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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 5, Part 1 (West Virginia)
Page 191 Chapter XIV. OPERATIONS IN CHEAT MOUNTAIN, W. VA.

skirmishing lasted about thirty minutes, but the whole time we held the grounds was one hour.

I wish to call the attention of the colonel commanding this post to the general bravery and coolness of all the men under my command during the engagement. Particularly I wish to notice the gallant conduct of Lieutenant M. N. Green, of Company B, Fourteenth Indiana, and Lieutenant John T. Wood, of Company H, Twenty-fifth Ohio, whose steady coolness and daring example had great force in keeping the deployed line unbroken and in causing so destructive a fire to be poured upon the enemy.

I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

DAVID J. HIGGINS,

Captain Company C, Twenty-fought Ohio Infantry, Commanding Scout.

Colonel NATHAN KIMBALL, Commanding Post.


Numbers 6. Report of Colonel Albert Rust, Third Arkansas Infantry.

CAMP BARTOW, September 13, 1861-10 p. m.

GENERAL: The expedition against Cheat Mountain failed. My command consisted of between 1,500 and 1,600 men. Got there at the appointed time, notwithstanding the rain. Seized a number of their pickets and scouts. Learned from them that the enemy was between 4,000 and 5,000 strong, and they reported them to be strongly fortified. Upon a reconnaissance their representations were fully corroborated. A fort or block-house on the point or elbow of the road, entrenchments on the south, and outside of the entrenchments and all around up to the road heavy and impassable abatis, if the enemy were not behind them. Colonel Baton, my lieutenant-colonel, and all the field offices declared it would be madness to make na attack. We learned from the prisoners they were aware of your movements, and had been telegraphed of re-enforcements, and i heard three pieces of artillery pass down toward your encampment while we were seeking to make na assault upon them.

I took the assistant commissary, and for one regiment I found upon his person a requisition for 930 rations; also a letter indicating they had very little subsistence. I brought only one prisoner back with me. The cowardice of the guard (not Arkansan) permitted the others to escape. Spies had evidently communicated our movements to the enemy. The fort was completed, as reported by the different prisoners examined separately, and another in process of construction. We got near enough to see the enemy in the trenches beyond the abatis. The most of my command behaved admirably. Some I would prefer to be without upon any expedition.

General Jackson requests me to say that he is in possession of the first summit of Cheat Mountain, and hopes you are doing something in Tygart's Valley, and will retain command of it until he receives orders from your quarters. My own opinion is that there is nothing to be gained by occupying that mountain. It will take a heavy force tot make the pass, and at a heavy loss. I knew the enemy had four times my force; but for the abatis we would have made the assault. We could not get to them to make it. The general says, in his note to me, his occupying Cheat Mountain may bring on an engagement, but he is pre-


Page 191 Chapter XIV. OPERATIONS IN CHEAT MOUNTAIN, W. VA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 5, Part 1 (West Virginia)
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