far as the Blake farm, which we reached at 4 o'clock p. m. Here a halt was ordered, as our men were exceedingly weary, and it was ascertained that the enemy were so far ahead of us as to redder it impossible to overtake him again before nightfall. We were moreover with short rations, and were informed that none could come forward for us that night.
At about 2 o'clock a. m. (15th) we started on our return, and reached Fayette at 3 o'clock p. m. The following day (16th) we returned to this camp, having exposed to ten days of such hardships as men are greatly called upon to endure, but exultant that it had been our privilege to give the last chase from the valley of the Kanawha to the very troops which first fled before us from Ripley before the advance of our troops up the valley, and having driven General Floyd and his force nearly 40 miles from his position in sight of the headquarters of this department of our army.
Very respectfully submitted.
WM. S. SMITH,
Colonel, Commanding Thirteenth Regiment O. V. I.
Captain JAMES O. STANAGE, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Numbers 7. Reports of Brigadier General John B. Floyd, C. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA,
Camp Dickerson, November 7, 1861.
SIR: I asked instructions from the War Department nearly two weeks since as to the best point to be occupied by this command as winter quarters.* In my previous dispatches I attempted to present such facts and reasons as would possess the Department of my views upon the general policy which might be considered in determining the point. Since that time I have marched to this point, and have driven the enemy entirely across the Kanawha, where, except the very hurried predatory parties, he is now strictly confined. I send you herewith a sketch+ of the country immediately around here, which will enable you to see at a glance our position, that of the enemy, and to understand what has been accomplished by the movement to the Kanawha.
When I crossed New River the enemy were in possession of all the country on the south side of Kanawha River as far as Raleigh Court-House. They had laid waste the village of Fayetteville and the country upon their lines of march. They had penetrated within 70 miles of the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, and had produces the greatest alarm amongst the people of Mercer, Giles, and Monroe, who left that whilst the enemy could with impunity occupy this region (Fayette and Raleigh Counties), there could be no safety for them even in their homes. The feeling of confidence and security is now fully realized by all the country in rear of us, and it becomes a question of great importance to select a proper point for winter quarters, that the advantage we have gained may not be lost, and that the people may remain at their homes following their regular pursuits. This point itself presents many advantages. The position is strong. Our right flank is completely protected by the cliffs of New River and the Gorge of Piney for the distance
* See Benjamin to Floyd, November 15, in "Correspondence, etc.," post.
+ Not found.