Today in History:

225 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


at Cumberland have been directed to proceed forthwith to Rowlesburg by a special train and report to you. You can for the time being withdraw several companies from points on the railroad between Wheeling and Parkersburg, and concentrate them by special train. No time is to be lost. It is supposed you will be able to take the field with, say, six thousand men, including Colonel Irvine's command, and at least four guns. The rebel forces under Garnett are said to be tonight about six miles from Leadsville. Morris is following them up.

I immediately telegraphed Colonel Irvine:

The rebels are driven out of Laurel Hill, and in full retreat eastward on Saint George pike. Hold your position with firmness to the last man. I will re-enforce you in person and with all available forces as soon as possible.

It was not deemed safe to depend upon any of the Pennsylvania troops. (None came at any time or reported.)

The suggestion of six thousand troops and four guns was supposed to be an approximate rule. To comply with it near four thousand troops, in detachments scattered along the line of the two railroads to Parkersburg and Whelling, would have to be gathered up, supplied with a reasonable and harnesses must be obtained for the three guns in battery at Grafton. Requisitions were therefore made, and by reaching to Parkersburg the figures were brought up to about 5,400 men, including detachments from the Fifth, Eighth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth, Eighteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-second Ohio, with a few artillerists and cavalry, and detachments from the First and Second Virginia Regiments. These troops were almost entirely destitute of baggage wagons, and nearly, were to be got by force only.

The orders were all given and answers obtained, except as to baggage teams, by 3 p. m. of the 13th. The troops and three guns to be moved from Grafton were much delayed for the want of horses, harnesses, and wagons, and the first train, with four companies of infantry, was not able to leave for Oakland about 10 o'clock p. m. The second train from Grafton, with a few more infantry of the Twentieth, three guns, and twenty-five cavalry, came up soon after. For all on these two trains there was but one baggage wagon, and that belonged to Colonel Morton, of the Twentieth. As soon as the horses of myself and staff could be got off from the cars and guide obtained, all of the infantry (three companies), not required for guard duty, were ordered forward to Chisholm's Mill, with Major Walcutt and Captain bond, of my staff, to report to Colonel Irvine. they arrived there at about 4 p. m. of the 14th. Found no troops there; and, leaving the three companies to rest, went on and reported in person to Colonel Irvine at West Union, at about 6 o'clock a. m., a few minutes before he received news that the rebels had already passed the Red House, at 5 p. m., eight miles farther east. Colonels Irvine and Depuy immediately called to arms and went in pursuit, Major Walcutt with them. Captain Bond returned to Oakland to notify me, but, owing to the fatigue of his horse, did not arrive until 9 a. m.

Anticipating the arrival during the night of several other trains, including that having the horses, wagons, and harnesses ordered to be taken and brought on, I had given orders for such as should come up to march at daylight, od way of Chisholm's Mill, not then knowing any other way to reach the Red House Junction. Several trains were known to have been on the way in time to arrive at Oakland long before daylight. The train with the horses, wagons, and harnesses was reported to be at Rowlesburg before 12 the preceding night, and this property was separated, and portions of it were said to be at Cranberry Summit

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