Today in History:

39 Series I Volume XXXIII- Serial 60 - New Berne


7 miles from Petersburg, from whom we learned that we would be attacked the following morning at daylight.

At midnight, every preparation being completed, the command moved off quietly taking with us, with some trifling exceptions, all our stores and Government property. The Patterson's Creek road being occupied by the enemy, I was compelled to take an unfrequented and difficult mountain road, through Reel's Gap to the base of the Alleghany Mountains, and from thence to Greenland Gap, at which place the head of the column arrived at 10. 15 a. m., January 31. The train was delayed eight hours crossing a spur of the mountain, where I was compelled to abandon several caissons, chests, and other property in order to enable the train to cross the mountain. Since our arrival here nearly all of the stores abandoned at that place have been brought in.

At 5 p. m. we went into camp 18 miles from New Creek. Shortly afterward information was brought in that the enemy was pursuing and was in force within a few miles of us. Having received orders from division headquarters to proceed to New Creek as rapidly as possible, I gave orders to move at 1 a. m., February 1, and arrived at this post at 11. 30 a. m. The column arrived in good condition, without casualty or disaster on the way, with the exception of a few stragglers that were picked up by the enemy while in a state of intoxication. Among these I am sorry to say were Captain John Rourke, Illinois Light Artillery, and Captain William S. Robb, First West Virginia Volunteer Infantry.

On my arrival at this place the Third and Fourth Pennsylvania Reserves, Fourth West Virginia Cavalry, and the Sixth West Virginia Battery were temporarily assigned to my brigade, and in accordance with orders from division headquarters my command, with the exception of the Ringgold Battalion and Carlin's battery, was moved upon the mountain east of this place called Piano Fort. At 12 p. m. Captain Greenfield, with 100 of the Ringgold Battalion and four companies of infantry, moved out on a reconnaissance to Ridgeville, where a body of rebel cavalry was supposed to be.

At daylight, February 2, information was received that the enemy had evacuated that place the evening before at 7 o'clock. Captain Greenfield moved forward to Burlington, and sent back information that Rosser's command had left that place the evening before, going down Patterson's Creek.

In accordance with orders, I sent to Burlington the Third Pennsylvania Reserves and Lieutenant Kelley's two howitzers, all under command of Major Briner, Third Pennsylvania Reserves. At 4 p. m. I received orders to move to the same place with the First and Fourteenth West Virginia Infantry Regiments, Fourth Pennsylvania Reserves, and Carlin's battery, where I was directed to bivouac and await further orders. On account of delay, caused by bad roads, it was after dark when the battery got down from Piano Fort, and owing to the darkness of the night the command did not reach Burlington until 3 a. m., February 3.

At 5 a. m. a scouting party brought information that Rosser had left Sheets' Mill the evening before, and was supposed to have gone in the direction of Romney. I immediately moved forward the cavalry and one regiment of infantry to Moorefield Junction, where it was discovered that the enemy had passed in the early part of the night. Communication was had with Lieutenant-Colonel Thompson, commanding General Averell's cavalry, at Romney, and Lieu-