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9 Series I Volume XXI- Serial 31 - Fredericksburg

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Page 9 Chapter XXXIII. EXPEDITION TO COLD KNOB MOUNTAIN, W.VA.,ETC.

Volunteer Infantry and the Second West Virginia Cavalry on an expedition to Greenbier County, West Virginia, via the Cold Knob road, instructing Colonel Lane, commanding Eleventh Regiment, to march by Job's Knob, thereby saving a distance of 10 miles, and to get between the enemy's pickets and their camp on the morning of the 26th ultimo by 10 a.m. Colonel Paxton's orders were to meet the pickets in front at that time. The severe snow-storm they encountered prevented this arrangement from being carried out in the manner as directed. The object of the expedition was to surprise and capture the enemy, who were encamped in small bodies through this valley, and to push some cavalry to Covington via Coleman's [Callaghan's?], and release Dr. Rucker, a Union prisoner, who was being tried there for his life. Colonel Lane turning back before meeting the main body of the enemy, the cavalry in turn were forced to return, beins so much encumbered with prisoners after taking their first camp, only in part accomplishing the object of the expedition. Too much praise cannot be given to Colonel Paxton and his regiment.

For details, see accompanying reports of Colonels Paxton and Lane.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

[GEORGE CROOK,]

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major G. M. BASCOM,

Asst. Adjt. General, District of Western Virginia.


No. 2. Report of Colonel Philander P. Lane, Eleventh Ohio Infantry.

HDQRS. ELEVENTH Regiment OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY, Summerville, Va., December 1, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to your order, I left the post on the 24th ultimo with 500 men. We were delayed several hours in crossing Gauley River, and it was after noon when the march was resumed. We reached a point 17 miles from Summerville that night. We marched at 6 o'clock on the morning of the 25th, and encamped that night near Cranberry road, on the top of Cold Knob.

Our march was resumed at 6.30 o'clock on the morning of the 26th, and we reached Cranberry road at 8 a.m. The storm and bad roads had delayed the cavalry, and they were three hours behind time. On their arrival, Colonel Paxton ordered me to take the advance and drive in the enemy's pickets, and then to open ranks and allow the cavalry to pass us and dash into the camp, and from that point return to our camp at this place. We proceeded down the mountain several miles, and met a party of the enemy's scouts. We fired upon them, and wounded 2; then opened ranks and allowed the cavalry to pass us, according to the previously arranged plan, after which we marched to the camp of the previous night, and on the morning of the 29th arrived in camp at this place.

Rain commenced falling the morning of the second day, and continued until we reached the top of Cold Knob, where we found a furious snow storm raging. Our clothing was completely wet through, and we had no opportunity of drying it. The snow continued to fall for the next thirty-six hours, and the cold to increase, and on the morning of the 26th we found our clothing frozen fast. In the rifles many of the hammers had collected ice between them and the lock-plates, so that


Page 9 Chapter XXXIII. EXPEDITION TO COLD KNOB MOUNTAIN, W.VA.,ETC.

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