and Webster were captured and that he was preparing to evacuate Clarksburg in two hours, that he expected to be attacked by Jones' forces in that time. I replied to the colonel that I would reach him the next day; at noon to hold on, if possible, but, if compelled to retreat, to run the railroad stock and supplies to Parkersburg, destroy such as could not be secured, and to fal back to Parkersburg or Weston.
These telegrams left in my mind no doubt that Grafton, Webster, and Clarksburg were all in the hands of the enemy when I moved my forces from Buckhannon at 4 p.m. on Monday. My last telegram to Colonel Wilkinson directed him, in case he destroyed the stores at Clarksburg, to save those at Weston, as they would be my only resource, but, on reaching that place in the night, I found all the subsistence had been that afternoon destroyed. I now learned that Colonel Wilkinson still held Clarksburg,and again I assured him that I would force my march on to his relief by 2 p.m. Tuesday, and to hold on, if possible. I pushed on without any rest to my men to Clarksburg, and my cavalry reached that place before 2 p.m. My command arrived in the night. I had barely time to place my troops in position before Jones' forces, from Fairmont, and Imboden's and Jackson's, from Philippi, invested the place. Jones' and Imboden's forces, as I am informed by captured letters, had failed to communicate with each other and were to have met at Clarksburg. The forced marches of my troops disappointed this expectation, and when Jones ascertained that I was between him and Imboden, he left his work of destruction on the trestle east of Clarksburg, and made a rapid retreat, toward Imboden, in camp near Philippi. Captain Bowen's cavalry fell on his rear guard, 7 miles from Clarksburg, on the Shinnoston road, and by a saber charge routed their entire rear forces, and pursued them over 2 miles. He captured 12 prisoners, 4 badly sobered; killed 8 or more, as he is confident. The charge was daring and successful.
Imboden's and Jackson's forces, having effected a junction with Jones, advanced by the Janelew and Rush Run routes to attack Clarksburg, but the arrival of General Kenly's forces and the militia from Wheeling gave me such strength at Clarksburg that the attempt to take it was abandoned and as rapid a retreat as the condition of the roads permitted was effected by the rebels. Jones threw a large force of his cavalry from Weston toward Salem and West Union, but I re enforced the Home Guards at those places by Colonel Latham's regiment, and that officer handsomely repulsed all attempts on West Union. A cavalry force, however, got between him and Salem, and destroyed two unimportant railroad bridges. They also passed round west to Cornwallis, and in that region destroyed a few bridges and attempted to destroy on of the tunnels.
I regret to report that my forces and my means made it impossible for me to adopt offensive operations against the enemy. I had no effective cavalry, no means of transportation, and, in fact, barely supplies to feed the men at Clarksburg until the rapid retreat of the enemy put it out of my power to follow him. The roads were literally impassable to loaded wagons. I have never seen anything in the nature of roads so bad. They remain so yet. My 200 cavalry were broken down when I reached Clarksburg. The enemy had about 5,000 and they left in all directions their jaded horses, seizing all the best and fresh horses in the country as they passed through it. The Fourteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry (twelve companies) reached me at Clarksburg after the retreat of the enemy. This regiment of twelve companies had but 300 men in the saddle and only 320 total strength. Their horses were