Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Skirmish

There is a lot known about the major battles but what about the little less known Skirmish, there were hundreds of them and one was no less important then the other. Many of you have letters, diary’s or family stories of a ancestor that told of him being in one of these skirmish’s, but you couldn’t find any information on it or very little. One reason some of these Skirmish, are not well known is that the report was noting more then a short paragraph, and not note worthy to any historians.

Here are some reports with what I thought were interesting titles, some will be long while others will no more then a short note.

Important note. I have thousands of names at this site, when asking about a name from this page or any other pages at this site, please give the ( Title of the page ), for without it I may not be able to help you. My address can be found in my profile.

AUGUST 31, 1861.-Skirmish at Munson's Hill, on Little River Turnpike, Va.

Report of Colonel George W. Taylor, Third New Jersey Infantry.


Bivouac at Intersection, September 2, 1861.

GENERAL: The pickets of the enemy having for some time been extremely annoying to our outposts on the Little River turnpike and on the road leading from thence to Chestnut Hill, I decided on making a reconnaissance in person, with a small force, with the view of cutting them off. Accordingly I marched with 40 men, volunteers, from two companies of my regiment, on the morning of the 31st august, at 3 a. m., and keeping to the woods, arrived soon after daylight at or near the point (a little beyond) at which I desired to strike the road and cut them off. Here we were obliged to cross a fence and a narrow corn field, where the enemy, who had doubtless dogged our approach through the woods, lay in considerable force. While in the corn we were suddenly opened upon by a rapid and sharp fire, which our men, whenever they got sight of the enemy, returned with much spirit. Scarce two minutes elapsed when I found 3 men close to me had been shot down. The enemy being mostly hid, I deemed it prudent to order my men to fall back to the woods, distant about 30 yards, which I did. At the same time I ordered enough to remain with me to carry off the wounded, but they did not hear or heed my order except two. With these we got.

all off, as I supposed (the corn being thick), but Corporal Hand, Company I, who, when I turned him over, appeared to be dying. I took his musket, all the musket of one of the wounded, and returned to the woods to rally the men. I regret to say that none of them could be found, nor did I meet them until I reached the blacksmith-shop, three-quarters of a mile distant.

Here I found Captain Regur, Company I, with his command. Re-enforcing him with 25 men of the picket, then in charge of Captains Vickers, Third Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, with the latter he immediately marched back to bring in Corporal Hand and any others still missing. He reports that on reaching the ground he found the enemy in increased force, and did not re-enter the corn field, in which I think he was justified.

I should have stated that quite a number of the enemy were in full view in the road when we jumped the fence and charged them, and that each man in the charge, Captain Regur leading by my side, seemed eager to be foremost; nor did one, to my knowledge, flinch from the contest until my order to fall back to the woods, which, unfortunately, they misconstrued into a continuous retreat to our pickets. The enemy seemed to have retreated very soon after, as the firing had ceased before I left.

The 3 wounded men are doing well, except 1.* As near as I can ascertain there 3 of the enemy shot down. The whole affair did not last ten minutes.
The officers with me were Captain Regur, Company I, First Lieutenant Taylor, and Second Lieutenant Spencer, both of the same company.

All of which I have the honor, respectfully, to report.

Colonel Third Regiment New Jersey Volunteers.

SEPTEMBER 2, 1861.-Skirmish near the Hawk's Nest, W. Va.

Reports of Brigadier General Henry A. Wise, C. S. Army.


From Carnifix Ferry I returned to Dogwood Gap, and finding my men very weary with their march to and from the ferry, I rested them for the night, and gave orders for them to move early in the morning upon the Hawk's Nest. Stripping each regiment of infantry down to six companies, or 300 men, with three pieces of artillery, and about 250 cavalry (making in all about 1,250), I marched the day before yesterday morning down to Hamilton's, within half a mile of the Hawk's Nest. Feeling our way cautiously, late in the evening I advanced upon Turnkey Creek, leading the advance guard myself in person. About disk we arrived at McGraw's bridge, over Turkey Creek, and were then fired upon (a very short time hotly) by the enemy, concealed in the corn fields and brush-wood on both sides, and just as we were crossing the bridge.

