CAMP ALLEGHANY, August 10, 1861.
GENERAL: The reports made by Lieutenants Statham, Massey, and Raine of the parts borne by each of their detachments of the Lee Battery, at Camp Garnett, near Rich Mountain, Va., on the 11th of July last, are herewith inclosed.
The report of Lieutenant Raine shows that the movements of the enemy to attack us on the flank or in the rear were observed on the night of the 10th. Early on the morning of the 11th the observations of the night previous were confirmed by information from a wounded trooper of the enemy, who was captured. Communicating with Colonel Pegram early on the morning of the 11th, I received from him an order to take a gun that was stationed on an eminence on our left flank and locate it suitably on the turnpike road at Rich Mountain, about one mile and a half in the rear of Camp Garnett. Captain J. A. De Lagnel, by orders of Colonel Pegram, took charge of this gun. I returned to the position of a gun one mile down the road toward the camp. Between 1 and 2 o’clock the first gun was fired by the gun on the hill. When I had planted that gun I asked Colonel Pegram if he would not have another gun there, to which he replied, “No; Captain De Lagnel will send to you for a gun when he needs one.” Between 4 and 5 o’clock I received a message from Captain De Lagnel that he needed a gun. Immediately I moved rapidly with the gun to his assistance, ordering Lieutenant Raine to bring on the caisson. Within a short distance of the scene of action one of the wheel-horses was killed and the other wounded. After this, meeting our retreating forces, I formed them in line and took position on the upper side of the road, in order to check the advance of the enemy. After being thus formed Colonel Pegram came up and proposed a night attack upon the enemy on the hill. In attempting to execute this movement Colonel Pegram advanced some distance beyond the position of the enemy on the hill. As we proceeded, finding that we had lost our way, I stopped with Lieutenant Raine and some others.
It was now raining freely; the night was dark; the trail was zigzag through thick clustering bushes, over large logs, and often steep and slippery. After resting a few hours I pursued the trail, and shortly overtook two companies of the column, from whose captains (Bruce and Jones) I learned that Colonel Pegram had returned to camp after directing Major Tyler to take the men on to Beverly. Being now about eight miles through the hills from General Garnett’s camp at Laurel Hill, I determined to attempt to communicate with him, for the purposed of obtaining such assistance as he could afford us, while we might attempt to unite our forces with his.
Taking Lieutenant Raine and three of my men I moved rapidly towards his camp. Striking the turnpike road near his camp, I perceived by the desertion of the picket-houses and the felling of trees across the road that his camp was evacuated. Surrounded by foraging parties of the enemy, who were moving about in deferent directions, I was compelled to remain in the mountains of cheat for several days and nights before I could come out safely. At length I succeeded undoing so. During this time Lieutenant Raine and my three men, each armed with a musket, suffered much from fatigue, hunger, and thirst, but they were prompt and fearless in the discharge of duty.
I cannot close this report without referring to the conduct of the officers and soldiers of the Lee Battery, who were engaged either in the conflict at Rich Mountain or on duty during the several days preceding the action of the 11th and on that day. They were surrounded by an overwhelming force. The guns of the battery were widely separated, from one-half to two miles apart. The conduct of Lieutenant J. R. Massey and the men under him, in defense of their position against a large force on their left, and their retaining it during the night of the 11th until all hope had vanished of further successful resistance, is worthy of all praise. Lieutenant C. I. Raine bore himself on all occasions with calmness, prudence, and courage. Lieutenant C. W. Statham attested in the bloody fight on the hill at Rich Mountain that he did his duty truly and faithfully. He was wounded severely in his right hand. Of Captain J. A. De Lagnel no words can express all that should be felt or known about his conduct on that day. After nearly all his cannoneers were either killed or wounded, he continued to load his gun until in the very act of bringing a cartridge from the limber-box to the gun (having then only two men at the gun) he was struck by a minie ball and fell. Fortunately, however, he escaped capture. The soldiers of the Lee Battery, noncommissioned officers and officers, have done their duty faithfully during this conflict.
The total loss of my men and officers was two killed and ten wounded-two commissioned officers, two non-commissioned officers, and eight privates. Of the twenty-one in the detachment at Rich Mountain a majority were either killed or wounded. The number of prisoners captured by the enemy of my men was eighteen, the most of them severely wounded. The enemy’s loss in killed and wounded is believed to have been more than three hundred. The loss of our own forces, including the infantry, cavalry, and artillery, is believed to be in killed and wounded seventy.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
PIERCE B. ANDERSON,
Captain Lee Battery, P. A. C. S.
General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General, C. S. Army.
- July 13th Report of First Lieutenant Charles W. Statham, Lee Battery, C. S. Army
- August 8th Report of Lieutenant John R. Massey, Lee Battery, C. S. Army
- August 8th Report of Lieutenant Charles I. Raine, Lee Battery, C. S. Army
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.