War of the Rebellion: Serial 002 Page 0256 Chapter IX. OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

bridge. This little force, under their gallant leader, attacked and drove in the enemy's pickets, but finding the enemy in large force, withdrew in good order and returned to camp.

On the evening of the same day Lieutenant-Colonel Pegram arrived with the remainder of the Twentieth Regiment and assumed the command. I then offered to give him all the information I had of the surrounding country, fortifications, &c., and immediately introduced him to Professor Hotchkiss, my engineer.

On July 9 the enemy in large force moved up and occupied the Raring Run Flats, about two miles from and in sight of our position, and on the evening of the same day made a reconnaissance in force, driving in our pickets. Colonel Pegram at this time very much underrated the force of the enemy, and wrote to General Garnett for permission to surprise and attack, but I think this underrating of the enemy's force kept General Garnett from ordering Colonel Pegram to fall back from the position, as I have no doubt he would have done, at the same time falling back from his own position to Cheat Mountain, had he learned or even supposed the enemy in front of our position half as strong as he was. I say this because I know General Garnett did not consider us strong enough in that position to resist a force so superior in numbers, even against a front attack only, as he inspected the position in person after the fortifications had been commenced, and remarked that we could defend the position against the attack of an enemy three or four times our number. The force brought against us was at least ten to one. I deem the foregoing statement due to the memory of one of Virginia's noblest sons, a devoted patriot, a wise and sagacious general, who fell a victim to a combination of circumstances over which he had no control.

On July 10 the enemy made a second reconnaissance in force, which return dot camp late in the evening. Lights were seen in the enemy's camp until after midnight, and he appeared to be in considerable commotion, as if preparing for some expedition requiring extra rations, &c. Colonel pegram, in anticipation of a rear attack, sent to the top of the mountain, about two miles in our rear, two companies of the Twenty-fifth Regiment, Captain Curry's, and-, of his own regiment, which remained out all night.

Early on the morning of the 11th a cavalry sergeant of the enemy (who had been detailed to assist in keeping open the communication between General Rosecrans, who had started very early that morning with six regiments of infantry to turn our left flank, and General McClellan, who, with the main body of the enemy and eighteen pieces of artillery, was to attack us in front as soon as Rosecrans made the attack in the rear) missed his way and rode up to our lines and was wounded and captured. Colonel Pegram learned from him that the enemy had moved a force to his rear, but could not learn by which flank, so he sent two more companies, with one piece of artillery, to re-enforce the picket on the mountain, which made in all a force of about 300 men, which was placed under the command of Captain De Lagnel, whose deed of daring on that day has won for him a name as lasting as history itself.

Colonel Scott, who was marching with a regiment to re-enforce General Garnett, was requested by Colonel Pegram to hold a road one mile west of Beverly. This was done because Colonel Pegram thought that the enemy would try to turn his right flank by a very circuitous route, coming in at that road, but the enemy made the attack about 11 o'clock on