War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0814 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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1,800 or 2,000 of the enemy's forces, a position near Summersville. I then suggested that if any move on the enemy was imperative, the most feasible was in this latter direction, and I proposed that General Floyd should remain with his forces at Dogwood Gap to protect the main turnpike from the encroachment of the enemy, while I would march by a cross-road to Carnifax Ferry and dislodge the enemy from and occupy that point. General Floyd heartily approved this proposal, insisting that the movement should be made early, before, the next morning (Thursday, August 22); arranged that I should leave for him at Dogwood Gap two of my 6-pounder (he having already obtained from me two other); promised himself to occupy Dogwood Gap without delay, to protect my rear from the enemy's forces posted at the Hawk's Nest, and to divert their attention by advancing some militia along the southern bank of New River to a point called Cotton Hill. He also ordered me, in the event of my defeating the enemy either this side of or at Carnifix Ferry, to capture the ferry, cross the Gauley River, hold that position, and report to him but to proceed no farther. It was past 8 p.m . when I finally received these orders. The roads were very muddy from the incessant remain of several days' duration. My cavalry was worn down by scouting. My infantry has suffered much from the inclemency of the weather and by measles (many only just recovering from that disease), and operations of this nature required that the men should take with them three days' cooked provisions. I had no bread cooked, my beef was on the hoof, and the camp-fires burned out. To relight them would excite the suspicion of the enemy. To slaughter and cook would have deprived my men of all rest during the night previous to their march towards the enemy. The only practical means then was to take three days' provisions of meal, coffee, &c., packed in one wagon for each regiment, and to drive the bullocks along with us. At 1 a. m. the men were quietly awakened, and at 3.30 a. m. the column commenced the march.

On reaching Dogwood Gap we left two pieces of artillery for General Floyd, but here we found only two companies of militia to receive them, who said that they were under orders to march within an hour. Our pieces of artillery required six horses each, and had but four; took, therefore, two horses from each of our caissons (except one) to supply this deficiency. We left behind us five caissons and all our baggage wagons (except one for each regiment). This was done, of course, in the confident anticipation that General Floyd would send a force to take charge of the artillery and protect the position. When half way between the turnpike and Carnifix Ferry we received the intelligence that the militia companies had left Dogwood Gap without being relieved by any other force. I was thus obliged to order all the artillery and baggage left at the latter point to follow in our rear.

On reaching Carnifix Ferry we found that the enemy had precipitately retired, having destroyed one flat and sunk the other The men, who had marched 17 miles ankle-deep in mud and through incessant rain, were ordered to make fires and cook breakfast while preparation was making to cross the river. This had hardly been commenced when General Floyd, with his whole brigade, made his appearance at the junction of the two roads. It was thus evident that soon after my departure from Piggot's Mill General Floyd had started directly for Carnifix Ferry by a shooter route than I had taken, and which we had agreed I should not take, lest the enemy should thereby be apprised of my movement. Doubtless this unexpected move on the part of General Floyd caused the immediate retirement of the enemy's forces from