- Operations of 1864-1865 -- expeditions of Fitzhugh Lee and Rosser -- exploits of Gilmor and McNeill -- organization of the army of Western Virginia -- battle of Cloyd's mountain -- Newmarket -- Lynchburg -- retreat of Hunter through West Virginia -- Witcher's raids– other brilliant exploits.
On the last day of 1863 Maj.-Gen. Fitzhugh Lee started from Mount Jackson, in a snow and rain storm, and marched to Moorefield across North mountain, where he was obliged to abandon his artillery and wagon train. He reconnoitered the Federal garrison at Petersburg and then moved toward New Creek depot, capturing a wagon train, burned the block houses at Burlington, Williamsport, and McLemar's church, and then proceeded toward the Baltimore & Ohio railroad intending to cut it, but was compelled by the sufferings of his men and the impassability of the mountains to turn back on January 5, 1864, bringing into the Shenandoah valley about 600 cattle, 300 horses and mules, and o prisoners. Major Gilmor meanwhile drove the enemy out of Springfield, burned their winter quarters and brought off supplies, the main item of which was 3,000 pounds of bacon. All these captures except the prisoners were very welcome in the Confederate army. Another raid was made January 28th from the Shenandoah valley, under the command of General Early, with Rosser's brigade, Thomas' brigade, Gilmor's and McNeill's rangers, and part of McClanahan's battery. Reaching Moorefield, Rosser was sent to intercept a train of ninety-five wagons en route from New Creek to Petersburg,  where the Federals were strongly fortified. Near Moorefield junction he encountered the Twenty-third Illinois regiment obstructing the road. This command, driven back, joined the detachments of the Second Maryland and Fourth West Virginia, and the united force attempted to defend the wagons against Rosser, but gave way on the second charge and yielded the rich train to the yearning Confederates. In the fight Maj. Nathan Goff, U. S. V., was wounded and captured. The whole command then occupied Petersburg, the garrison fleeing, and gathered some commissary stores and 13,000 cartridges, after which Gilmor and McNeill were sent out after cattle, while Rosser destroyed the railroad and other bridges at the mouth of Patterson's creek. The enemy then appearing in force, Early withdrew, bringing out 50 wagons and teams, 1,200 cattle, 500 sheep and 78 prisoners, again cheering the hearts of the soldiers in the Shenandoah valley. In January, 1864, Colonel Ferguson, Sixteenth Virginia cavalry, came into Wayne county, with a large part of his regiment and the Eighth cavalry, and during the remainder of the year the region between the Guyandotte and Big Sandy was practically controlled by the Confederate soldiers. Under this protection, the Big Sandy river became a channel of trade with Northern merchants. Judge H. L. Samuels, who had been prevented from holding court in Wayne under the West Virginia State government, reported that ‘a vast quantity of useful and indispensable articles find their way to Dixie through the medium of these guerrillas. The stolen horses are laden with this contraband trade. Sympathizers land large lots of barrels and boxes from steamboats. I myself have seen seven rebels taken with their arms whose shoes were not worn enough to erase the trademarks of neighboring Ohio merchants.’ During this period there were no captures of Northern steamboats on the Big Sandy.  During February occurred two daring exploits at opposite extremities of the State. The first was the capture of the United States steamer B. C. Levi, at Red House shoals, on the Kanawha, on the night of February 2d, by Maj. J. H. Nounnan, with less than 30 men. The Confederates quietly boarded the boat while lashed to the bank, and captured Gen. E. P. Scammon, commander of the Federal division at Charleston, his staff and 13 soldiers. The steamer was run four miles down the river next morning and burned, and the general and his staff were mounted and carried to Richmond. The other adventure was by Maj. H. W. Gilmor, who threw a Baltimore & Ohio train off the track near Duffield depot, and secured about $900 from the mailbags. The collections made by his soldiers from passengers led General Lee to order an investigation. On February 25th Maj.-Gen. John C. Breckinridge was assigned to command of the Trans-Alleghany or western department of Virginia. The organization of the army of Western Virginia1 in April was as follows:
