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Lee's West Virginia campaign.

General A. L. Long.
Before proceeding with the operations in Northwestern Virginia, it will be necessary to glance at the condition of that section, and the previous military operations that had been carried on within its limits. This section of Virginia did not cordially coincide in the ordinance of secession that had been passed by the State Convention, inasmuch as a considerable part of its inhabitants were opposed to secession, or, in other words, were Unionists. A large number, however, of its most influential citizens were ardent Southern supporters; and there was, also, an intermediate class, indifferent to politics, which was ready to join the party which might prove the strongest. Besides, it soon became apparent that the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was destined to exercise an important influence on military movements; therefore, this section became an object of interest to both sides. At first, the Confederate Colonel Porterfield was sent with a few companies to operate on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad; but this force was too small, and illy provided with the essentials for service, so that it could effect nothing. Shortly afterward, General Robert Garnett was sent by the Confederate authorities to seize the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and to confirm the Northwestern Virginians in their allegiance to the State. Garnett, with a force of about five thousand men, reached the railroad in June, and occupied Laurel Hill. About the same time, General McClellan crossed the Ohio into Northwestern Virginia, with the view of gaining the adherence of its inhabitants to the Federal Government, and to protect the Baltimore and Ohio [83] Railroad. Having a greatly superior force, he made it his first object to attack Garnett before that general could be reinforced (Colonel Pegram, with a considerable detachment, being defeated by General Rosecrans, with a part of McClellan's force), and was obliged to retreat, in order to save the rest of his little army. McClellan pursued, and overtaking the rear guard at Carrick's Ford, a skirmish ensued, in which Garnett was killed. Colonel Starke, aide-de-camp, relates that, soon after Garnett fell, McClellan arrived on the ground, and recognizing in the prostrate form of his adversary an old acquaintance, he dismounted, and, with the true heart of .a soldier, bending over the body of a comrade and friend of better days, he did not attempt to conceal his emotion. “Poor Garnett!” he exclaimed, “has it come to this?” Every facility was allowed for the proper disposition of the body.

McClellan was always distinguished for courtesy and kindness to those whom the chances of war placed in his power. The Adjutant General, Captain Corley, assisted by other members of Garnett's staff, safely continued the retreat, and was mainly instrumental in placing the army in safety. I will here relate an adventure of De Lagrel, connected with Garnett's defeat, which exhibited great courage, endurance and address. De Lagrel was an old army officer, and commanded the artillery of Pegram's detachment. When attacked by Rosecrans at Rich Mountain, he fought his guns with great gallantry and effect. His men behaved well until the enemy began to close in upon them; they then fled, leaving De Lagrel almost alone. Undaunted by the desertion of his men, he served a gun himself until disabled by a.severe wound. Then, amid the confusion of a defeat, he escaped to a laurel thicket near by, in which he concealed himself until the enemy had disappeared. He then found shelter under the roof of a friendly mountaineer. His kind host and hostess concealed and attended him until his wound was healed and his strength restored. He then determined to join the Confederate forces, which had again entered Northwestern Virginia; but to do so it was necessary to pass through the Federal lines. To accomplish this, he concluded to assume the character of a mountaineer, being supplied by his host with a herder's garb, with the exception of shoes. Then, with a well-filled wallet over his shoulder and a staff in his hand, he bid adieu to his kind friends and launched forth into the mountains. After wandering among them for several days, he fell in with the Federal pickets. On being questioned by them, he so well sustained the character he had assumed that all the pickets were easily passed, until he reached the last outpost that [84] separated him from his friends. Here he was more strictly examined than he had hitherto been, but by his wit fully sustained the character he had adopted, and was told to continue his way; but, just as he was about to depart, one of the guards observed his boots, which, though soiled and worn, still exhibited signs of a fashionable make. Upon this the examination was renewed, and, with all his ingenuity, he could not escape detection; his boots had betrayed him. These traitors were drawn off, and in the leg of one the name of “De Lagrel” was found, and he was at once recognized as the officer whose disappearance at Rich Mountain had led to so much inquiry. He was sent a prisoner of war to the Federal headquarters, where he was courteously received.

