War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0233 Chapter XIV. ENGAGEMENT AT GREENBRIER RIVER, W. VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

Numbers 7. Report of Colonel Albert Rust, Third Arkansas Infantry.

BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS, October 3, 1861.

GENERAL: This morning, about 7 o'clock, hearing of the advance of the enemy upon us in force, I ordered my men, the Third Arkansas Regiment, to get ready to repel an attack from him, and obeyed a summons to report myself to you at your quarters. You placed me in command of the left wing of our forces, composed of my own regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson's Virginia Regiment, Hansborough's Virginia battalion, and Anderson's two pieces of artillery, and ordered me on no account to allow the enemy to turn our left flank, and suggested the position disposition to be made of the most of the infantry under my command, the artillery having already been planted. After forming my men, and while marching them to the position designed for them, the enemy commenced a rapid firing of artillery, and before I had satisfactorily for med that portion of the men under my immediate command between the river and the terminus of abatis to the right of Anderson's battery on the Greenback road, the advance guard of a column of the enemy, marching by flank, had crossed the river some distance below us, as had been anticipated, and upon ascending the first mountain came upon the left flank of my force, which promptly fired a volley into them, which caused them instantly to retire, recross the river, rapidly traverse the meadow, unite with another force, with which a like attempt was made to turn our right flank with a similar result, and, as you are already aware, rapidly and in disorder retreated from the field.

Before the retreat of the enemy began, and while I supposed he was advancing beyond the position occupied by my command, I sent a lieutenant to Lieutenant-Colonel Barton, of my own regiment, who was on my right, to close up my line by falling down the river some 60 or 80 yards, until he united with me, preparatory to making a charge upon the rear and flank of the enemy across the river and meadow beyond it. The lieutenant returned and reported Colonel Barton not present, which I have ascertained was not true, as he was not absent from his post for a moment during the engagement, and had conceived the same idea of attacking the enemy in flank as myself. However, as the enemy had fully eight times as many infantry in the meadow and in the skirt of the woods beyond it as I could have assailed him with, supported by six or seven pieces of artillery, which kept up a continuous and extraordinarily rapid fire during the whole time, the propriety of making the attack is very questionable.*

The men and officers, with one or two exceptions, behaved admirably..

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. RUST,

Colonel, Commanding.

General HENRY R. JACKSON, Commanding Brigade.

Numbers 8. Report of Captain L. M. Shumaker, C. S. Army, commanding light battery.

CAMP AT GREENBRIER RIVER, October 4, 1861.

SIR: In obedience to your oral order I have the honor to report that at daybreak yesterday, October 3, in pursuance of your instructions,

---------------

* Nominal list of casualties omitted. See tabulated statement, p. 229.

---------------