Originally published in 1890 by the Civil War veterans of the regiment, this new modern version includes the entire original text, 58 images, and an index. The author, Frank S. Reader, a member of Company I, was a newspaper editor and proprietor. His wartime experience as a clerk to both generals Averell and Sigel, as well as his newspaper background, served him well when he was asked by his regimental comrades to write and publish the history of their unit.
Droop Mountain, Pocahontas County, West Virginia
November 6, 1863
On arriving at the foot of the hill where the Confederates were posted, the Second (later the 5th West Virginia Cavalry) passed the Eighth Virginia, leaving them on our left, moving on for the purpose of ascertaining the position of the Third Virginia. Col. Scott was then ordered to begin his advance up the hill toward the enemy’s works, which he did through briers, tree tops and obstacles of various kinds…
When our line was within ten or fifteen yards of the crest of the mountain, the enemy opened upon us, and a sheet of flame issued from the mountain top, as the Confederates poured a terrific fire of musketry into the faces of our brave boys. The whole line was then pushed forward with vigor, and never flinched or wavered, but advanced with the tread of veterans and returned the fire with telling effect. The fighting was fierce and terrible, a battle to the death, the musketry fire being very rapid. We had one advantage, that as we advanced up the steep mountain, the fire of the enemy passed over our heads, and thus saved our line from being mowed down. Steadily our men advanced, driving their foe from the breastworks of fence rails, logs and stones, that they had hastily thrown up…
After about two hours of fighting the Second and Third Virginia, with yells and cheers, loud and strong, charged into the jaws of death and fire, and carried the position by storm, driving the enemy like chaff before the wind, who retreated precipitately toward Lewisburg.
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