I am proud to say that the guard (Captain Summers' company) stood their ground and behaved handsomely, returning the fire promptly, and I led them across the bridge, the enemy disappearing before us on the quick advance of our column. Night coming on, I thought it prudent to rest on our arms for the time, and it is well did, for the next day (yesterday) I found him in ambuscade and entrenched very strongly at Big Creek. Crossing the creek over a narrow bridge, it passes up the right bank of the creek some 400 yards, and then turns through a gap, directly back, towards New River, around a high and isolated spur of mountain, and just at the turn a mountain road comes in to the turnpike from Rich Creek, on the Gualey.

There on the hills, in front, at the junction of the roads, and around the sharp angle of the turnpike, back of the mountain, I found the enemy in considerable force, impossible to be told, from their being perfectly concealed. Seeing no other alternative to drive them out, I determined to drop a battalion across the creek, and charge them in the front, on the mountain side, which was bravely done by parts of three companies, Summers', Rayn's, and Janes' (about 120 men). They crossed silently until they rose the hill, and then, with a shout, drove the enemy to the top, they flying most cowardly, dropping guns, hats, canteens, &c., until my men reached the top an got above them. I then brought up a howitzer, and with shot and shell soon cleared the front and sides of the mountain next to us, but soon found that the enemy were thick in the gorges of the creek running up towards Rich Creek Gap. There was danger then of their turning my right flank, and I found it hazardous to pass the gap in face of their rifled cannon, which they had played over our heads for some time.

Having sent the companies of the Second Regiment up Turkey Creek, to come around the head of Big Creek, in their rear or left flank, I paused to wait for Colonel Anderson to come upon them and to feel their position and numbers still further. In this time they were re-enforced with six companies and several pieces of artillery from Gauley. They had 1,250 in position, and their re-enforcements increased their numbers to 1,800 men of all arms, cavalry as well as infantry and artillery. They had about 75 horses.

Having attained my object, to secure Miller's Ferry and Liken's Mill (both essential to our uses), I fell back to Hamilton's, and an encamped there and at Westlake's Creek, guarding the ferry, the boat of which I have raised and an now repairing. But, sir, this point is liable to attack at all times from the rear by paths which converge from Gauley and Rich Creek at Sugar Gap, and come down to the turnpike at this place and at Shade Creek. I have left but six companies at Dogwood Gap, with two pieces of artillery, and have but three here to guard the three essential points.

As your forces are now near 3,000 men, I beg that you will return to my Legion the corps of artillery, with their guns belonging to it, which you have, the measles having so thinned my ranks that I need all the men belonging to my command and double as many more. I have ordered Caskie, with General Beckley's militia, down the Loop, and by this time they are there. The day before yesterday the fought the enemy at Cotton Hill, and drove them within 2 miles of Montgomery's Ferry. General Chapman has arrived there now with about 1,600 men, and our communication with him will be opened to-da or to-morrow. Some days ago you asked for Colonel Croghan. I now send him to you, to be transferred to your brigade if you desire it. If you will advance upon Gauley, I will amuse the enemy in front upon this road.

Very respectfully,

AUGUST 7, 1862.-Skirmish at Rocky Bluff, Platte County, Mo.

Report of Lieutenant Colonel John T. Burris, Tenth Kansas Infantry.

Fort Leavenworth, Kans., August 9, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that in pursuance of verbal instructions received from Brigadier General J. G. Blunt, commanding Department of Kansas, I marched from this post and from Leavenworth City at sunset on Sunday, the 3rd instant, with Companies A and D, Eighth Kansas Volunteers, commanded respectively by Captain Abernathy and First Lieutenant Todd; a battalion of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry, under Major Schroeling, and two sections of the post battery, commanded by First Lieutenant Charles S. Bowman, Fourth U. S. Cavalry, assisted by First Lieutenant J. M. Laing, of the Sixth Kansas Volunteers. Volunteer aides for the expedition, Major Charles W. Blair, of the Second Kansas Volunteers; Majors Vaughn and Quidor, of General Blunt's staff; Captain R. H. Offley, First U. S. Infantry; Captain J. B. Stockton, First Kansas Volunteers; Lieutenants Hill and Loring, of General Blunt's staff, and Lieutenant H. Sachs, Third U. S. Cavalry, post adjutant.

