War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0490 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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Ninth Virginia Regiment, and sent them, under command of officers, to scour that country, which resulted in the bringing in of 2 prisoners, one of whom was a deserter from Captain West's cavalry; the other was a guerrilla, fully equipped, belonging to Captain Downs' company.

I marched from that place to Spencer, where I arrived at 2 o'clock p.m. Thursday; found there from 600 to 800 infantry and two companies of cavalry. Met General Kelley, who gave me orders to remain there, under the command of Colonel Rathbone.

General Kelley informed me that there was an order for me in possession of Colonel Rathbone from Colonel Lightburn, of the Fourth Virginia, for me to report with my command at Charlestown, which order Colonel Rathbone refused to give me.

Friday morning General Kelley left Spencer for Weston, Va. Saturday evening, 17th instant, three guerrillas, named Captain Downs, Perry Hayes, and Silcott, came into Spencer under a flag of truce, stating that they had been requested to do so by a messenger from General Kelley.

General Kelley being absent, Colonel Rathbone entered into an agreement that they should cease fighting on both sides for eight days, and that Captain Downs' men should have the privilege of going home to see their families, and that they should not be molested either by the military or civil authority, and at the expiration of eight days they would either give themselves up with their whole command as prisoners of war or take themselves off out of the country to the rebel army, and whatever the rebels decided upon they were to have twenty days after the expiration of the eight days to accomplish. Messenger from each party were to meet at the mouth of Henry's Fork every other day and exchange communications.

On Sunday morning, 19th instant, Colonel Rathbone furnished a company of cavalry to escort the rebel messenger out of the lines to their camp, which company of cavalry returned on Monday morning, bringing with them a lieutenant from the rebels under Captain Downs, who wished a pass, that he might go into Braxton County to see another company of guerrillas, which pass Colonel Rathbone granted. The same day a notorious guerrilla named Dick Greathouse, who had been engaged in fighting at every skirmish had in that country, and had stolen a large number of horses in that section of country, was arrested by the sheriff of the county within a mile of Spencer. The court being in session, he was examined and committed to jail. Colonel Rathbone, hearing of it, ordered his release, and he was escorted out of town under guard.

On Tuesday morning, May 21, I received an order from Colonel Rathbone to report to Colonel Lightburn at Charleston, which order read as follows:

You will report myself and your command to Colonel Lightburn for duty at Charleston, Kanawha County, Virginia.

By order of Brigadier-General Kelley:


Colonel, Commanding.

I notified officers in command of companies to draw three days' rations and prepare to march for Charleston the next day, intending to be three days on the march, but at 9 o'clock on Tuesday I was shown the order from General Kelley, stating that Colonel Lightburn was threatened with an attack from cavalry at Charleston, and ordered to move with haste for that place, which I did, leaving Spencer at 9.30 o'clock Tuesday morning, arriving at Charleston, at 5 o'clock on Wednesday