with eight ot twelve pieces of artillery, under command of General R. E. Lee, advanced on this position by the Hountersville pike. Our advanced pickets, portions of the Fifteenth Indiana and Sixth Ohio, gradually fell back to our main picket station, two companies of the Seventeenth Indiana, under Colonel Hascall, checking the enemy's advance at the Point Mountain turnpike, and then falling back on the regiment, which occupied a very advanced position on our right front, and which we now ordered in. The enemy threw into the woods on our left front three regiments, who made their way to the right and rear of Cheat Mountain, took a position on the road leading to Huttonsville, broke the telegraph were, and cut off our communications with Colonel Kimball, Fourteenth Indiana, commanding on Cheat Summit. Simultaneously another force of the enemy, of about equal strength, advanced by the Staunton pike in the front of Cheat Mountain, and threw two regiments to the right and the rear of Cheat, which united with the three regiments from the other column of the enemy. The two posts, Cheat Summit and Elk Water, are 7 miles apart by a bridle-path over the mountains, and 18 miles by the wagon-road, via Huttonsvile; Cheat Mountain Pass, the former headquarters of the brigade, being at the foot of the mountain, 10 miles from the summit. The enemy advancing towards the pass, by which he might possibly have obtained the rear or left of Elk Water, was there met by three companies of the thirteenth Indiana, ordered up for that purpose, and by one company of the Fourteenth indiana, from the summit. These four companies engaged and gallantly held in check greatly superior numbers of the enemy, foiled him in his attempt to obtain the rear or left of Elk Water, and threw him in the rear and right of Cheat Mountain, the companies retiring to the pass at the foot of the mountain. The enemy, about 5,000 strong, now closed in on Cheat Summit, and became engaged with detachments of the Fourteenth Indiana, Twenty-fifth Ohio, from the summit, in all only about 300, who, deployed in the woods, held in check and killed many of the enemy, who did not at any time succeed in getting sufficiently near the field redoubt to give Daum's battery an opportunity of firing into him.
So matters rested at dark on the 12th, with heavy forces in front and in plain sight of both posts, communication cut off, and the supply train for the mountains, loaded with provisions which were needed, waiting for an opportunity to pass up the road. Determined to force a communication with Cheat, I ordered the Thirteenth Indiana, under Colonel Sullivan, to cut their way, if necessary, by the main road, and the greater part of the Third Ohio and Second Virginia, under Colonels Marrow and Moss, respectively, to do the same by the path. The two commands started at 3 o'clock a. m. on the 13th, the former from Cheat Mountain Pass and the latter from Elk Water, so as to fall upon the enemy, if possible, simultaneously. Early on the 13th the small force of about 300 form he summit engaged the enemy, and with such effect that, notwithstanding his greatly superior numbers, he retired in great haste and disorder, leaving large quantities of clothing and equipments on the ground, and or relieving force, failing to catch the enemy, marched tot he summit, securing the provision train and reopening our communication. While this was taking place on the mountain,a nd as yet unknown to us, the enemy, under Lee, advanced on Elk Water, apparently for a general attack. One rifled 10-pounder Parrott gun from Loomis' battery was run to the front three-fourths of a mile and delivered a few shots at the enemy, causing him to withdraw out of convenient range and doing fire execution. Our relative position remained.