Being detained at the ferry below the city until after midnight we did not reach Platte City, Mo., until 6 a. m. of Monday, the 4th instant. At that point I was joined by another small detachment of the Third Wisconsin Cavalry, under command of Major E. A. Calkins, who now assumed command of the cavalry. The men being greatly fatigued and horses much jaded from a night march over muddy, difficult roads, I laid over with the command at Platte City until 2 p. m., when we marched to Barry, a distance of 15 miles.

On the following day, at 6 a. m., I started the infantry and artillery, in command of Captain Abernathy, on the road direct to Liberty, Clay County, and made a detour with the cavalry in the direction of Kansas City, and joined Captain Abernathy at Liberty in the evening.

On Wednesday, the 6th instant, at 7 a. m., I marched with he entire command by a more northerly route back to Platte city, a distance of 30 miles. On my arrival at the latter point, on the same evening, I learned of the existence of a camp of guerrillas at Rocky Bluff, on the south side of the Platte River, 5 miles above the city, and was also informed that abridge, 12 miles distant,was the nearest point above the city at which the river could be crossed. I accordingly, at 11 o'clock that night, started Adjutant Welch, of the third Wisconsin Cavalry, with 40 men from that regiment and 10 of the Missouri State Militia, up the north side of the river, to take possession of the bridge, and thereby cut off the enemy's retreat; and at 3 a. m. on Thursday, the 7th instant, I marched with my main force up the south side of the river and came upon the enemy soon after sunrise, when, after a sharp fire, which lasted only for a few minutes, the guerrillas were driven from their position and fled in confusion, leaving some of their horses and arm and all of their camp equipage behind.
The only casualties on our side were 2 men wounded, 1 severely. The enemy's could not be definitely determined. Three of their number are known to have been killed, several wounded, and 6 were taken prisoners. It is believed that others were killed, both in the brush and river, as they attempted to swim it.

Captain Abernathy's company (A) was the first to reach the enemy's fortification, and the firing from our side was mainly from that and Lieutenant Todd's company (D). Owing to the nature of the ground and the dense forest in which their camp was situated our artillery could not be brought to bear upon them; but Lieutenant Bowman, assisted by Captain Offley and Lieutenant Laing, promptly pushed forward and placed in position each piece, as near as it was possible to get for the trees and logs. For the same reasons it was almost impossible for the cavalry to operate effectively, but the battalion of the Third Wisconsin, under Majors Calkins, Schroeling, and Blair, charged furiously after the feeling rebels among trees, logs, and rocks, until they were lost sight of in the almost impenetrable forest above the camp.

It was impossible to form a definite idea as to the force of the enemy, but they were reported to be two companies, commanded respectively by Jones and Patten. They had but few tents, which were dirty and ragged, and but little other camp equipage, and that almost worthless.

There were three horses in the vicinity, which were evidently being used as quarters for the enemy, all of which were vacated as we approached, their occupants fleeing with arms in their hands to the rebel fortification. These houses, together with all their tents and camp equipage, we burned; their provisions found at the camp we appropriated, and their breakfast, which was already prepared, we ate. Having started on the expedition without transportation or subsistence, we were obliged to seize and use such property as was found necessary to transport and subsist the command.

The duties of acting quartermaster and commissary were ably and satisfactorily performed by Captain Stockton, assisted by Lieutenants Loring and Hill. Major Quidor, medical director, rendered efficient service in taking care of the few wounded and sick. Lieutenant Sachs, my adjutant, was constant and faithful in his attendance and energetic in the discharge of his duties, and the entire command, both officers and soldiers, are entitled to credit for their prompt and uniform obedience to orders, their general good conduct and soldier-like bearing, and for the faithful discharge of all the duties devolving upon them.

I marched from Rocky Bluff, via Camden Point and Weston, to this post, where I arrived on the 8th instant. Twenty colored men, some of whom we had used as guides, teamsters, &c,. and a portion of whom had without employment followed in our rear, marched after us into Kansas.
I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Lieutenant-Colonel Tenth Kansas Volunteers, Commanding.

AUGUST 23, 1862.-Skirmish near Wayman's Mill, on Spring Creek, Mo.

Report of Colonel John M. Glover, Third Missouri Cavalry.

HEADQUARTERS ROLLA DIVISION, Rolla, Mo., August 25, 1862.

