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9 Series I Volume LI-I Serial 107 - Supplements Part I

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Page 9 Chapter LXIII. ENGAGEMENT AT RICH MOUNTAIN, W. VA.

march in advance, in the direction of the enemy. When within three-quarters of a mile of the enemy's works I came upon their pickets, who fired upon us, mortally wounding Captain Chris. Miller,* who fella t my side while gallantly pushing forward his company, and also instantly killing Sergt. James A. Taggart, and severely wounding Orderly Sergt. Chauncey H. Thompson, of Company A. I ordered Company A to fire, which they did, killing five of the enemy. Under your orders I immediately pushed forward the column (and threw out four companies as skirmishers), letting my left rest on the road and my right extend tot he brow of the Mountain overlooking the Beverly Valley. In this position I moved forward during a violent mountain rainstorm, which drenched the men to such an extent that I was astonished that they were able to keep the locks of their guns dry until we came to within 350 yards of the enemy's batteries and infantry, when we formed a line of battle and opened fire upon the enemy, which they returned with great spirit from their batteries and infantry, throwing from their batteries shrapnel, shot, ball, &c., with rapidity and force. I immediately gave the comma; and for the men to lie down (being at that time far in advance toward the enemy), which in a great measure sheltered them from the enemy's fire, in which posture they remained, receiving the fire of the enemy entirely alone for full forty minutes, and returning a fire which had great effect for the time to silence the batteries and drive the infantry of the enemy from the road. During this fire the Eighth Indiana Regiment, under Colonel Benton, took position on the right, and three companies of the Thirteenth Indiana Regiment, under Colonel Sullivan, on the left, when we received your order to form column by platoons and charge the battery and intrenchments of the enemy, which was done as promptly as the rugged nature of the ground would admit, being supported gallantly on the right by the Eighth Indiana and on the left by the Thirteenth Indiana Regiments. On reaching the road in our charge down the emy was dispersed and fled in confusion up the side of the opposite mountain and down the road toward their fortifications, very hotly pursued in their flight, and quite a number of prisoners taken by us. When near the road I saw the enemy attempting to escape with one of their cannon. I gave the command to shoot the horses, which Sergeant Davis, of Company G, did, when a portion of Company E, under Corporal Lawrie, and of Company K, under Lieutenants Fahnstock and Beitzell, deployed down the road, overtook the cannon, and took possession of it. In making this capture, Private Brooks, of Company K, was severely and dangerously wounded. I immediately ordered the wounded horse to be unloosed and my men to haul the cannon to a high point on the Beverly road, which they did, when Captain Konkle, of Company K, Nineteenth Ohio Regiment, took charge of it, loaded and brought it to bear upon the road to rake any advance oft the enemy if they attempted to return or be re- enforced from heir fortifications. The cannon was taken from and brought to bear against the enemy within ten minutes' time after it was in their possession. I then threw out Company B, Captain Fleming, and Company G, under command of Lieutenant E. H. Morgan, as skirmishers down the valley in direction of Camp Garnett, during which Private Ethington, of Company B, captured and returned five prisoners. With the other eight companies I formed the line of battle across the Beverly road, with the right extending well up the Mountain, facing the direction of the enemy's approach

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*Records show that Captain Miller was not dead at the date of the muster out of his company, August 6, 1861.

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Page 9 Chapter LXIII. ENGAGEMENT AT RICH MOUNTAIN, W. VA.

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