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Report of Capt. Joshua E. Hobbs, Sixty-fourth Virginia Cavalry. HDQRS. DETACHMENT SIXTY-FOURTH VIRGINIA CAVALRY,
Scott County, Va., October 15, 1864.
I was ordered with a detachment of fifty men to report to Maj. J. H. Nounnan, Sixteenth Virginia Cavalry, September 23. The major took command, moving in the direction of the Kanawha Valley, Va., passing through the mountains, and thence to the Valley.
September 30 attacked a Yankee force at the mouth of Coal River, forcing them across the river. We fought them an hour. Not being able to cross the river, as they had possession of the boats, we then retired from the field, intending to attack Winfield next morning at daylight, but finding our ammunition was nearly expended, we concluded to fall back on the James River and Kanawha turnpike near the Hurricane Bridge and encamp till next morning. As we could not hear from Colonel Witcher, Major Nounnan directed me where to encamp, and took scout of ten men and went in the direction of Winfield to see if he could learn anything from Colonel Witcher; was to report next morning at daylight, at which time if he heard nothing from Witcher he said he intended to make his way out.
I remained in camp till 8 or 9 o'clock next morning, and one of his scouts came in; reported the major and eight of his scouts captured. I resolved to come out by the way of Tug Fork of Sandy. Getting information that the enemy was trying to cut me off at Wyoming CourtHouse, I thought to come out by the way of Rorick's Gap; but learning the Yankees were in Tazewell County, Va., and probably would cut me off at Jeffersonville, Va., I then struck in the direction of Grundy. When I reached there I found the Yankees were passing back to Kentucky. I managed to cross the Lavica road. Our scouts met. I then came through the mountains to Guest's Station; found a force had passed there just a few hours [before]. My horses were too much jaded, and no artillery to pursue them. I then came to Scott County, Va., where I could feed till I could hear from our regiment. I learn it is at Wytheville, Va., or near there.
Our loss was two wounded, one left in the hands of the enemy; major and eight men captured.
We had about seventy-five men in all. Straggling soldiers joined us as we went down; dodged out as we came back. I have about thirty or forty men with me.
Major, my stock is broke down, and it is impossible for me to march till my horses recuperate. I would be glad if you would permit me to report to Colonel Vandeventer, commanding in Lee County, Va., as. there are bushwhackers and Yankee scouts running through the county destroying the crops, &c. If not permitted to report to him, to report to the lame corral in Lee County, Va., from Sixty-fourth Virginia Ĉavalry, till I can recruit my stock.
Major, I can gather a good many absentees belonging to our regiment in a short time if allowed to remain here a few days. If I am ordered to the regiment now I will be compelled to leave a portion of my stock.
I am, yours, respectfully,
JOSHUA E. HOBBS,
Capt., Comdg. Detachment of Sixty-fourth Regt. Virginia Cav. Major JOHNSTON,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Dept. of Southwest Va. and East Tenn.
MAJOR: If Captain Hobbs should be ordered to report to me for a few days I am confident he can do good service. There are a great many absentees in Lee and Scott from Sixty-fourth Virginia and Edmundson's battalion.
A. S. VANDEVENTER,
OCTOBER 7-11, 1864.-Operations in Montgomery County, Md. Report of Brig. Gen. Erastus B. Tyler, U. S. Army, commanding First Separate Brigade, Eighth Army Corps.
HDQRS. FIRST SEPARATE BRIG., EIGHTH ARMY CORPS,
Relay House, October 13, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements of the troops of my command since I received information of the presence of guerrillas in Maryland:
On the 7th instant I was informed by department headquarters that a small body of guerrillas had made their appearance at Sandy Springs, Montgomery County. I at once ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Knight, commanding First Delaware Cavalry, to proceed with his command to Sandy Springs to intercept them. Orders were also given Smith's Independent Company Maryland Cavalry to proceed to same point and report to Colonel Knight for the purpose of thoroughly scouring that whole country.
