War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0129 Chapter XIV. ENGAGEMENT AT CARNIFIX FERRY, W. VA.

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Shortly after daylight a runaway contraband came in and reported that the enemy had crossed the Gauley during the night be means of the ferry and a bridge which they had completed.

Colonel Edwing was ordered to take possession of the camp, which he did about 7 o'clock, capturing a few prisoners, two stands of colors, a considerable quantity of arms and quartermaster's stores, messing and camp equipage.

The enemy having destroyed the bridge across the Gauley, which here rushes through a deep gorge, and our troops being still much fatigued, and having no material for immediately repairing the bridge, it was thought prude to encamp the troops, occupy the ferry and the captured camp, sending a few rifle-cannon shots after the enemy to produce a moral effect.

Our loss would probably amount to 20 killed and 100 wounded. The enemy's loss has not been ascertained, but from report it must have been considerable.


Brigadier-General, Commanding..

Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND.


Cross-Lanes, September 21, 1861.

SIR: By telegram I have advised you of the movements of the column under my command up to the evening of the 9th instant. On the evening of the 11th I announced those of the 10th and the battle of Carnifix Ferry, which resulted in dislodging Floyd from this entrenched camp and the capture of two stands of colors, a quantity of ammunition and camp and garrison equipage. I have now the honor to submit, for the information of the Commander-in-Chief, a more detailed report of the battle, accompanied by the reports of the brigade, regimental, and detachment commanders who took part in the action, with a list of the killed and wounded, and a plan of the entrenchments, exhibiting the position of our forces when night put a stop to our operations.*

Having driven the enemy's pickets before us from Big Birch, we bivouacked 8 miles above Summerville. The column began to move at 4.15 on the morning of the 10th, and reached Summersville at 8 o'clock, having been delayed by a burned bridge. Found the town evacuated by a regiment of infantry and a company of cavalry, which had retreated towards the entrenched camp. Two cavalry prisoners, stragglers from their company, were captured, from whom we found that Floyd was strongly entrenched and confident of holding his position against great odds in front of Carnifix Ferry.

From this point the column moved cautiously but rapidly forward over 4 miles of very bad roads, forming almost a defile, and then over more open country, until the head of it reached a point where the first road leading to the ferry diverges from the lower road to Gauley Bridge, on which we were marching. Reached there about 2 o'clock, and halted for half an hour of the column and train to close up, and then began to move down towards the rebels' position, said to be about 2 1/2 miles distant. Picket-firing commenced at the head of the column within three-quarters of a mile. The First Brigade, under General.


*To appear in Atlas.


9 R R-VOL V.