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The men rallied gallantly on the hill-side, under withering volleys of grape and smallarms, and a part of three companies, A, E, and D, actually moved up to within pistol-shot of the intrenchments, and for some time maintained an unequal contest.
batteries and returned with water to the wounded. Of the portion of the regiment under the command of Major Burke, that officer makes honorable mention of the names of Capt. H. M. Hard, Co. J; Capt. Robinson, Co. K; Capt. Hudson and Lieut. Hickly, Co. C; Capt. Moore, Co. D; Sergeant-Major Knox; and Chaplain W. T. O'Higgins.
I beg leave to enclose a list of the killed and wounded of the command, all of which is respectfully submitted. W. H. LYTLE, Col. Tenth Ohio Regiment U. S. A.
COL. SMITH'S REPORT. HEAD-QUARTERS THIRTEENTH REGIMENT O. V. I. CAMP SCOTT, Va., Sept. 11th, 1861. Lieut. J. O. Stanage, A. A. A.-Gen. : SIR: I have the honor to submit the following statement of the part taken by my regiment in the action near Conrifex Ferry yesterday.
Both my color bearers were struck down; the bearer of the State color-Sergt. Fitzgibbons-had the staff shot away and his hand shattered, and in a few moments afterward was shattered in both thighs while waving his color on the broken staff. The bearer of the National color-Sergt. O'Connor-was, at the same time, struck down by some missile, but recovered himself in a short time, and kept waving his colors in front of the enemy's fire; about this time I received a wound in the leg, the ball passing through and killing my horse. Perceiving the fearful odds against us, I directed the men to place themselves under a cover; a portion rallied behind two log houses in front of the battery and kept up a spirited fire for at least an hour before any other regiment came into action, and the remaining portion of the right wing, under command of Lieut.-Col. Korff, returned in good order to its position under cover of a cornfield in front of the right of the battery; a steady fire was maintained against the enemy until night, after which, four companies, G, H, I, and K, and a My line was just deployed, when I received great portion of companies D and E, by order an order from General Rosecrans to move forof Gen. Rosecrans, remained on the ground ward, which I did, taking my place in line acduring the night and held their position, throw-cording to our previous order of march, the ing out their pickets under command of Lieut.Colonel Korff.
While the right wing of the regiment under my command engaged the enemy on their right centre, a portion of the left wing, consisting of companies C, J, F, and K, under command of Major Burke, pushed through the woods on the left of the road, and assailed the palisades of the enemy's infantry across a deep ravine. This portion of the command held its position in face of a terrific fire, until every round of ammunition was expended, and the companies relieved by artillery, when it rejoined the right wing, already in position in front of the battery.
For men for the first time under fire, the conduct of the regiment was highly creditable. Having been wounded in the early portion of the action, I was necessarily separated from the greater portion of the command, and among those whose gallant conduct came under my own eyes, I would especially mention Capt. Stephen J. McGroarty, commanding the color company; Lieut. John Mallory, Co. D; and Lieut. Fanning, of Co. A. Both Lieut. Fanning and Capt. McGroarty were severely wounded, the latter while rallying his men around their colors, and the former while leading his men to the attack; Capts. Steele and Tiernon are also worthy of especial mention for their gallantry. I would also mention the name of Corporal Sullivan, of Co. E, who, in the midst of a galling fire, went across the front of the enemy's
At about eleven o'clock A. M. on the 10th inst., a general halt of the whole column having been ordered at a point about two miles distant from the enemy's intrenchments, my regiment was ordered by General Benham to form in line of battle behind the crest of a hill on the right flank of the position, then being occupied by the Second and Third brigades, it having appeared that they were about to be attacked.