The defeat of General Garnett left McClellan in undisputed possession of all Northwestern Virginia. In order to secure his acquisition he strongly occupied some of the principal mountain passes, and took other measures for its permanent occupation. A few days later the total defeat of McDowell at Bull Run considerably changed the order of things. McClellan was called to take the command of the Army of the Potomac, and the greater part of his forces was withdrawn, leaving only a few thousand men to hold Northwestern Virginia. The result of McClellan's success in that quarter proved to be of much greater importance than was at first apprehended, by disheartening its loyal inhabitants and encouraging the doubtful or indifferent to give their adhesion to the Federal Government. The Confederate authorities, being aware of the importance of Western Virginia at that time, both in a political and military point of view, determined to send them a force sufficiently strong to re-occupy and retain possession of it. There had been assembled in the neighborhood of Staunton five or six thousand men for the purpose of reinforcing General Garnett. These troops were ordered to advance, on the 15th of July, under the command of General Henry R. Jackson, on the Parkersburg turnpike, to re-enter Western Virginia, and to occupy some convenient position until the remainder of the forces intended to operate in that quarter should arrive. Loring, whom we have seen assigned to the command of the Army of Northwestern Virginia, was an officer of considerable reputation. He had served with distinction in the Mexican war, had subsequently become colonel of a regiment of mounted rifles, and for several years prior to his resignation had commanded the Department of New Mexico, where he acquired an experience in mountain service. His appointment, therefore, gave general satisfaction. His staff was composed chiefly of experienced officers-Colonel Carter Stevenson, [85] Adjutant General; Major A. L. Long, Chief of Artillery; Captain Corley, Chief Quartermaster; Captain Cole, Chief Commissary; Lieutenant Matthews, Aide-de-camp, and Colonel Starks, volunteer Aide-de-camp; and, as the country was full of enthusiasm on account of the recent victory at Manassas, he was about to enter upon his new field of operations under the most favorable auspices.

General Loring, accompanied by his staff, left Richmond on the 22d of July, the day after the battle and victory of Manassas. On the 24th he arrived at Monterey, a small village about sixty miles west of Staunton; there he found Jackson, who informed him that on arriving at the Greenbrier river he had found Cheat Mountain Pass so strongly occupied by Federals that he deemed it inadvisable to attempt to carry it by a direct attack. So he retired, leaving Colonel Edward Johnston, with the Twelfth Georgia Regiment and Anderson's Battery to occupy the Alleghany Mountain Pass, and posting Rust's Arkansas Regiment and Baldwin's Virginia Regiment in convenient supporting distance of Johnston, established himself at Monterey, with Fulkerson's and Scott's Virginia Regiments, the First Georgia Regiment (Colonel Ramsey's), Major Jackson's Cavalry, and Shoemaker's Battery. Having heard of a Pass about forty miles west, near Huntersville, by which Cheat Mountain might be turned. he sent Colonel Gilliam, with his own Virginia Regiment and Colonel Lee's Sixth North Carolina Regiment, being a force of about two thousand men, to occupy this Pass, and had ordered the remaining troops intended for the Army of Northwestern Virginia to proceed direct from Staunton to Huntersville. This was the condition of affairs when General Loring arrived at Monterey and assumed command. He remained several days in the neighborhood of Monterey, examining the condition of the troops and reconnoitering the position of the enemy on Cheat Mountain. Cheat Mountain Pass is a narrow gap near the top of the mountain, whose natural strength had been greatly increased by the art of engineers since its occupation by the Federals. It was approachable from the east only by the Parkersburg turnpike, which, ascending the rugged side of the mountain, enters this narrow defile and winds its way through it for nearly a mile before it begins the western descent.

