Another account of the battle on Greenbrier River.
Camp Bartow, Greenbrier River,Pocahontas Co., Oct. 4, 1861.
Editors of Dispatch:
Almost are the rattle of the enemy's artillery in full retreat is silenced by distance, I find myself endeavoring to communicate to you the facts and particulars of our little engagement with the Yankees
, on yesterday, 3d of October.
At about 6 o'clock A. M. a messenger from our pickets reported the enemy advancing in full force, with cannon, wagons, and every thing necessary, and indicative of an immediate attack.
Two companies were promptly dispatched in double-quick time to sustain our pickets, and check their advance until our camp was put in a thorough state of defence.
In less than thirty minutes we were ready to receive our enemy with — not open, but loaded arms.
At 6 o'clock and 45 minutes our whole force of pickets — probably two hundred--holding an advantageous position in a short bend in the road, about one mile from camp, and under the immediate command of Col. E. Johnson
, poured such a full and steady charge of musketry into their ranks as to confuse and scatter the whole column.
Lieut. J. G. Gibson
deserves to be mentioned here, (officer of the picket,) as being cool and calculating equal to any emergency.
In this fight with our pickets, who were only driven back by a flank movement of the enemy, and in the thickest of which the intrepid Johnson
was constantly seen, we lost, in killed and wounded, five men.--Our pickets being at last compelled to fall back from post to post, merely escaped behind our entrenchments, in a perfect shower of grape and canister.
All of our available pieces, five 6-pounders, including one rifle piece, was immediately opened upon those of the enemy, eight in number, including one 12-pound howitzer.
For six mortal, rather immortal,
long hours these terrible engines of war replied to each other so furiously as to drown effectually the continuous rattling of musketry, Capt. James Deshler
, temporarily in command of a detachment of Capt. P. B. Anderson
's (Lee) battery, proved himself an excellent marksman.--Capt. Shumaker
, and the accomplished, brave Massey
, rendered service, also, of the greatest importance.
The tried old veteran, Capt. Anderson
, had two pieces, supported by Capt. Sam. Reid
, in what our best engineers considered the most important position; but, owing to the fine disposition of our infantry, was not in action at all. The old Captain
, also Capt. Sam
., regretted their disposition extremely, and were only aggravated by bursting shells and whistling balls that they could not reply to. At 11½ o'clock three regiments were ordered to flank us in the woods, on the left.
A mortal foe, the Arkansas 3d, divided, under Col. Rust
and Lieut. Colonel Barton
, like so many spirits called up for the occasion, easily drove back the vandals in the face of fierce showers of grape, which, cutting through the branches of pine trees, fell far beyond, or lodged overhead without doing even the least injury.
Unsuccessful in executing a left flank,
they fell back beyond musket range, but could not evade the range of our cannon, which dealt death in their confused ranks profusely.
Desperate, defeated in all but name, they made a last bold effort to flank us on the right.
The First Georgia leaped from their entrenchment, met, and gallantly repulsed them.
Their 12-pound howitzer being crippled, which, added to their ill-success in flanking, the galling fire of our well-aimed pieces, and their natural cowardice,
caused them to withdraw, carrying with them some 20 wagon-loads of dead and wounded.
They were, probably, 6,000 strong, and lost at least 300 killed and wounded. We were considerably the weaker party, and lost, killed and wounded--I know to a certainty
--not exceeding 18. Capt. Reld
, of the 3d Ark. volunteers, lost one--Wm. O. Blocker
— killed, and one--John G. Carter
They were pickets, and never did braver boys die more gallantly, Blocker
continuing to load and shoot after being shot through the jaw, could not be prevailed on to withdraw to a safe place, was found today immediately in the road, whose body was at least a monitor to the murderous souls of our enemy of a fact they ought by this time to realize, that many such brave and noble youths will block their passage to our homes.
Peace be with you, my friend — a better, braver boy never met a more honored fate.
We fear the worst for our follow-soldier from Kentucky
, J. G. Carter
, We will, however, yet hope to see him return, believing an All wise providence favors the brave and just, and that our esteemed friend has not fallen, but will yet turn up, probably now lost in the mountains.
Special couriers from Huntersville
state that the main den of the Yankees
--is certainly in the possession of our troops.
I believe no one in our camp doubts it, for heavy cannonading has been heard in it, for heavy cannonading has been heard in that direction all day. We are expecting an attack momentarily, and are fully prepared to welcome them again warmly.