COLONEL: The expedition under Captain Avery, with 200 men of the Third Missouri Cavalry, sent out on the night of the 22nd instant to intercept the rebel Colonel Crabtree and his 250 or 300 recruits (who killed Lieutenant [John] Heusack, of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, on the 23rd instant), returned last night at 7 p. m. A portion of his force fell in with some 60 of the enemy near Wayman's Mill, 25 miles southwest of this, killing 6, wounding 1 (mortally), and capturing 8 prisoners, 12 horses, and some arms. The most of the latter were destroyed on the ground. The prisoners were turned over to a guard of 12 men, in charge of a sergeant of the Fourth Missouri Cavalry, to be conveyed to Fort Wayman. On the way an attempt to escape was made by the prisoners, in which 2 succeeded, 1 was killed, 2 mortally, 1 severely, and 1 slightly, wounded. Two of the wounded have since died, and one of the escaped has since been recaptured. Being first induced to believe that the killing and wounding of the prisoners was a wanton act I had the sergeant and his guard placed in confinement; but, on investigation, I learned from the prisoners themselves that a portion of them did attempt to escape, which resulted in the killing and wounding of those who wee least guilty.

The names of those captured are Robert Barnett, James Scott, Jonathan M. Stork, John B. Walthall (dead), Lieutenant William A. Edwards (dead), Elias Hopman (shot in hip), Edmund B. Dixon (slight saber wounds on head, and nephew of Honorable Thomas Price, of Jefferson City), and John Stephens. One of the men, who died from wounds (saber cuts on face and head) could not be identified. The prisoners were principally from Cole County, Missouri. After the firing on and killing of Lieutenant Heusack beyond Little Perry Crabtree's men scattered, or their chastisement would have been greater.

Colonel, permit me to say I believe my regiment has done more hard work than any cavalry regiment in the United States. My stock are used up. If it be possible I would like them to have some relief from their excessive duties, which, although they have ever been active since our arrival here, have been continuous almost night and day; my available force having been less than that of any division commander in the State, with as great, if not greater, responsibilities than any.

In haste, colonel, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Division.

AUGUST 24, 1862.-Skirmish on Coon Creek, near Lamar, Mo.

Report of Brigadier General James G. Blunt, U. S. Army.

In the Field, Fort Scott, Kans., August 26, 1862.

SIR: Your dispatch, dated Saint Louis, the 23rd instant, via Springfield, is just received. I have about 4,000 troops and thirty pieces of artillery in the field here. In addition to this force I have three Indian regiments that are now south of this point, in the Indian Territory. I also expect that my available force in the field will soon be augmented by the addition of new regiments, now being organized. I shall be ready to co-operate with General Brown or other Missouri troops at any time, either on the defensive or aggressive.

In my chase after Coffee's, Cockrell's, Hunter's, Tracy's, and Jackman's forces my advance followed them as far south as Carthage, the main column halting at Montevallo. The rebels being determined to make good their retreat, and our stock being so used up, I could pursue them no farther. They kept the two pieces of artillery (taken from Major Foster) all the time in the advance, but so hard were they pursued that we passed many of their horses lying dead by the road-side, the men taking to the brush when they could not obtain other horses to mount. The road was strewn with hats and caps, which the rebels had dropped from their heads while sleeping in the saddle.

About 300 of my advance of cavalry, while returning from Carthage to this place, by easy marches, on the 24th instant, suddenly, encountered, 8 miles south of Lamar, the forces of Quantrill, hays, and one Colonel Shelby, from Lexington, with a force estimated at from 800 to 1,200. After a short skirmish our troops were compelled to retire, with the loss of 5 men killed and 15 wounded. On learning of the affair I immediately sent out re-enforcements, but the rebels had moved rapidly south.

It now appears that all of the organized rebel forces south of the Missouri River have gone to Arkansas. I would therefore suggest that all of the troops in Missouri, except a few to garrison important points, be moved south in mass, the line of march extending across the State east and west, and that they leave no rebels in their rear, but, instead, peace and security to loyal citizens, thus driving them all in front of you to the Arkansas line. You will then be ready to co-operate with my forces on the west and General Curtis' on the east, and we can make a campaign through Arkansas and Texas that will force them either to make a stand and fight or jump into the Gulf of Mexico. Both of those States are rich in supplies to subsist an army, and should be appropriated for the subsistence of our forces as well as those of rebels. I trust you will consider the suggestion I have made, and write me your opinion in the matter.