Tenth Ohio, McMullen's battery, my own section of two rifled cannon, and yourself with Gilmore's and West's cavalry companies leading in their order. We closed upon the head of the column, and marched thus until we had reached a point within two-thirds of a mile of the enemy's position, when I was again halted by an order from the rear. We remained halted in this position for about ten minutes, and until the enemy opened fire upon the head of our column. I was then ordered to move forward, which I did, until I was induced by the heavy firing, apparently on our right, to move in that direction with my regiment until my line was fairly deployed, when I received an order from Gen. Benham to move forward to the left. My regiment was then moved forward by the left flank down the ravine to our left, running nearly parallel with the enemy's front; then up the right hand slope until I saw the works of the enemy from my position at the head of my regiment. I then moved to the left along the skirt of the woods in front of the enemy's line, about two hundred yards from it, until I reached his extreme right flank, moving all the while behind the summit of the hill, which sheltered it from his fire. The enemy's line from the battery at the centre to the right flank, was completely revealed to us during this flank movement under cover. When we reached the enemy's extreme right, we received his fire from behind the breast work of logs and rails, distant now about one hundred yards.
The order was immediately given to my regiment to fall down and creep up to the crest of the hill, when we opened fire and maintained it briskly, driving the enemy in upon his centre. Having been ordered to make a reconnoissance, not an attack, we ceased firing, and lay in our position to await further orders, sending Lieut.-Col. Mason to report the result of our reconnoissance to Generals Benham and Rosecrans.
which our column approached, and at a point about four hundred yards distant from the enemy's works; several shots were fired from this position with good effect; Capt. Schneider then found a better position for his guns, about one hundred paces to the right, and cut a road to it with his sword and one hatchet, and from this new position, in full view of the enemy's battery, he fired seventy-five rounds of solid shot, and fifteen of shells; his shot ploughed I have since learned through a prisoner taken through the parapet of the enemy's battery, by us, that our fire cleared the enemy from his spreading consternation among those who works on the right, and drove him in on his served the pieces. Capt. Schneider and his men centre. After waiting, as I supposed, a suffi- behaved with great gallantry, delivering their cient length of time, and finding that Col. Mason fire with coolness and accuracy, although exhad lost his way in the thick underbrush, I posed to a brisk fire from the enemy's battery drew down my eight companies into the ravine and from his musketry. The same may be and back into the main road, and then went in said of my whole regiment, which was kept in person to report to Generals Benham and Rose-perfect order throughout the day. crans; this I did, and requested that a Brigadier might lead us to an attack upon the enemy's extreme right.
A brigade, consisting of the Twenty-eighth Ohio, eight companies of the Thirteenth Ohio, three of the Twenty-third Ohio, and two of the Twelfth Ohio regiments, was extemporized by General Rosecrans, and was placed in command, and ordered to carry the works on the right by assault.
I formed the command as above constituted in the ravine, and was then ordered by General Rosecrans to halt and await further orders. We remained in this position for about one hour, when General Rosecrans ordered us to move forward to the attack. I reached the head of my column and started just at dusk. Before we could march down the ravine, through which we had passed before, and countermarch up the right hand slope, so as to draw out my line on the flank, and in front of a portion of the enemy's line, it became so dark, and the men so weary, having marched from three o'clock in the morning, that it was found impossible to ascend to their line; the ground was covered with rocks and a dense underbrush of laurel, and Col. Moore reported that it would take until two o'clock in the morning to get two companies of his regiment up. I then ordered the whole column to " face about!" and march out just as it had marched in, and crossed the ravine to the rear of the column to lead it out, when a shot or two from the enemy's skirmishers, or an accidental shot from one of our own pieces, caused the whole column, doubled as it was into a "U" shape, to open fire, killing two, and wounding about thirty of
our own men.
The melancholy mistake was at once discovered, and the column extricated and marched back by left into the main road, and so on back to the grounds selected for our encampment.
At the beginning of the action, my section of two rifled cannon, under command of Capt. Schneider, and supported by his company, (E, Thirteenth regiment,) was ordered by General Benham to take position in the road by
W. S. SMITП,
Com. Thirteenth Regiment O. V. U. S. A.
