No. 13. Report of Colonel John McCausland, Thirty-sixth Virginia Infantry, commanding Fourth Brigade.
HDQRS. FOURTH BRIGADE, ARMY OF THE WESTERN VIRGINIA, Charleston, W. Va., September 18, 1862.
In obedience to instructions, I have the honor to submit the following report of the action of the troops under my command at the battle of Charleston, W. Va.:
While the troops were encamped at Dickerson's farm, I was directed by General Loring to take command of General Echols' brigade (he being sick), the Thirty-sixth and Twenty-second Regiments, Otey's and Lowry's batteries, and the cavalry under Major Salyer. I at once ordered Major Salyer to pursue the enemy, and I found him near Charleston when I arrived. We passed Camp Piatt, the Salines, Maulden, and other places, but found no enemy. Upon my arrival at a point near Charleston, I discovered the enemy's skirmishers posted behind fences and behind a barricade they had erected near the river. I at once deployed Lieutenant-Colonel Derrick's battalion as skirmishers, and advanced them so that the left would sweep through the town and the right rest upon the hills beyond. I supported the right with Colonel [J. J.] McMahon's regiment, the center with Colonel Rodgers' [Poage's] regiment, and the left with Colonel Patton's. The reserve consisted of the Thirty-sixth Regiment, Lowry's battery, a section of Otey's, and the cavalry. It was stationed in the road near the river. The whole line advanced, with occasional skirmishing, to the banks of the Elk River, and there found the enemy posted upon the opposite bank, with all communication with the opposite bank cut off. They had destroyed the bridge. I at once determined to concentrate the troops on the extreme right flank and attempt to cross at a ford about 2 miles above town. We moved in that direction under cover of our artillery, which was posted on a hill commanding the enemy's position and also other parts of the field. Upon the arrival at the ford, it was found impossible to cross with infantry and artillery. I ordered the cavalry to cross and move down the opposite shore, and the moved toward our extreme left, where we collected boats and were ready, when nightfall put an end to the conflict. Strong pickets and support for the batteries were left, and the troops back to the wagons to get rations, &c., and sleep.
The next day we crossed and came to their camp. General Echols was kind enough to send me his staff. Captain Catlett rendered me great aid. Captain Poor, St. Clair, and Roche assisted me and were prompt in communicating my orders. The officers and men acted well.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
Colonel H. FITZHUGH,