The battles of 1861.
report of the battle in Allegheny Mountains
, December 13th, 1861, Edward Johnson
12th Georgia regiment, Commanding Monterey Line.
Head'rs Monterey Line, Camp Alleghany, Dec. 19th, 1861.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the engagement with the enemy which occurred at this place on the 13th instant.
On the 12th, I sent out a scouting party of 106 men, commanded by Major Ross
, of the 52d Virginia volunteers, with instructions to ambuscade a point on the pike beyond Camp Baxter, on Greenbrier
On the afternoon of that day the advanced guard of the enemy approached, were fired into by Major Ross
's command, and many of them killed or wounded.
Immediately the main body of the enemy approached in force, deployed and advanced upon our scouting party, who retired and came into camp that night.
On the morning of the 13th, about 4 A. M. I was aroused by the officer of the day, who reported firing at the advanced pickets on the pike in the direction of the enemy.
I immediately turned out the whole of my command and prepared to meet them.
I ordered Hansborough
's battalion, the 31st Virginia, commanded by Major Boykin
, and Reager
's battalion, to occupy the crest of the mountain on the right to guard against approach from that quarter.
On this hill there were no defences.
There were some fields and felled timber beyond, which reached the crest of the mountain.
The enemy advanced to our front, and, conducted by a guide, a Union man from Western Virginia
, who was familiar with the roads and trails in the vicinity, turned off from the turnpike about a mile from our position, near the base of the mountain, and reached our right by a trait which led into a road coming into the field slightly in our rear; as they approached this position, pickets thrown out from Hansborough
's battalion discovered them and reported them as advancing in strong force.--About a quarter past 7 A. M. the enemy advanced, and a terrific fire commenced.
The enemy on this flank numbered fully two thousand.
They were gallantly met by our troops, who did not exceed three hundred at this time.
As soon as I heard the firing, I ordered two companies of the 12th Georgia, (Hawkins
,) who had at the first a larm been posted on the pike about a quarter of a miles in front, down the mountain to move up immediately to the support of our forces on the right.
Three other companies of the 12th, Davis
's and Patterson
's (Lieutenant U. E. Moore
commanding,) were also ordered to the support of those on the right who were making a gallant defence and holding the position against immense odds.
Gallantly did the Georgians move up, and, taking position on the left, received a terrible fire from the enemy.
By this time the extreme right had been forced back, but seeing the Georgians, who came on with a shout, they joined them and moved upon the enemy, who taking advantage of some fallen trees, brush and timber, poured upon them a terrific fire.
Our men were checked, but not driven back.
They did not yield an inch, but steadily advanced — cheered and led on by their officers.
Many of the officers fought by the side of their men and led them on to the conflict.
I never witnessed harder fighting.
The enemy behind trees with their long-range arms at first had decidedly the advantage, but our men soon came up to them and drove them from their cover.
I cannot speak in terms too exaggerated of the unflinching courage and dashing gallantry of those five hundred men who contended from a quarter-past.
7 A. M. until a quarter to 2 P. M., against an immensely superior force of the enemy, and finally drove them from their position and pursued them a mile or more down the mountain.
I cannot name all who deserve particular mention for their gallantry and good conduct.
, whilst gallantly leading his battalion, was wounded by a pistol shot and carried from the field.
Soon after the fight became general, the crave Lieut. L. T. Thompson
, of the 31st Virginia, fell severely wounded; his good conduct had attracted my attention, and he fell within a few feet of me. Captain Mollohan
, whilst cheering and leading his men in pursuit of the enemy, fell mortally wounded.
, 12th Georgia volunteers, whilst gallantly heading a charge, fell mortally wounded.
This gallant officer was ever ready for any expedition involving danger — he was truly brave.
, and Hawkins
, their officers and men, behaved admirably.
and his company were conspicuous for their gallantry and good conduct throughout the fight.
, Lieutenants McCoy
, and Turpin
, 12th Georgia regiment, deserve particular mention for their good conduct.
