This regiment fell back as far the base of Cloyd's Mountain, 10 miles from Dublin Deport, Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. When this occurred I was at the White Springs, preparing to withdraw the forces on the James River and Kanawha turnpike to some point at or near the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, which was rendered necessary in consequence of the abandonment of the Virginia Central Railroad by the withdrawal of all the rolling stock on that road west of Staunton, thus cutting off my source of supplies. At that time I did not know whether my force on the James River and Kanawha turnpike could render better service by re-enforcing General Jackson or strengthening the force defending the approaches to the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. I wrote and telegraphed General Lee on this subject. On receiving his telegram on the 5th instant I proceeded with all dispatch to strengthen my force covering the approach to the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad at Dublin Depot. As soon as the forces were united I determined to attack the enemy at Giles Court-House and try and retake The Narrows of New River.
On the night of the 9th instant orders were issued to this effect: I divided the command into two brigades and a reserve, the first consisting of the Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Peters), Otey's battery, and one company of the Eighth Virginia Cavalry, under Colonel Jenifer, and the second composed of the Twenty-second Virginia Regiment (Colonel Patton), Chapman's battery, and one company of the Eighth Virginia Cavalry, under Colonel McCausland, the reserve consisting of fragments of three companies and two mountain howitzers, under Captain Vawter.
We marched at 10 p.m., and discovered the enemy's mounted pickets about 2 1/2 miles from the Court-House. The pickets were driven an and hotly pursued. On reaching a point within 1 mile of Giles Court-House we found the enemy occupying a ridge running from the main road to the mountain (a strong position), sheltered by a fence.
Colonels Jenifer and McCausland, as previously ordered, deployed their commands, the first to the right of the main approach to the Court-House and the second to the left. This was done in handsome style. The battle then commenced by Otey's, Chapman's, and Lowry's artillery opening upon the enemy, the infantry steadily advancing under a line of skirmishers. When within a few hundred yards of the enemy's position, with a determined should, the force simultaneously charged, driving the enemy before them. The enemy retreated beyond the town of Pearisburg (Giles Court-House), when he made a second stand, but was soon dislodged. He disputed with us a series of hills in rear of Giles Court-House, but was driven from hill to hill until his retreat became a rout. On reaching The Narrows of New River, the great point to be gained, he made his last stand. I ordered two pieces of artillery, under Major King, chief of ordnance, supported by a company of infantry, to cross New River and occupy a commanding position on the right bank. As soon as our artillery opened, which was admirably served (the enemy losing 4 men by the explosion of a single shell from a mountain howitzer), he retreated, leaving in our possession the key to his approach to the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad by way of Giles Court-House.
The force under my command was composed chiefly of the recent levies; they, as all others, acted like veterans. I never witnessed better or more determined fighting. It is with some hesitation, where all did so well, that I mention names. To Colonels Jenifer and McCausland, commanding brigades, my special thanks are due, and they deserve the approbation of the department.