Echols' infantry brigade, Brig.-Gen. John Echols: Twenty-second, Col. George S. Patton; Twenty-third, Lieut.-Col. Clarence Derrick; Twenty-sixth battalion, Lieut.-Col. George M. Edgar; partisan rangers, Capt. Philip J. Thurmond; partisan rangers, Capt. William D. Thurmond; partisan rangers, Capt. John Amick; battery, Capt. George B. Chapman. Jenkins' cavalry brigade, Brig.-Gen. Albert G. Jenkins: Fourteenth regiment, Col. Charles Cochrane; Sixteenth regiment, Maj. James H. Nounnan; Seventeenth, Col. William H. French; Twenty-second regiment, Col. Henry S. Bowen. Saltville garrison, Col. William H. Browne: Forty-fifth infantry regiment, Lieut.-Col. Edwin H. Harman; Tennessee  battery, Capt. William H. Burroughs; Tennessee battery, Capt. H. L. W. McClung. McCausland's infantry brigade, Col. John McCausland: Thirty-sixth regiment, Lieut.-Col. Thomas Smith; Sixtieth regiment, Col. Beuhring H. Jones; Forty-fifth battalion, Lieut.-Col. Henry M. Beckley; battery, Capt. Thomas. A Bryan. Jackson's cavalry brigade, Col. William L. Jackson: Nineteenth regiment, Capt. George Downs; Twentieth regiment, Col. William W. Arnett; Forty-sixth battalion, Lieut.-Col. Joseph K. Kesler; Forty-seventh battalion, Maj. William N. Harman; battery, Capt. Warren S. Lurty. Unattached: Bosang's Company C, Fourth infantry, Lieut. James F. Cecil; Hart's engineer company, Capt. William T. Hart; Botetourt artillery, Capt. Henry C. Douthat; Jackson's horse artillery, Capt. Thomas E. Jackson.In eastern Tennessee were the Forty-fifth and Fifty-first Virginia infantry, and Thirtieth Virginia sharpshooters, of Wharton's brigade; W. E. Jones' cavalry brigade —Eighth regiment, Lieut.-Col. A. F. Cook; Twenty-first regiment, Capt. W. H. Balthis; Twenty-seventh battalion, Capt. John B. Thompson; Thirty-fourth battalion, Lieut.-Col. V. A. Witcher; Thirty-sixth battalion, Capt. C. T. Smith; Thirty-seventh battalion, Maj. James R. Claiborne-and Floyd King's artillery battalion, the Davidson, Lowry, Otey and Ringgold batteries. February 10th Maj.-Gen. Franz Sigel was assigned to command of the Union department, and he was succeeded May 21st by Maj.-Gen. David Hunter. The organization of his army in May was as follows:
Brig.-Gen. J. C. Sullivan's division, 6,500 men, headquarters at Harper's Ferry: First brigade, five regiments, Col. Augustus Moore; Second brigade, Col. Joseph Thoburn, five regiments, including Weddle's and Curtis' West Virginian. Brig.-Gen. George Crook's division, 9,800 men: First brigade, Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, four regiments, including Tomlinson's and Brown's West Virginian; Second brigade, Col. Carr B. White, four regiments,  including Duval's and Johnson's West Virginian; Third brigade, Col. H. G. Sickel, four regiments including Frost's and Morris' West Virginian. First cavalry division, Maj.-Gen. Julius Stahel, 7,600 men: brigades of Tibbits and Wynkoop. Second cavalry division, Brig.-Gen. W. W. Averell, 5,000 men: brigades of Duffiee, Schoonmaker and Oley.These active forces numbered 20,000 present for duty. Besides there was the reserve division, over 16,000 men present, under command of Brig.-Gen. Max Weber from Monocacy to Sleepy creek, and under Brigadier-General Kelley west of Sleepy creek. The destruction of the saltpeter works of the Confederate army was a constant aim of the Federal troops, and an expedition .for this purpose started out from Burlington late in February and destroyed the works at Franklin. The detachment guarding the supply train at Petersburg was severely handled on March 3d by a Confederate detachment from Moorefield. On the 10th a detachment of Mosby's men attacked the pickets at Charlestown, and in the skirmishing which followed Major Sullivan, commanding picket, and several others were killed, and 21 prisoners were taken by the partisans. A considerable number of the Eighth and Sixteenth cavalry regiments were at home on furlough in Wayne and Cabell counties at this time, and previously a body of the Sixteenth had had a brisk fight with Colonel Gallup, of Ohio, in Wayne county. A Federal reconnoissance through the counties in March failed to find any of the Confederates. Capt. John H. McNeill made an important expedition from Moorefield, May 5th, against the Baltimore & Ohio railroad at Bloomington and Piedmont. Though taking but 60 men he was entirely successful, captured the garrison at Piedmont, destroyed seven large buildings filled with machinery, engines and cars, burned nine railroad engines, seventy-five or eighty freight cars, two trains laden with commissary stores, sent six engines with full head of steam toward New Creek, captured a mail train,  releasing prisoners, and burned the railroad bridge. Such exploits retained in this region large bodies of Federal troops sorely needed by Grant in the Wilderness. Early in May important operations began, which involved the West Virginia soldiers, but which were conducted mainly in the Shenandoah valley and southwest Virginia. Gen. U. S. Grant, ordering a