The Federals finding this Pass unoccupied, and foreseeing the importance the Parkersburg turnpike would be to the Confederates in their attempt to re-occupy West Virginia, seized it and fortified it, and now held it with a force of about twenty-five hundred men; the remainder of the Federal force was in the vicinity of Beverly, a village a few miles west of Cheat river. General Loring, having [86] satisfied himself that a direct attack on Cheat Mountain Pass was impracticable, and that there was no force of the enemy near the west base of the Cheat Mountain except that at Beverly, determined to take command of the force which had been ordered to rendezvous at Huntersville, and advance by the Pass that Colonel Gilliam had been directed to occupy, to the rear of the enemy's position on Cheat Mountain. He therefore directed General Jackson to advance his whole force, which at this time amounted to six thousand men, to the Greenbrier river and hold himself in readiness to co-operate when the advance was made from Huntersville, and then proceeded to that place to make arrangements for the proposed movement. When General Loring arrived at Huntersville, about the 1st of August, he found already there Maney's, Hatten's, and Savage's Tennessee Regiments, Campbell's Virginia Regiment, a battalion of Virginia regulars, four hundred strong, commanded by Colonel Munford, Major W. H. F. Lee's squadron of cavalry, and Marye's and Stanley's batteries of artillery. Colonel Gilliam was at Valley Mountain Pass, fifteen miles west of Huntersville, with two regiments, and two other regiments. Burk's Virginia and Colonel —‘s Georgia Regiment were en route from Staunton. The force of Loring on the Huntersville line amounted in round numbers to eight thousand five hundred effective men. The General's staff were particularly active in their efforts to prepare for a speedy advance. Colonel Stevenson, Adjutant General, and Captains Corley and Cole, Chief Quartermaster and Commissary, being experienced officers, rendered valuable service in organizing the troops and in collecting transportation and supplies. Major A. L. Long, in addition to his duties as Chief of Artillery, had assigned him those of Inspector General. The troops were well armed and equipped, all of them were accustomed to the use of arms, and many were expert marksmen, and a large proportion had received military instruction in the various volunteer companies of which they had been members. The troops were in fine spirits, and desired nothing more than to be led against the enemy. It was obvious to all those about the General that the success of the proposed movement depended upon its speedy execution. It was impossible that the occupation of Valley Mountain by a force as large as that of Gilliam could escape the observation of the Federals, and its position would expose the design of the Confederates. Delay would enable the Federals to seize all the important Passes on the route, and fortify them so strongly that they would effectually arrest the advance of any force. Notwithstanding the great value of time in the execution of the movement contemplated by General Loring, he seemed to regard the [87] formation of a depot of supplies at Huntersville, and the organization of a supply train, as a matter of first importance. He appeared to overlook the fact that the line from Huntersville to Beverly, only forty miles long, was to be only temporary; for so soon as Cheat Mountain Pass was opened he would draw his supplies from Staunton over the Parkersburg turnpike, and also, that the country along his line abounded in beef and grain.

While General Loring was preparing to advance, we will take a view of affairs in other quarters. After the withdrawal of McClellan, General Rosecrans was assigned to the command of the Department of Western Virginia. At the same time a large portion of the troops in that department were withdrawn for the defense of the capital. The Federal force in Western Virginia, at the time General Loring assumed command of the Army of Northwestern Virginia, was only about six or seven thousand men; about half of which, under the command of General Reynolds, occupying the Cheat Mountain Pass. The other portion, commanded by General Cox, was designed for operations on the line of the Kanawha. General Rosecrans was one of the most energetic and skilful of the Federal commanders. As soon as he found himself in command of the Department of Western Virginia he set about increasing his force and strengthening his position. General Rosecrans, taking advantage of the political disaffection among the Western Virginians, obtained many recruits, which, with recruits from other quarters rapidly increased his force. The Confederate authorities in the meantime being informed of the advance of General Cox to the Kanawha, sent a force of about five thousand men to oppose him, under the command of General Floyd, and appointed General Robert E. Lee to the command of the Department of Western Virginia. He had displayed such remarkable administrative ability in the organization of the Virginia troops that he was retained at the head of the Confederate Military Bureau to the time of his appointment to the command of the Department of Western Virginia. Although aware of the difficulties to be met with in a country like Western Virginia, whose mountains, and more than half of whose inhabitants were in hostile array on the side of a powerful adversary, he unflinchingly accepted it, and entered upon his arduous task with no other feelings than those for the good of his country. When General Lee arrived at Huntersville he found General Loring busily engaged forming his depot of supplies and organizing his transportation train. Several days had already elapsed, and several days more would be necessary before he could complete his preparations for an advance. The arrival of General Lee at Huntersville, as [88] commander of the department, took General Loring by surprise. Having been his superior in rank in the old army, he could not suppress a feeling of jealousy General Lee was accompanied by his aides-de-camp, Colonel John A. Washington and Captain Walter H. Taylor. After remaining several days at Huntersville without gaining any positive information from General Loring in regard to the time of his probable advance, he proceeded to join Colonel Gilliam at Valley Mountain. He took with him Major Lee's cavalry, not as an escort, but for the purpose of scouting and reconnoitering. It had now been eight or ten days since Colonel Gilliam first arrived at Valley Mountain Pass. At that time he learned from the inhabitants and his scouts that the road to Beverly was unoccupied. But within the last day or two, a force of the Federals had advanced within less than a mile of his front, and then retired. General Lee at once busied himself about gaining information respecting the position of the enemy. He soon learned that the Federals had taken possession of a strong Pass, ten miles in front of Valley Mountain, and were actively engaged in fortifying it. When General Loring arrived, about the 12th of August, the Federals had been reinforced, and this position had been so greatly strengthened that General Lee deemed it unadvisable to attempt a direct attack, so the only course now to be pursued was to gain the Federal flank or rear, and strike them when they least expected an attack.

