interesting account of the movements of this command
--severe sufferings of the men — Skirmishing with the enemy — Shelling of Hancock
, Md. --burning of Capon bridge
[special Correspondence of the Dispatch.]
Camp "Nary Camp,"
Camp "Nary Camp," Near, Ungoe's Store, Morgan Co., Va., January 10th, 1862.
's command is now stationed in the woods around and about here, and as there has been no name given to the encampment, I have christened it "Nary Camp," for we are in the wilderness, each regiment choosing the best ground it could, and no regularity has been observed in laying off an encampment.
This command left Winchester
on the 1st day of January, and proceeded on the Romney
road a short distance, when it filed to the right and marched towards Morgan county
The weather the first day was pleasant, but dusty, the second day was very cold and as the road was a very bad one, our wagons were unable to keep up with the troops, and the men had to lay out on the ground without covering and without anything to eat. On the morning of the third day, the wagons caught up and the force was allowed a short time to cook and eat, and then again they proceeded on the march, the weather being very cold and the troops suffering much.
After passing another night with little rest, we again proceeded on our journey, the weather being now intensely cold, and, to add to our sufferings, it commenced snowing rapidly about the middle of the day. The troops, however, continued on until within about four miles of Bath
, a small village, when our advance, consisting of Colonel Gilham
's Brigade, came upon a scouting party of the enemy, which fired into them, and which was promptly returned by Company F, of Richmond
, and Company B, of Baltimore
, putting the Yankees
, of Company F, was seriously wounded in the neck, and Private William Exall
, of the same company, wounded in the leg, which had to be amputated, and which, I regret to say, has since caused his death.
Our army now encamped for the night, and such a sight I never desire to witness again.
The snow, rain, and hail fell the whole night, and we had again to encure it without blankets of covering of any kind; but the men were so fatigued, nature could hold out no longer, and down they would drop on the wet ground, and sleep as well as they could, having made large fires.
The roads were now almost impassable in consequence of the sleet and ice, and the horses with difficulty kept their feet.
It was late Saturday morning before the wagons could reach us, when another opportunity was given the men to cook and eat something.
Another start was made Saturday morning, and in a short time afterwards the sound of cannon announced our approach to Bath
, where a force of the enemy had taken up winter quarters.
As we advanced on them, they continued firing on us, doing no damage, however.
A portion of our force was deployed to the left for the purpose of charging their batteries which the enemy no sooner saw, when they spiked their two batteries, and run helter-skelter, through the town and down the road to the Maryland
shore, a distance of six miles, a portion of Ashby
's cavalry in hot pursuit, and the infantry and artillery following rapidly after; but so swift-footed were their movements, that our cavalry did not reach them until they got to the banks of the Potomac
, where they had got in ambush, and as our cavalry advanced they fired a volley into them wounded three of those gallant men seriously, a Lieutenant having received shots in both arms and in the breast.
The cavalry then fell back to the main body, and a piece of artillery was ordered forward, and taking its position shelled the woods with grape and cannister.
It was now late in the night, and the whole force was ordered back a short distance, with the exception of the 23d Virginia, Lieut. Col. A. G. Taliaferro
, and the 1st Georgia, Col. Thompson
, and a battery, who were ordered to remain as a picket guard, and there they remained standing in the road, with no fires, and so intensely cold that numbers fell in their places and had to be borne to the rear.
The soles of the shoes actually froze to the ground, and the suffering of the men was awful to witness; but still there was little complaint, and all were eager to meet the enemy who were so close to us.
Sunday morning, about daybreak, found the Potomac river
and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad directly in front of us, half a mile distant, with the pretty little town of Hancock
on the opposite shore, in Maryland
, where the enemy in considerable force were quartered.
, early in the morning, sent a flag of truce by Col. Ashby
, to the authorities of the town, notifying the inhabitants to vacate the place, as he intended to bombard it, and gave them two hours to do so. Our batteries were then placed in position, the remainder of the force being still in the rear, excepting the 23d and 1st Georgia, who still remained within range of the enemy's guns.
At the expiration of the time allowed, our batteries opened on the enemy's batteries, which they faintly replied to, their shots falling short.
Our guns kept up a brisk fire for about an hour, and the firing then ceased on both sides for the day. Not a man hurt on our side; on that of the enemy we were unable to tell.
For reasons known to himself, Gen. Jackson
concluded not to burn the town, and did not fire a shell into it for that purpose.
Monday morning, the enemy commenced the ball, and having no doubt been reinforced during the night, their shot and shell fell thick and fast all around us, without, however, doing any damage, save wounding severely a Tennessean, in the face and head.
Our pieces did not reply at all to their firing; but a large number of the troops were busily engaged in carrying off from the enemy's Commissary Department, which was on this side of the Potomac
, large quantities of army stores, clothing, shoes, &c., which was done with considerable exposure, as the house was in range of the Yankees
' muskets, and occasionally they would fire shells at the buildings.
While this was going on in the main road.
's 3d Arkansas, Fulkerson
's 37th, and Marye's Hampden Battery, were ordered at Bath
to take a road to the left of the main body, and proceed in that way to the Potomac
and burn the Capon Bridge
and tear up some of the railroad track.
In marching down they were ambuscaded by the enemy; but the two regiments nobly stood their ground, and the gallant 37th charged them at the point of the bayonet; which, of course, the enemy could not stand, as they are decidedly opposed to cold steel.
Our regiments then proceeded to perform their work — the destruction of the bridge — in the execution of which they were at first annoyed by the enemy's long range guns, until Marye
sent them howling away by a few well-directed charges of grape and shell.
They succeeded in burning the bridge, tearing up some of the railroad, and then returned to the main body on Monday.
They lost in the engagement two men in each regiment and several wounded.
, and Carson
, and Majors Manning
, were in the thickest of the fight, and nobly led their men on; but their gallant men did not need much enticing to engage their hated foe. I regret to say that Capt. Alexander
; of company 1, 3d Arkansas, lost an arm in this engagement.
Both of these regiments belong to Col. Wm. B. Taliaferro
's 4th Brigade, and the other two--23d and 1st Georgia--were on picket duty from Saturday night till Tuesday morning, when our army proceeded to return, having accomplished its object.
The result of this expedition, as far as I am able to sum up, is as follows: The capture of 30 or 40 prisoners, the driving of the enemy from this part of Virginia
's soil, the capture of a number of guns overcoats, clothing, shoes, four wagon loads of fine dressed leather, and a number of other articles; the destruction of a fine bridge and a portion of the railroad track.
The sufferings of the troops have been intense, and several have died from exposure to the cold and inclement weather.
There are large numbers now sick, and one brigade reports 532 on the sick list.
We reached our present encampment Wednesday night, and are now waiting further orders.
Where we are going next and what we are to do, deponent knoweth not.
Brig. Gen. Loring
met with an accident yesterday by his horse slipping up on the ice. He was badly bruised but I am pleased to say that his injuries are slight.
's Battery, Company F, and the Sharp-Shooters
, from your city, are with this army.
The men are in tolerable health, I believe, and have behaved well.
Col. John M. Patton, Jr.
, is also with us, and in good health.