War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0041 Chapter LXIII. ENGAGEMENT AT CARNIFIX FERRY, W. VA.

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abandoned, and instead of it the plan of invasion by this line has been adopted. Our losses at Camp Gauley amounted to less than twenty wounded; that of the enemy was exceedingly heavy, as reported [to] us by prisoners and others. I was much gratified to find, from your note of the 8th, received by me this morning, that a recrossing of the Gauley River under the circumstances was regarded as proper by you.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier- General, Commanding Army of the Kanawha.

Major General R. E. LEE.


Report of Colonel Alexander W. Reynolds, Fiftieth Virginia infantry.



Camp on Sewell, September 15, 1861.

SIR: On the morning of the 10th instant, in obedience to the orders of Brigadier- General Foyd, I moved my regiment from our temporary camp, which was abut one mile in advance of the main camp at Gauley, and took post in the center of the line o log breast- works and on the left of the earth- works and battery of four guns. The regiment formed into line behind the breast- works at 2.30 p. m. Within a few minutes after I was informed of the rapid approach of the enemy. At 3 p. m. a heavy column moved to attack us, which was gallantly repulsed by the right wing after a sharp exchange of fire lasting about twenty- five minutes, the enemy then taking shelter behind some houses and haystacks beyond the range of our fire, from which position they continued to fire upon us with their Enfield rifles. At 3.30 p. m. the enemy, having placed their artillery in position, opened upon my line a terrific fire of shells, grape, shrapnel, round shot, and with rifle cannon, which was continued with but little intermission until 7 p. m. At about 5 p. m. a heavy column (supposed to be an entire brigade) advanced to assault our center. Our fire was reserved until the enemy approached to within 100 yards, when a well- directed fire rom our whole line checked their advance. After a contest of forty- five minutes the enemy (notwithstanding the efforts of some of their officers to rally them) broke and ran. About 6 p. m. a third attempt was made to force our center, which met with the same result as the preceding, our regiment awaiting their approach coolly and routing them completely. In the early part of the battle the fire of the enemy's artillery was high. They attempted to enfilade my line, which they failed to do in consequence of one of their guns having been disable d by the fire from the battery in the earth- work. At 7.10 p. M. the firing ceased and the enemy retired from the field. During the entire engagement the officers and men of the regiment exhibited the greatest coolness and determination, and though but few had overheard the sound of cannon, they evinced a spirit which would have done credit to veterans. I must beg leave to bring to the favorable notice of the general commanding in chief the gallantry and coolness of Major C. E. Thorburn, of this regiment (whose name was favorably mentioned in my report of the battle of Cross Lanes). From the commencement tot he end of the action he was engaged in various parts of the line encouraging the men and instructing them as to the best mode of making their fire effective. I recommend also to his notice the good conduct of John L. Cowardin, adjutant