, Col. Boykin
, commanding 31st Virginia volunteers, his officers and men, deserve my thanks for their unflinching courage throughout the struggle.
This regiment suffered severely.
, J. Johnson
, J. B. Philips
, all wounded, deserve honorable mention.
, 31st Virginia, deserves special notice.
, Sergeants Jarvis
, Ra Pots.
, and Green
's battalion, are favorably mentioned by their commander.
My command consisted of the 12th Georgia regiment, under the immediate command of Lieut.
, Col. E. T. Connor
; 52d Virginia, Majors Ross
's, and Reader's; 31st Virginia., Lieut. Col. Boykin
; ‘"Lee Battery"’ of artillery, four pieces, Capt. P. B. Anderson
; Captain Miller
's battery, four pieces; a detachment of Pittsylvania
cavalry, Lieut. Dabney
The artillery was posted on the hill left of my position, which had been entrenched.
Immediately after the troops were turned out the 12th Georgia and 52d Virginia were ordered into the trenches.
cavalry, dismounted, under Lieut. Dabney
, also went into the trenches, armed with carbines.
A large column of the enemy, led by one Slater
, a traitor, well acquainted with the country, approached the left of this position by a road running along a leading ridge.--About half an hour after the attack was made on the right, this column came up on the left to our trenches.
They were evidently surprised to find us entrenched.
Here the brave Anderson
, by a fatal mistake, lost his life.--As the enemy advanced, he rode to the trench and invited them in, thinking they were our returning pickets, at the same time telling our men not to fire.
He was instantly shot down by the advanced body of the enemy's force.
Our men then opened a galling fire upon them, and they fell back into the fallen timber and brush, from which they kept up a constant fire at our men in the trenches and upon our artillerists.
My A. A. General, Captain Jas. Deshler
, of the artillery, whilst behaving most gallantly, was shot down in the trenches by a wound through both thighs.
He refused to leave the field, and remained in the trenches until the day was over.
opened upon the enemy with his guns, and behaved with great gallantry, exposing himself at his guns to the fire of the enemy's sharp-shooters.
After the enemy's force, on the right, had been repulsed and driven from the field.
I ordered all of our men who had been engaged in that quarter to join our troops in the trenches on the left.
They took post with the other troops, and opened fire on the enemy as occasion offered.
The enemy, under the fire of artillery and infantry, soon retreated from the left, leaving their dead and wounded.
The enemy's force on the left was larger, if anything, than the force on the right.
They numbered, in all, about five thousand men, who had been drawn from Bealington, Beverly
, and Cheat Mountain
My force did not exceed twelve hundred effective men of all arms.
Gen. Reynolds, U. S. A.
, commanded the whole of the enemy's forces, and General Milroy
the attack on our right.
is reported, by prisoners captured, to have been wounded.
The enemy left upon the field thirty-five dead and thirteen wounded. They carried from the field large numbers of dead and wounded.
This I get from citizens who reside upon the roads along which they retreated.
Ten or twelve ambulances were seen conveying their wounded.
We captured three prisoners, and about one hundred stand of arms, which the enemy had thrown away in his flight.
Although we have reason to be thankful to God for the victory achieved over our enemies on this occasion, we can but lament the loss of many valuable lives.
Our casualties amount to twenty killed ninety-six wounded, and twenty-eight missing. Many of the missing have returned since the day of the battle.
I am much indebted to Surgeons H. X. Greens
, of the 12th Georgia regiment, and W. T. Blano
, of the 31st Virginia, for their attention to our own wounded as well as those of the enemy.
They have been untiring in their efforts to alleviates their sufferings.
was slightly wounded in the hand by a spent ball, whilst attending to the wounded.
Herewith I transmit a list of casualties
also, the reports of commanders of regiments and corps.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
12th Georgia Regiment, Commanding Monterey Line.
To Col. C. L. Stevenson
, Assistant Adjutant
General, Army Northwest, Staunton
(Official.) John Withers
A. A. General