War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 1061 Chapter XXXI. CAMPAIGN IN THE KANAWHA VALLEY, W.VA.

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my command, already, when at Raleigh; but no direct information about the real force of the enemy, or the time of this predicted attack, reached me. The position at Fayetteville had been intrenched during the winter by a great amount of labor, but was completely commanded on its right flank and rear by surrounding wooded hills. It could, besides, be turned on this flank, as well by Laurel as by Loon Creek. When, therefore, on the night of September 9 and 10, I received the information that one of the most inveterate "secesh" in Laurel Creek and expressed that he would need his rifle the next morning I sent the same morning a sergeant and 6 cavalry orderlies, which constituted my whole mounted force, to Laurel Creek, to take him up. This detachment had scarcely reached the house of the mentioned "secesh" (Tetam, by name), when they nerceived a detachment of about 30 rebel cavalry, by whom they were hotly pursued down Laurel Creek. This circumstance gave me warning of the approaching attack, and I detached, about 11 o'clock, Lieutenant-Colonel Franklin, with two companies of the Thirty-fourth Regiment, to Cassidy's Mill, on Laurel Creek, while two other companies should go up the creek to join him. These four companies were to cover the right flank of the position as a reconnoitering party. Two companies of the Thirty-seventh Regiment, under command of Captain Moritz, advanced one hour later on the Raleigh pike road, in order to reconnoiter in front. These two companies had scarcely made 2 miles when they met the advance guard of the approaching enemy, consisting of several companies of regular infantry. The engagement began thus before our front, and I ordered (as soon as I had personally convinced myself of the large force of the enemy, accompanied by a numerous staff) a retreat to the entrenchments, which was executed, skirmishing and without any loss on our side, the enemy already pursuing us with artillery fire. The attack against the front of our position commenced shortly afterward, but was, at all points, repelled by Companies B, C, D, F, and G, of the Thirty-seventh Regiment, who held the advance redoubt, occupied by two 6-pounders, under command of Lieutenant West, and the skirt of the woods. In the meanwhile, however, the greater part of the enemy's force had, undiscovered, advanced through the woods on our right, and completely outflanked our position, and even intercepted our retreat. Of this circumstance I became convinced, when the first teams of our regimental train (which, at the commencement of the engagement, I had ordered to fall back to Cotton Hill) were attacked by a murderous fire, which, extending over a space of about 2 miles in our rear and right flank, showed the difficulty of our situation. IN this emergency I ordered Colonel John T. Toland, with the remaining six companies of the Thirty-fourth regiment which had been held in reserve on the left, to clear the road to Gauley, and to drive the enemy from the position which he had taken on the skirt of the woods in our rear. This perilous task was executed by Captain H. C. Hatfield, Thirty-fourth Regiment, with two companies on the Gauley road, and by Colonel Toland, personally, with the four others on his left, against the summit of a steep hill, with the utmost bravery and valor of offices as well as men. The engaged six companies of the Thirty-fourth Regiment suffered here, in the three hours' murderous and unequal combat, a very severe loss in officers, as well as in men, without being able to gain the woods (thickly occupied by the enemy), but held the ground opposed to it until after dark. The enemy was here prevented from making progress by well-directed and uninterrupted fire of four mountain howitzers, commanded by First Lieutenant Anderson, Thirty-fourth Regiment, and placed in battery at the main redoubt. In the mean while the enemy