Thurmond, Aymeck, & Tyree !
|BEVERLY, W. VA., June 27, 1864.
Brigadier General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General, Washington, D. C.;
SIR: I have the honor to report that I was detached from the staff of Major-General Hunter on account of my knowledge of the country, its roads, inhabitants, and resources, to take 141 prisoners, 130 sick and wounded, and a large train to some post within our lines, aiming for Charleston, W. Va. I started at 8 a.m. the 17th instant, with parts of the One hundred and fifty-second and One hundred and sixty-first Ohio Volunteer Infantry (militia), under command of Colonel Putnam, of the One hundred and fifty-second Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry nineteen miles west of Lynchburg; camped that night at Buford's Station, on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad.
On the 18th instant burned Buford's Depot, containing some 500 stand of arms and other rebel Government property, also two bridges and cut the telegraph wires up to Buford's Gap. Passed through Fincastle with a slight skirmish, and was attacked that night and repulsed the rebels with slight loss. The 19th I captured a wagon load of ammunition, burned and destroyed it; same day mounted twenty men and sent them to Grace Furnace the property of J. R. Anderson of Richmond, Va., burned the furnace, mills, store, stable, &c.; captured 60 mules, 15 for want of transportation; total value of property destroyed and captured was at least $250,000. On the 20th set fire to a house occupied by bushwhackers, destroyed 50 stand of arms; set fire to the rail breast-works thrown up to resist Averell last winter on Sweet Springs Mountain.
On the 21st were attacked in the center of our train by some 70 men under Thurmond and Aymeck; repulsed them with the loss of 2 men wounded and 2 horses killed, 1 wagon broken and abandoned. On the 22nd met the combined forces of the brothers Thurmond, Aymeck, and Tyree in a strong position at Greenbrier River, near Lewisburg; they had some sixty cavalry under Lieutenant Howree, skirmished with them some two hours, lost 2 killed and 2 wounded and some 20 horses. Finding the road blockaded, I deemed it advisable, in consequence of the number of prisoners and the long train, to take another road; returned to White Sulphur Springs, and met a courier from General Hunter going to Charleston, W. Va. with a dispatch ordering the commanding officer there to forward supplies to Meadow Bluff. The courier reported that General Hunter fought four hours on the 17th; on the 18th the general ascertained that the rebel forces at Lynchburg were 50,000 men, and from prisoners taken it was reported that Lee was evacuating Richmond and falling back on Lynchburg, consequently General H. was obliged to fall back.
From the White Sulphur Springs I took the Anthony Creek road, and came part of the way on the road General Averell returned last winter; in consequence of the rough road had to burn 50 wagons. Was attacked in the rear continually until I reached the pike at Hillsborough from which point came directly through to this post without any trouble. Have marched 193 miles through an enemy's country, having subsisted upon the same, capturing 1 captain and assistant quartermaster, 2 privates, and a number of horses, mules, cattle, and sheep, and had there been a cavalry force of 200 men with the train, could have captured 500 head of horses an immense number of cattle and sheep, from the fact that during the first two or three days' march we came upon the inhabitants very unexpectedly. I shall go from here to Webster, and thence to Martinsburg, Va., where I am to report to you in accordance with orders from Major-General Hunter.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. K. McCANN,
Captain and Assistant Quartermaster of Volunteers.
|"Aymecks" with Thurmond and Tyree
Official Records Series 1, Vol. 37, Part 1, page 678, 679