8th Virginia Cavalry- Pg 2
|In addition to the above force, General John B. Floyd, of Virginia, also an ex-governor, and former secretary of war under President Buchanan, was asked on May 14 to raise a brigade of mounted riflemen. Floyd responded and was soon afterward commissioned brigadier general. He was first ordered to protect the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, which was threatened by Northern troops marching through Fayette County to Lewisburg.
On July 11, Cox began his movement up the Kanawha River by boat. Advance guards marched along both sides of the river.15 Anticipating this advance, Wise advanced to Lewisburg and thence to the Kanawha Valley, recruiting on the way. He reached Charleston on July 6, where he was joined by Colonel Tompkins' detachment and by several hundred militia, which raised his force to twenty-seven hundred men.
July On the 14th the scouts discovered the advance of the 2nd Kentucky, taking the Winfield road for Kanawha river. They reported the fact to headquarters, and the same scouts were ordered to move down the Kanawha 3 miles below Scary and watch the enemy on that road, and also on the Bill creek road. On the 17th John Thompson and another member of the company on vidett on the Bill creek road discovered the Yanks moving by skirmish line through a corn field some 300 yards away. Sat their horses until the line came within one hundred yards of them. The Yanks opened fire on them -- both succeeded in getting away without getting hurt. Thompson lost his hat and his false teeth. This was at 9 o'clock in the morning.
The two men fell back on the infantry at the mouth of Scary. One of them was to Camp Tompkins [Coalsmouth] after the rest of the infantry, and the Border Rangers at Mouth of Coal. The company fell in line and started, but was stopped by some young ladies who presented us with a flag. The ensign was received by Captain Jenkins in a neat speech in which the promise was made that it should never be dishonored. The Captain and company fought through to this promise, and it was the only flag on the field at Scary and was literally shot to pieces on that day. It was carried by the company until the battle flag was adopted by the Confederacy. Then a member of the company brought the flag to this county and gave it to a young lady to keep until the war was over which was done and the young lady after the member of the old company was married gave him back his flag. He laid it away to be cherished as a keep sake but his wife who was of a practical turn of mind one day in wanting some red striping for a rug tore up the flag for that purpose, 20 years after the war was over.
The enemy drove in our skirmishers at Scary about 11 o'clock in the day, and the fight opened in earnest. Our company took position with our artillery. Captain James C Welch was killed while sighting one of his guns. About this time the right flank was turned and the Yanks were firing at us from front, flank and rear. Captain George S. Patton ordered the Kanawha Rifles to follow him in a charge and he fell badly wounded. We now received some fresh troops from Coal Mountain who charged the flanking party and drove them back. The charge was successful in turning the left flank of the enemy who now broke leaving their Lieut. Col. George W. Neff on the held and 18 men killed who we buried the next day. Our company mounted their horses and rode over to where the Yankee line of battle was on top of the hill near Mrs. Simms' house. While sitting there in line Colonel William E. Woodruff, Colonel Charles A. Devillins and their staff rode up to Captain Jenkins and said to him, "Well, you have given the Rebels a good sound thrashing today," when he ordered them to surrender which they did with considerable grumbling. It was twilight and they could not distinguish our uniforms from theirs
When the company was divided and two companies made of it, Captain James M. Corns was elected Captain of one company and Joseph Ferguson Captain of the other. Captain Jenkins having resigned we then formed a regiment and Captain Jenkins was made Colonel of the Eighth Virginia Cavalry. The old original Border Rangers was made Company E of the 8th and Ferguson's company was made Company K. After remaining at White Sulphur Springs some 10 days longer when the company was ordered to move by forced march to join General Wise near Dogwood Gap on the James River and Kanawha Turnpike. We ran into an ambuscade. No one hurt. Colonel Jenkins had a horse killed under him. A number of the boys lost their hats and blankets.
At an affair at Scary Creek below Charleston on July 17, in which the Federals retreated, Wise learned that the Federals were being re-enforced, and being short of ammunition, he retreated by way of Gauley Bridge, burning the bridges behind him.17 He left five hundred cavalry under Colonel Lucius Davis, backed by the militia of Monroe and Greenbrier counties, to guard the passes from Fayetteville, Gauley, and Summersville. In a letter to General Robert E. Lee, he said, "The valley was conquered by the enemy already when I got there. . . . The treasonable population themselves are worse than the invaders. It was rotten with infection in it and all around it so as awfully to expose a minor force." He suggested that Floyd move towards Fayetteville and united with him.
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