On the morning of the 12th of July, we learned that GARNETT and PEGRAM were in rapid retreat, having been badly cut up by Gen. ROSECRANS who was in hot pursuit, we were ordered forward at once, and made Oakland by rail road about noon.
Here the quarter-master pressed a number of teams into service and about four o'clock, p. m., we set out for Uniontown. About dark, we arrived at Chisholms mills, where a road came in, on which it was possible the enemy might attempt to pass. The writer was ordered to remain here with two companies, and capture any army that might chance to straggle that way, and was allowed in addition to the two companies, the surgeon and chaplain, as a contingent force against any extraordinary emergency. Nothing, however, of any belligerent character occurred except a furious battle of words between some old maids of the mill and the chaplain, who with some of the men that were sick, desired to lodge in the house by the fire. The chaplain carried the point.
     Next morning, we made West Union about ten o'clock. Here we joined a force under Col. ANDREWS Sixteenth Ohio Vol., who appeared to be anxiously waiting for GARNETT. We remained here all day, and at night, officers and men were quietly sleeping about the village under whatever shelter they could find. It naturally occurred to a " fresh soldier" that we were in no very good state to capture an army in whatever condition it might be retreating.
     Early next morning, and without breakfast, the troops were ordered under arms and marched rapidly toward the "Red House," nine miles distant. The rebel army had passed us in the night on a by-road on our left. When we arrived at the "Red House," the writer was ordered to take two companies and move back on the road on which the rebels had come in, and ascertain if there were any straggling parties not yet come up. Company "D" of the Eighth, and "A" company of the Sixteenth Ohio, under Capt. WILEY, were detailed for that purpose. We threw out skirmishers and moved out at a good step for near two miles. Some skirmishing ensued; we picked up nine stragglers who had given out, and several horses and about a wagon load of arms of every kind and description, which had been thrown away by the rebels.
     The rebel retreat had evidently been of the-most hurried and straggling character. Wagons had been overturned and their contents burned or abandoned. The prisoners taken, assured us that the rear guard of a few hundred cavalry had escaped over the mountain, and becoming satisfied of this and that there were no troops yet back, we wheeled about and started to join the main force, not doubting that the rebels would soon be overtaken and captured. We came back to the Red House, then took the pike road to the Eastward, and had gone but a short distance, when we met the whole army of Gen. HILL in full retreat at almost double quick.
     This movement was always a mystery to everyone. The absolutely demoralized condition of the enemy, was every where apparent. Gen. HILL called a "Council of War" at a point known by our troops as the "Two Chimneys," which Council was a farce of the first water. The ancient doctrine that prudence is the better part of valor was announced by the General, and retreat ordered. Our troops were fresh, and anxious for a fight, and in sufficient numbers, at least to harass the enemies rear, if not to have withstood an attack from him, had he offered battle, which was unlikely under the circumstances, if not absolutely impossible.
     This, however, has been a subject of discussion between McCLELLAN and HILL.  Newspaper articles, pamphlets and reports having been published on this subject, we will leave the matter with them.
     This was Sunday morning, the army remained at the Red House until after dark Monday night, when if commenced a rapid march in pursuit of the retreating rebels. The writer remained on picket with companies "F & D" until the line of march was formed, and the rear some two miles from us, when we moved up in rear of baggage train, leaving Capt. Gregg with company "E" as a camp guard at the Red House. We joined the troops in bivouac at the Potomac bridge, at midnight. The next day, the pursuit was continued for about twenty-four miles.  The route lay among and over the Alleghany mountains. The scenery to us, accustomed only to the level plains of Ohio, was very grand. The next morning, we started at five o'clock and marched seven miles, when the troops were massed around Gen. HILL, who made a long speech, closing with the assurance that he would soon capture the rebel army. But a courier from Gen. MCCLELLAN, just at this point put in an appearance and handed Gen. HILL a dispatch, which dispelled this dream of glory, and caused our retreat to the Red House. It was understood among the troops, that HILL was severely censured for his operations of Sunday morning.
     MCCLELLAN believed that the straggling and demoralized rebels should have been attacked and captured, and that their farther pursuit was now useless and ridiculous, the golden moment having parsed.


     The troops reached Potomac bridge on the evening of the 18th and encamped. On the 19th, Gen. HILL with the whole force except the Eighth Regiment left for Oakland. The Eighth was ordered back to the Red House, where it went into camp.. Here we remained until the 26th, when we were ordered to the Potomac bridge. During these few days, our Col. DEPUY was in mortal fear of a cavalry attack and kept a good number of scouts out, and built some curiously contrived fortifications. There were, however, no rebel troops within a hundred miles of us.
