War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0809 Chapter XXXIX. CONFEDERATE EXPEDITION TO BEVERLY, W. VA.

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Claiborne to cross the river at the point he then was, some 4 miles from Huttonsville, and move to a point near Stipes', toward the Cheat Pass, and to communicate with Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn, who was supposed to be coming that way. I ordered the detachments under Captains Marshall and Spriggs to Huttonsville, to cover this movement of Major Claiborne, and masked my artillery and infantry about 1 mile this side of the Crouch fortifications. The force at Huttonsville was directed to fall back toward me in good order, if any considerable advance was being made by the enemy on the route I was taking; and Major Claiborne, or Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn, if he came up to Stipes', was, in the event of such advance, to come in upon the rear of the enemy, while I would attack them in front. If there was no such advance by 2 p. m., then Major Claiborne or Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn was to fall back toward Hightown, and the detachments at Huttonsville to fall back to me. Major Claiborne reached the point near Stipes', and dispatched to Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn; but it now appears that he had fallen back to Camp Barton, and was not advancing. A short distance beyond Huttonsville, soon after the arrival of the detachments there, Captain Spriggs, being in front, had a skirmish with the advance of the enemy, they falling back, with a view, no doubt, to draw him to their main force; but, as ordered, Captains Spriggs and Marshall fell back a short distance, and there awaited a farther advance. While this was going on, Major Claiborne so maneuvered as to disconcert the enemy, as was evident by the hesitation and caution displayed. They did not anticipate the appearance of any force at the point where he was, and could not comprehend its strength. Advised of this advance, I moved my infantry and artillery back to the Crouch fortifications, directing the several detachments of cavalry to fall back slowly toward my position. This order was executed, the enemy advancing when the cavalry receded, and halting and hesitating whenever they halted and formed line of battle. A junction being formed of the three detachments aforesaid, Major Claiborne, by my order, took command of all my cavalry. The pursuing force numbered about 1, 800. Ascertaining that the enemy would not advance on my position or risk a general engagement, and that the waters were rising rapidly in my rear, I fell back with the main command to Marshall's Store, and encamped there during the night, the cavalry encamping a few miles in my rear. While this movement was being accomplished, the enemy fell back to Beverly. Lieutenant Colonel A. C. Dunn, it appears from his own dispatches, was in position at the time appointed. He was ordered to make a vigorous attack upon the rear of the enemy whenever he heard my signal. This it was impossible for him to avoid hearing. I am reliably informed that, instead of advancing and attacking, as ordered, he fell back when my signal was heard. His dispatches are contradictory in the attempt to explain this singular retrograde movement. I have felt it my duty to order him under arrest, and will prefer charges. Major J. R. Claiborne is now in command of the battalion. Our loss in the attack and various skirmishes is as follows: Killed, 4; wounded 5; missing, 4. Among the killed was the gallant Lieutenant William Harris, who died after being mortally wounded while bravely leading his men in a brilliant charge.