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10 Series I Volume XXI- Serial 31 - Fredericksburg

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Page 10 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

they could not be moved. The snow was from 6 to 8 inches deep; the cold was intense, and the men almost exhausted. Under these discouraging circumstances, a further prosecution of the expedition was abandoned.

I omitted to state that I found it impossible to gain the rear of the enemy's camp from the top of Cold Knob, as all the roads and paths came in above even their pickets.

Respectfully submitted.

P. P. LANE,

Colonel, commanding Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry.

[Brigadier General GEORGE CROOK.]


No. 3. Report of Colonel John C. Paxton, Second West Virginia Cavalry.

HDQRS. SECOND WEST VIRGINIA VOLUNTEER CAVALRY, Camp Piatt, December 2, 1862.

SIR: In obedience to your order, I marched my command, consisting of Companies G, I, F, A, K, D, E, and H, Second West Virginia Volunteer Cavalry [in all, 475 men, rank and file, in good order], on the morning of November 24, for Summerville, arriving there at 10 p.m. the same day, a distance of 53 miles.

Left Summerville next morning at 7 o'clock, and arrived at the Hinkle farm at 4 p.m., 35 miles, and, being able to obtain some hay there, remained until 4 a.m. the 26th, when we took up the line of march, in a blinding snow-storm, for Greenbrier, via Cold Knob Mountain, where we arrived at 10 a.m. the same day; distance, 20 miles. Met Colonel Lane, Eleventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry, who was to assist me in breaking up a camp of the rebels at the foot of the mountain; but, on account of the severity of the weather and hard marching, he wished to return to his camp at Summerville. I asked him to take the advance, until we met the enemy's pickets, which he did, and, in about 1 mile, exchanged shots with 6 of the enemy, wounding 1. Colonel Lane at once opened his ranks, and gave us the road. We pushed rapidly into the enemy's camp, a distance of some 5 miles, effecting a complete surprise, at 12 m., the enemy scattering in all directions.

We killed 2, wounded 2, paroled 1, and captured 2 commissioned officers [1 captain and 1 second lieutenant], 111 non-commissioned officers and privates, 106 horses, and 5 mules; burned and destroyed about 200 Enfield and Mississippi rifles and 50 sabers, with other accouterments, stores, and supplies, and their camp tents, &c. I had 2 horses killed in the enemy's camp, and lost 10 on the march from fatigue and exhaustion.

The enemy was found 3 miles from the foot of Cold Knob Mountain, on Sinking Creek, Greenbrier County, West Virginia, at Lewis' Mill, and consisted of a part of five companies of cavalry, viz, Rockbridge Cavalry, Braxton Dragoons, Churchville Cavalry, Valley Cavalry, and Nighthawk Rangers. They were men who had been in the service fifteen months, and were located at this point to guard the mountain pass, and to organize a part of A. G. Jenkins' brigade. Our success was complete. We never lost a drop of blood.

After securing the prisoners and horses and destroying the camp, &c., we marched at 4 p.m. [26th] for Summerville, where we arrived on the 27th at noon, making 120 miles for men and horses, without food or rest,


Page 10 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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