War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0149 Chapter XIV. ENGAGEMENT AT CARNIFIX FERRY, W. VA.

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person to the Adjutant-General in this city with the least delay. In making the transfer to General Floyd you will include everything under your command.

By order of the President:


Acting Secretary of War.

Numbers 16. Reports of Brigadier General Henry A. Wise, C. S. Army, covering he operations of his command from June to September 25.


September 11, 1861-7 p. m.

GENERAL: Disasters have come, and disasters are coming, which you alone, I fear, can repair and prevent. As I predicted, General Floyd, after a hard fight, from 3 p. m to 7 p. m. yesterday, has given way, recrossed Carnifix Ferry, before a force of some 5,000, re-enforced from Gauley, to what extent is not known. He thinks the enemy has 9,000; I think from 4,000 to 6,000 men. He lost no lives and but few slightly wounded; but his breastworks wee near woods all around except in front, and the enemy could approach him quite near. There was severe cannonading on both sides; the enemy had rifled guns of bad range at first but beginning to tell seriously as the fight ended on the breastworks. Owing to inadequacy of transportation and ferriage, he lost in his retreat last night considerable baggage, tents, cooking utensils, fat cattle, and horse, and one caisson. I was detained by the enemy in my front from going to his relief on yesterday. They indicated a purpose to turn my flank at the Hawk's Nest, and to march a considerable force to Carnifix Ferry, in General Floyd's rear. But, receiving peremptory orders last night, I moved my whole force to re-enforce him, got a few miles, found he had retreated to this side of Gauley, and for the third time met his messenger, countermanding my march and ordering my return to this road. My baggage was all sent back to this camp guarded by a small force, and when I reached within a mile of this place I found General Floyd on the road-side, slightly wounded in the right fore-arm. I asked for orders. He said he did not know what orders to give. I urged the necessity of defending Miller's Ferry, on the New River, which, when called away, I left guarded by General Chapman's militia. He mistook me, and through I spoke of Carnifix Ferry, and replied that now he took no interest in that plan of movement; and then I learned that he had left this side of that ferry wholly undefended and unguarded, and since I hear that the enemy crossed it this morning on prepared bridges. This renders both his and my commands critically exposed. The enemy may fall on our rear between this and Lewisburg by either the Sunday, or the Wilderness, or the Bracken's Creek roads. I am without orders, without command, with wholly inadequate force of my own, with his force greatly impaired, himself stunned by the blow, and obliged to appeal to you.

I solemnly protest that my force is not safe under his command, and I ask to be allowed to co-operate with some other superior. I had for forage and from policy sent nearly all my cavalry to Loop Creek and Coal River across the New River, and to penetrate the Kanawha. I now must recall them (if allowed to do so) to scout my rear. The whole.