War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0815 Chapter XXXIX. CONFEDERATE EXPEDITION TO BEVERLY, W. VA.

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Marshall had made the movement indicated, and also dispatched to you. I intended to move to the Earl Hill after sunset. Why I did not bring on an action, you know. At 7. 30 o'clock I received your dispatch, ordering me to take position above Harper's, which I reached by the back road at 11. 30, p. m. On the morning of the 3rd instant, I moved at 6. 45 o'clock, being compelled to delay longer than I had intended, in order to find the command; and at this point I had to leave about 30 men, who were unable to march. These I ordered up to Henry Harper's, to be used in case I should need them. I moved forward, sending my cavalry ahead to scout the road, and detaching an advance guard from Captain [G.] Downs, company, which I laced under the command of Lieutenant [J. W.] Morgan. In this manner I was enabled to reach the point indicated by you much sooner than I could otherwise have done, and as your order to me was imperative, I did not hesitate to move in this manner; and, indeed, I consider it as safe as any I could have adopted on such ground. On reaching Daniel's farm, at the top of the hill, on this side of Files Creek, and where these is a road leading to the Earl Hill, I detached Captain [J. W.] Young, with his cavalry, to scout the roads, and ordered Captain Burns forward to reconnoiter the position I had occupied on the previous evening, and moved my infantry forward in supporting distance in case he was attacked. On consultation with Lieutenant Wamsley (and you had requested me to give his opinions due consideration), I agreed to move my infantry to nearly their old position, which I would not have done if I had not taken his advice, but would have placed them on the right, in a woodland. As you had dispatched to me that you were "about to dismount Spriggs' command, and send them in the rear or flank of the enemy, " and added, "You may come up with him, or he with you, " I directed scouts to be sent toward Earl Hill, supposing he might come up from that point. As there was but a small skirt of woods, and part of that cut away, I deemed it safe to send but the cavalry forward, afterward moving up the infantry, and resting in place, preparatory to moving forward in line of battle, the ground having been passed over by Captain Burns. Your artillery had now (8. 45 a. m.) nearly ceased playing, and no firing of small-arms being heard, I wrote a dispatch to Captain Young, directing him to scout fully the road in the direction of Earl Hill, and was on the point of sending one to you, informing you where I was, &c., when I was fired on by the enemy in ambush, the first fire, a single shot, striking my horse. I immediately ordered the men to fall in, and on that order being given, the fire became general along the enemy's line, which I then discovered to be an extended one, and at some 40 or 50 yards distance, excepting on the right flank - now left, as we formed for action faced to the rear. This fire at first produced some excitement along the line, and produced a little wavering, which pervaded the action till nearly its close. A simultaneous movement was immediately ordered of the whole line, and the battalion now rushed forward with deafening cheers on the position of the enemy on our immediate front, giving him a raking fire, which we were enabled to do before he could reload. A few, however, had either reserved their fire or had gotten their arms reloaded, and gave us one fire, though scattering, at which time Lieutenant