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lery, to Eastville. After describing the points selected
for his bases of supplies, he stated that he had found
and secured seven new 6-pounder guns, and a num-
ber of small-arms of little value. After declaring
that the people manifested a readiness to submit
to the Federal government, and that they were
arranging to hold county meetings for this purpose,
he wrote: "The basis of the system in western Vir-
ginia will be adopted as a temporary measure. All
with whom I have conversed look to an annexation with
Maryland as an event much to be desired whenever it
can constitutionally be accomplished. This, they think,
can be done by regarding themselves, together with
western Virginia, as the true State of Virginia, and
inducing the State thus constituted and the State of
Maryland to pass the necessary laws. ' ' He advised that
Dix write to the governor of West Virginia, asking him
to make proclamation, as soon as the people have


declared their allegiance to the United States, "ordering
an election for the civil officers and a representative to
the Congress of the United States, " and concluded, "I
hope that by their joint action this interesting people may
be relieved from their present position, and brought into
that association with the State of Maryland to which their
geographical position naturally points. ' '

On November i6th, Maj. W. T. Martin, of the Second
Mississippi cavalry (subsequently major-general), cut off
a foraging party of the Thirtieth New York, near Falls
Church, and captured 30 prisoners, killing 4 and wound-
ing several. On the i8th Lieut. -Col. Fitzhugh Lee, of
the First Virginia cavalry, attacked a Federal picket in
the same vicinity, part of the Brooklyn regiment (Four-
teenth New York) of hard fighters. Two of Lee's men
lost their lives, and 2 of the enemy were killed and 10
captured. On the 26th a squadron of Pennsylvania cav-
alry, on a reconnoissance to Vienna, was attacked by 120
men of the First North Carolina cavalry, under Col.
Robert Ransom, and stampeded. Ransom reported the
capture of 26 prisoners, and a considerable number of
horses, sabers and carbines. The attention of the gov-
ernment was invited to these successful affairs by Gen-
eral Johnston.

Skirmishes followed, of like character, near Dranes-
ville on the 26th, near Fairfax on the 27th, and at
Annandale, December 2d.

Gen. S. G. French, stationed at Evansport, reported
on December 15th that his position had been under fire
from Federal batteries on the Maryland shore during
the past three weeks.

On December 20th Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, with a force
comprising the Eleventh Virginia, Col. Samuel Gar-
land; Sixth South Carolina, Lieutenant-Colonel Secrest;
Tenth Alabama, Col. J. H. Forney, and First Kentucky,
Col. T. H. Taylor, in all 1,600 infantry; Capt. A. S.
Cutts' Georgia artillery (four pieces), Maj. J. B. Gor-
don's North Carolina cavalry, and Capt. A. L. Pitzer's
Virginia cavalry, moved toward Dranesville for the pur-
pose of protecting an expedition of army wagons after
hay. At the same time a Federal expedition approached
Dranesville, on a similar mission. Upon discovering
the presence of the enemy, Stuart sent Pitzer to keep
between them and the wagons, and order the latter


back, while the main body was disposed for a vigorous
attack upon the Federal rear and left flank. The force
Stuart encountered at Dranesville was E.O.C.Ord's Penn-
sylvania brigade of five regiments (including the "Buck-
tails"), two squadrons of cavalry and Easton's battery.
Stuart took position, screening his infantry in a wood,
and when the enemy came up the action was opened by
an artillery combat. Then Stuart ordered forward his
right wing, and the Alabama regiment "rushed with a
shout in a storm of bullets." Colonel Forney fell
wounded, and Lieut. -Col. J. B. Martin was killed. The
other regiments also pushed forward, and a stubborn
fight resulted. "When the action had lasted about two
hours," Stuart reported, "I found that the enemy, being
already in force larger than my own, was recovering
from his disorder, and receiving heavy reinforcements
[Reynolds' and Meade's brigades]." Consequently he
withdrew in order. "The enemy was evidently too much
crippled to follow in pursuit, and after a short halt at
the railroad I proceeded to Fryingpan church, where the
wounded were cared for. "

Early next morning, with two fresh regiments, Stuart
returned to the field, and found that the enemy had evacu-
ated Dranesville and left some of their wounded there.
The official returns of casualties were, on the Federal
side, 7 killed and 6i wounded; on the Confederate, 43
killed, 143 wounded and 8 missing.