forward movement in all parts of the South simultaneous with his crossing of the Rapidan, directed Sigel to move two divisions of his army down the Shenandoah valley to Cedar creek, while Averell should make a dash into southwest Virginia, destroy New river bridge, work eastward to Lynchburg if possible, and in that case return to Staunton, where Sigel would meet him with supplies. The forces under Breckinridge by two brilliant battles, one won and the other lost, defeated the full carrying out of this plan. Crook set out with his division in the last of April, marching 6,155 men by way of Fayetteville to Princeton, while Colonel Tomlinson's regiment, with Blazer's scouts, was sent by Lewisburg. At the same time Averell with 2,000 men was sent by way of Logan Court House to Saltville, Va., thence to strike Dublin Depot. On May 6th, Princeton was occupied with skirmishing. On the 7th, having entered Giles county, a Confederate force was found posted at the gap of Walker mountain but forced to withdraw. On the following day in a skirmish on Back creek before Dublin, Captain Harman, the famous partisan, was killed. General Jenkins, who had only 200 men with him, took a position on Cloyd's farm, at the base of Cloyd's mountain, commanding the road to Dublin, and about 5 miles from that place, where he was joined by McCausland's brigade, fortunately just arrived at Dublin en route to Staunton, and by Browne's Forty-fifth regiment from Saltville, Dickinson's battery and the Botetourt artillery. The battle began early on the 9th with a Federal attack on the right. while a fierce artillery duel was opened at  the center. The attack upon Browne, on the right, was repelled at the cost of weakening other parts of the lines, and a gallant charge repelled the Federals from that part of the field; but meanwhile the center was fiercely assailed, General Jenkins falling mortally wounded there, and the left was turned. The whole line then gave way, but was rallied by McCausland, who succeeded Jenkins in command, and the fight was renewed. Still another line was formed, and finally the fourth line repelled the enemy's charge, after which the Confederates moved through Dublin, the rear guard constantly fighting, and across New river bridge. McCausland subsequently fell back to the vicinity of Salem. Colonel Browne, of the Forty-fifth, reported that his gallant lieutenant-colonel, E. H. Harman, fell mortally wounded while placing in line reinforcements from the Sixtieth. The Forty-fifth battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Beckley, coming to his aid, made a brilliant charge upon the enemy's position on the ridge from which Browne had been flanked, but were overpowered and driven back. Among the killed of Browne's regiment were Capt. R. R. Crockett and Lieuts. J. R. Brown, C. N. Porter and H. H. Lockett; of the Sixtieth, Lieut.-Col. G. W. Hammond, Maj. J. N. Taylor and Capt. M. McClintic. Morgan's dismounted Kentucky cavalry, under Col. D. H. Smith, reached the field toward the close of the fight, and in a gallant charge Capt. C. S. Cleburne, a brother of Maj.-Gen. P. S. Cleburne, was mortally wounded. The Federal loss at Cloyd's mountain was 108 killed, 508 wounded and 72 captured or missing; the Confederate loss, 76 killed, 262 wounded and 200 captured or missing. The casualties were mainly in the Forty-fifth, Sixtieth and Thirty-sixth infantry regiments, Morgan's dismounted men, and the Forty-fifth battalion. Jackson, who had been ordered to the Narrows of New river, and joined by Colonel French, commanding Jenkins' brigade, was called back to meet Crook on his return.  They were pushed back from Newport, and Crook, followed by McCausland, started across Salt Pond mountain toward Union, skirmishing at Gap mountain with Jackson and reaching Meadow Bluff on the 19th. Averell, with the other Federal column, had captured some of the Eighth Virginia in Tazewell county, but found Saltville strongly held by Gens. John H. Morgan and W. E. Jones, and avoiding that point, his real destination, marched to Wytheville, fought a battle on the 10th with Morgan and Jones, and then by a narrow margin won a race to Dublin, and crossed the river in safety, the Confederates being prevented from following by the swollen waters and the destruction of the railroad and bridges. He then joined General Crook at Union. Thus, with some assistance, the Confederate army of Western Virginia had defeated the main purposes of this formidable raid, saved Lynchburg from attack, and prevented the contemplated junction of Crook and Sigel. Further down the great valley in the same month of May, the West Virginians in other commands participated in a still more decided check given the other column of invading Federals. Brigadier-General