LIEUT. COL. WHITE'S REPORT.
SIR: On the 10th inst., two miles from the enemy's intrenchments at Carnifex Ferry, Va., the Twelfth regiment Ohio Volunteers were detached from the column of advance by order of General Rosecrans, to skirmish the wood to the left of the road, and after completing the work and returning to the road, the regiment had not advanced more than half a mile, when the firing from the advance on the enemy's line commenced.
The regiment moved in a double quick to the enemy's encampment in a field on the left, where General Rosecrans' staff was stationed, when it was diverted to the left from the main road, through the field and wood in the direction of the enemy's fire; after advancing some two hundred yards, it was deployed as skirmishers, facing by the rear rank, with the order from the A. A. A.-Gen., George L. Hartsuff, to draw on the fire, close up, and charge the enemy's line.
The underbrush was so thick it was impossible to maintain a line, and it being impossible to communicate with Col. J. W. Lowe, the left wing was pushed forward to the enemy's right, and the attack there made.
The Thirteenth regiment Ohio Volunteers, under Col. W. S. Smith, to our left, and the artillery to our right; finding but little effect could be made on the enemy from this position, Adjutant Pauly was sent to you to notify you of our position, and receive your order.
Afterward I reported to you in person for orders, in the mean time keeping up a fire on the enemy, when he discovered himself above the breast works.
Still later, Adjutant Pauly reported to you for orders, when we were attached to the Thirteenth and Twenty-eighth regiments, under Cols. Smith and Moore, to attack the enemy
upon his extreme right, of which movement
The movements and operations of the right
C. B. WHITE,
CAPT. WALLACE'S REPORT.
CAMP SCOTT, September 13, 1861.
the road for further orders, which I did. I did
Capt. Co. A, Twelfth Regiment O. V.
CINCINNATI "GAZETTE" NARRATIVE.
On the last day of our disastrous summer of '61, General Rosecrans moved from Clarksburg, to put himself at the head of his army, and resume active operations. The popular understanding was, that he meant to attack Lee at Cheat Mountain Gaps. The truth, as has heretofore been repeatedly hinted in this correspondence, was that he meant to complete the work to which his strategic plans had been for a month directed, by engaging Floyd in the region of our Kanawha line. Reynolds held Lee in check at the Cheat Mountain; a gap in our lines had been purposely made at Summersville; Floyd had bit at the bait by coming in; and now Rosecrans proposed to "hit him hard in the head" before he could run. Such was the plan.
SIR: On the 10th inst. the Twelfth Ohio regiment, cominanded by Col. J. W. Lowe, advanced through an old encampment, on its way to the battle-field; at this point, an order was given by Capt. Hartsuff, of Gen. Rosecrans' staff, to advance through the woods toward the enemy's fire. The right wing of the regiment, viz., Companies A, F, K, and E, advanced through the woods, under the command of Col. Lowe, toward the enemy's fire, and in front of one of his batteries. We crossed the fence of a corn-field, entered the field, and were ordered by Col. Lowe to deploy to the right, and advanced through the field toward some houses. The order was obeyed; Col. Lowe had advanced but a few steps, when he was killed. Up to this And so, while the people thought the Gentime I received all orders from Col. Lowe; eral was hurrying to Beverly, he had reached after his death I took command of the right Bull Town, and Sutton, and Birch River, had wing; advanced toward the enemy's breast-collected his scattered army, and was ready for works. I sheltered the men in the best manner his work. Just a week had been consumed. I could. I sent Lieut. Fisher of Co. A to General Rosecrans for orders. I was directed through the General's order to advance to the right and front of the enemy's breast work. I obeyed the order, crossed a by-road, and halted within easy musket-shot of the works, at the edge of the woods.