The return of the department of Northern Virginia,
Gen. J. E. Johnston commanding, for December, showed
for the Potomac district. General Beauregard, aggregate
infantry, cavalry and artillery, present and absent,
68,047; aggregate present, 55,165; effective total, 44,563.
The forces in the Valley district. General Jackson, were
reported at 12,922 present; in the Aquia district, General
Holmes, 8,244, raising the aggregate present of John-
ston's command to 76,331.



ON the 7th of October, 1861, in recognition of his
distinguished services at the first battle of Manas-
sas, Stonewall Jackson was commissioned major-
general. On November 4th he left Manassas to
take command of the Valley district, to which, Gen.
Joseph E. Johnston, in command of the department of
Northern Virginia, had assigned him, and established his
headquarters at Winchester. Although forming the left
wing of Johnston's army, the main body of which was in
the vicinity of Manassas Junction, Jackson's command
was, in some respects, an independent one, as he had
assigned to him not only the protection of the lower val-
ley of the Shenandoah, but also the extensive Appalachian
country to the northwest that drained into the Potomac,
and along the northeastern border of which ran the Bal-
timore & Ohio railroad. It was all a region of parallel
mountains and narrow valleys with which he was quite
familiar, not only in consequence of his campaigning
there in the earlier part of 1861, but from his knowledge
of it from his boyhood days. Entering upon his command
with but a small body of soldiers, no one would have fore-
cast that he had taken possession of a field which would
make both that and himself famous for all time. The
enemy, through the exigencies of war, had become pos-
sessed of a large part of both the Appalachian and the
Trans- Appalachian portions of Virginia, and Jackson had
frequently expressed a desire to be placed in position to
free that land of his nativity from the Federal invaders.
To him, this assignment, even with an inferior force,
appeared to open the way for the fulfillment of his cher-
ished hopes.

First the Virginia, and then the Confederate campaigns
in the mountain regions of Virginia, during the spring,
summer and fall of 1861, had not only been barren of
results, but in the main well-nigh disastrous. Gamett
had been out-maneuvered and defeated, in the Tygart



valley, in July ; Loring, under Lee, had accomplished noth-
ing in the same valley and in that of the Greenbrier in
August and September, and the commands of Floyd and
Wise along the Kanawha turnpike, even with the assist-
ance of Lee and Loring, had barely sufficed to keep the
enemy in check.*

When Jackson took command in the Valley the advance
of General Rosecrans, who commanded the Federal forces
in West Virginia, had recaptured Romney, 40 miles west
of Winchester, and held it with a force of 5,000 men, thus
controlling the important valley of the South branch of
the Potomac. Bath, the county seat of Morgan, situated
north of Winchester, was also occupied, as was the
Maryland side of the Potomac across the entire front of
the Shenandoah valley and beyond on either side. The
Confederate forces along the Staunton and Parkersburg
turnpike, and the turnpike leading into that from the
Warm Springs, had fallen back to the crest of Alleghany
mountain, while that on the Kanawha road had retired to
Lewisburg, a few miles west of that range. The Balti-
more & Ohio railroad was open from the eastward to Har-
per's Ferry and from the westward to Hancock, for the
use of the Federal army, a gap 40 miles long being the
only portion broken and controlled by the Confederates,
and even this was filled on the Maryland side by the
Chesapeake & Ohio canal, furnishing water communica-
tion from Cumberland to Georgetown and Washington.

Studying the field intrusted to him and the strategic
opportunities presented for driving the enemy from the
mountain region to the westward, Jackson asked that his
old brigade might be sent him from Manassas, and that
all the troops holding the passes of Alleghany mountain
to the southwest, some 15,000 or 16,000 in number, be
ordered to report to him. The government, not then
knowing the man, declined to comply fully with his re-
quest, but promptly sent him his old brigade, and one of

* The first campaign in the Kanawha valley, under General Wise,
has been described in this volume. The later operations in that
region, in 1861, under the command of General Floyd, and ^at the
last, about Sewell mountain, under Gen. R. E. Lee, are described
in the Military History of West Virginia, in another volume of this
work. To that volume reference is also made for accounts of subse-
quent military operations within the limits of the State of West
Virginia, except such as were part of the campaigns of the army of
Northern Virginia.


