ains and through almost impassable undergrowth, we made but little progress until after daylight.
Soon after sunup on the 12th we were in sight of Beverly on a high mountain, and could see the river valley for many miles both to our right and left. Had we gone directly down into this valley as urged by Colonel Wirt in person [and] some of the officers we would have escaped, as the enemy did not enter Beverly until about 1 p. m. on that day. I suppose that we would have gone into the valley at this point if Colonel Pegram had not mistaken some of our own (Lilley's) men for the enemy's advance; as it was we were kept in the mountains, marching slowly in the direction of General Garnett's camp at Laurel Hill.
Late in the evening I asked permission of Colonel Pegram to go down into the valley and see if the road leading from Beverly to General garnett's camp was clear, which was granted. Taking with me a citizen that I could rely upon, I send him to a house where he learned from the inmates that there was no news in that neighborhood of any movements of the enemy in the valley; but as they were three miles from the main road and could give no certain news as to the movements on it, I returned and reported to Colonel Pegram, and he determined to move his men to the main road without delay.
We found this march through the valley to the main road rather difficult, as we had to wade the Valley River three times and cross much swampy land. When we were within a half mile of the main road the head of our column, having crossed the river, was halted till the rest of the command came up, when we were fired into, which caused some confusion, as it was very dark.
Colonel Pegram ordered me to recross the river with the command and form them, as he had just learned that the enemy was at Leadsville Church (3,000 strong), at the point where we would strike the main road. He soon afterwards ordered me to march the men back again to the foot of the mountain, he riding on in advance,m having procured a horse after he got into the valley. When I arrived at the hose late at night I found Colonel Pegram, who was much exhausted and very weak, asleep. I awoke him, and he told me to call together the commandants of companies and procure a private room. I did so, and sent for the colonel, who informed the officers that he had concluded to surrender the command, as he believed it would be impossible to escape, being, as he believed, so surrounded by the enemy that it would be impossible for us to cross the valley to the mountains on the other side, and admitting that if we were able to do so, he thought that in their present exhausted and starving condition it would be impossible for the men to reach the nearest settlement.
All the officers seemed to agree with the colonel except Captain J. B. Moorman, of the Franklin Guards, and myself. The captain had marched his company by the same route after the defeat at philippi, and thought that it could be done again. I argued that we could try the experiment, and if we came across a very superior force we could then surrender to it, which I thought would be much better than to send a proposition to surrender to Beverly, seven miles distant. I thought that with what meal, four, and meat we could get in the neighborhood (there being several houses near) we could manage to subsist the men on short rations until we could get something in the mountains. But, as stated before, a majority of the officers thought it would be better to surrender at once. Colonel Pegram then wrote a note to the commanding officer of the U. S. forces at Beverly and dispatched it about 12