From the West.
The Right Man in the Right Place — The Battle of Gauley-- Gen. Floyd's Bravery — His Manners and Habits.
, Sept. 25, 1861.
We presume any information concerning Gen. Floyd
and his command in the Northwest
will be interesting to the readers of the Dispatch.
Now is the time to furnish material for the future historian.
While every true patriot is bound to do his best, during the present difficulties, in fighting for the independence of his beloved country, still he is no less responsible to coming generations for the record of facts relating to the bravery of our soldiery and the skill of our leaders.
Every movement that Gen. Floyd
has made from the time he left Lewisburg
on his way to Ganley
, to the present time, is worthy of the highest commendation.
He has not made a single mistake in his campaign thus far.--His march to the Gauley river
, driving the enemy before him — his crossing the river in front of the enemy, under many disadvantages — his meeting the enemy shortly afterwards at Cross Lanes
, and routing him with great loss — his fortifying at Gauley
, and afterwards encountering Rosencranz
, who had 8,000 men against 1,700--his fighting such a powerful antagonist for four hours, and repulsing him with great slaughter — his falling back over the river in the night, saving all his stores and baggage, except is few articles for which there was no way of transportation — and then his destroying the boats and the bridge, and all this without losing a man — afford the most indubitable evidence of Gen. Floyd
's fitness to command an army.
We joined him at Camp Ganley about an hour and a half before the battle of the 10th inst. began, and we were with him during the whole of the engagement.
To do him nothing more than justice, we must say that his calmness and valor on that occasion won our highest admiration.
If ever a man under any circumstances exhibited a combination of boldness and prudence, Gen. Floyd
did so during the whole of that terrible conflict.
He was in the very thickest of the fight.
And although he was wounded at the beginning of the battle, yet no one, except a few friends around him, knew any thing of it until the fight was over.--He kept his flag flying all the time in full view of the enemy, while he himself walked up and down in front of it, speaking to his men and encouraging them.
But there was one exploit that he performed which was sufficient of itself to immortalize him as a brave man. When the battle had raged for about two hours, the General
and his Aids walked off slowly from the centre of the breastworks towards Col. Wharton
's command on the left wing, to see how things were progressing there, a distance of 400 yards, and all the time, while going and returning, the General
was exposed to the guns of the enemy, and the balls fell thick and fast around him, as well as those who were with him. No deed of daring, comparable with this, has been performed by any one Turing the whole of the present war. If Gen. Wise
had furnished the reinforcements that were asked of him, Gen. Floyd
could easily have held his position, and finally would have routed the enemy, and this day we would be in possession of Charlestown
But not only is Gen. Floyd
distinguished for his bravery and military sagacity, he is also eminent for his strict temperance habits and correct morals.
He neither drinks liquor, nor gambles, nor uses profane language.
He has the greatest respect for religion and those who profess it. He treats his officers in the most cordial and dignified manner.
He uses every care for the welfare of his soldiers.--He is courteous towards strangers and those who may visit his camp.
In a word, he is kind to all around him. He will not allow his men to injure any private or public property, except there be a military necessity for it, so that he is looked upon in this part of the country as a protector.
We make this statement upon the authority of many citizens from various parts of the northwest with whom we have conversed on the subject.
The people in this section of the country have the most implicit confidence in Gen. Floyd
and his men, and consider it only a question of time as to his ultimate success in driving the enemy from their soil.
If we may be allowed to form an estimate of his character from personal observation and daily intercourse with him in the camp and on the field of battle, the conclusion must inevitably be that he is truly a great man and a skillful General.
It may be that he has some enemies, but we hazard the opinion that if they were with him during his present campaign, their animosity would be changed into friendship.
We predict for him a glorious career as a military chieftain, and whenever he goes to battle for our civil liberties we shall follow him, till we secure our independence or die in the attempt.