ROCKY GAP EXPEDITION.
ON THE 5th day of August the command moved to Capon Springs, and the next day to picturesque little Moorefield, clamering over the mountains to reach this beautiful little valley. We had a lively bout with some rangers on the 5th, and on the night of the 6th they killed one and wounded four men of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania cavalry. On the 9th we marched to Petersburg, remaining there until the 19th. During our stay here we were annoyed a great deal by the bushwhackers, killing one of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania. The "Swamp Dragons," a company of about fifty union natives, who operated in the mountains, were doing a good work, and were able to meet the guerillas on an equal footing, being more than a match for their foes. August 19th the line of march was resumed, reaching Franklin that day, burning the Saltpetre works, and capturing the men that were operating them. The next day, we marched to Monterey, capturing a few prisoners. We reached Huntersville on the 22d, after a very dangerous and exciting march. We had considerable skirmishing, and our wagon train was attacked on the 21st, two of our men being wounded and several horses killed. The next day one of our command and two of the enemy were killed.
The brigade was joined at this place on the 23d by the Second Virginia and Tenth Virginia and two pieces of Capt. Keeper's battery. The Second Virginia left Buckhannon on the 20th of the month and made the march direct to Huntersville to join their command, meeting with the hidden enemy in the bushes and on the hillsides, not knowing what moment the last call should come to a brave comrade. The march was a hard, dangerous and severe one, but on rejoining their brigade the gallant boys forgot their fatigue and were anxious to meet the enemy now massing in their front under Gen. W. L. Jackson. The command resumed the march on the 24th, reaching Warm Springs shortly after dark, a distance of twenty-five miles. During the day the front of the column was severely bushwhacked, wounding a number of the command. We punished the enemy slightly in the same manner and captured on the march over one hundred saddles and bridles, which we burned, and at Warm Springs we captured a number of sabres, guns, etc. The next day we went about twenty-five miles in the direction of Lewisburg, having considerable skirmishing and making some unimportant captures. On the 26th we advanced thirteen miles, to within three miles of White Sulphur Springs, and at about 8 o'clock found our advance opposed by Gen. Jones at a place called Rocky Gap.
The enemy were strongly entrenched, with a clearing and corn field in their front. The Third and Eighth Virginia were dismounted and thrown out to the left of the road, and our regiment and a portion of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, dismounted, moved to the right of the road. Ewing's battery was ordered to take position on a slight elevation to the right of the road. Lieut. Shearer's section dashed into position quickly, followed by Lieut. Howard Morton with the remaining guns. A severe fire of canister greeted them from the enemy's guns, which were unmasked at point blank range, and in the few seconds required to get into action, a number of the battery were disabled, and a few of the horses were killed or disabled. Capt. Ewing, while seeking a better position for the battery was wounded, and carried from the field, leaving the battery in command of Lieut. Morton. Notwithstanding the terrible odds against them, the battery was worked with such telling effect, that the enemy's guns were soon rendered comparatively harmless for the rest of the action. Battery G had an accident happen to one of their pieces, that was out of the usual order. After the fight had begun, the battery was ordered into position, and went on a trot to the place designated. One of the pieces ran off the road alongside another one, and just then the confederates fired vigorously, frightening the horses, which were new to the work. They reared and broke the pole and the limber got fast on a stump, so the men could not unlimber the gun. Sergeant Evans then ordered the drivers to turn and pull the piece down on the road, so as to be on the level. Just as they did this, Charles Arbogast, the middle driver, was shot through the breast and fell from his horse. His brother, George Arbogast, who drove the wheel team, jumped off and caught his brother Charles, pulling him out of the way. As soon as the horses found they were not controlled, they made a jump and landed on the road, with the piece upside down. The lead driver, David R. Yingst, held on to the horses, and they lay in the middle of the road in full view of the enemy. The horses were then raised to their feet, after great difficulty, by the efforts of Sergt. Evans, Yingst and Billy Gibson, while one of their own pieces was firing grape right over them and a confederate battery was firing close to them. There was a rail fence near and the shots from the enemy struck the rails, throwing the pieces all over the men. After they got the horses up, a new pole was put in and the gun was put to work trying to make up for lost time. Gen. Averell was near by and complimented the men on their good work in righting the gun under such difficult conditions. The battery lost heavily in this battle. Capt. Ewing was severely wounded and left in the hands of the enemy, together with the killed and other wounded of the battery. The captain relates that when he found himself outside the protection of the old flag, he could not keep back the unbidden tear, and all the prisoners shared in the feeling. Samuel Lessig and Charles Arbogast were killed and Serg'ts. H. A. Evans, Adam Brown, and S. J. Osborne; W. F. McClure, Lawrence Marshall, John N. Taggart, Fred Rowe, George Hart, Phillip Zeigler, John Fife and James Metcalf were severely wounded. Sergt. Evans was struck on the right side of his head by a piece of shell, which exploded just over him, and all that saved him was it striking the hat band, which turned it out. He was knocked senseless and the bone badly shattered, seventeen pieces being taken out and it now troubles him severely.
