August 8th Report of Lt. John R. Massey, Lee Battery, C. S. Army

Pocahontas County, Va., August 8, 1861.

SIR: On the morning of the 11th of July, 1861, I was stationed, with one gun and detachment under my command, in a gorge on the left of the front breastworks at Camp Garnett, near the Rich Mountain, in the county of Randolph, Va.

On the morning of the 11th of July you notified me to hold myself in readiness for prompt action. Between 10 and 11 o’clock a. m. I was informed by Colonel Heck that it was your order that my gun should be moved to the top of the Stonecoal Hill, which was on the extreme left of the camp in front. I moved to that position thereafter. Discovering a number of the enemy’s cavalry on top of Rich Mountain, opposite Hart’s house, about one and a half miles in the rear of our breastworks, I requested Colonel Heck to inform Colonel Pegram.

About 12 1\2 o’clock the firing of a gun at Hart’s Hill, on Rich Mountain, commenced. After the fire of that gun had continued for some time forty of our breastworks. I commenced firing on them as they retired. The fire on the Rich Mountain continued for some time-between two and three hours. Shortly after its cessation the enemy commenced chopping and working with picks on the ascent of the hill called the Sugar Hill, on my left. While this was going on we heard the noise of guncarriages ascending the hill. The day had been cloudy and rainy. The day had been cloudy and rainy. The appearance of the sun about thirty minutes discovered to me a large body of the enemy’s infantry marching along the side of Sugar Hill next to me. To sun was now about an hour high. I commenced firing upon them. The enemy were evidently thrown into confusion and retired.

The loss of the enemy, I have been informed, in killed and wounded, was twenty-seven. In my detachment there were none killed or wounded. The men under my command, non-commissioned officers and privates, all performed their duty promptly and efficiently.

Remaining at my position, between 2 and 3 o’clock a. m. July 12 I was ordered to spike my gun and retreat. The companies supporting my gun all retired from the hill. At length a man came up the hill and spiked the gun, being ordered to do so, as he said, by Colonel Pegram. I then returned to the camp, and found the companies in camp forming to retreat. Captain Anderson and Lieutenant Raine had gone with Colonel Pegram and a portion of his command to make a night attack upon the enemy, and had not returned. Lieutenant Statham had been wounded at Rich Mountain, and was a prisoner. The command of the company devolving upon me, I ordered the musketeers to get their guns. I marched them and the cannoneers down into the road, and finally effected our retreat with the loss of the prisoners taken at Rich Mountain and a few others, in all amounting to eighteen men.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Second Lieutenant, Lee Battery, P. A. C. S.

Captain P. B. ANDERSON,
Commanding Lee Battery, P. A. C. S.


The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. II. With additions and corrections. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902.