General Lee had been distinguished in the Mexican war as a reconnoitering officer, and General Scott had been mainly indebted to his bold reconnoissance for the brilliant success of his Mexican campaigns. Rank and age had not impaired the qualities that had formerly rendered him so distinguished. He brought them with him to the mountains of Virginia. There was not a day when it was possible for him to be out, that the General, with either Colonel Washington or Captain Taylor, might not be seen crossing the mountains, climbing over rocks and crags, to get a view of the Federal position. Ever mindful of the safety of his men, he would never spare himself toil or fatigue when seeking the means to prevent unnecessary loss of life. By way of illustrating his boldness as a reconnoitering officer, I will relate an anecdote told me by Captain Preston, Adjutant of the Forty-eighth Virginia Regiment (Colonel Campbell's). The regiment being on picket, seeing three men on an elevated point about half a mile in advance of the line of pickets, and believing them to be Yankees, he asked his colonel to let him capture them. Permission being obtained, and selecting two men from a number of volunteers who had offered to accompany him, he [89] set forth to capture the Federal scouts. Dashing through the brushwood, and over the rocks, he suddenly burst upon the unsuspecting trio, when lo! to his amazement, General Lee stood before him.

To add to the difficulties of a campaign in the mountains, the rainy season set in; it began to rain about the middle of August, and continued without much cessation for several weeks; in the meantime, the narrow mountain roads became saturated and softened, so that the passage of heavy trains of wagons soon rendered them almost impassable; while the wet weather lasted, any movement was simply impossible. The troops being new, and unaccustomed to camp life, began to suffer from all the camp diseases. Typhoid fever, measles, and homesickness began to spread among them, so that in the course of a few weeks nearly one-third of the army was rendered hors de combat by sickness. Amid this accumulation of difficulties General Lee preserved his equanimity and cheerfulness; his chief aim now was — to ameliorate, as much as possible, the sufferings of his men. During this period of inactivity General Lee was exerting himself to find a practicable route leading to the rear of Cheat Mountain Pass, the route by which General Loring proposed to reach it being now effectually closed. The possession of the Pass was of great importance to the Confederates, as the Parkersburg turnpike was the principal line over which operations could be successfully carried on in Northwestern Virginia. Individual scouts were employed, both from among the well-affected inhabitants and the enterprising young soldiers of the army; Lieutenant Lewis Randolph, of the Virginia State Regulars, was particularly distinguished for the boldness of his reconnoissances. About the 25th of September, General Jackson reported to General Loring that Colonel Rust had made a reconnoissance to the rear of Cheat Mountain Pass, and had discovered a route, though difficult, by which infantry could be led. Soon after, Colonel Rust reported in person and informed General Lee of the practicability of reaching the rear of the enemy's position on Cheat Mountain, from which a favorable attack could be made, and requested the General that, in case his information was favorably considered, to be allowed to lead the attacking column, to consist of his regiment and such other troops as the General might designate. Another route was, in the meantime, discovered, leading along the western side of Cheat Mountain, by which troops could be conducted to a point on the Parkersburg turnpike, about two miles below the Federal position. in the Pass. This being the information that General Lee had been most desirous of obtaining, he determined to attack the enemy without further delay. The opposing forces were [90] at this time about equal in numbers. Loring's force was now six thousand, General Jackson's about five thousand strong. General Reynold's force had been increased to about eleven thousand men; of these, two thousand were on Cheat Mountain, about five thousand in position on the Lewisburg road in front of General Loring. The remainder of General Reynold's force was held in reserve near the junction of the Parkersburg turnpike and the Lewisburg road.

