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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 161 Chapter XIV. ENGAGEMENT AT CARNIFIX FERRY, W. VA.

already twice fooled in going ot Carnifix, and there was great danger in my falling back at all, whit the probability of being ordered again to remain in camp.

But again, September 9, General Floyd addressed to me another dispatch, saying that the enemy at 5 o'clock p. m. of that day were advancing, about 4,000 strong, this side of Powell's Mountain; called upon me to hurry up Colonel Tompkins, and to send him at once 1,000 of my own men with one of my batteries. Again, September 9, in his dispatch Numbers 37, the enemy were advancing upon him through Webster under Rosecrans, and he ordered me to station my regiemtn of which he had sent at Dogwood Gap. Thus there was another perfect confusion of orders. Numbers 36 was received at 2.15 a. m., Numbers 37 at 2 p. m., September 10. (See the notes of verbal messages made by Mr. Lewis attached to dispatches 34 and 35.) I writhe to General Floyd September 10, 6.30 a. m., in answer ot all these orders and dispatches, and at 10 a. m. I informed him hat the enemy were advancing upon me. The same day he dispatched to me his order Numbers 38, in which he reprimanded my delay, and ordered me to send him 1,000 of my infantry and one battery of artillery; he also required me to reply, state the hour of receiving his order and ordered me to sent him 1,000 of my infantry and one battery of artillery; he also required me to reply, state the hour of receiving his order and that of starting my reply. I was then within half a mile of the Hawk's Nest, mounted, directing the advance of my van-guard against the enemy. This order was received at five minutes past 12 o'clock, and at 12.30 o'clock, by his own messenger, Mr. Carr, I returned him my answer Numbers 38, dated September 10, telling him the hour at which his letter was received, that it found me meeting an advance of the enemy threatening my picket at he Hawk's Nest, and that all my force of three regiments of infantry, four companies of artillery, and two companies of cavalry were under arms, to prevent, if possible, the success of an obvious attempt to turn our right flank and to pass us up the turnpike, most probably to the Saturday road, to gain Carnifix Ferry in his rear. I should therefore exercise a sound discretion in obeying his orders or not.

At 12 or 1 o'clock at night, September 10 and 11, Mr. Carr and Major Glass returned with General Floyd's dispatch Numbers 39, dated September 10, 8 p. m., ordering me on the receipt of it to dispatch to him all of my available force save one regiments, with which I would occupy my then position, unless I deemed it expedient ot fall back t a more eligible one. He informed me that the enemy had attacked him in strong force; the battle had been raging for three hours-from 4 till 7 p. m.; that he still held his position, and thought the enemy would renew the attack by daylight in the morning whit perhaps increased force.

Accordingly, the next morning I started to re-enforce him, and received verbal orders, when about half way tot he ferry, to turn back o Dogwood Gap. General Floyd had given up his position, without the loss of a man, after fighting successfully for three hours, and in the act of being re-enforced by nearly my whole command, and by the two regiments from North Carolina and Georgia, in all reinforcements amounting to upwards of 2,000 men.

On September 11, at 7 o'clock p. m., I addressed to General lee a letter, giving a report of General Floyd's retreat from Carnifix without loss of life or limb, but with considerable loss of public property.

On the same day I met General Floyd, just beyond Dogwood Gap, prostrate upon the ground, by the side of the turnpike. I rode up to him int he presence of several officers and asked him for orders. He replied that he did not know what orders to give. I had other conver-

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Page 161 Chapter XIV. ENGAGEMENT AT CARNIFIX FERRY, W. VA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 5, Part 1 (West Virginia)
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