fusion and dismay. Hastily detaching Captain Williams, of the Twenty-fifth Ohio, with 50 men, to hold the bridge, I pushed forward, and when 2 miles from town the enemy's pickets fired upon my advanced guard- Companies E and G, of the Twenty-fifth Ohio-but after a few shots retired.
The column moved forward, and 1 mile from town I discovered the enemy's cavalry at the extreme of a level bottom field, dismounted and posted over the brow of a hilly spur which jutted out into the field from their right, with Nap's Creek on their left. I immediately deployed a part of the Twenty-fifth Ohio up the hill to our left to turn the enemy's right, and with the balance of our force moved up in front. The enemy at once opened upon us and their fire became general, which was vigorously responded to by our men. They soon discovered my flank movement, however, and falling back to their horses hastily mounted and retreated.
I again moved the column forward, crossed Nap's Creek, and found the enemy posted upon a second bottom, extending from our right nearly across the valley and half a mile in front of town. I promptly deployed Companies A and B, of the Twenty-fifth Ohio, into line to our right, at the base of the hill, to attack the enemy's left, and directed Major Owens, with the Second West Virginia and Bracken Cavalry, to make a considerable detour, turn the enemy's right, and take him in rear. The balance of the Twenty-fifth Ohio I formed to attack in front. This disposition made and in the way of rapid execution under the enemy's fire, and Companies A and B having opened upon his left, the enemy again retired, mounted, and retreated into town. After a few minutes' rest I formed my command into two columns, the Twenty-fifth Ohio to move upon the right and the Second West Virginia and cavalry upon the left of the town. In this order the troops rushed forward, cheering, into t own as the enemy, after a few inefficient shots, fled from the rear.
We found the place deserted, the houses broken open, and goods scattered, the cause of which was soon stated by a returned citizen. The rebel commander had ordered the citizens to remove all their valuable property, as he intended, if beaten, to burn the town. We found large quantities of rebel stores, consisting in part of 350 barrels of flour, 300 salted beeves, [about 150,000 pounds], 30,000 pounds of salt, and large amounts of sugar, coffee, rice, bacon, clothing, &c, all of which I caused to be destroyed by burning the building in which they were stored, having no means to bring them off. The value of the property thus destroyed I estimated at &30,000. Our forces captured and brought home a large number of Sharp's carbines, sabers, horse-pistols, and some army clothing.
The enemy had in the action 400 regular cavalry armed with Sharp's carbines, and several hundred mounted militia assembled from Pocahontas County the night before. There were also two companies of infantry quartered in town, but fled without making a stand. The enemy's loss is believed to have been considerable. It was reported by a citizen who returned at 1 killed and 7 wounded. Private Oliver P. Hershee, of Company E, Twenty-fifth Ohio, was seriously wounded in the arm. No other casualties occurred on our side. I nailed the Stars and Stripes to the top of the court-house and left them flying.
After remaining in town two hours I marched back to Edray through a drenching rain and sleet, having made 25 miles that day.
To-day I returned to Huttonsville with the detachment from the Twenty-fifth Ohio, having made a winter march of 102 miles in a little.
32 R R-VOL V