General Lee determined to attack on the morning of the 28th of September. The plan was that Colonel Rust should gain the rear of the Federal position by early dawn, and begin the attack. General Anderson, with two Tennessee regiments from Loring's command, was to support him; while General Jackson was to make a diversion in front. Cheat Mountain Pass being carried, General Jackson, with his whole force, was to sweep down the mountain and fall upon the rear of the other Federal position; General Donaldson, with two regiments, was to gain a favorable position for attacking the enemy on the Lewisburg road, in flank or rear; and Loring was to advance, by the main road, on the Federal front. In case of failure, Anderson and Donaldson were to rejoin Loring, and Rust was to find his way back to Jackson. The troops gained their designated positions with remarkable promptness and accuracy in point of time, considering the distance and the difficulties to be overcome. Colonel Rust's attack on Cheat Mountain was to be the signal for the general advance of all the troops. It was anxiously expected, from early dawn, throughout the day. On every side was continuously heard, “What has become of Rust?” “Why don't he attack?” “Rust must have lost his way.” The Tennesseeans, under Anderson, became so impatient that they requested to be led to the attack without waiting for Rust; but General Anderson thought that he must be governed by the letter of his instructions, and declined granting the request of his men. Thus we see a plan that offered every prospect of success come to naught by the failure of a subordinate officer to come up to the expectations of his commander. Anderson and Donaldson, finding that their situation was becoming critical-being liable to discovery, and being between two superior forces-rejoined General Loring on the 29th. On the same day, Colonel Rust reported in person his operations, which amounted to this: he heard nothing of General Anderson; his heart failed him; he passed the day watching the Federals, and then retired. When Colonel Rust rendered his report, General Lee, perceiving the deep mortification he felt at the great blunder he had committed, permitted him to rejoin his regiment. A council of war was then held, in which it was [91] decided that the position of the Federals was too strong to be attacked in front with any reasonable prospect of success, and that a flank attack was now out of the question, inasmuch as the Federals had been aroused by the discovery of the danger which had so recently threatened them; so the troops were ordered to resume their former positions. During the operations just related, there had been but little skirmishing, and the Confederate loss had been slight. One circumstance, however, occurred which cast a gloom over the whole army. Colonel J. A. Washington, while making a reconnoissance, fell into an ambuscade, and was killed. He had, by his soldierly qualities and high gentlemanly bearing, gained the esteem of all. Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the troops for their courage and patient endurance in this campaign; and Colonels Burk, Gilliam, Campbell, Lee, Munford, Maney, Hatten and Savage were worthy of the gallant fellows that it had fallen to their lot to command.

We will now examine into the condition of affairs on the line of the Kanawha. General Floyd entered the Kanawha Valley in August. General Cox was then near Charleston. After some maneuvring, Floyd fell back to the junction of the New river and the Gauley, where he was joined by General Wise. Floyd's force now numbered between eight and ten thousand men. Being uncertain whether Cox would advance up the New river line or upon that of the Gauley, he posted a force, under Wise, on the New river line, while he occupied a favorable position on the Gauley. At Carnifax's Ferry, Floyd and Wise were in easy supporting distance of each other; but there was no cordiality between them. About the 15th of September, General Floyd, seeing that it was the evident intention of Rosecrans to attack him, ordered Wise to his support, which order Wise failed to obey, and Floyd was left to receive alone the attack of a greatly superior force, which, however, he succeeded in repulsing with considerable loss; but, being still unsupported by Wise, he was obliged to retire. Among the casualties on the side of the Confederates, General Floyd received a painful wound in the arm. General Wise having finally joined Floyd, they fell back to a position on the James river and Kanawha turnpike, near the Hawk's Nest.