After a variety of vexatious delays, the army moved from Birch River toward Summersville late in the forenoon of Monday, the ninth inst. The telegraph had preceded us, and despatches had been received from our outposts that our pickets had been fired on, and that rebels were skulking near them through the woods. In advance of our whole column went a squad of cavalry, to bear back the earliest intelligence of any hostile movement; at a considerable distance behind came an advance guard, then, after another interval, the pioneers, and then Benham's brigade. McCook's followed, and Scammon's brought up the rear; while for five miles back stretched our wagon train and its guards.
I directed the fire of the rifles at the enemy, whenever he exposed himself. Discovering our fire was ineffective, as the enemy were sheltered behind their works, I ordered the fire to cease, and sheltered the men in the woods from the enemy's fire. I again sent for orders, and received through our Adjt. Lt. Pauly an order from the Commanding General to advance further to the right. My command passed Leaving the valley of the Big Birch, we imthrough the woods, crossed a hollow, and mediately began to climb the mountain, which, ascended a hill to the right of the enemy's flag- from our late encampment, had seemed to block staff, passing through a thick growth of under-up the way. For six miles we climbed in torbrush until we arrived near the top of the hill and distant about fifty feet from their breastworks, when the enemy delivered a severe fire, at the same time screening themselves behind the breastwork. The men lay flat on the ground, being unsupported, and finding I could effect nothing there, (the enemy having fired a second volley at us,) I withdrew the men, and formed the men under the hill, at which place I received an order from Lieut.-Col. White to join the left wing of the regiment under his command. I obeyed the order, and advanced to the main road below our batteries, when I was ordered, by one of your staff, to halt my command on the side of
tuous windings, pausing on the way to bury a rebel, who had been killed while attempting a guerilla shot on Colonel Smith the evening before, and whose corpse had lain in its gore by the roadside till morning. At last we reached the summit, and from that summit of Powell's mountain, there burst upon the eye a view that Switzerland might be challenged to surpass. The country through which we were moving was but a succession of spurs and outlying ranges from the Greenbrier, and from none of them, hitherto, had we been able to see more than the foliage-masked sides, and forest-top summit lines of the nearest hills on either side. Here we were on a point that overtopped the
whole country westward to the borders of our | without any known effect except, on the vis a own Ohio, and from that fastness for guerillas, tergo principle, to accelerate their speed. In a (if not den of thieves,) the eye reached from few moments the cavalry squad returned, range to range of tree-covered hills, that rose marching between them a couple of the rebels, and fell, in the magnificent panorama spread out with the green, shirt-fashion blouse, and white before us, like the billows of the ocean, grow-muslin rag over the cap, that were known as ing smaller as they receded, till at last, in the the uniform of a raw militia cavalry company dim, hazy shore-line of blue that bounded the of the rebels. One of the prisoners was from vision, was marked the course of our "Beauti- Parkersburg-the other from Guyandotte. Both ful River." had been at Cross Lanes, and one of the fellows was relieved of the sword of Capt. Dyer, which he had stripped from the corpse of the poor Captain on the field.
And from that far-off view of their State, the troops descended to a conflict of which their State may worthily be proud.
Hardly had the column begun to descend the mountain, till the extreme advance squad of cavalry was fired upon, and presently there ran along the line the word that "the enemy is ahead." Night was closing about us, and the inevitable fog was blotting out even the outlines of all our surroundings, as we reached the "Muddlethy Bottoms," and passed the yet burning camp-fires of an enemy's outpost. How the rebels had been startled by our sudden approaches; how our cavalry had dashed after them, but had been recalled by a peremptory order, that the possibility of an ambuscade justified; how narrowly they escaped, and how fast they ran, were the themes of camp-talk for an hour, and then the army silently sank down in the meadows. But for the bivouac fires, a passer-by, could he have evaded the vigilance of our sentries, might have fancied that he was traversing a solitude. But there was no evading those sentries! Hours after the soldiers, snugly wrapped in their blankets, and protected from the dews by the hay they had found in the meadows, were dreaming of homes, and sweethearts, and wives, the unwearied Colonel of the Ninth was passing around the whole line of our pickets, seeing that there was no break in the cordon of safeguards that surrounded the camp, and that no stupid sentry was leaving a gap for an enemy to enter. "I always see to these things myself," said the gallant Colonel and Commander of the Second Brigade, as he started on his rounds, "and I always know they are done."