Imboden, in command of the Valley district since July, 1863, broke camp May 2d, at Mount Crawford, and moved to Woodstock to observe Sigel, who was coming up the valley with Sullivan's and Stahel's divisions and five batteries. Imboden's whole force then was a little less than 1,500 men, included in the Sixty-second infantry, mounted, Col. George H. Smith; Twenty-third cavalry, Col. Robert White; Eighteenth cavalry, Col. George W. Imboden; Gilmor's Maryland battalion; Davis' Maryland battalion, McNeill's rangers, and McClanahan's battery. As soon as he had discovered the strength of the approaching enemy he fell back to Mount Jackson. By skillful maneuvers he dealt severe blows to Sigel's reconnoissances and held him back, while reinforcements came up from Breckinridge.  On the 14th, Sigel's advance finally reached Rude's hill, near New Market, pressing back Colonel Imboden. Colonel Smith, in command of Imboden's force during that general's absence to meet Breckinridge, formed his little brigade and held the town until night, artillery firing continuing during the day. In the morning Breckinridge arrived with Echols' brigade, Wharton's brigade (Forty-fifth and Fifty-first regiments and Thirtieth battalion), and the Virginia military institute cadets under Colonel Shipp. The fight was opened by McLaughlin's artillery, and presently the Confederate line advanced, while Imboden's cavalry and McClanahan's battery occupied a hill commanding the enemy's left. The fire from this position scattered Stahel's cavalry, and Sigel fell back half a mile, pressed by the Confederate infantry. Men were falling rapidly now under a destructive artillery and infantry fire, and the Sixty-second regiment and the cadet corps made their famous charge upon a battery at the Federal center, capturing it and the gunners, but suffering terribly in the movement. McLaughlin defeated a cavalry charge and Sigel was soon in retreat. Breckinridge occupied Rude's hill that night. In this battle the Federals lost 831 out of about 6,000, the Confederates 577 out of about 5,000. Immediately afterward Wharton's and Echols' brigades were called to Lee's army on the Cold Harbor line. In the latter part of May, a Federal reconnoissance was made through Pocahontas, Webster and Braxton counties, gathering in a considerable number of partisan rangers, and horses and cattle. Sigel was soon replaced by Gen. David Hunter, who advanced to Mount Jackson simultaneously with another incursion by Crook, who left Meadow Bluff on the last of May to attack Staunton. Thus was begun the Lynchburg campaign, in which many West Virginians served with great credit. Imboden's men stubbornly contested Hunter's advance, and were reinforced by W. E. Jones,  who took command. The little army was badly defeated at Piedmont by Hunter, and Jones killed. McCausland and Jackson gallantly opposed the advance of Crook and Averell, delaying their junction with Hunter, and meanwhile Lynchburg was reinforced by Early. On the day that Early's advance arrived, Imboden, McCausland and Jackson went out to meet Hunter's combined army to hold it back long enough to insure the safety of the city, attacking the enemy gallantly at New London, and on Friday, June 17th, 4 miles from Lynchburg, made a brilliant fight, losing 100 killed and wounded, after which they fell back unmolested to the fortifications of the city. After a battle before Lynchburg, Hunter retreated to Salem. His rear guard, under Averell, was defeated at Liberty, and near Salem two of his batteries were captured by the Confederate cavalry. Harassed and headed off by Early, Hunter turned toward Lewisburg, and reached Gauley bridge June 27th, moving thence to Charleston and Parkersburg, whence his army was sent back by rail to the lower Shenandoah valley. This retreat across the State was the last great military movement in West Virginia. The campaign of Early's army through Maryland against Washington and the railroad communications of Baltimore was shared by the brigades of Echols, Wharton, McCausland, Imboden and Jackson, and the batteries formerly associated with the army of Western Virginia. These commands also participated in the campaign against Sheridan in the Shenandoah valley. When General Early was advancing down the valley of Virginia on his march toward Washington, the Twentythird Virginia cavalry, under Col. Robert White, with one piece of artillery, was detached from the main command and sent a distance of some 50 miles northwest to capture and destroy the bridge of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad at the junction of the North and South branches of the Potomac. Upon reaching the hill overlooking the bridge a little after midday, July 4th, it was found that  on