Today in History:

205 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


to Staunton, and I have the pleasure to announce that, with the exception of the Kanawha, the part of Western Virginia included in my department is now free from the presence of the enemy. I expect every day to hear that the measures taken to drive Wise out of the Kanawha have proved successful. I shall now proceed to scour the country with small columns, unless the moral effect of our successes has sufficed to disperse the guerrilla bands. The three-months' regiments are to be reorganized, and some time will be required to prepare this hastily-reorganized army for further operations.

The general's kind telegraph is received. Offer him my thanks for it.


Camp near Huttonsville, July 14, 1861.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit, for the information of the Commanding General, the following report of the operations of the forces under my command from the time of my leaving Grafton. Previous to my departure from Grafton I became satisfied that a large body of the rebel army, supposed to consist of six or seven thousand men, under Brigadier General Robert S. Garnett, formerly of the U. S. Army, occupied an intrenched position at Laurel Hill, about thirteen miles south of Philippi, on the turnpike leading to Beverly, with the apparent intention of making a determined stand at that point; whereupon I at once resolved to push on with all the available force at my disposal, and endeavor, by making a rapid detour through Buckhannon, to reach Beverly, and strike their rear, cutting off their supply communication from Staunton.

As soon as I had concentrated my forces at Buckhannon I moved forward, and at the same time ordered General Morris to advance from Philippi, and take a commanding position about a mile and a half distant, and directly opposite the enemy's works, thereby enabling him to divert their attention from me, also to watch their movements, and be in position to act promptly after I had reached their rear, at Beverly. General Morris promptly responded to my order, and secured the proper position with but slight resistance, and I pushed forward with my column as rapidly as my means of transportation would permit.

On the evening of the 9th instant I arrived at Roading Creek, near the base of Rich Mountain, where i found the enemy in considerable force had destroyed a bridge, and were strongly entrenched at a point where the road enters a defile leading up the mountain, about two miles distant from my camp.

On the morning of the 10th I ordered a reconnaissance in force, consisting of the Ninth and Fourth Ohio Volunteers, and Loomis' battery, under the supervision of Lieutenant Poe, Topographical Engineers. This was pushed within two hundred yards of the enemy's guns, and resulted in the loss of one man killed and one wounded, but the dense thickets with which their works were surrounded prevented the attainment of much positive or satisfactory information. It served, however, to confirm my previous supposition, that the entrenchments were held by a large force, with several guns in position to command the front approaches, and that a direct assault would result in a heavy and unnecessary loss of life.

These considerations at once determined me to make an effort to turn their flank and commence the attack from the rear. Accordingly I ordered General Rocecrans to move at 4 o'clock in the morning with the Nineteenth Ohio, the Eighth, Tenth, and Thirteenth Indiana Regiments, and