Today in History:

48 Series I Volume XXIX-I Serial 48 - Bristoe, Mine Run Part I

Page 48 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.

Northwest, near Huntersville, Va.), I received a dispatch from Colonel W. W. Arnett, commanding detachment at Hightown, Va., that the enemy in large force were in Monterey the evening before, and that he had fallen back to Slaver's, 5 miles this side. I dispatched the information to the commanding officer of the post at Stauton (the dispatch was received in Staunton at 2 p. m. of that day, a distance of 75 miles), with the request that a copy be forwarded to General Imboden. I also dispatched to the general commanding, and to Colonel George S. Patton, commanding First Brigade, at Lewisburg, and expressed the opinion in the several dispatches that a raid was intended upon Staunton, and also my intention to so move as to get in the rear of the invading force, as it was impossible for me then to get to their front. To Colonel Patton I suggested the propriety of sending a force to the Little Levels.

My command at this time was in detachments (rendered necessary to protect the lines I had been ordered to guard), one at Hightown, 35 miles from my headquarters; one at Camp Miller, 14 miles; one on Thorny Creek, near Green Bank, 10 miles distant, and the other at Camp Northwest.

I directed Colonel Arnett, if pressed, to fall back to me in good order, disputing the advance whenever he could, and I proceeded to draw in the other detachments, which was accomplished during the day.

In the morning of that day, I moved Lieutenant-Colonel Evans with a detachment to Gatewood's, on Back Creek, with a view to the protection of my rear if the advance was on me, and to be my advance guard if the enemy proceeded to Staunton. At 3 p. m., receiving a dispatch from Colonel Arnett, that he was being pressed and was falling back down Back Creek toward Gatewood's, I moved my infantry to that point, arriving at 6 p. m. (a distance of 9 miles), leaving my mounted men at Camp Northwest. This movement was dispatched to the general commanding, to Colonel Patton, and the Colonel Nadenbousch, commanding at Stanton, expressing the opinion that Staunton was not the point of attack.

During that night, the mounted men (with train) of Colonel Arnett's detachment arrived at Camp Northwest, reporting the enemy to be within 8 miles of that camp advancing, and that Colonel Arnett, with his infantry, were cut off. I also learned then that Colonel Arnett, after moving down Back Creek a short distance, for the reason mentioned in his report, had returned to Irving's and fell back, skirmishing with the enemy down Knapp's Creek, and had afterward been cut off with his infantry. Upon my arrival at Gatewood's I re-enforced Lieutenant-Colonel Evans by two companies, and moved his detachment 2 miles up Back Creek and posted the residue of my infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Thompson, 1 miles in his rear.

On the next morning, the 22d, the enemy advancing on Camp Northwest, I ordered the cavalry to Gatewood's, leaving Captain Hutton, with his company, between Rider's and Camp Northwest, to watch the enemy. To ascertain positively whether an advance was being made on Staunton, I ordered Major Kesler, with 60 mounted men, to McDowell, on the Staunton and Parkersburg turnpike, via Jackson's River and Warm Springs. I also ordered a scout to Warm Springs, to watch the route to that place from Back Creek, and also scouted up Back Creek.

In the evening of the 22d, Captain Hutton had a skirmish with the enemy near Camp Northwest; was forced to fall back to Rider's,

Page 48 OPERATIONS IN N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XLI.