arnett attacking, while Major Lady, with 50 men, three times during the night repulsed Averell's attempts to get the remainder of his cavalry across the bridge. At daylight [89] Averell burned the bridge, apparently leaving the rear of his command to their fate; but the latter were stronger than Jackson, and, driving him back, they burned their wagon train, and on the morning of the 20th escaped across a ford which had been declared impassable, losing several men by drowning, and closely pressed by Colonel Arnett. Jackson captured about 150 prisoners and inflicted a considerable loss in killed and wounded. Fitzhugh Lee and Imboden crossed in pursuit the next day, but failed to come up with the raiders [90]

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