I have the honor, general, to be your obedient servant,
JAS. G. BLUNT, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

AUGUST 24, 1862.-Skirmish on Crooked Creek, near Dallas, Mo.

Report of Major Bazel F. Lazear, Twelfth Missouri Cavalry (Militia).

GREENVILLE, MO., August 29, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in accordance to orders from Lieutenant-Colonel Simpson, we broke up camp at Patterson on Friday, 22nd instant, and marched to Greenville, where I was joined by Company E, making an aggregate of 268 men of the First Battalion, Twelfth Regiment Cavalry, Missouri State Militia. Met messenger here, who informed me that Jeffers was near Dallas, recruiting, having a force of from 300 to 400 men. Left same night and arrived at Dallas next day. Could hear nothing certain of Jeffers.

Sunday morning, 24th instant, sent out scouts. At 12 m. messenger reported Jeffers' camp on Crooked Creek. Went out with 110 men, making an aggregate of 130. When we joined the scouts found out they knew nothing of the situation of the camp. proceeded down Crooked-Creek some 2 miles, when Captain Leeper, whose company was in advance, came suddenly upon the enemy, strongly posted behind a corn-field fence. Captain Leeper's horse was shot under him, when his whole company wheeled, without firing a gun, and came rushing back through the lines of Company A, throwing them into confusion. They next came to Companies E and F, who were in line, breaking up their line and creating a panic among the men; and in the mean time the rebels, seeing our confusion, advanced rapidly, keeping up a rapid fire, having every advantage of ground and bushes. Our men kept up a fire, falling back all the time, and it was impossible to get them in line until we had fallen back some half a mile, when I succeeded in getting some 20 to dismount and form behind a picket fence, where they poured a strong fire into the advancing rebels, checking their advance and driving them back, but I could not get men enough in line to follow them, and was content with recovering our dead and some horses that had been left. Found next day that the rebels had fled, leaving 5 horses (1 badly wounded), a wagon, lot of bacon, corn, and camp equipage.

Rebel force reported 500. Their loss was 6 killed that we know of. Some reports say they lost 40 killed and wounded. Our loss was 3 killed, 6 wounded, and 2 missing. Horses, 3 killed in the field, 4 died that night, and 12 severely wounded. one of the missing was taken prisoner and exchanged for a citizen, and returned to camp this morning. The other, understood to be wounded and at home, not far from the battle ground. Arms lost, 3 carbines, 1 Enfield rifle, 1 holster, and 1 Savage revolving pistol.

I felt at first very much disposed to blame the men, but they deserve credit for not running clear off the field. During the panic the officers, one and all, did all that men could do to rally their men. We wee in hot pursuit of Jeffers and 200 of his gang, but, receiving two orders from Colonel Simpson (one of which was made when he knew we were likely to be on the trial of the rebels, I supposed it was important to return, reaching this place yesterday evening.
This morning Companies E and F left for Fredericktown. Feed and provisions abundant about Dallas, and all owned by rebels.

Very respectfully,
Major First Battalion Twelfth Regiment Cavalry, Mo. S. M.

APRIL 17, 1864. - Skirmish in Limestone Valley, Ark.

1. Colonel John E. Phelps, Second Arkansas Cavalry.

In the Field, April 23, 1864.

GENERAL: On the 14th instant I ordered Major Melton with 110 men to go and find Sissell and his band. He started on the 15th.

Captain Bailey, of my regiment, then on the way from Berryville with his company, was also ordered to march upon Sissell and attack him simultaneously with Major Melton, from another direction. In the mean time Sissell had moved camp, and instead of attacking at the same time, the two detachments falling in with one another formed junction and sought Sissell. He was encamped in Limestone Valley. Major Melton became informed of his position. He had encamped within 3 miles of Sissell, and at early dawn of the 17th instant attacked him. The enemy, surprised, barely attempted to form and scattered. Captain Orr, Second Arkansas Cavalry, had advanced on their right. Major Melton, who had come upon the rear, seeing the rebels breaking, ordered the charge. They fled in dismay, a race for life. In the charge and in the pursuit for 8 miles, 30 were killed, a number wounded, and 8 taken prisoners, 23 head of horses captured, and some 25 stand of arms, the larger portion of which was destroyed. Major Melton returned to Buffalo River, whence in pursuit of Cooper, according to my orders, he swept down King's River and scoured all the country on that stream and Osage without finding anything of Cooper, who had disbanded, and from the information obtained returned to the Buffalo Hills. The train of Captain Roberts had been destroyed. I am awaiting information from him.

