short distance from the place where the fight occurred, and where I understood the enemy would bivouac that night. As soon as the trees should begin to fall they would by heard by the enemy, their pickets or scouts, and almost immediately it would be ascertained that a regiment was blockading the path. In that case all that the enemy would have to do would be to come down the Buckhannon turnpike leading to Beverly with their piece of artillery until they should reach the county road I was ordered to guard that day and go up that road until they should reach the path I was blockading. What then would be my situation, blocked up in front by my fallen trees and hemmed in the rear by an overwhelming enemy? I therefore told the messenger who brought me the order to tell General Garnett that he was mistaken in supposing the enemy had gotten to Colonel Pegram's rear by the path and road he had ordered me to blockade, for that they had come around Colonel Pegram's left flank; that I should probably lose my whole command if I were to obey his order, and that therefore I should continue my retreat. I have since seen Colonel Corley, General Garnett's aide, who wrote tea order, and he informed me I was right in supposing that when that order was given General Garnett was under the belief the enemy had gotten to Colonel Pegram's rear by the path and county road aforesaid and would continue to come that way.
I have been charged with blockading a part of the turnpike between Laurel Hill and Beverly, which prevented General Garnett's retreat by that down. The charge is false. No road was blockaded by me. No tree was cut by my orders of by my regiment anywhere.
On arriving next morning near the Jeff. Davis Hotel, a log tavern, seven miles from Beverly, I was overtaken by another messenger from General Garnett with the following order:
JULY 11, 1861.
General Garnett directs that you endeavor to keep the enemy in check on the other side of Beverly until daylight. If you are forced back, send me a mounted expressman stating the facts.
JAMES L. CORLEY,
Captain, C. S. A., Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
As it was already sunrise when I received this order, and I was nearly seven miles from Beverly, its execution was impracticable. In answer to it I wrote a long note with pencil on a fence rail to General Garnett, and sent it by the same messenger who brought me the order.
On arriving at Huttonsville, eleven and a quarter miles from Beverly, I halted my regiment for breakfast. While their I was joined by Major Tyler with a few companies from the Twentieth (Colonel Pegram's) Regiment, and while the I received the following (the last) order from General Garnett:
General Garnett has concluded to go to Hardy County and towards Cheat Bridge. You will take advantage of a position beyond Huttonsville and draw your supplies from Richmond, and report of r orders there.
JAMES L. CORLEY,
Captain, C. S. Army, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
It has been stated that I was ordered by General Garnett to stop on Cheat Mountain and fortify. There is not a word in this order about Cheat Mountain. General Garnett, as he ought to have done, left it to my discretion where to stop. At the time I did think seriously of stopping on Cheat Mountain and fortifying, but I abandoned the idea on the following considerations:
1. I had no adequate implements with which to fortify. I had thirty picks, ten shovels, and ten axes; and when it is recollected what a rocky