Jenkins, then commanding Department of Western Virginia, to postpone my departure, and on the next day my command was moved to Cloyd's farm, and five miles from Dublin, to meet a large force of the enemy then approaching.
We took position there and fought the enemy for several hours. General Jenkins was severely wounded and carried from the field. Our lines were broken and I saw the day was lost. I could not find General Jenkins, whom I was finally informed had been wounded. I rallied as many men as I could, formed them into a rear guard, and caused the regiments to be reformed as we retreated. The considerable loss. As I approached Dublin I met Colonel D. H. Smith with 500 dismounted men of General Morgan's command, that had just reached the Depot from saltville, and were then moving out to the field. I placed them in position to cover the retreat, and moved the remaining troops through Dublin to the New River bridge. Colonel Smith and his men behaved with great gallantry, and repulsed every charge made by the enemy's cavalry upon our rear. We reached New River and passed to the east side about sunset. Meanwhile the trains and artillery had gone by the macadamized road and crossed at English's Bridge. The artillery was placed in position during the night, the infantry was formed and posted, and at daylight we awaited the approach of the enemy, sharpshooters having been posted along the river-bank.
The position on the west side of the river was entirely untenable, and an attempt to hold it would have resulted in the discomfiture and capture of my command. In the artillery fight made for the defense of the bridge Bryan's, Douthat's, and Dickenson's batteries took part, and the engagement lasted about four hours. Our ammunition became exhausted, many horses were killed, and nearly every piece driven off by the superior artillery of the enemy, and I found that they were also crossing a large infantry force at Pepper's Ferry, seven miles below me, when I gave the order to Withdraw. The troops retired in good order, passed through Christiansburg, and moved east to Big Hill, seven miles west of salem, where they were posted to meet the enemy, who had crossed at Pepper's Ferry and moved out to Blacksburg. We reached Big Hill the 11th and remained there the 12th.
During the night of the 12th I received information that Colonels French and Jackson (in accordance with my orders) had moved upon the rear of the enemy at Blacksburg, and that Averell had occupied Christiansburg with a portion of his force.
Early in the morning, finding that General Crook had retreated from Blacksburg and moved north toward the Salt Pond Mountain, the direction from which French and Jackson would approach, I at once moved the troops then with me by a country road to intercept Averell at Blacksburg, but finding on reaching that point that he had passed, I pushed on.
Meanwhile General Crook had driven French and Jackson back toward Giles Court-House, and had gone toward Monroe. As soon as Colonels French and Jackson discovered this they moved on his rear and occupied the pass in Gap Mountain, intercepted Averell's command, and scattered it in the mountains. Owing to the darkness and the swollen streams no farther pursuit was made with the infantry, but the small cavalry force I had was sent on and has not been heard from since. My own brigade was moved back to the