About the last of September General Rosecrans, having reinforced Cox, took command in person and advanced on the James River and Kanawha turnpike, gradually pushing back Floyd and Wise in the direction of Lewisburg, it being his intention to turn the Confederate position on Valley Mountain and the Greenbrier river. Such was the condition of affairs on the line of the Kanawha [92] at the close of the Valley Mountain campaign. General Lee, perceiving that the operations on the Kanawha were not progressing favorably, determined to take control of affairs in that quarter himself. He, therefore, directed Loring to detach Gilliam with his own regiment (the battalion of State Regulars) and a section of artillery to occupy Valley Mountain Pass, and proceed with the remainder of his force to reinforce General Floyd. General Lee arrived at Meadow Bluff about the 7th of October, where he found Floyd. Meadow Bluff is a small village near the eastern base of Sewell Mountain. Floyd had proposed making a stand there, but Wise had halted on the top of the mountain, five miles in rear, where he had determined to fight. The hostility that had previously existed between the two generals had not been diminished by the affair at Carnifax's Ferry; the arrival of General Lee was, therefore, fortunate, as it most probably prevented a disaster, since Rosecrans was advancing, and would have been able to strike both Wise and Floyd in detail. General Lee found General Wise occupying the eastern crest of Sewell Mountain; being satisfied with the position, he determined to hold it, and give battle to Rosecrans if he persisted in advancing. So he ordered Floyd to return and support Wise. General Lee had barely time to complete his arrangements when Rosecrans appeared on the opposite crest. Each army now occupied a mountain crest nearly parallel, separated by a gap or depression forming a notch in the mountain about a mile wide, over which it was difficult to pass except by the James River and Kanawha turnpike, which crosses it. Both positions were naturally very strong. The Confederate force being greatly inferior to that of the Federals, and General Rosecrans having assumed the offensive, General Lee naturally expected to be attacked before Loring could come up; he, therefore, actively employed his skill as an engineer in adding to the natural strength of his position. Rosecrans, discovering the formidable preparations of the Confederates, prudently forebore attacking them. The arrival of General Loring, on the 9th, placed General Lee's force almost on an equality with that of the Federals.

The force of General Lee now amounted to about fifteen thousand men. The troops were in fine spirits, and anxious to be led to the attack; but the General, ever mindful of the safety of his men, restrained their ardor. On one occasion, when several of the commanders were urging an attack, he remarked: “I know, gentlemen, you could carry the enemy's lines; but we cannot spare the brave men who would lose their lives in doing it. If General Rosecrans does not attack us, we will find a way to reach him that will not cost [93] us so dearly.” After waiting several days for General Rosecrans to attack, he began to make preparations for a flank movement to gain Rosecrans' rear, who no longer manifested a disposition to continue the aggressive. General Floyd and others, who had a good knowledge of the routes in the vicinity of Sewell Mountain, reported to General Lee a practicable route for artillery and infantry leading about ten miles to the rear of the Federal position. Upon this information, he conceived the plan of sending a column of five thousand men by this route at night, and at dawn to fall upon the Federals' rear while a strong demonstration was being made in front.-Had this plan been executed, it would most likely have been successful; *but General Rosecrans escaped the trap by a night retreat. Great was the disappointment of the troops when they discovered that the Federals had retired, and the prospects of a battle had vanished. As soon as the retreat of the Federals was discovered, pursuit was ordered; but General Lee soon perceived that it would be impossible to overtake General Rosecrans and bring him to a successful engagement in the rough, mountainous country through which he was retreating; and, not wishing to harass his troops unnecessarily, ordered them to return to their several positions, and Rosecrans was allowed to pursue his retreat unmolested to the Kanawha. General Lee knew that, with the bravery of his troops, and the strength of his position, he could repel any attack that the Federals could make; while, on the other hand, if he attacked them in their position, the result, even if successful, would be attended with great loss. He, therefore, determined to give Rosecrans every opportunity to attack before taking the offensive himself, which, as we have seen, Rosecrans prevented by abandoning his own plans and retreating.

The season was now so far advanced that it was impossible to continue active operations in Western Virginia. Snow had already fallen, and the roads had become almost impassible. General Lee therefore determined to withdraw the troops from Sewell Mountain. About the 1st of November the different columns were sent to their various destinations. The campaign had been pronounced a failure. The press and the public were clamorous against him. No one stopped to inquire the cause or examine into the difficulties that surrounded him. Upon him alone were heaped the impracticability of mountains, the hostility of the elements, and the inefficiency and captiousness of subordinate commanders. The difficulties to be encountered in Western Virginia were so great, and the chances of success so doubtful (as had been shown by the recent operations in that quarter), that the Confederate authorities abandoned the idea of [94] its further occupation. Therefore, the greater part of the troops that had been serving in Western Virginia were ordered where their services would be more available, and General Lee was assigned to the command of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. While the operations on Big Sewell were in progress, General Reynolds made a descent from Cheat Mountain and attacked the Confederate position on the Greenbrier. This attack was promptly met by General H. R. Jackson, and repulsed with considerable loss. Soon after his return to Huntersville, General Loring was instructed to report to General T. J. Jackson (Stonewall Jackson), then commanding in the Shenandoah Valley, to participate in a contemplated winter campaign. About the same time I received orders from the War Office to report to General Lee in the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

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