While the battery was doing such effective work, the rest of the brigade were gallantly charging all along the line. Our regiment, supported on the left flank by one-half of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, advanced through the cornfield, meeting with a murderous fire from the enemy, safely posted behind their breastworks. We pressed onward, however, almost up to the fortifications, but were there met with such a withering fire that human endurance could stand it no longer, and we fell back a short distance, taking position in a gully, or dry creek bed, where we were partially sheltered. In that severe charge some of our bravest officers and men fell. Among the rest, the brave McNally, of our regiment, foremost in the line, waving his sword and cheering his men. The major had taken hold of one of the confederates and captured him, when they both fell at once, the confederate being instantly killed by his own men. The position of our regiment in the gulley was a very exposed one now, being far in advance of our line. Gen. Averell, who was directing movements from the center of the line, near Ewing's battery, ordered the part of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry that was mounted, to made a diversion by charging down the road toward the enemy's fortifications. This brave body of men made one of the most daring charges of the war, not only facing a murderous storm of leaden hail from the front but also, to their surprise, received an enfilading fire along their flank from a large body of infantry concealed in a cornfield to the left of the road. On they dashed, regardless of death and danger, and reached the breastworks of felled trees and fence rails thrown across the road. While endeavoring to force their way through, they were surrounded by the force upon their flanks and were nearly all killed, wounded or captured. During the excitement of this heroic charge, the survivors of the Second were withdrawn from their exposed position in the gulley to a safer position on the ridge in their rear. The Third and Eighth Virginia had also met a largely superior force of the enemy posted in their front, and although they struggled gallantly, were unable to dislodge them. After the heroic charge of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania down the road, had disclosed the presence of the enemy hid in the cornfield to the left of the road, Lieut. Morton, of battery G, changed front with four guns and swept the cornfield with canister, causing the enemy who were massed there, a greater loss in men than from any other source during the battle. Night put an end to the conflict, and both armies rested during the night.
Upon the approach of daylight the battle was resumed, and General Averell tried his best to break the enemy's line, but in vain. About 10:30 A. M. he discovered that the ammunition of both the battery and other troops was almost exhausted, and he reluctantly gave the order to withdraw, retiring in good order, traveling all day, that night, and the next day until 3 P. M., when we arrived at Huntersville, a distance of fifty miles. It was a fearful march, without rest, and constantly harassed by the bushwhackers, who seemed to be in every wooded place, whence they sent into our columns the death dealing bullets, There was not the slightest opportunity to defend ourselves, and it was warfare that was devoid of the excitement of the battle field, hence the harder to bear. The same evening we marched to Marlan's Bottoms, where we rested for the night.
