War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 1062 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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repeated, during the whole afternoon and until late after dark, his attacks against the front and the right flank of the open field-works, occupied by the several companies of the Thirty-seventh Regiment, especially against an open redan, bravely defended by Lieutenant-Colonel Blessingh, with Companies A, E, H, and K. But neither in flank nor in front did the rebels make the slightest progress and suffered considerable loss. These losses and the complete failure of all attacks forced the commander of the enemy's force (General Williams) to withdraw, at sunset, the regiments which he had sent on our right flank, thus opening our line of retreat. In front, however, the combat lasted till late after sunset, when the enemy was here also driven back, even pursued some distance, by the companies of the Thirty-seventh Regiment, with fixed bayonet. In this moment arrived, first Lieutenant-Colonel Franklin, with the four detached companies of the Thirty-fourth Regiment, who had fallen back down Laurel Creek, and, next, a detachment of 25 horse, of the Second Virginia Cavalry, and three companies of the Fourth Virginia Infantry, under Captain Vance, sent to our assistance from Gauley by Colonel Lightburn Judging however that these re-enforcements would not enable me to hold the position another day, and to save the remaining commissary stores, I first ordered, during the night, the removal of our wounded, more than 80 in number; after these, that of the post and regimental trains, and gradually withdrew, between 1 and 2 o'clock in the morning, the whole force from the position of Fayetteville, unperceived by the enemy. This retreat was effected, after the commissary stores had been set fire to, without any other molestation but from a company of the enemy, still hidden in the woods in our rear. This ambush fired upon the cavalry, in the head of the column of the Thirty-fourth Regiment, wounding a few men of the last. In this hard-fought combat, against a vastly superior and regular force of the enemy, all the officers and men of both regiments fought with the greatest valor and resolution. Colonel Toland had two horses killed under him. Lieutenant-Colonel Blessingh, although sick, held his post during the whole day. Lieutenants West, Thirty-seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteers, and Anderson, Thirty-fourth Regiment Ohio Volunteers, commanded their artillery with skill and determination. Infantry and artillery had, at the end of the combat, twice exhausted their full ammunition. The Thirty-seventh Regiment, however, lost a part of their trains. The command reached, in the morning, safe and unmolested, the position at Cotton Hill, where I found five companies of the Forty-seventh Regiment, likewise sent from Gauley to our support. But scarcely had I reached the top of Cotton Hill, when the enemy deployed at its foot his whole force (at least six or seven regiments, colors flying, in order of battle), and immediately attempted to attack this new and strong position, on the new as well as on the old road. By this attempt a second combat was brought on in the morning of September 11, in which, on our side, only five companies of the Thirty-seventh Regiment became engaged. At their fire, and by that of our artillery, the enemy was, about 10 o'clock, driven back, with loss, to the foot of the mountain, giving me thereby time to withdraw the several regiments and detachments of my command down from Cotton Hill, on the left bank of the Kanawha River, to Loop Cree, and to destroy the magazines opposite Gauley. At Loop Creek I found a detachment of 120 men (cavalry), and, after a rest of two hours, I continued my retreat to Armstrong's Creek, where, late in the pursuing cavalry of the enemy reached our rear guard, consisting of the Forty-seventh Regiment Ohio Volunteers, who repelled them again. After this I