War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0813 Chapter XIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

in command of the entire body of my infantry and artillery. General Floyd's brigade was encamped at a little distance westward of me, on the main turnpike leading to Gauley Bridge, and my cavalry, under command of Colonel Davis, was far in advance of the main body of our united forces.

On the evening of the same day I received orders from General Floyd to advance with my command along the turnpike toward Gauley Bridge. This general order was conveyed to me without explanation of the motive or final intent of the movement, nor was I consulted or advised as to any fixed plan of co-operation with General Floyd's forces. I immediately sent orders to Colonel Davis to fall back to a point 15 miles westward of Big Sewell, and on the morning of the next day (Tuesday, the 20th instant) I started early to join Colonel Davis, leaving instructions with Colonel Henningsen to follow on with the rest of my command. Together with the order to move forward General Floyd had sent me an order of march for my command, specifying the hour of 7.30 a. m. as the hour of starting, which, however, by a subsequent order was modified to 9.30 a. m., but I was not informed whether General Floyd intended the two commands to move together, or, if together, whether my command should move in advance or in rear of his own forces. I was therefore obliged to modify the order of march in such manner as would best adapt itself to my moving separately and in advance. During the day's march I discovered that General Floyd was moving on in advance of Colonel Henningsen, whose command was encamped at Locust Lane, 21 miles from Gauley Bridge and 40 miles from Lewisburg. I learned that General Floyd's command had encamped at the same place on the evening before; that Colonel Henningsen had encamped with him by General Floyd's order, and that shortly before my arrival General Floyd had, without notification to and leaving no order with Colonel Henningsen, broken up his own camp and moved forward. I immediately followed on with Colonel Henningsen's forces, and that afternoon found General Floyd's command encamped at Piggot's Mill. His officers conveyed to me an order to encamp in some meadows which they pointed out. Finding the place thus indicated to me ineligible, I selected another position, where my command would be more securely posted, and where I could better protect General Floyd's camp from the approach of the enemy. On the same evening General Floyd visited me at my quarters, when I expressed to him the desire to be informed, if not consulted, as to his wishes or plans. He replied that he had no idea of operating without the fullest explanation and consultation with me, and proceeded ot indicate and discuss several plans of operation. I took occasion to express to General Floyd my regret that my command had been ordered so soon westward from the White Sulphur Springs. Except for his urgent orders I should certainly have remained three weeks longer at that point, at least that time being required for instruction, rest, and refitting. If, however, a move became imperative, I would advise against a direct movement towards Gaulkey Bridge.

Beyond Piggot's Mill commences a series place, about 6 miles this side of Gauley Bridge, already fortified by the enemy. I suggested that, in view of our inferiority of force, these positions could not be carried except at great loss and dangerous exposure of our rear and flank to the enemy, and that their capture would be barren of result, since, because of the above-named causes, we should be compelled to fall back immediately. General Floyd admitted the justice of these views, and I then called his attention to the fact that Colonel Tyler already occupied, with some