A great deal of execution was done by parties of sharpshooters of our command that gained advantageous positions and struck the enemy at every opportunity. As an instance of this, there was one party composed of Charley Hixenbaugh, John N. Crow, Hiram Qualk, T. Dwyer and Silas J. Clendaniel, of Company I, with Jacob Simon of Company C, and some others, that gained the top of the ridge and there did good work. A singular thing is related by one of the boys relative to the three wounded men of Company I and their horses. The men were W. H. Billingsley, T. Dwyer and Lemuel Howe, who were also captured. Their horses, supposed to be in a comparatively safe place, were wounded and had to be shot.
The corps of pioneers plied their axes with good effect upon many large trees near the road, cutting them nearly in two. As the troops were withdrawn, battery G, with their guns double shotted with the last canister they had, grimly waited the expected advance of the exultant foe. As they came on with their usual yell, the battery boys let them have it red hot, and then limbering up their guns, with the new horses they had procured during the night, pulled out in a trot. The pioneers make their final cuts and the trees fell across the road, completely blocking it; as the confederate cavalry dashed up they were greeted with a volley from the rear guard lying behind the fallen trees, and who then galloped after the retreating column. Company C formed part of the rear guard, and on the morning of the 28th, in going around a steep hill, were fired upon by the enemy, who were concealed in the rocks above. Lorenz Turk was killed and Henry Myer was severely wounded. The company was then about two miles behind the column, and immediately put spurs to their horses to regain our forces. The road in some places was only about ten feet wide, with a deep ravine below. It was with difficulty that the horses could be ridden past and over the fallen body of Turk and of the horses that were also killed, and when Sergt. Graebe's horse came to the place he shied and went over the side of the road into a deep wash-out, striking on his head, with the sergeant beneath him. His comrades supposed he was killed and passed on. Though bruised considerably, the horse was able to get up after awhile, when Graebe mounted him and soon rejoined the company, to their great surprise. We continued our march on the 29th, arriving at Big Springs by evening, but did not stop, marching all night and the next day until evening, when we reached Huttonville, a distance of forty-five miles. It was a hard, trying march, and we were mercilessly bushwhacked, going into camp weary and sore, but with hope and courage for the future. In a little over three days we had marched over one hundred miles, about fifty hours of which were in line of march. On the 31st we returned to Beverly, where we went into camp and remained until November.
The confederate papers in their comments on the battle, said: "The Yankees, under the great raider Averell, took a summer jaunt to the White Sulphur Springs for the benefit of their health, and met with such a warm and cordial reception that many of them concluded to remain and take up their bounty land, but were satisfied with six feet of ground instead of a quarter section." They had little to boast of, however, for the retreat was a most orderly and well conducted one, we bringing off all our guns, wagons and ambulance, leaving behind our dead and those so badly wounded that they could not be moved, while the loss of the enemy was very great.
The losses of the brigade were 26 killed, 125 wounded and 67 captured -- total, 218. The losses of our regiment were as follows:
Killed--Rudolph Armstrong, Lorenz Turk, Company C; Asbury S. Davis, Company E; W. W. Carney, Company F; John Oakes, Company K.
Wounded--Major F. P. McNally, G. W. Miller, Sergt. Maj., John R. Thomas, Principal Musician, W. H. Graham, Company A; James Callahan, Kidd S. Simpson, Company B; James McAleer, Samuel Ray, Company D; Lieut. John C. French, G. F. Dillon, Calvin B. Martin, Morgan Rush, Fred Schaub, Company E; Hugh Smith, Company F, Aden Webb, Company H; T. Dwyer, W. H. Billingsley, Lemuel B. Howe Company I.
The following order was issued by Gen. Averell upon reaching Beverly:
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH SEPARATE BRIGADE, BEVERLY, W. VA., Sept. 1, 1863.