On the 8th instant orders were received from Major-General Halleck, through department headquarters, to send all the mounted forces toward Rockville to call them in from all points for this purpose; also to send Rank's battery (H), Third Pennsylvania Artillery, which had four guns. at Monrovia, to join the other forces and to cover the Washington Branch of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, as it was reported that Mosby with 800 men had crossed at Snicker's Gap and was about to make a raid into Maryland. These orders were complied with and the troops concentrated at Rockville.
On the 11th instant, at 5 p. m., I was informed by department headquarters that a telegram from Major-General Halleck had been received stating that Mosby had not crossed the Potomac and probably would not, but that my forces should remain in the field for the present, and that I should be left free to move as I might deem best against any guerrillas I might hear of. Immediately upon receipt of this order Colonel Knight was directed to order Rank's battery to Mourovia and to scour the country thoroughly between the railroad and Potomac; to arrest all persons that could not satisfactorily account for themselves; to have his men instructed so as to concentrate them rapidly at any point, and to report as often as possible to these headquarters. All of which was complied with as promptly as time and distance would permit.
I would respectfully state that the southern boundary of my command is described in orders as being on a straight line drawn from mouth of Monocacy River to Annapolis Junction, passing through Barnesville, Middlebrook, and Mechanicsville. The country south of this line and north of the Potomac is included in the Department of Washington. I have never been informed of the withdrawal of the forces
guarding the different fords of the Potomac, except by the order referred to from General Halleck, yet for months past I have kept up daily patrols to the Potomac for my own protection, and when we have found General Augur's pickets withdrawn have guarded the fords as best we could until pickets were re-established. Since the loss of the three infantry regiments my remaining force has been kept nearer the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, with the protection of which I was specially charged. Any other duty or territory it may be the pleasure of my superiors to assign me, I beg to assure you shall receive my prompt attention, and such instructions as may be given me will be complied with if within the scope of my ability and power to accomplish. My entire mounted cavalry force is watching the fords and scouring the country between the Potomac and the railroad, and will continue until ordered to some other duty. Over 200 of the First Delaware Cavalry are without horses and have been since they joined my command. Requisitions have been twice forwarded and the issue strongly urged by my department commander and myself.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Hon. EDWIN M. STANTON,
E. B. TYLER,
Brigadier General, Commanding.
Secretary of War, Washington, D. C.
OCTOBER 11, 1864.-Skirmish near Petersburg, W. Va.
Report of Capt. Daniel Sheets, Sixth West Virginia Cavalry.
New Creek, Va., October 13, 1864.
LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report that a squad of three "Swamps" have arrived here, 5 o'clock this p. m., in charge of a prisoner, one of Imboden's scouts. . They report that the "Swamps," 198 men, under command of Captain Boggs, met the rebels under Harness on the morning of the 11th instant (Tuesday), about two miles south of Petersburg, and a fight took place, lasting about three hours; result not known. Captain Kelley encamped near Greenland Gap last night and moved in direction of Petersburg early this morning; my cavalry following soon after. It appears that the "Swamps" had anticipated the design of the rebels, and had made ample preparations to meet them. Seven deserters have arrived here this day.
Very respectfully, &c.,
Lieut. C. A. FREEMAN,
DANIEL SHEETS, Captain, Commanding Post.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
OCTOBER 26, 1864.-Skirmish at Winfield, W. Va.
Report of Col. John H. Oley, Seventh West Virginia Cavalry. CHARLESTON, W, VA., October 26, 1864. Witcher, with 400 men, attacked Winfield at 3 this a. m., where one company of the Seventhi Virginia Cavalry was stationed. He was repulsed and is retreating. Capt. Philip J. Thurmond fell into our hands
mortally wounded and has since died. Detachment of the Seventh Virginia are in pursuit. The enemy have retreated from Loup Creek, with loss of three or four killed and several wounded. JNO. H. OLEY,
OCTOBER 28-29, 1864.-Operations about Snicker's Gap (28th) and skir mish (29th) at Upperville, Va.
Reports of Maj. Gen. Christopher C. Augur, U. S. Army.