the western side of the South Branch and near the western end of the bridge there was a blockhouse, occupied by Federal soldiers, as well as an engine with an ironclad magazine attached standing there, also occupied by soldiers. When the location of this blockhouse and magazine was discovered, a shell was fired from the artillery at the magazine. The aim was accurate; the shell entered the magazine and burst inside of it, exploding the ammunition contained, destroying the magazine, and, as was afterward ascertained, injuring some forty of the Federal soldiers. The bridge was then cut, and White retired to rejoin Early's command near Martinsburg. On June 22d, Gen. John H. Morgan, of Kentucky, was assigned to command the department of Western Virginia and East Tennessee, and soon afterward General Crook was given chief command of the Federal forces. Morgan's operations were all outside the State, and the only Virginia organizations in his army were Col. Robert Smith's battalion, Witcher's battalion and the Sixty-fourth cavalry. Upon the death of Morgan, Breckinridge resumed command of the department, and under him in November, Colonel Witcher had a brigade consisting of his battalion, W. H. Payne's company and the two Thurmond battalions. The other western Virginia troops were mainly with Early in the Shenandoah valley. Maj.-Gen. John Echols was in command at Dublin, and participated in the defeat of the Federal raid into southwest Virginia in October. On August 4th, the brigades of Gen. Bradley Johnson (W. E. Jones' old brigade) and McCausland, returning from Chambersburg, Pa., attacked New Creek, and after a severe fight were repulsed with considerable loss. The Confederate command then proceeded to Moorefield, near where they were attacked in camp about daylight, August 7th, by Averell's cavalry, surprised and routed, losing 27 officers and 393 enlisted men as prisoners and 400 horses.  On August 26th the Federals at Huttonsville, 70 strong, were captured by partisans. In the latter part of September, a brilliant raid was made by Lieut.-Col. V. A. Witcher from Tazewell county through West Virginia. On the 25th he captured and burned the fortified camp at Bulltown, surprised Weston on the evening of the next day, capturing a large amount of stores and seizing over $5,000 from the Exchange bank; destroyed stores at Janelew; at Buckhannon on the 28th captured the garrison, including Maj. T. F. Lang, and burned a very large quantity of quartermaster, commissary and medical stores, and about 1,000 stand of small-arms. Returning to Greenbrier county he brought out 400 horses and 200 cattle. His battalions were under the command of Captains McFarlane, P. J. and W. D. Thurmond. About the same time Maj. J. H. Nounnan was sent from Tazewell to the mouth of the Coal, but being unable to cross the river, he retired after securing a considerable amount of supplies from a store-boat. Near Winfield his men and a body of Federals collided in full speed, and the Confederates, with Nounnan, were worsted in the melee. But his expedition served a good purpose in drawing attention from Witcher. In the latter part of the same month, Witcher moved into the Mud river region, and rode through Teay's valley against a garrison at Winfield, a company of the Seventh West Virginia. He sent his men into the town in two detachments, Capt. Philip J. Thurmond leading one. In the desperate fight in the streets which followed, Thurmond was mortally wounded at the head of his command. With continued audacity Witcher turned his attention to the Big Sandy river early in November, on the 5th captured and burned the United States armed steamers Barnum and Fawn at Buffalo shoals, and on the same day captured and destroyed the military stores at Mellonsburg  and drove the enemy's cavalry under his guns at Louisa. At Logan Court House, a few days later, this indomitable officer reported that he had collected six companies of recruits, and had four or five other companies forming. He had increased his own battalion to a regiment, and had collected one for Col. Thomas B. Swann. One of the most notable affairs in other portions of the State in this period was the ‘greenback raid’ under Mosby. Hearing that a train had left Washington with 42 paymasters on board carrying funds for Sheridan's army, he determined to share in the emoluments due to active and faithful soldiers. With about 70 picked men, and Dr. James G. Wiltshire, of Jefferson county, as a guide, he made a night ride and prepared to stop the train at the same place that Gilmor's men had selected in February. One side of the track was raised in such a manner that the locomotive was overthrown, as the train arrived, and Mosby's men went through the cars, capturing Generals