Special Orders, No. 45:
The brigadier general commanding desires to express to the officers and men of this command who took part in the recent expedition into the country occupied by the enemy, his high appreciation of the fortitude and gallantry they have displayed. You sought the enemy in his strongholds and drove him in confusion from his camps, destroying his military resources throughout a vast region. Relying upon the cooperation of other forces, which had been promised you, but which did not come, you attacked a superior force of the enemy with an impetuosity which dislodged him from his first position, and success was dawning upon your arms, when lack of ammunition obliged you to pause. Even then you stood fast, witnessing the fall of many noble comrades with a fortitude that the approaching reinforcements of the enemy could not disturb. When directed to withdraw, you retired with the dignity becoming soldiers baffled but not beaten. You have encountered cold and hunger, and the murderous shots of lurking cowards have been met with the indifference of tried courage. The combined efforts of the enemy failed to made us relinquish our purposes or prevent our return. Let the grief which fills our hearts for our fallen friends, render them stout in a just cause. Prepare at once for greater undertakings.
By command of BRIG. GEN. W. W. AVERELL.
C. FRED TROWBRIDGE, Capt. and A. A. A. G.
The following is General Averell's report of this expedition, the best account of the raid and battle that the writer has ever seen:
On August 5, I left Winchester and marched over North Mountain to Wardensville, twenty-eight miles. A lieutenant and ten men of Imboden's command were captured on the way by Capt. Von Koenig who led the advance during the day. I arrived at Moorefield with my command at 8:30 P. M., on the 6th, after a tedious march of thirty miles over a difficult road. At Lost river a company of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania was sent to Moorefield, via Harper's Mills, where it captured a lieutenant and a party of the enemy, but subsequently falling into an ambush after dark, lost its prisoners and thirteen men captured. Four of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania were wounded, and three of the enemy were killed and five wounded. On the 9th, I left Moorefield and marched to Petersburg, eleven miles, leaving Gibson's battalion on the South Fork. My command was at this time badly in want of horse shoes and nails, clothing and ammunition, requisitions for which had been made by my quartermaster, at Cumberland, on the 7th. The order of Brig. Gen. Kelley to move was received on the 15th, at Petersburg, but it was not until noon of the 17th that horse-shoe nails arrived. Some ammunition for Ewing's battery was also received, but I was unable to increase my supply for small arms which amounted to about thirty-five cartridges to each man. This was sufficient for any ordinary engagement, but we had a long march before us entirely in the country occupied by the enemy, and I felt apprehensive that the supply would be exhausted before the expedition should be ended. It was my opinion that the delay, which would ensue by awaiting the arrival of ammunition, would be more dangerous to us than undertaking the expedition with the supply we had. Therefore on the 18th, Col. Oley, of the Eighth West Virginia, was sent with his regiment up the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac, and Gibson's battalion up South Fork, and on the morning of the 19th I moved with the Third West Virginia, Fourteenth Pennsylvania cavalry and Ewing's battery nearly to Franklin, sending forward two squadrons to destroy the Saltpeter works, five miles above.
On 20th, I proceeded up the South Branch to Monterey, over a rough road, the Eighth West Virginia and Gibson's battalion joining the column on the march. A few guerrillas were captured on the road. At Monterey the quarterly court was found in session. Upon my arrival it was adjourned and the principal officia1s arrested. It was learned that Imboden had been there the day previous to hold a conference with Maj. Gen. Samuel Jones, upon the subject of attacking me at Petersburg. The road to Huntersville was taken on the 21st, as far as Gibson's store, my advance, conducted by Lieut. Rumsey, aide-de-camp, driving about 300 of the enemy before it, during the march, to within five miles of Huntersville. Our casualties during the day were only four wounded and six horses killed and disabled, although constantly annoyed by shots from guerrillas who infested the bushes along the way. Learning, during the night of the 21st, that the enemy had assumed a position in a ravine, about three miles from Huntersville, which was difficult to carry on account of the precipitous character of the sides, I made a false advance on the 22d with Gibson's battalion, while the main body taking a by-road to the right, reached Huntersville without meeting resistance, rendering the position of the enemy useless to him, and causing him to retire in haste toward Warm Springs. Col. Oley, with the Eighth West Virginia and one squadron of the Third West Virginia, was sent after the retreating enemy and overtook his rear guard at Camp Northwest, from whence it was driven several miles. Camp Northwest was burned and destroyed, with commissary buildings and stores, blacksmith shops, several wagons, a number of Enfield rifles, gun equipments and a quantity of wheat and flour at a mill close by. A large number of canteens, stretchers, and hospital supplies fell into our hands.
