No. 3. Report of Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Confederate Secretary of War.
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 3, 1862.
To the PRESIDENT:
SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith for communication to Congress the official reports of the battle of Alleghany Mountain, in which our troops, 1,200 in number, successfully withstood the assault of more than our old their number, and drove the enemy from the field after a combat as obstinate and as hard fought as any that has occurred during the war.
Your appreciation of the conduct of Colonel Johnson has already been testified by his promotion to the grade of brigadier-general, and I have taken pleasure in conveying to the gallant troops under his command the expression of approval and admiration that they so fully deserve.
I doubt not that Congress, on the reading of this report, will cordially concur with the Executive in the opinion that in this brilliant combat officers and men have alike deserved well of their country and merit its thanks.
I am, very respectfully,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Secretary of War.
No. 4. Reports of Brigadier General William W. Loring, commanding Army of Northwestern Virginia.
STAUNTON, December 13, 1861.
GENERAL: I inclose the report of Colonel Johnson, which I received to-day. The enemy was informed of our movement, it seems, through deserters, but, as expected, the troops on Alleghany checked and repulsed them with loss. The weather has been so good than they were enabled to attack with their entire force, and will no doubt, as stated by Colonel Johnson, endeavor to possess the pass now occupied by us when it is evacuated. In consequence of their formidable appearance, and not being assured of their intention, I have for the time ordered Colonel Johnson to remain where he is, and given directions for the command to halt upon this road about 20 miles distant, where it will strike it en route to Strasburg. I expect it there in two or three days. I have arranged the march in case we could not, which was highly desirable, get the use of the rail from here to Strasburg, to march through with our own transportation. It will, of course, delay us. Should the weather shortly take an inclement turn, the enemy may be forced to return to Cheat, and enable us to follow up the design contemplated.
With respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
Colonel S. COOPER,
Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.