Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 26, 1861 (Monday): Floyd Routs the 7th Ohio at Kessler's Cross Lanes

Badge of the 7th Ohio
AUGUST 26, 1861.
Brigadier-General COX,


    Your dispatches of the 24th and 25th received. The latter indicates, though you do not say so, that Floyd's force came down Saturday and Sunday Creek roads. Please in future note such circumstances. It would seem also that he had chosen that as principal route. If so, hold Hawk's Nest firmly and draw him down the Summersville road. Arrange for two boats a day, if necessary, and messengers to connect. Let your information be solid, so that action may be based on it. We may succeed in crushing the enemy's column.      
   Catch him and crush him.


Official Records, Series I., Vol 5, Part 1, Page 459

The forbidding territory along the Gauley River made it highly likely the two forces would make contact at some point.  The possibility of unplanned events loomed with each turn in the deep forests and river valleys.  As the time Rosecrans was writing this instruction, Floyd was crossing the river at Kessler's Cross Lanes and putting to rout the 7th Ohio. 

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