Major Melton, out of rations, unable to follow, reported in camp yesterday, the 22nd instant, without any casualty whatever. He had taken his scout into five counties, and ridden over 200 miles. He reports neither rebel nor Federal force at Kingston, and 65 of the Arkansas militia at Huntsville.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Arkansas Cavalry Commanding.

2. Colonel Gideon M. Waugh, Second Arkansas Infantry.

CLARKSVILLE, April 18, 1864.

GENERAL: On Saturday evening I sent out a scout north, under Lieutenant Hunter to see what the enemy were doing in that direction. On Sunday morning Lieutenant Hunter formed a junction with a scouting party of Second Arkansas Cavalry, under Major [Captain] O'Brien, and surprised the rebel camp under Sissell, 180 strong, killing 30, capturing a large number of blankets, horses, saddles, and arms. Fight occurred 27 miles northeast, in Limestone Valley. I have sent out a heavy scout to hunt up a rebel camp, said to be 18 miles from this post. If I can find their camp I will clean them out. I can get no information from the citizens. I need more cavalry here.

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Post.

MAY 1, 1862. - Skirmish on Camp Creek, in the Stone River Valley, W. Va.


1. Brigadier General Jacob D. Cox, U. S. Army.

CHARLESTON, May 2, 1862.

Colonel Scammon's advance guard had a skirmish with about 300 rebels at Camp Creek, a fork of Blue Stone, yesterday morning. Six of the enemy were killed and a considerable number wounded and prisoners. We lost 1 man killed and 20 slightly wounded. The rebels were completely routed and fled. Full particulars will be sent in official report.
Scouting party from Forty-seventh, on Lewisburg road, took 4 prisoners near Sewell Mountain. No additional news of enemy's force or position. Weather clear to-day.

J. D. COX,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.

2. Colonel E. Parker Scammon, Twenty-third Ohio Infantry.

RALEIGH, May 1, 1862.

GENERAL: This morning at daylight the advance guard of Lieutenant-Colonel Hayes, a company of Twenty-third Regiment, under Lieutenant Bottsford, was surrounded and attacked by about 300 rebels at Camp Creek. Lieutenant Bottsford reports 1 an killed and 20 wounded, all but 3 or 4 slightly; 6 or 7 enemy killed; wounded not yet known. Six prisoners; 3 wounded had been taken and others being brought in when messenger left. The enemy fled, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hayes had reached Camp Creek.

In answering Lieutenant-Colonel Hayes' dispatch, while giving due praise for gallantry, I have not hesitated to speak in rebuke of this matter, because Lieutenant Bottsford was 6 miles in advance, when the whole tenor of my orders has been to keep closed. Happily the men behaved excellently, and defeated and drove the enemy, but this stretching of short lines must cease, or we shall have a break.

It is now raining again; by the time it clears I expect to move forward with the Thirtieth and the artillery. Have ordered five companies of the Thirty-fourth to be here by Saturday, 4 p. m.

Colonel, Commanding Brigade

3. Colonel Walter H. Jenifer, Eighth Virginia Cavalry.


Wytheville, Va., May 6, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit my report of a skirmish with the enemy near Princeton, Va., on the 1st instant.

On April 30 it was reported to me at Rocky Gap that the enemy was advancing on Princeton from the direction of Raleigh. In consequence of this report I ordered out Lieutenant-Colonel Fitzhugh, with about 120 cavalry (dismounted) and some 70 or 80 militia, to meet the enemy and to detain him, if possible, until I could remove the few remaining stores from Princeton to Rocky Gap. I also ordered up the Forty-fifth Regiment (Colonel Peters) to the support of Colonel Fitzhugh; but before this regiment could reach Princeton the enemy had advanced so rapidly that, fearing Colonel Peters would be cut off, I ordered him back to his camp, and on returning his regiment was ambushed by the enemy and thrown into some confusion. Colonel Peters succeeded, however, in repulsing the enemy, and reached his camp without losing any of his men or property.