The clammy fog was still clinging around the faces of the sleepers when the First Brigade was aroused, and by dawn the whole army was on the way. Suminersville lay before us, but eight miles distant. A regiment of rebels was reported by the country people to be holding the town. The column pushed steadily forward, occasionally breaking into the double quick as some rumor ran along the ranks that the advance was fighting. At last, distant firing was heard, a rapid march brought us into the single street of Summersville, and the rebels were seen scampering up a hillside beyond. The infantry halted in column in the road, a squad of cavalry dashed out toward Gauley Bridge, and while they were gone, we had leisure to learn that the pioneers of the advance had got within long musket range of a small party of the rebels, and had sent a few shots after them, though I
Meantime the general had already ordered forward the column, had gathered up the more intelligent of the citizens, and questioned them about the roads and by-ways, and all the topographical features of the country; had procured the official map of the county from the Clerk's office, and had learned from the frightened inhabitants all they knew or were willing to tell of the position, defences, and strength of the enemy. A leisurely half-hour's talk with the prisoners (one of whom was impudent, and both independent, as well as loud-mouthed in the declaration that, though we had caught them, Floyd would soon pepper us) completed the general's preparations for entering the immediate neighborhood of the enemy; and leaving the village, with the women crying, and the men not knowing how to comfort them, for fear our army would be speedily driven back, and Floyd would come trampling in upon us with his eight thousand, in their very streets, the general galloped to his place in the column.
The current belief-what General Rosecrans' information and opinions were, I cannot saythe current belief, based upon reports of the country people, statements of scouts, and admissions of the prisoners, was that Floyd was strongly intrenched at Cross Lanes, in such a position that, as he was said to have expressed it, he "defied the world, the flesh, and the devil." Our boys thought there was no necessity for his defying those parties-but let that pass. From Summersville to Cross Lanes was eight miles.
Shortly after leaving the village, we entered the ranges of hills that swell into mountains, on either side of the Gauley River. Presently a road was reached that led through ravines a short distance down to a ferry across the Gauley. It would not do to leave a passage by that ferry practicable in our rear, and Colonel McCook was ordered to take a squad of his cavalry, (Schaumbeck's, from Chicago,) proceed to the ferry, and destroy the boat. On arriving at the river, the boat was found to be at the opposite side, and a couple of men were directed to strip, swim over, and get it. As the swimmers struck out, armed men appeared on the other side, and a very sharp volley was poured into Colonel McCook and his little squad, who were standing on the bank, wounding one of the men seriously in the thigh. The cavalry returned the fire with spirit, but unluckily they
had no firearms, excepting the U. S. carbine- | spread a lovely variety of hill and dale, pastures stock horse-pistol, and the rebels were beyond and corn-fields, dotted with one or two snugtheir range. Seeing the predicament, Colonel looking little farm-houses, with orchards atMcCook instantly started a man back, asking tached, backed by the lofty heights that skirt that ten infantry should be sent to his aid. By the Gauley, and all were wearing that most some mistake the request was understood to be smiling of nature's expressions, when ardent for the Tenth Infantry, and the whole regiment summer is just ripening and softening to the presently came hurrying down. The Irish, mellow richness of autumn. keen for a fight, and desperately anxious to open the day well, at once commenced an infernal pop, pop, popping, that speedily made the woods on the other side too hot for the rebels. The swimmers then brought the boat over. It was a new one, just finished, and the tools employed in its construction were still in it. These were used to cut it in two, and the separate halves were then loaded with stone, and sent, sinking as they went, over the falls below.
