and blockade the road which leads to the river from Raleigh down Loop Creek, and guard the same until after Colonel Sibers' command had passed by that point, which he did. At 3 a.m., on the 11th, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Parry, with four companies of the Forty-seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to Cotton Hill, to protect trains from Fayette and to re-enforce Colonel Siber at that point,which duty he performed, and remained with Colonel Siber's command until he recrossed the Kanawha, at Camp Piatt, on the 12th, as also did Major Hoffman, with the detachment of cavalry sent to Loop Creek. At 8 a.m.,on the 11th instant, I ordered Major Mitchell to take position opposite the point where the Fayette road reached the river with the Forty-fourth Ohio Volunteers, and attached to it one company of the Fourth Virginia and one company of the Ninth Virginia, which had been placed under my command. I, at the same time, posted the artillery at suitable points to command the road on the opposite side of the river, so as to cover the line of retreat over which Colonel Siber's column would pass. Lieutenant De Lille, of the Fourth Virginia, with one iron smooth-bore (6-pounder), and one 10-pounder James' rifled brass field piece, manned from the Fourth Virginia Regiment, reported to me for duty, and was assigned positions. About 10 a.m. the enemy appeared in close pursuit of the rear guard of Colonel Siber's column, and we opened upon them, checking their advance upon the road. Their sharpshooters, however, took position on the wooded hillsides, and kept up a brisk fusillade as long as we remained in range. The skirmishers of the Forty-forth Ohio Volunteers replied to them with spirit. We held the position for about an hour, when, receiving your orders to fall back, we slowly retired, the infantry skirmishing by alternate divisions, and the field pieces and howitzers taking positions as often as favorable openings offered. About the time we commenced to retire, the enemy answered our artillery with a 12-pounder field howitzer, and, apparently, two rifled field pieces, which were apparently well served. After falling back in this manner about 4 miles, all firing ceased, and the enemy kept out of range until toward night, when, just above Cannelton, their advance came up with our rear guard, on the west side, and a sharp skirmish ensued, in which the enemy were driven back, with loss.
Our column moved on down to Smithers' Creek, and halted, about dark, to await the arrival of Colonel Elliott, who, having failed to reach Gauley as soon as was expected, was ordered to destroy his train and cross through the mountains, and join the main column at this point, which he did about 10 p.m. During the day the men behaved well, performing their duty with cool alacrity while being obliged to move under the fire of hidden foes. At midnight we moved on, through Cannelton, and encamped at Bowsman's, opposite Clifton, where we remained the rest of the night and until after breakfast. We resumed our march about 7 a.m. on the 12th, and reached Camp Piatt, 12 miles, about 4 p.m., in a series of heavy rain showers. I left a heavy cavalry picket about 5 miles above Camp Piatt, and posted four companies of the Fourth Virginia Infantry about 2 miles above, under command for Lieutenant-Colonel Russell, who had been ordered up from Camp Piatt for that purpose. Before dark the enemy drove in our cavalry picket, and a slight skirmish ensued, when the enemy retired and the cavalry moved out again for the night. The Forty-fourth and Forty-seventh Regiments Ohio Volunteers took position about half a mile above Camp Piatt, to cover the crossing of Colonel Siber's column to the east side of the Kanawha River, which was effected without interruption, and,