In order to enable me to save the stores and property at Princeton it became necessary to engage the enemy's advance column, which Colonel Fitzhugh did, inflicting considerable loss on the enemy. The fight was kept up for thirteen hours, and a distance of 22 miles was well contested by the small force under Colonel Fitzhugh.

During the engagement we lost 1 killed, 4 or 4 seriously wounded, and 8 or 9 slightly wounded. The wounded were all brought off safe from the field; the few who were seriously wounded were taken to houses near the field. The enemy's loss is supposed to be 35 in killed, wounded, and missing.

Colonel Fitzhugh and the officers under him deserve much credit for their gallant conduct during the fight. Colonel Fitzhugh managed his small command with much skill and judgment.

I evacuated Princeton just as the enemy entered it, having first fired the town. All my stores were saved except a few, which the scarcity of transportation prevented me from taking away. No arms or ammunition were destroyed.

After leaving Princeton i fell back in good order to Rocky Gap, at which place I remained some twenty hours. Having only 75 men with me, the remainder of my regiment being on distant duty, I considered it proper to fall back to Walker's Mountain, on the Wytheville road. Having previously ascertained the force of the enemy in Mercer County to be several thousand strong, and knowing that Colonel Peters, whose camp was at the mouth of Wolf Creek, had no artillery to use against the enemy should he make an advance on that line, I ordered him to fall back with his command to Walker's Mountain, a strong position on the Dublin road. The stores at Giles Court-House I had several weeks before ordered to be removed to Dublin. Nearly all of those stores except some flour, which fell into the hands of the enemy, were saved. The reported superior force of the enemy and the very small force under my command rendered it necessary for me to pursue the course I did. I am willing to receive the censure, as I assumed the responsibility, if I have saved any of our gallant soldiers from being captured by a largely superior force of the enemy.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Department of New River.

JUNE 8, 1862.-Skirmish at Muddy Creek, W. Va.

Report of Major John J. Hoffman, Second West Virginia Cavalry.

CAMP MEADOW BLUFF, W. VA., June 9, 1862.

COLONEL: In obedience to your order of the 8th I took with me Captains Powell, Dove, and Behan, of the Second Battalion Second Virginia Cavalry, and traveled in the direction of Alderson's ferry via Blue Sulphur.; When within about 2 1/2 miles from the ferry and 1 1/2 miles from the small village of Palestine I found a squad of 14 men, belonging to the Greenbrier and White's cavalry, dismounted and standing picket, under the command of First Lieutenant Hawver, of the Greenbrier cavalry. They retreated to the woods, and I pursued them through the woods and fields about 1 1/2 miles to Muddy Creek. Here 1 man (McClung) surrendered, and in crossing the creek we killed 2, who fell in the stream and floated down.

The creek was deep, the bottom covered with loose stone, and the current swift, and we were delayed some time in crossing.

After crossing we killed Lieutenant Harover, whose body we left in charge of one Baker (citizen), and captured 1 prisoner (Graves, from Lewisburg). We took two double-barreled shot-guns. The picket had left their horses across the river, at the ferry, with a guard. The river was too deep and rapid to ford, and having no boats we were unable to get at them.

There are no boats at this ferry, nor at any of the crossings above or below that I could hear of. I did not go to Haynes' Ferry, about 8 miles below, and a rough road. I learned that near Haynes' Ferry there was a road (very rough) leading on to Lick Creek, and from there across tot he Gauley road, near the top of Little Sewell. None of my command were hurt, and both officers and men are entitled to credit for the promptness and zeal with which they executed their orders. Two horses of Captain Powell's company died from fatigue. Four miles beyond Blue Sulphur there is a large quantity of hay, but no grain that I could find. From Blue Sulphur to the ferry the road, with the exception of a few slips, is tolerably good, and on this side the Springs there is a very large slip on the mountain side.

could not hear of any Confederate troops this side of the river, and heard that General Heth's forces were still at the Salt Springs, beyond Union.

Respectfully, yours,
Major Second Battalion Second Virginia Cavalry.

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