Manifestly, the column was now near the enemy's lines, yet, contrary to the uniform experience in Western Virginia hitherto, no attempt whatever had been made to obstruct the road. Floyd was known to be advised of our approach, as his scouts had been hanging around us since we arrived at Birch River; and the inference naturally was, that, as he knew we were coming, and made no effort to stop us, he felt secure in his position, and wanted us to attack him. Finally, we arrived at forks in the road, one branch leading to Cross Lanes, the other turning down toward the river, passing a short distance behind Cross Lanes, crossing the Gauley by a ferry, and continuing on down on the other side to Gauley Bridge, thirty odd miles distant.
We must be on their lines, yet there was no firing. Colonel Lytle's Tenth Ohio, which had led the advance all the way, was ordered to proceed cautiously and slowly down the road, passing behind Cross Lanes, to make an armed reconnoissance. Meantime the suspicion began to be entertained, that the rebels might be concealed in some of the valleys, or behind the crests of the low hills on the left of the road; and the several brigades were ordered to form in line of battle, and deploy skirmishers to scout the entire suspected section. The manœuvre was promptly and handsomely executed. Meanwhile General Rosecrans found a steep hill on the right, which seemed to command the whole country; and, dashing up it, he examined every point minutely, and watched the progress of the skirmishers with field-glasses.
Viewed from the hill, the scene was an inspiring one. Away in front stood the remainder of the first brigade, drawn up in line of battle, facing in the direction Lytle had taken. On a gentle swell to the left, some distance back, stood McCook's entire brigade, as rigid as statues, and "looking for all the world like regulars," as a thorough military man said of them. On the right, and a little higher up, on a prolongation of the same swell, was Scammon's brigade, not making so long a line as the others, but looking their best. Around was
Down the road we knew that a regiment of Ohioans must be coming very near to death; above, the sun, that was lending such a glow to the peaceful expressions of nature, was also flashing on long lines of bayonets, and lighting up the stern countenances of an army of men, awaiting and eager for battle. And still there came no sounds save the twittering of birds, and the rustle of the breeze in the foliage.
Suddenly a musket-shot down the road, in the direction of Lytle's regiment, broke in upon the peaceful murmur. Quickly came another, and another. Again there was quiet, and again the straggling fire began. Evidently, Lytle's skirmishers were coming up to the enemy's pickets. Meantime McCook's skirmishers had thoroughly explored their territory, and had returned, reporting it entirely clear. Presently sharper firing was heard for a moment or two in the direction of Lytle's regiment; then it relapsed again into the straggling fire of pickets. Pushing forward, it was soon discovered that a strong detachment of the rebels, probably a regiment, had been driven in from an exposed camp on the left of the road, where much of their camp equipage was still left, though the more valuable part had apparently been removed early in the day. This camp must have been about a mile from the forks of the road, where the column had first halted and formed in line of battle.
Lytle's regiment continued pushing on down the road, which here plunged into a dense forest filled with undergrowth, almost impassable for infantry, and entirely so for cavalry. The road itself was tolerably good-muddy, but not deep, and more nearly level than would have been expected on such heights-but very narrow, and shut in, up to the very wagon tracks, with the jungle of underbrush. General Rosecrans, who was still in total ignorance of the exact position of the enemy, or of the nature of their intrenchments, now sent orders to General Benham that Lytle should proceed down this road to make an armed reconnoissance of the position, to be supported, if necessary, by the remainder of Benham's brigade. Lytle was still about a mile ahead of the rest of the brigade, pushing cautiously forward with four companies of skirmishers, A, B, C, and E, in advance; suddenly these skirmishers, compelled by the nature of the ground to proceed more in a body than would have been desirable, peering through the bushes that skirted a short curve in the road, found themselves about two hundred and fifty or three hundred yards in front of some sort of fortification; exactly what, it was impossible to see. The enemy