Loring's brigades reached him from the Staunton and
Parkersburg line early in December. Loring did not
arrive in person until very nearly the end of the month of
December, but Jackson, with characteristic energy, im-
proved the opportunity to drill his command and equip it
for service, and to organize certain cavalry companies in
his district into a regiment, under the command of Lieut. -
Col. Turner Ashby.

Unwilling to be idle and leave his foe to believe that
he was not ready for action, Jackson dispatched a small
force of infantry and a battery to break Dam No. 5, seven
miles above Williamsport, across the Potomac, which
supplied a long level of the canal with water, and thus
destroy the line of communication between Cumberland
and Washington. On the afternoon of December 6th,
Jackson's force reached the dam, and while he kept up an
active skirmish across the Potomac for two "days, an effort
was made to break the dam on the night of the 7th, but
with little success. Unwilling to be foiled in his under-
taking, Jackson again left Winchester on the i6th with a
larger force, and on the 1 7th, having disposed his troops
to provide against a flank movement and also to make
demonstrations at Dam No. 4, at Williamsport, he sent
parties to break Dam No. 5 at its Virginia end. The
Federal infantry and artillery kept up a vigorous and
annoying fire from the Maryland side on Jackson's work-
ing party, so that little was accomplished during the day ;
but that night Captain HoUiday, of the Thirty-third, and
Captain Robinson, of the Twenty-seventh, volunteered
to go doTvn with their companies and wade in and cut out
the cribs that supported the dam. It reqtiired heroic
endurance to stand waist deep in the water on a cold
December night, and under a constant fire of the enemy,
but a partial breach was made and the cribs so loosened
that a later freshet made a wide gap in the dam and
rendered useless for some time a long stretch of the canal.
During Jackson's stay to effect the object of this expedi-
tion, it became evident from the arrival of Federal regi-
ments to reinforce the command at Williamsport, that it
would be hazardous for him to cross the Potomac and
attack his opponents, so he withdrew on the 21st and
returned to Winchester.

While engaged in the expedition to Dam No. 5, news
reached Jackson of the decisive victory Gen. Edward


Johnson had won at his camp on Alleghany mountain on
December 13th. Jackson promptly advised that Edward
Johnson's force should either reinforce him or advance
down the South Branch valley toward Moorefield, so as to
co-operate with him in an attack he proposed to make on
Romney, where he supposed the force of the enemy was
about 10,000, but being constantly reinforced. He wrote
to both Gen. J. E. Johnston and Adjutant- General Cooper.
He was not listened to, and later in the winter Johnson
was forced to fall back to the Shenandoah mountain in
consequence of a movement threatening his flank from
the direction of Romney.

Loring and the last two of his brigades joined Jackson
on Christmas day of 1861. It was agreed that Loring
should retain command of his own troops, the three infan-
try brigades under Col. William B. Taliaferro, Col. Wil-
liam Gilham and Brig. -Gen. S. R. Anderson, and Marye's
and Shumaker's batteries, in all nearly 6,000 men, which
increased Jackson's entire force, counting 2,000 or 3,000
militia, to about 11,000. Loring was recognized as second
in command.

Having secured all the troops that the Confederate
authorities would intrust him with, Jackson, feeling that
the force in hand was inadequate to the undertaking, but
burning with a desire to recover western Virginia, deter-
mined to move on the enemy, notwithstanding the late-
ness of the season and the difficulties that would have to
be encountered in a winter campaign in a mountainous
region. He desired to first clear out the foe from his own
district, which extended well toward the line of the
Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike to the district which
was recently commanded by -Loring, and still held by
Gen. Edward Johnson, damaging the Baltimore & Ohio
railroad along the Potomac as much as possible, and then
be guided by circumstances in reference to a campaign
farther to the northwest. Preparations were energetic-
ally pushed, and by the last day of the year the army was
ready to move.