The 23d was spent at Huntersville awaiting the arrival of the Second and Tenth West Virginia. The Tenth and a detachment of about 350 of the Second West Virginia and a section of Keeper's battery arrived during the day from the direction of Beverly. The Second had 40 rounds of ammunition per man, with 1,000 rounds additional, which were transferred to the Third West Virginia. During the day a reconnoisance, under Lieut. Col. Polsley, Eighth West Virginia, was made toward Warm Springs. One lieutenant and five men of the enemy were captured, and 12 killed and wounded. Our loss was only five horses shot. On the 24th the march was resumed toward Warm Springs, through which Jackson and his forces were driven over the mountains east of that place toward Millborough. Our losses during the day were two men severely wounded, some slightly hurt and a few horses shot. Captured many arms, saddles, and other stores from the enemy. The forces under Jackson having been driven out of Pocahontas county too soon to permit them to form a junction with any other bodies of the enemy, and the prospect of overtaking him being very small, I determined to turn my column toward Lewisburg, hoping that my movement up to the Warm Springs had led the enemy to believe that I was on my way to his depots in the vicinity of Staunton. I relied also on some co-operation from the direction of Summerville. I therefore sent the Tenth West Virginia back to Huntersville, and on the 25th made a rapid march of 25 miles to Callaghan's, in Allegheny county, destroying the saltpeter works on Jackson's river, on my way. Arrived at Callaghan's, reconnoitering parties were sent to Covington and Sweet Springs. Some wagons of the enemy were captured near Covington, and the saltpeter works in that vicinity destroyed.
At 4 A. M. on the 26th my column was formed, enroute to White Sulphur Springs. The road crossed two mountain ranges before 10 miles had been traveled over. About 9:30 A. M., when about 12 miles from Callaghan's, a message from Capt. Von Koenig was received by me at the head of the column, that the enemy were resisting his advance, and desiring reinforcements. A squadron of the Second was sent on at a trot, and a squadron of the Eighth ordered forward. A few minutes elapsed when the enemy's cannon announced his purpose of disputing our farther progress and indicated his strength. I at once started the column forward at a rapid gait down through a narrow pass, which soon opened out into a little valley a mile long, inclosed on each side by rugged rocky heights, covered with a stunted growth of pine, oak and chestnut trees. At the opening, the projectiles from the enemy's cannon first struck the head of our column. A jutting cliff on the right afforded protection for the horses of the Second and Eighth, and the dismounted men of the Second were at once ordered to the summit of the ridge on our right, and the squadron of the Eighth dismounted to the hill on our left. A section of Ewing's battery was brought up rapidly and planted on the first available position, where it opened briskly and with great accuracy. The squadron of the Eighth, ordered to the left, mistook the direction in some way, and found itself on the right with the Second West Virginia. The main body of the Eighth West Virginia, led by Col. Oley, however, soon made their way to the crest on our left. The Third West Virginia and Fourteenth Pennsylvania were ordered forward, and came to the front, dismounted very soon. I beg to call your attention to the fact that my column of horses, nearly four miles long, was now in a narrow gorge, and that during the time necessary for the Third West Virginia and Fourteenth Pennsylvania to arrive at the front, it was necessary that Ewing, supported only by the advance guard, should maintain his position against an attack of the enemy's artillery and infantry combined. The Second on the right and the Eighth on the left, afforded some support, but Ewing's battery, with canister, not only resisted the approach of the enemy, but actually advanced upon him, in order to obtain a better position, and held him at bay until the arrival of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania and Third West Virginia, which were at once deployed to the right and left of the road, thus filling up the gap in my line. The enemy gave away his position to us and endeavored to assume another about half a mile in rear of the first, with his right resting upon rugged prominence, his center and left protected by a temporary stockade, which he had formed of fence rails. I resolved to dislodge him before he should become well established, and then if possible, to rout him from the field. One of the guns of Ewing had burst, and the other five were advanced to within 600 yards of the enemy. Capt. Von Koenig was sent to