War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 1002 C. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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was sent back and the forces camped for the night at Jones'. The Marsh fork of Coal being impassable for horses without swimming a bridge was thrown across, and on the morning of the 16th July Colonel Toland moved the column forward over Little and Guyandotte Mountains and by way of Wyoming Court-House, a distance of 40 miles. On the 17th, near Tug Mountain, it was ascertained that a small force of the enemy were stationed in Abb's Valley, just beyond the mountain, picketing the gap, through which the route of our column lay. Colonel Toland ordered Colonel Powell to go forward with three companies of the Second West Virginia Cavalry and to surprise the rebel pickets, and, if possible, to capture their entire force. This Colonel Powell effected, capturing all but 1 man, who made his escape and gave intelligence to the enemy of our approach, the first intelligence of the kind that had preceded us. At Abb's Valey we captured 35 prisoners, 20 horses, five or six hundred stand of good arms, and considerable supplies of quarter master and commissary stores. The buildings and stores were burned and the prisoners taken in rear of the collum. Pushing on that night over very rough roads, the column encamped for the night at the Taylor farm, 5 1/2 miles from Jeffersonville and 45 miles from Wytheville, having marched 40 miles that day. Colonel Toland moved from camp at 3 o'clock on the morning of the 18th, and moved forward in good condition on the Wytheville pike, leaving Jeffersonville 2 miles to the right; crossing the mountains into Burke's Garden, a beautiful valley of 12 miles in length, we encountered a company of bushwhackers, which very soon dispersed. Thence the column moved on rapidly toward Wytheville. Arriving within 10 miles of the town, information was received that the enemy's force was small, not exceeding 300. Colonel Toland then detached two companies of Second West Virginia Cavalry, under Captain Millard, and when the column arrived to within 6 miles of Wytheville, sent them on a cross-road to strike the railroad at Mount Airy depot, 10 miles from Wytheville, with orders to tear up the track and cut the telegraph wires, moving toward town. Colonel Toland's plan was then to send forward the remainder of the cavalry to attack the town, while he should proceed with the Thirty-fourth Regiment by a cross-road, which leaves the pike at a distance of 3 miles from the place, directly to the large railroad bridge across Reed Creek, and destroy the same; but having sent away our only reliable guide with Captain Millard, and having obtained information that the enemy had received re-enforcements at the town, he determined to push on with the whole column into the place and then proceed down the railroad to the bridge. Captain G. W. Gillmore, with the two companies of the First West Virginia, was ordered to charge into the town, while Colonel Powell, with the remaining five companies of the Second West Virginia Cavalry, was ordered to support Gillmore, the Thirty-fourth Regiment being held in reserve. Very unexpectedly to Colonel Toland, and Entirely contrary to our previous information, the enemy was found to have taken their position in the houses of the town, both public and private, besides having a force in reserve on the street. Nevertheless, Captain Gillmore led his command forward with great gallantry, charging through a heavy fire. I regret to state that the Second west Virginia Cavalry did not behave so well, but were thrown into con-