War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0811 Chapter XXXIX. CONFEDERATE EXPEDITION TO BEVERLY, W. VA.

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render it almost impossible to pass through between this point and the road, at which point I arrived at 10 a. m., being 5 miles west of Beverly. I halted my men near, but concealed from, the road, where they were shaded and in reach of pure water. I immediately threw forward a picket of 20 men, under command of Lieutenant [John W.] Hunt, with orders to proceed carefully to within 2 miles of Beverly without causing alarm, and take a concealed position commanding the road, where he would be enabled to notify me of the movements of the enemy and cut off all communication on the road, and, at the first report of artillery, to move forward and cut off the enemy's picket. I also sent a courier to notify Colonel [A. C.] Dunn of my position, and my readiness to co-operate with him in any movement on the town. At 1 o'clock, Lieutenant Hunt sent in 2 prisoners, who were going home on furloughs granted by Colonel [Thomas M.] Harris, commanding the enemy's forces, whose statements corresponded with your previous information, excepting in reference to the re-enforcement expected that day. I remained in this position till 3 p. m., when the signal gun was fired, when I immediately ordered my men in line of march, and moved rapidly forward to within a mile and a quarter of the town, taking a position which I could have held against any force the enemy could have brought from town. This position was at the first abrupt turn in the road west of the Baker house. I then sent forward Captain Arnett to take a concealed position in front, sweeping the road and commanding the only position on which the enemy could have posted artillery without first driving him back with an infantry force; to have done which would have brought them under fire of the reserve of my command on their left flank. At the same time, I sent forward Captain Evans with a squad, to reconnoiter between me and the town, and examine the fortifications near the Baker house. In an hour he reported that the enemy had evidently determined to make a stand in town, and that a strong position could be taken beyond the Baker house, near the old breastworks. I moved forward my command as far as practicable without bringing it in range of the enemy's artillery, and, halting the command, I went forward, and examined the ground in front, and fully approved the position selected by Captain Evans. I then moved my men forward to a strip of woods near where I had first halted them, and allowed them to remain there till I could move them under cover of night to the position selected. About this time the cavalry scout reported to me that they had carried out all their instructions, besides finding the notorious Yankee spy and bushwhacker, [Jacob] Simmons, in his own house. On demanding of him a surrender, he peremptorily refused, and commenced firing, killing Private Dent, of Company -, a gallant soldier, whereupon our men returned the fire, killing him, four balls passing through his body. I immediately ordered them to endeavor to open communication with Colonel Dunn, which up to this time I had been unable to do, having had no mounted men with me, and my dismounted men being too much fatigued to attempt it. I placed Captain Evans, with 40 men, on the road, to blockade and picket the same, and open the engagement, should the enemy advance or evacuate the town. I at