Rosecrans, satisfied that there would be no further
westward movement of the Confederates until spring,
had determined, under cover of his 5,000 troops at Rom-
ney, to collect the whole force of his department, some
22,000 men, along the line of the Baltimore & Ohio rail-
road, with the hope of securing permission from Gen-


eral McClellan to use these forces in an attack upon the
Valley for the purpose of seizing, fortif jring and holding-
Winchester, and thus dominating all of northeastern Vir-
ginia, and at the same time threatening Johnston's posi-
tion at Manassas. These intentions of the enemy were
speedily frustrated by Jackson, when, on the ist of Jan-
uary, 1862, a bright and pleasant day, his army started
for Bath, near the line of the Baltimore & Ohio railroad.
The army consisted of his own old brigade, commanded
by Gen. R. B. Garnett, the three brigades under Loring, a,
part of the militia, five batteries, and most of Ashby's-
regiment of cavalry, the whole numbering about 9,000
men. This movement against Bath, if successful, would
disperse the enemy at Hancock, destroy communication,
between General Banks on the east and General Kelley
on the west, and by threatening the latter's rear, force
him to evacuate Romney or contend with a superior
force. Before the first day ended a cold storm set in.
from the northwest, the beginning of a protracted period
of very inclement weather. The second day the storm
continued, and the trains were delayed by icy mountain
roads, byways having been chosen, instead of following
I the great turnpike, to conceal the movement. As the
trains could not get up, the troops were forced to pass-
the night of the 2d near Unger's, without rations and
many of them without covering. On the morning of the
3d the wagons came up, and after a short delay for cook-
ing and eating, the march was resumed. Later that day
snow and sleet set in, adding to the discomfort of the
army and making the roads so slippery that the wagons
were again unable to keep up. That night was spent in
the midst of the storm about four miles southwest of
Bath. The advance had dispersed and captured some of
a scouting party of the enemy. On the morning of the
4th, Jackson disposed his forces to surround Bath, send-
ing a detachment across the mountain to the left in order
to make a flank movement from the west, the main body
pushing along the direct road with regiments thrown
out on the right and left as flankers. Exhausted by the
cold and suffering of the preceding days, and especially
by the storm of the night before, the troops moved
slowly, greatly hindered by the ice and frozen sleet
that covered the ground, so that a large part of the day
was consumed before the Confederates, led by Lieut.-


Col. W. S. H. Baylor, of Jackson's staff, dashed into the
town. The latter had been held by a part of the Thirty-
ninth Illinois regiment, a squadron of cavalry and a sec-
tion of artillery, reinforced on the morning of the 4th by
the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania from Hancock, and at
midday by the Thirteenth Indiana. These Federal
troops skirmished for some hours with Jackson's advance,
then hastily retired, their commander. Colonel Murray
of the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania, having decided not to
await an attack. They retreated precipitately to Han-
cock, leaving their stores and camp at Bath to be captured.

Finding the enemy gone, Jackson ordered an immedi-
ate pursuit, his main body moving toward Hancock and
driving the rear of the enemy across the Potomac ; Gil-
ham moved toward Sir John's run, but did no damage to
the enemy retreating in that direction, as they were able
to check his advance with a few men, along the narrow
defile of the run, until after dark, when they made good
their retreat over the Potomac. Colonel Rust, with the
Third Arkansas, the Thirty-seventh Virginia and two
guns, was sent to destroy the Baltimore & Ohio raiU
road bridge over the Big Cacapon. The guard made a
stout resistance, but he drove it off on the morning of
the sth and destroyed the bridge, railroad station and
telegraph line.

Jackson bivouacked with his main force opposite Han-
cock on the night of the 4th. The next morning, through
Colonel Ashby, he demanded a surrender of the town,
threatening if that were not done in two hours, given
for the removal of non-combatants, he would open his
batteries upon it. General Lander, who had assumed
command at Hancock, refused to surrender and prepared
to resist until large reinforcements, which had been sum-
moned from both east and west over the National road,
could reach him. Jackson put several pieces of artillery
in position and kept up a brisk cannonade during the
afternoon of the sth and the forenoon of the 6th, mean-
time trpng to construct a bridge across the Potomac, two
miles above Hancock, that he might cross the river and
fall on Lander's flank. Finding that it would take sev-
eral days to construct this bridge, during which time the
enemy in front of him would be largely reinforced, and
having freed this part of his district from the enemy and
destroyed such stores as he could not carry away. Jack-


son left the vicinity of Hancock, on the morning of the
7th, and marched in the direction of Romney, the head of
his column reaching Unger's cross roads that evening.
The condition of the weather, and especially of the roads
on which the sleet and snow, tramped by the marching
soldiers, had become frozen and glassy so that it was with
great difficulty that the troops could make progress, and
almost impossible for the trains and artillery to be moved
at all, filled the whole line of march with falling, disa-
bled or killed horses. The cold was intense, and the biv-
ouac the night of January 7, 1862, was one long to be
remembered by even Jackson's hardy and much endur-
ing soldiery. The march could not be continued until
the horses were rough shod, and Jackson, ever impatient
of delay, was forced to remain for some days at Unger's
for this purpose.