advance the Third and Eighth, orders were sent to the right also to advance. Gibson's battalion was thrown into a house and the surrounding enclosures which stood in front of the enemy's center. The enemy clung tenaciously to the wooded hill on their right, and Gibson's battalion was driven from the house by a regiment of the enemy, which at that moment arrived upon the field. I immediately caused the house to be set on fire by shells, which prevented the enemy from occupying it. The right was able to gain only a short distance by hard fighting. It then became an affair of sharpshooters along the whole line at a distance of less than 100 yards. The effort which my men had made in scaling a succession of heights on either hand, had wearied them almost to exhaustion. A careful fire was kept up by small-arms for three hours, it being almost impossible for either side to advance or retire. During this time I reconnoitered the position, going from the hills on the right to the left. At about 4 P. M. I determined to make another effort to carry the position. A squadron of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania, which had not been dismounted, was brought up and instructions sent to the commanders along the line that a cavalry charge was about to be made on the enemy's center, and directing them to act in concert. The charge was splendidly made by Capt. Bird, of the Fourteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, who led his men until he came to a stockade which the enemy had thrown across the road. Orders had been given to the officers commanding the regiments on the right, to press forward at the same time and endeavor to gain the Antony's Creek road, which came in on the enemy's left. The order to the Second to advance was conveyed by Lieut. Combs, the adjutant of that regiment, who delivered the order to that portion of the regiment nearest him. Maj. McNally on the right, and Lieut. Combs on the left, of the regiment, with less than 100 men, advanced on the enemy's line and drove them out of the stockade, leaving Maj. McNally mortally wounded in the hands of the enemy. The effect of the cavalry charge was to cause about 300 of the enemy to run away from the stockade, exposing themselves to a deadly fire from the Fourteenth Pennsylvania, Col. Schoonmaker, but their position was soon regained by their reserves. No united effort was made attain he road on the extreme right, as directed. Reports soon reached me from all parts of the line that ammunition was falling short. The slackened firing of the enemy evidently indicated that his supply was not plentiful. The night came with no change in position, and no tidings from the west, whence Gen. Scammon was expected. During the night all the ammunition in the wagons was brought up and equitably distributed, and every available man was brought to the front. It was quite evident to my mind that if the resistance of the enemy was kept up, I could go no farther in that direction. It was impossible to retire during the night without disorder, and perhaps disaster. By remaining until morning two chances remained with me; first, the enemy might retreat, and, second, Scammon might arrive. The morning showed us that both chances had failed, that the enemy had received ammunition, and that re-enforcements were coming to him from the direction of Lewisburg. The battle was renewed, but every arrangement made in rear for a prompt withdrawal. The ambulances loaded with wounded, the caissons, wagons, and long columns of horses were placed in proper order upon the road, details made for the attendance of the wounded, trees prepared to fall across the gorge when our artillery should have passed, and commanding officers received their instructions. The enemy's re-enforcements arrived and attempted to turn my left about 10 A. M. At 10:30 o'clock the order to retire was given, and in forty-five minutes from that time my column was moving off in good order, my rear guard at the barricades repulsing the enemy's advance twice before it left the ground. Successive barricades were formed and my column reached Callaghan's about 5 P. M., where it was halted, fires built, and the men and horses given the first opportunity to eat for thirty-six hours. After dark the fires were left burning and the column took the road to Warm Springs. A scouting party of the enemy in front of us had left word with the citizens that Jackson was at Gatewood's, with a strong force. This shallow attempt at deception did not deter us from marching to that point, where we arrived at daylight on the 28th. At 9 A. M. the march was resumed to Huntersville, without interruption, but with considerable annoyance from guerrillas. At evening we marched to Greenbrier Bridge, or Marlin's Bottom, where Col. Harris, with the Tenth West Virginia was