     We marched over the mountain to the bridge, where we were joined by the Seventeenth Indiana, and a battery commanded by Col. HASKELL. Here these forces went into camp, and commenced building fortifications. A fort called Fort Pendleton, from the proprietor of the plantation, Major PENDLETON, was regularly laid out and completed, on a bluff overlooking the Potomac. The force at this place was in- command of Col. HASKILL. This was on the principal road over the mountains, leading from Western Virginia to Romney, Winchester, etc., and was regarded as an important thoroughfare at this time. We were joined in a few days by the Fourth Ohio under Col. LOREN ANDREWS, who assumed command of the camp. Our camp had been selected in a most unhealthy location, being down in a deep, damp gorge in the mountain; the men soon began to get sick, and in a few days, about three hundred were in hospital.
     The disease was a low type of fever. The men called it the disease of "Camp Maggotty Hollow," the name they had given the camp. On the 18th of August, we were ordered to Grafton, from which point we expected to go to Huttonville. When we arrived at Grafton, we were in such sorry plight, that the Twenty-fifth Ohio, under Col. J. A. JONES, then at Grafton, was ordered forward, and the Eighth took its place along the railroad, being broken up in small detachments.
      Col. DEPUY had received an injury which paralyzed his limb, in consequence of which he was absent on sick leave. The writer was prostrate with typhoid fever, and several other officers, including Surgeon TAPPAN, were absent sick.
     The regiment was now in command of Lieut. Col. CHARLES A. PARK, and for the only time during its term of service broken up and divided into separate detachments. Co. A was sent down the road to Farmington, Company B to West Union, Co. C to Cumberland, Co. D to Rowlesburgh and Oakland, Co. E to Phillippi, Co. H to Webster, and the balance of the regiment, soon after to New Creek, under the immediate command of Capt. W. E. HAYNES, of Co. G.
     The various detachments performed their duties faithfully during this period, Co. E losing one man— GUSTAV F. SMITH—shot by bushwackers. Dr. SEXTON was unwearied in his exertions to stay the ravages of camp fever which was daily carrying off our men, six­teen of whom died a few days after our arrival, at Grafton.
     Gen. KELLY was in command at Grafton, though still suffering seriously from a wound received at Phillippi.
     On the 23d of September an expedition set out to capture Romney, under the command of Lieut. Col. CANTWELL, of the Fourth Ohio. The detachment of the Eighth Regiment in this movement was under the command of Lieut. Col. PARK, and encountered the enemy at "Hanging Rock," where the rebels were lodged among the woods and craigs at the summit, and poured down their fire and hurled missiles of every description upon the heads of the assailants. Several of the men were wounded, and William BARRETT, Co. I, killed in the action.
     The troops were countermarched across the river, which was deep and rapid at this point, and had to be forded to the opposite bank, when a halt was made. There was a dense fog hanging over the river, which prevented further operations for the present. Towards noon the fog cleared away, and another attempt was made to enter Romney in this direction. The troops crossed the river and proceeded in line of battle to within a mile of town, driving before us the rebel cavalry and pickets. Some skirmishing took place at this time, but nothing was accomplished worthy of mention. Orders were given to countermarch, which was accordingly done. Recrossing the river, we returned to the road leading from New Creek to Romney, at a point known as Mechanicsburg Gap, where we arrived about two o'clock the following morning, and went into camp weary and fagged. The following morning the march was resumed toward Romney. On nearing the place, after passing through Mechanicsburg Gap, the head of the column struck the rebel outposts and drove them in upon the main body. Our batteries opened upon the rebel batteries planted upon the heights across the Potomac river, and soon silenced them. The cavalry was ordered to charge, the enemy, which was done in a most gallant manner, followed by the regiment and the rest of the troops at double quick. Crossing the river, and passing up the hill, the command entered the place in fine shape, driving the enemy before us in disorder.
     We held the place for a couple of hours and, fearing the enemy was receiving reinforcements and would attempt to flank us and get in our rear, thereby preventing our return to New Creek, orders were given to return to New Creek, which was accordingly done.
     The return was made in good order by our troops, but we were closely followed by the rebels in force. A running fight was kept up for a number of miles, without serious results. There was a good deal of artillery firing on both sides, and the booming of rebel cannon in our rear and the explosion of their shells in our midst reminded us that it was unsafe to loiter behind.
