War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0200 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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fourth New York, Colonel La Dew, crossed the river at Seneca Creek, and encountered a force of three companies, losing 2 or 3 men out of 15. This morning they shelled the rebel camp and drove them back. Nothing else had occurred, and nothing is indicated on the part of the enemy.

N. P. BANKS.

Honorable THOMAS A. SCOTT, Assistant Secretary of War.

SEPTEMBER 23-25, 1861-Descent upon Romney, W. Va.,including affairs at Mechanicsburg Gap and Hanging Rock Pass..

REPORTS.

Numbers 1.-Colonel Angus W. McDonald, C. S. Army.

Numbers 2.-Colonel E. H. McDonald, Seventy-seventh Virginia Militia.

Numbers 3.-Colonel A. Monroe, One hundred and fourteenth Virginia Militia.

Numbers 4.-Major O. R. Funsten, C. S. Army.

Numbers 5.-Lieutenant J. H. Lionbergert, C. S. Army.

Numbers 1. Reports of Colonel Angus W. McDonald, C. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS, Romney Va., October 20, 1861.

GENERAL: Inclosed you have my report of the conflict of the 24th and 25th ultimo. I regret the necessity which compels me to invite your perusal of so lions a report of so unimportant an affair. Feeling deeply, however, the importance of holding this post, and anxious that the Department should appreciate the hazard of attempting to do so against greatly superior forces both in numbers and equipments, I have indulged in details combining action and description, that the great extent of my line of defense may be more strikingly manifest.

You will perceive from my report that the two passes through which my position was attacked are distant from each other some 6 miles. Besides these, 2 miles below the Hanging Rock pass there are three fords and a bridge over the south Branch. The passage over any one of these would place the enemy within the portals of my line. Nine miles south of Romney is a third gap, through which the valley of the South Branch may be entered and the river forded. If my force stationed at any one of the passes or fords should be opposed by overwhelming numbers of the enemy, re-enforcements from either of the other passes could only be received by a march of from 2 to 7 miles.

This statement is, I am sure, sufficient to show by what a precarious tenure, with the handful of force I have, I now hold this place. The printed slip which I inclose, clipped form a Wheeling paper, is from the pen of one who well understands the subject upon which he had written. I will add to it: From Romney to the mouth of Little Cacapon is 25 miles; to the mouth of the south Branch, 18 miles; to the town of Cumberland, 27 miles; to New Creek Station, 18 miles; to Piedmont and Bloomington, each 25 miles. All of these are points on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and any one of them may be attacked by a day's march from Romney. The distance from the mouth of the Little Cacapon to Bloomington is about 60 miles. The mean distance from Romney to the railroad is about 20 miles.