RECTORTOWN, VA., October 29, 1864.
Early yesterday morning I sent a part of the Eighth Illinois Cavalry to near Snicker's Gap to arrest one of Mosby's boarding-house keepers. They have returned with him and 15 of Mosby's men, 17 horses and equipments, and a number of revolvers. The track is taken up to within about a mile of this place. I shall not leave here for White Plains probably until to-morrow.
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
C. C. AUGUR,
Chief of Staff.
SALEM, VA., October 30, 1864.
A portion of the Eighth Illinois had a brush with Mosby yesterday near Upperville, and whipped him badly, killing 7 or 8, and capturing 9. The track will be taken up half way between this and Rectortown to-day. They are getting on very slowly-as fast, however, as they possibly can. I go to White Plains this morning. C. AUGUR,
Chief of Staff.
OCTOBER 29, 1864.-Action at Beverly, W. Va.
No. 1.-Col. Nathan Wilkinson, Sixth West Virginia Infantry, commanding U. S.
forces West of Piedmont.
No. 2.-Lieut. Col. Robert Youart, Eighth Ohio Cavalry, commanding U. S. forces at Beverly.
Reports of Col. Nathan Wilkinson, Sixth West Virginia Infantry, commanding U. S. forces West of Piedmont.
CLARKSBURG, W. VA., October 29, 1864. Major Hall, with 350 rebels, attacked Beverly this morning at daylight. After two hours' hard fighting the enemy was routed completely, with a loss of 115 prisoners, 2 surgeons, 15 killed. Major Hall is mor
tally wounded and in our hands. Our loss, Lieutenant Peck and 6 enlisted men killed; Major Shaw, Lieutenant Howell, and 20 enlisted men wounded. The rebels took to the mountains, very much demoralized.
Colonel, Commanding Forces.
HEADQUARTERS FORCES WEST OF PIEDMONT,
Clarksburg, W. Va., November 11, 1864. LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to herewith transmit LieutenantColonel Youart's (Eighth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry) report of the action at Beverly, W. Va., October 29, 1864.
The rebels, under Major Hall, with a force of about 360 men, attacked Beverly at daybreak on that morning, and after two hours' hard fighting were splendidly repulsed, with a loss of, as follows: Killed in action, lieutenants, 2; enlisted men, 14. Drowned, enlisted men, 4. Total killed, 20. Prisoners wounded, major (Hall), 1; lieutenants, 2; enlisted men, 22; total wounded, 25. Prisoners uninjured, surgeons, 2; lieutenants, 1; enlisted men, 92; total, 95. Total killed, wounded, and uninjured, 140.
Of the uninjured prisoners, ninety-one have been sent to Clarksburg, and thence forwarded to Camp Chase, via Wheeling, W. Va. investigation of the list of these prisoners discloses the fact that they represented no less than twenty-one distinct rebel regiments and batteries.
The casualties on our part were 46, as follows: Killed in action, lieutenant (Peck), 1; enlisted men, 8; total killed, 9. Wounded, major (J. W. Shaw, severely), 1; lieutenant (F. Howell, severely), 1; enlisted men-mortally, 1; severely, 13; slightly, 7; total wounded, 23. Missing in action, supposed to be captured, 14. Total casualties, all of the Eighth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, 46.
The force at Beverly was a detachment of the Eighth Ohio Cavalry, some of whom had no arms, and the greater number who were armed had only the Union carbine, which is the worst thing of the kind I have seen, and is an entirely unreliable weapon.
I would respectfully call the attention of the general commanding to the notice made by Lieut. Col. R. Youart of officers of his command who particularly distinguished themselves on that occasion.
I also inclose a list of the prisoners of war taken at Beverly, and received and forwarded from here to Camp Chase; also a list of the prisoners who were detained at Beverly by reason of wounds; also a list of our own killed, wounded, and missing,* and have the honor to be, Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieut. C. A. FREEMAN,
N. WILKINSON, Colonel, Commanding Forces, &c.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Cumberland, Md.