     We made rather quicker time towards our camp than we did towards Romney, and we did not feel half as buoyant. We arrived in camp late in the evening, weary and footsore and not very much elated at the result of our expedition to Romney.
     This was the first action in which the regiment was engaged, and both officers and men behaved splendidly.  Daily rumors of attacks now prevailed and a detachment of cavalry, under Capt. KEYS, scouted the country in all directions with constant evidence of the proximity of rebel troops, but no collision occurred—the boys claiming that the time table of the rebels and cavalry was of the most perfect character.
     On the 24th day of October the troops again advanced on Romney, the Eighth Regiment being in command of Col. DEPUY, who had returned. On the arrival of the troops at Mechanicsburgh Gap, the rebels, who had their artillery posted in the Romney cemetery, opened upon them with round shot and shell, but without dam­age, and it soon becoming evident to Gen. KELLY that this cannonade was for the purpose of covering a retreat, he ordered his column forward. The artillery soon disappeared, and by the time the cavalry reached the village not a rebel soldier was to be seen. The town was now occupied by our troops.
     The writer was confined to his sick bed at Grafton for over five weeks with typhoid fever, and when able to do so, visited his home at Norwalk, Ohio, but did not. sufficiently recover his health to enable him to return to duty until the 29th of October, when he joined his regiment at Romney.
     In a few days quite a body of troops had assembled at Romney. The Fourth, Fifth, Seventh and Eighth Ohio, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Indiana, Seventh Virginia, Howe's Regular. Battery and DAUM's Volunteer Battery, Key's Cavalry, &c. Comfortable camps were established, and regular drills and parade required.
     Lieut. Col. PARK and Col, DEPUY had resigned, and on the 10th of November the writer assumed command of the regiment and was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel on the 25th of November. Capt. A. H. .WINSLOW, of Co. A, was commissioned Major of same date.
     The country about Romney is hilly and mountainous, and the rebels being in considerable force at Blue's Gap and other points in the vicinity, heavy picketing was required. In a few instances our men were fired upon and some killed by skulking bushwackers.
     On the 16th of December Col. S. S. CARROLL*, recently appointed Colonel of the Eighth, arrived at Romney and took command of the regiment.  He was a graduate of West Point, and a Captain in the Tenth Regiment U. S. Infantry. He was a dashing officer, anxious to distinguish himself, and above all to qualify his regiment for its duties. Col. John S. Mason, also a West Point graduate, and Captain of the Eleventh U. S. Infantry, had recently been made Colonel of the Fourth; Ohio in place of the lamented Col. LOREN ANDREWS, deceased. This was a new era in our military life. Col. CARROLL was at once an authority and a model and we all felt that in the pursuit of the art military we were no longer groping our way in the dark. Guard duty was brought up to the letter of the army regulations; discipline was strictly enforced; battalion drill regularly required, and Sunday morning inspection and dress parade regularly held. The officers subscribed for and procured an elegant silk regimental flag, and in short we found ourselves all at once a well equipped, a well drilled, a plucky and very proud regiment.
     Co. B, Capt. KENNEY, during this time was stationed at the suspension bridge across the south branch of the Potomac, a few miles below Romney, and did not join the regiment until it moved to Patterson Creek, some weeks later.
* Note.—Samuel Sprig Carroll was born in Washington City, D. 0., September
21, 1833, entered West Point in 1852, graduated in 1856, and appointed to the Tenth U.S. Infantry, with which he served in Minnesota and Kansas. In 1857 he accompanied Johnson's Expedition to Utah, returned in 1859 and was stationed at West Point as Quartermaster.  In November, 1861, appointed Colonel of the Eighth Regiment, Ohio Volunteers; commanded Regiment till May 24th, 1862, when he was placed in command of a Brigade in Shield's Division; commanded Brigade until May 13th, 1864, when he was severely wounded at Spottsylvania and was out of the field until February, 1865, when he was placed in command of the Department of West Virginia. He was appointed Brigadier General May 12th, 1864; April, 6,1865, was assigned to command Army of Shenandoah; in May assigned to command First Army Corps, Camp Stoneman, Washington; in July assigned to command the District of North East Virginia, headquarters at Fredericksburg and in September at Charlottsville and remained there until January 1st, 1866, when he was mustered out of volunteer service and placed on recruiting service. In July appointed Lieutenant Colonel Twenty-first U. S. Infantry and joined Regiment at Petersburg; in January, 1867, appointed Inspector General, Miles' Division of the Atlantic until May, 1869, when he was retired as Major General, U. S. A.




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