posted. The ensuing day the command moved to Big Springs, where it was ascertained that a party of the enemy had entered the road before us for the purpose of blockading it. At 2 A. M., on the 30th, we were again en route, and at daylight came upon a blockade, half a mile long, made by felling large trees across the road. While delayed in cutting it out the animals were fed and a strong blockade made in rear. The command arrived at Beverly on August 31, having marched, since June 10, 636 miles, exclusive of the distance passed over by railroad, and of the marches made by detachments, which would increase the distance for the entire command to at least 1,000 miles. This command has been mounted, equipped and drilled; marched over 600 miles through a rugged mountainous region, fighting the enemy almost daily; had one severe battle; destroyed the camps of the enemy; captured large amounts of supplies and 266 prisoners, in less than eighty days. The strength of the enemy opposed to me in the engagement at Rocky Gap was 2,500, as near as could be ascertained by observations and from the reports of prisoners, and also from statements of rebel officers. I did not have 1,300 men in the front the first day. * * * *
The following is the report of Maj. Gen. Sam. Jones, commanding the confederate forces of the battle:
On the evening of August 23 I received information from Col. Wm. S. Jackson that Brig. Gen. Averell, U. S. Army, with a force estimated at over 4,000 men, consisting of cavalry, mounted infantry and artillery, was in motion from the direction of Moorefield. So far as I could ascertain, Gen. Averell was on a raid toward Staunton. He had driven Col. Jackson from Hightown and his camp near Huntersville, and he later had fallen back to Gatewood's on Back Creek, on the road from Huntersville to Warm Springs. I had a few days previously ridden over that road, Col. Jackson accompanying me part of the way, and from my own observations and his representations, believed that he could detain the enemy on that road long enough to enable me to send a force to his assistance or place it in the rear of the enemy. I accordingly ordered the First Brigade of my command, Col. George S. Patton, commanding, to move by the Antony's Creek road. I joined the brigade myself on that road on the 25th. On the morning of that day I received a dispatch from Col. Jackson, dated at 9 o'clock on the previous day, at Gatewood's. He informed me that he had driven back the enemy's skirmishers to his old camp near Huntersville. The tenor of the dispatch induced me to believe that he could not only check the opposing force at Gatewood's but could move up and join the First Brigade at the intersection of the Antony's Creek road from Huntersville to Warm Springs. I dispatched him, informing him of the movement of that brigade, directed him, if possible, to join it at the junction of the roads above mentioned. I have reason to believe that he never received my dispatch, and that it was intercepted by the enemy. While on the march on the 25th information was received, which I deemed reliable, that the enemy had not only driven Col. Jackson from Gatewood's but had forced him beyond Warm Springs. Still remaining under the impression that the destination of the enemy was Staunton, the First Brigade was ordered to turn off from the Antony's Creek road and take a shorter route to Warm Springs. After 10 o'clock that night information was received which satisfied me that the enemy had abandoned the pursuit of Col. Jackson. and that while the First Brigade was marching toward Warm Springs, Gen. Averell was advancing from Warm Springs to Callaghan's. I immediately ordered Col. Patton to return on the Antony's Creek road in the hope of intercepting the enemy on the road from the Warm to the White Sulphur Springs. By a night march our advance guard reached the intersection of the latter named road at the same instant that the head of Averell's column debouched from the defile through the Allegheny Mountains on the road from Callaghan's. Gen. Averell endeavored to force his way through, but the First Brigade was quickly placed in position when all engagement commenced, which, for five hours, was very warm and continued at intervals until dark. That night the troops occupied the same position that they had taken in the morning. The enemy made two vigorous attacks the next morning which were handsomely repulsed, when he abandoned his position and retreated towards Warm Springs. My cavalry and artillery were ordered in pursuit. For about ten or eleven miles the road passes through a narrow and thickly wooded defile. The enemy availed himself of the advantage offered to retard pursuit by felling trees across the road.The report of Gen. Jones shows his losses to be 20 killed, 129 wounded and 13 captured - a total of 162.