left the kanawha River on the 2nd instant to operate against the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. The withdrawal of so much force from the Kanawha Valley and my instructions to swing around to my left flank would leave my right exposed; consequently I sent Brigadier General W. W. Averell, with a mounted force of 2,000 picked men, to move via Logan Court-House to Saltville, on the railroad, to take and destroy that place if possible; thence to destroy the railroad to Dublin Depot so as to render that country untenable to the enemy, while I with the main infantry column, consisting of the First Brigade - Twenty-this Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Thirty-sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and parts of the Thirty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Mounted Infantry, and Fifth and Seventh Virginia Cavalry (all dismounted) - under command of Colonel R. B. Hayes; the Second Brigade - Twelfth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Ninety-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Ninth Virginia Infantry, and Fourteenth Virginia Infantry - under command of Colonel C. B. White; the Third Brigade - Third and Fourth Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, Eleventh and Fifteenth Virginia Infantry - under the command of Colonel H. G. Sickel, and the First Ohio Battery, Captain J. R. McMullin, and First Kentucky Battery, Captain D. W. Glassie, the whole numbering 6,155 men, moved by Fayetteville and Princeton. To deceive the enemy as to the route, I sent the Fifth Virginia Infantry, Colonel A. A. Tomlinson commanding, with Lieutenant Blazer's scouts, on the Lewisburg road, the colonel carrying out his part so well that the enemy withdrew his guerrillas from the princeton road, and not a hostile gun was fired at us until we reached the vicinity of Princeton, where we met a small company of cavalry, who, after skirmishing awhile with our advance, fled precipitately toward Rocky Gap. I learned at this place that McCausland's brigade had left here the evening previous for Lewisburg. So little did they except is on this route they had left their tents standing, and the tools they had been erecting fortifications with in their barracks, all of which were destroyed.
The next two days was occupied in marching to Shannon's Bridge, on the northwestern slope of Walker's or Cloyd's Mountains, a distance of forty-five mils. Nothing worthy of note occurred during this march, except the occasional firing of straggling bands that we paid no attention to. At Shannon's Bridge we were joined by Colonel J. H. Oley, Seventh West Virginia Cavalry, with 400 mounted men, who were to join me at Princeton, via Logan Court-House, but was prevented arriving on time by unforeseen circumstances.
Here I understood that the enemy were holding the summit of this mountain, and next morning (9th) I took the Second Brigade and two regiments of the Third Brigade and ascended the mountain to the left of the road, but when I reached the summit discovered the enemy in position on w wooded spur of this mountains some three-fourths of a miles distant, and opposite to and commanding the point where the road debouched from the mountains. From the summit of the mountain I sent the Second Brigade to our left and to turn the enemy's right flank, and taking the two regiments of the Third Brigade, I joined the remainder of the command, which by this time was descending the slope of the mountain. The enemy during this time kept up a grave-yard whistle with their artillery everywhere we made our appearance. The Second Brigade, having many sharp and brushy rifles and deep gullies to cross over, were a long time getting into position. I then sent the First Brigade to the left of the road to form in the edge of the woods to support and join on to