ber of men at Buchanan, we escaping their notice. The remnants of the garrison of Fort Fisher were huddled around the battery, without organization. No officer seemed to be in command, nor could any one give any collected account of the bombardment or evacuation. I saw no arms in the hands of the men. They appeared to have given up all idea of making resistance, and there was no possible means of escape. No boat of any character was on the beach except the one in which were came. There was no alternative except capture. From what little I heard I presume that the enemy gained a lodgment by some means in the fort, "about two hours and a half by sun;" that they were fought inside the fort until perhaps 8 or 9 o'clock, when all who were not killed or already captured made their escape to Buchanan. I did not see General Whiting, but he was pointed out to me as one of a number of men sleeping on the ground. Self-preservation prevented our gaining any further information. After leaving the battery we touched at Battery Lamb, when General Colquit communicated with the commanding general by telegraph. I regret that I can give no more definite account, but the hurry and confusion on our arrival prevented the obtaining of one.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. L. WASHINGTON,
First Lieutenant and Aide-de-Camp.
JANUARY 11, 1865.-Capture of U. S. Force at Beverly, W. Va.
Numbers 1.-Colonel Nathan Wilkinson, Sixth West Virginia Infantry, commanding First Brigade, Second Infantry Division, Department of West Virginia.
Numbers 2.-General Robert E. Lee, C. S. Army.
Numbers 1. Report of Colonel Nathan Wilkinson, Sixth West Virginia Infantry, commanding First Brigade, Second Infantry Division, Department of West Virginia.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, SECOND INFTY. DIV., DEPT. OF W. VA.,
Clarksburg, W. Va., January 20, 1865.
CAPTAIN: In obedience to the request of the general commanding the Department of West Virginia, I accompanied Captain J. L. Botsford and Lieutenant Benjamin H. Moore of his staff to assist in investigating and reporting upon the facts connected with the late disaster to the U. S. troops stationed at Beverly, W. Va., January 11, 1865, and under immediate command of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Youart, Eighth Ohio Volunteers Cavalry. The officers of the commanding general's staff will make their report direct to him, and I herewith submit, for the consideration and information of the general commanding the Second Infantry Division, Department of West Virginia, the following (accompanying this is a diagram of the post of Beverly and country near it*):
The pickets during the day were posted as follows: At Russell's, on the Philippi road, a corporal and three men; at the burnt bridge, on the Staunton pike, four mounted men; at the bridge on Buckhannon road, in town, a corporal and three men, and sentinels at the points numbered on the diagram 2, 3, and 4. At dark the pickets were withdrawn from Russell's and the burnt bridge, and in their stead single sentinels were posted at the point marked Numbers 1 and blacksmith shop.
*See p. 450.