The day that Jackson retired from Hancock, January
7th, a detachment of the Federal troops at Romney, tak-
ing the road to Winchester, fell on a body of some 700
Virginia militia, under Colonel Monroe, with Sheets'
company of cavalry, and 30 artillerists with two pieces of
artillery, under Lieut. W. E. Cutshaw, in the narrow
gorge called Hanging Rock, just across the North river
of the Big Cacapon, captured the Confederate pickets
about daylight and, having turned Monroes' left, took his
command by surprise, and pressing upon them with an
overwhelming force scattered them in great confusion,
capturing the two guns, part of the baggage and 7 pris-
oners. The Federal trocfps burned the mills and private
houses at and near Hanging Rock, and then returned to
Romney, burning houses and killing cattle on their way,
encouraged to this vandalism by those in commani
•Their track of 15 miles, from Hanging Rock to Romney,
' was one continued scene of desolation.

On the 13th Jackson resumed his march to Romney.
During this delay he had not been altogether idle, for on
the roth he had dispatched, in opposite directions, Brig.-
Gen. G. C. Meem, with 545 militia infantry, toward Moore-
field, and Brigadier-General Carson, with 200 militia in-
.fantry and 25 mounted militia, for Bath, 16 miles away, to
confuse the enemy as to his intentions, while Ashby hov-
ered near Romney watching the movements of the Fed-
eral forces. Apprehensive of disaster. General Lander, in
command of the Federal forces, evacuated Romney on


the loth and fell back to the Baltimore & Ohio railroad
at Patterson's creek, where he concentrated the Federal
troops from Hancock and Cumberland with those from
Romney and Springfield.

Jackson's advance encamped on the night of the 13th
near Slanesville, establishing headquarters at Bloomery
gap. The next day, marching through another storm of
driving sleet, his advance entered Romney in the even-
ing, capturing some stores and supplies which the Fed-
erals had left behind in their precipitate retreat. Having
Romney in possession, Jackson prepared for a movement
on Cumberland, to destroy the railroad bridges across the^
Potomac near that town, as well as those across Patter- *
son and New creeks. He selected Gamett's and Talia-
ferro's brigades for this purpose, in order to destroy th&
enemy's line of communication preparatory to a further
aggressive movement; but a new obstacle, more difficult,
to overcome than the serious natural ones he had just-
encountered, now confronted him. While the troops
selected for the new expedition did not break out in act-
ual revolt, their murmurings were loud. They made
open complaint of the suffering they had endured and /
concerning the greater ones they imagined in store for
them if this campaign were continued in such an inhos-
pitable country and amidst the thawing and freezing of a
rigorous, though changeable winter. Especially was
this opposition strong in Taliaferro's brigade, which had
not been accustomed to Jacksonian discipline under the^
command of Loring. Not a fdw of the officers of Jack-
son's old command sympathized with those who had been
selected for the arduous duty Jackson had in view. A
rain and thaw set in at about this time, and changed the
frozen roads into slush and mire. Jackson reluctantly
submitted to the discontent of his troops and the unfa-
vorable conditions, relinquished his aggressive intentions
and prepared to defend what he had already won. He
had in two weeks and with little loss, though with much
suffering, discomfited the enemy opposed to him and dis-
concerted their offensive plans; practically expelling
them from all his district, liberating three fertile coun-
ties from their domination, and thereby securing sources
of supply for the subsistence of his own army.

Loring 's three brigades and thirteen pieces of artillery
were quartered at and near Romney; Boggs' brigade of -


-militia, mainly gathered from that region, was disposed
i along the South branch to Moorefield, with his pickets
joining those of Edward Johnson from Camp Alleghany
■on the southwest. Three companies of Ashby's cavalry
were left with Loring for outpost duty. Carson's brigade

Online LibraryClement Anselm EvansConfederate military history; a library of Confederate States history → online text (page 20 of 153)