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202 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 202 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

gained; but when you speak of extending your operations to Staunton, and even to Wytheville, he fears your line will be too long without intermediate supports. He wishes you to weigh well these points before deciding.


Middle Fork Bridge, Va., July 10, 1861.

To Lieutenant Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND:

In sight of the enemy,who is strongly intrenched and holds firm. A strong armed reconnaissance is now starting out. I think I can turn his position; feel sure of success in any event. This country exceedingly difficult to operate in. My other column from Philippi is also within a mile of the entrenchments on Laurel Hill; advanced guards within two hundred yards of the enemy on each line; all my men eager for the fight. The companies at Glenville are safe, and favorable chance of cutting off O. J. Wise. I shall make no further extended movement without laying the whole case before the General and obtaining his orders in advance. Wish to clear my department fully of the enemy, and then be ready to carry out the views of the General-in-Chief. Can shorten distance from base by adopting a new base in event of extended operations.

Please send me more regular officers; some old regiments, if possible. I want those mountain guns at once. I have great difficulties to meet, but have gone into them knowing that the General will give me support as I need it, and that he will appreciate my position.


Major-General, Commanding.

Rich Mountain, Va. - 9 a. m., 12th. [July, 1861.]

Colonel E. D. TOWNSEND:

We are in possession of all the enemy's works up to a point in sight of Beverly. have taken all his guns, a very large amount of wagons, tents, &c. - everything he had. A large number of prisoners, many of whom wounded. Several officers prisoners. They lost many killed. We have lost in all perhaps twenty killed and forty wounded, of whom all but two or three in the column under Rosecrans, which turned the position. Mass of enemy escaped through the woods entirely disorganized. Among prisoners, Dr. Taylor, formerly of the Army. Colonel Pegram was in command.

Rosecrans' column left camp yesterday morning and marched some eighth miles through the mountains reaching turnpike some two or three miles in rear of the enemy. Defeated an advance force, taking a couple of guns. I had position ready for twelve guns near main camp, and as guns were moving up ascertained that enemy had retreated. I am now pushing on to Beverly, a part of Rosecrans' troops being now within three miles of it. Our success complete and almost bloodless. Doubt whether Wise and Johnston will unite and overpower me. Behavior of troops in action and towards prisoners admirable.


Major-General, Commanding.

Page 202 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.