Ruggles and Moore, and $168,000 in greenbacks. The train was then burned, and the daring raiders made a successful escape. On reaching Bloomfield, Loudoun county, the money was equally divided, without respect to rank, and the paymasters were forwarded to Richmond. On October 29th an unfortunate attack was made upon a Federal detachment at Beverly, by Maj. Houston Hall. The latter was wounded and captured and his command lost 140 men in the two hours battle. The opposite result followed an attack upon Green Spring by McNeill's rangers November 1st, the garrison being almost entirely captured, and the horses and arms carried off. On November 25th General Kelley sent out an expedition to hunt McNeill, which to its great surprise encountered General Rosser with his own and two regiments of Payne's brigade, at Moorefield, Rosser being engaged in a little expedition of his own. The Federals escaped  with considerable loss, and Rosser followed close upon their heels to the fortified post of New Creek, which, guided by two trusty scouts, Pierce and Williams, he succeeded in completely surprising, in daylight, capturing Fort Kelley and garrison without a shot, also taking possession of Piedmont. He captured by this brilliant and almost bloodless coup 700 prisoners, about 1,500 horses and as many cattle, and destroyed a vast amount of property, including 200 wagons, a very large amount of stores, government buildings and engines. On January 11, 1865, General Rosser made another brilliant stroke at Beverly. With 300 mounted men he rode into the Federal fortified camp, where no visitors were expected on account of the inclement weather, and in the fight which ensued 6 of the enemy were killed and 33 wounded. The remainder of the garrison, 580 men, were captured, with all their arms, ammunition and supplies. On February 5th, Colonel Whittaker, First Connecticut cavalry, succeeded in surprising the famous partisan leader, Major Gilmor, in bed, and hastily carried him to Winchester; and on February 22d Lieut. Jesse C. Mc-Neill, with 25 men, entered the fortified town of Cumberland, Md., and taking Generals Crook and Kelley out of bed, brought them safely into Virginia. The troops of the department of Western Virginia and East Tennessee, commanded by Brig.-Gen. John Echols, with headquarters at Wytheville, Va., comprised the following organizations on February 28, 1865: Echols' infantry brigade, Col. Robert T. Preston's brigade of reserves, Gen. George B. Cosby's brigade of Kentucky cavalry, Gen. Basil Duke's brigade of Kentucky cavalry, Col. Henry Giltner's brigade of Kentucky cavalry, Gen. John C. Vaughn's brigade of Tennessee cavalry, Lieut.-Col. Vincent A. Witcher's brigade of Virginia cavalry, Maj. R. C. M. Page's artillery battalion, and Capt. R. C. McCalla's engineer battalion.  Echols' brigade included the Twenty-second regiment, Lieut.-Col. John C. McDonald; Twenty-third battalion, Maj. William Blessing; Twenty-sixth battalion, Lieut.-Col. George M. Edgar. Witcher's brigade was composed of the Thirty-fourth battalion, Maj. John A. McFarlane, and the battalion of Lieut.-Col. Thomas B. Swann. Capt. H. C. Douthat's battery was with the artillery. The total enrollment of the command was 10,000 men and six pieces of artillery. The largest brigades were those of Vaughn and Echols. But on account of furloughs and for other reasons the aggregate force present was only 4,000. Witcher's brigade was 215 strong and Echols' 662. On April 2d General Echols began a movement to unite with the army of Northern Virginia, but on reaching Christiansburg, Va., on the 10th, he received a dispatch announcing the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox Court House. General Duke has written, ‘Strange as the declaration may sound now, there was not one of the 6,000 or 7,000 men then gathered at Christiansburg who had entertained the slightest thought that such an event could happen. . . . That the army of Northern Virginia, with Lee at its head, would ever surrender, had never entered our minds.’ After a night of excitement and discussion around blazing camp-fires, part of the force proceeded under General Echols to attempt a junction with Johnston's army in North Carolina, while many returned to their homes satisfied that the war was over. Those from West Virginia who went on and those who returned, as well as those who surrendered at Appomattox and with the various commands in the Shenandoah valley, in time mainly accepted citizenship in the new State born in the throes of war, and after enduring the hardships and persecution which followed their home-coming, and the annoyances of adverse legislation, resumed the stations to which their worth entitled them in a free common-wealth and a reunited nation.