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his troops, unused to such exertions, being greatly fatigued, General Rosecrans halted.
No communication was received at head-quarters from Rosecrans after eleven o'clock. The firing at Rich Mountain was distinctly heard; but great fears were entertained that the attack had failed. “Soon after the cessation of the distant firing,” says General McClellan, "an officer was observed to ride into the intrenchments and address the garrison. We could not distinguish the words he uttered, but his speech was followed by prolonged cheering, which impressed many with the belief that it had fared badly with our detachment.”
General McClellan determined to attack the enemy in front, and Lieutenant Poe was sent to select a proper position for the artillery. Upon his reporting one, a party was despatched to cut a road to it. It was now too late in the day to begin an attack; but one was resolved upon early the next morning, in hopes of relieving Rosecrans if he were hard pressed by the enemy. The next morning, however, the pickets reported that Colonel Pegram had deserted his works and fled over the mountains. Leaving Rosecrans at Rich Mountain, General McClellan pushed on to Beverly. He thus effectually cut off General Garnett's communications with Staunton. His despatch was as follows:
“Rich Mountain, VA., 9 A.M., July 12. “COLONEL E. D. TOWNSEND, Assistant Adjutant-General:
“We are in possession of all the enemy's works up to a point in sight of Beverly. We have taken all his guns, a very large amount of wagons, tents, &c., every thing he
had, and also a large number of prisoners, many of whom are wounded, and amongst whom are several officers. They lost many killed. We have lost in all perhaps twenty killed and forty wounded, of whom all but two or three were in the column under Colonel Rosecrans, which turned the position. The mass of the enemy escaped through the woods, entirely disorganized. Among the prisoners is Dr. Taylor, formerly of the army. Colonel Pegram was in command.
“Colonel Rosecrans's column left camp yesterday morning and marched some eight miles through the moun. tains, reaching the turnpike some two or three miles in the rear of the enemy. He defeated an advanced force, and took a couple of guns. I had a position ready for twelve guns near the main camp, and as the guns were moving up I ascertained that the enemy had retreated. I am now pushing on to Beverly,-a part of Colonel Rosecrans's troops being now within three miles of that place. Our success is complete, and almost bloodless. I doubt whether Wise and Johnston will unite and overpower me. The behavior of our troops in action and towards prisoners was admirable.
“G. B. McClellan, “Major-General commanding."
On the night of the 11th, General Garnett, learning of the disaster at Rich Mountain, fell back on Beverly; but, finding his retreat that way cut off, he retraced his steps, and took the northern road by St. George and West Union. In accordance with orders, General Morris followed him, and overtook him at Carrick's Ford, on the main fork of Cheat River. The enemy were posted in a tolerably strong position, but did not withstand the attack, led by Captain Bonham, and retreated in confusion.
General Garnett was himself killed while endeavoring to rally his troops. With soldier-like generosity, General Morris directed the remains to be carefully removed, and afterwards forwarded them to the family in Virginia.
The enemy lost in these engagements about two hundred killed, besides wounded and prisoners, seven or eight pieces of artillery, and large military stores. General Hill failed to carry out the directions sent to him to pursue General Garnett's force, and they escaped. Colonel Pegram, however, finding that Garnett had retreated, fell back on Beverly, and was compelled to surrender at discretion, on the 13th, with about six hundred men. General McClellan occupied Huttonsville and the Cheat Mountain Pass, thus gaining the key to Western Virginia. On the 19th of July be issued the following address to the army:
“SOLDIERS OF THE ARMY OF THE WEST:
“I am more than satisfied with you. You have annihilated two armies, commanded by educated and experienced soldiers, intrenched in mountain-fastnesses, and fortified at their leisure. You have taken five guns, twelve colors, fifteen hundred stand of arms, one thousand prisoners, including more than forty officers. One of the second commanders of the rebels is a prisoner; the other lost his life on the field of battle. You have killed more than two hundred and fifty of the enemy, who has lost all his baggage and camp-equipage. All this has been done with the loss of twenty brave men killed and sixty wounded on your part.
“You have proved that Union men fighting for the preservation of our Government are more than a match for
our misguided and erring brothers. More than this, you have shown mercy to the vanquished. You have made long and arduous marches, with insufficient food, frequently exposed to the inclemency of the weather. I have not hesitated to demand this of you, feeling that I could rely on your endurance, patriotism, and courage. In the future I may have still greater demands to make upon you, still greater sacrifices for you to offer. It shall be my care to provide for you to the extent of my ability ; but I know now that by your valor and endurance you will accomplish all that is asked.
"Soldiers, I have confidence in you, and I trust you have learned to confide in me. Remember that discipline and subordination are qualities of equal value with courage. I am proud to say that you have gained the highest reward that American troops can receive,—the thanks of Congress and the applause of your fellow-citizens.
“Geo. B. McClellan, Major-General.”
In the mean time, affairs looked perilous in Genoral Cox's department, south of the Little Kanawha River. General McClellan was preparing to take command there in person, when, on the 22d of July, he received orders to hand over his command to General Rosecrans and report at Washington, where a wider field awaited him.
Thus ended the campaign in Western Virginia. It seems insignificant by the side of some of the bloody contests which have since taken place; but its moral effect was remarkable. It was the first trial that the raw troops of the North were put to, and its success was most encouraging. This is shown by the general satisfaction with wbich, in the midst of the gloom created by the battle of Bull
Run, the intelligence was received that General McClellan was summoned to Washington.
In organizing the Western Army, General MCClellan's services were of great value. parations had been made beforehand for the strug. gle; and it is his deserved honor that, finding the West unprepared, he organized the germ of that brave army which has since gained such renown in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
WHEN General McClellan assumed command in Washington, on the 27th of July, the whole number of troops in and around the city was a little over fifty thousand, of whom less than a thousand were cavalry, and about six hundred and fifty were artillery-men, with nine imperfect field-batteries of thirty pieces. They were encamped in places selected without regard to purposes of defence or instruction; the roads were not picketed, and there was no attempt at an organization into brigades. The works of defence were very limited in number and very defective in character. There was nothing to prevent the enemy's shelling the city from heights within easy range, and very little to prevent their occupying those heights had they been so disposed. The streets of Washington were crowded with straggling officers and disorderly men, absent from their stations without authority, whose be