arrival of volunteers at Piketon — Protracted March and severe suffering.
[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Camp Below Piketon, on the Sandy river, in Pike county, Ky., 54th Reg't Va. Vols., Dec. 9, 1861.
The 54th Virginia regiment of volunteers, commanded by Col. Robt. C. Trigg
, and the first Virginia regiment that responded to the call of Kentucky
for help, arrived opposite the little village of Piketon
on the 6th inst. --Our route was from Wytheville, Va.
We left Christiansburg, Montgomery county, Va.
, on the 8th day of November, 1861, and was on the march for one whole month lacking but two days, passing over the most mountainous country in the world, crossing at short intervals the many water courses that flow down and drain this whole country.
The march of this regiment has been one of the severest and most arduous of the entire service.
We have had to wade creeks, branches and rivers; camping upon the snow-clad ground, and often in the mud. We bridged the Sandy river
in two places.
Our orders are to report at Prestonsburg
, and we will leave here on tomorrow for that place.
Two of our men died en route for this place, but, as yet, the regiment is in good health.
Before starting from Christiansburg
the officers of the regiment held a meeting and sent Capt. James C. Taylor
, to ask of Gen. Cooper
a suspension of marching orders, until the men were or could be supplied with overcoats; but the General
refused to suspend the order and directed Capt. McLellend
to send on five hundred overcoats.
To our surprise, when they reached the regiment at Cedar Bluff, in Tazewell county
, they were found to be made of cotton goods and were at once returned to the Captain
The enemy left here in great haste.
When they entered the town, they fired upon it without giving the women and children any chance for escape.
This seems to be characteristic of the brave
and gallant General Nelson
The ladies of this place hailed our approach with shouting and cheers — a perfect hallow
of shouts went up for Jeff
and his brave boys by the citizens as we hove in sight.
The enemy devastated the country, and stole all the valuable movable property they could get their hands upon.