7th Tennessee Infantry — September 10 – 11, 1861

Posted on Monday, September 12th, 2011

The 7th Tennessee marched towards Ft. Milroy, western Virginia.

7th Tennessee Infantry – September 10-11, 1861

September 10, 1861: 7th Tennessee on the move, (West) Virginia

 The movement of the 7th TN was reported by Archibald Norris, Company K: “Left camp at eight o’clock to this morning. Anderson and Donelson brigades both marched out. We went along the base of Cheat Mountain, crossing several high knobs, becoming very weary. About night fall we started after a short [break] and marched about two miles. Some of the regiments getting away from the main body.”

The regiment was following a new trail across the mountains that had been marked on trees by a scout one or two days earlier. As the crow flies, the distance from Mace to Fort Milroy is only fifteen miles. Negotiating the terrain may have taken twenty. Reports indicate that the length of the total round trip from Big Springs to Fort Milroy and back was forty miles. This day they may have covered ten miles. Since I could not find a map showing all the relevant places in one view I have drawn my own simple sketch, as attached.

David Phillips, Company K: “By 7 o’clock in morning we were drawn up in line of battle with knapsacks and haversacks on, ready for a five-days march. Soon we were on the way to Cheat Mountain. General Lee intended to attack the enemy at Cheat Pass in both front and rear, General Jackson [Brig. Gen. Henry R. Jackson] to attack in front; our regiment and 1st [Maney’s] and 14th [Tennessee] regiments under General Anderson in the rear. General Donaldson was to attack a camp of the enemy in our rear. In order to obtain a position in the rear we had to cross the country over our own path which we had to cut as we went. We traveled till sundown. Stopped on the top of a hill from which a fine view could be had of the surrounding country. We ate supper and rested a while, then we moved off again. After dark it got cloudy. Had to march in little farm paths which were crossed with logs and fences so that it made our march very slow. Finally about 10 o’clock the 14th regiment got behind and lost the path. We passed on and passed down a very steep bald mountain. The clouds had thickened and it began to rain and got very dark. In passing down the mountain we had a grand time. A person falling would get up but to fall again. It was a perfect roll down. We got down with bruised bodies, tired limbs and sleepy eyes. Down in a little flat we were permitted to halt and lie down and sleep. We got off into the land of dreams about 12 o’clock. I had a sweet sleep till morning, felt much refreshed.

Thanks to Thomas Venner for the quotes.

Miles traveled since leaving Tennessee: 362

Order of Command:

Army of the Northwest: Lee

Loring’s Division

Anderson’s Brigade

September 11, 1861: 7th Tennessee approaching Ft. Milroy, (West) Virginia, in the rain

 General Lee had assigned Anderson’s Brigade a position on the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike as it went down the west side of the mountain. This would place them in position to block escape of the troops in the Fort and to oppose reinforcements that might be sent up from Camp Elkwater. They were to be in this position by the morning of September 12.

The movement of the 7th TN was reported by Archibald Norris, Company K: “Resumed our march over mountain paths, and frequently with no paths, through the roughest country I ever saw. It was rocky, steep, and wet. Traveled very slowly, making in the two days, two miles. Stopped at night on the side of Cheat Mountain. Expect to have a fight tomorrow.”

David Phillips, Company K: “The next morning we arose, ate a cold breakfast of bread and boiled beef half cooked. Strong indications of rain. Started on our march early; drizzled rain all morning. About 1 p.m. we entered a dark woods high upon the side of a mountain which towered still far above us. Had to cut our road through the undergrowth and fallen trees. Commenced raining hard directly when we entered the woods. We advanced slowly. The word was passed along the line that we were on Cheat Mountain; also ‘Keep your powder dry.’ Heard a Yankee drum while passing along. Passed along the mountain, gradually ascending till about 5 p.m., when we started down a very rough and precipitous place. Descended several hundred feet to a small fence on the mountain side; there stopped to camp. No fires allowed; everybody wet except those like myself fortunate enough to have an oil cloth. The rain ceased about the time we stopped. All made beds of leaves and arbors of bushes to sleep under. I made shelter of my oil cloth. Rained very hard during night. Scarcely any sleeping don, everybody and everything wet, completely wet. All of our bread and beef got wet, beef all spoiled. Had nothing to eat but bread, made without soda or grease.”

Thanks to Thomas Venner for the quotes.

Miles traveled since leaving Tennessee: 367

Order of Command:

Army of the Northwest: Lee

Loring’s Division

Anderson’s Brigade

 

Courtesy of Lamont Wade – http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Civil-War-Journal-Jeremiah-Turner-the-7th-Tennessee-Infantry/217025828317262?sk=notes

 

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