Mountain Rivers Revisited

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They were mostly igneous in origin, prior to metamorphism, and they comprise a remnant of the original mass of ancient North America. In the eastern mountains the rocks are somewhat younger mixed volcanic and sedimentary rocks that were deposited on the continental margin and subsequently metamorphosed during the episodes of mountain building. These rocks make up the main mass of features such as Mount Rogers and Grandfather mountain. Intermontane basins, especially the Asheville Basin, at the confluence of the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers, have provided most of the level land on which people have settled in this region.

Arrington, Paul. Orr, Douglas Milton, and Alfred W. The North Carolina atlas: portrait for a new century. Powell, William Stevens, and Michael R. The North Carolina gazetteer: a dictionary of Tar Heel places and their history. If you would like a reply by email, please note thats some email servers are blocked from accepting messages from outside email servers or domains. These often include student email addresses from public school email accounts. If you prefer not to leave an email address, check back at your NCpedia comment for a reply. Please allow one business day for replies from NCpedia.

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See also:. Extended entry on the Mountains from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina. Image credit: Arrington, Paul. Those creeks are all tributaries of the artery now known as the Jordan River whose rich plains and creek beds provided for our earliest pioneers the essentials for life in this high and hostile desert. But as more settlers arrived and the land became more urbanized, people had to mitigate the annual flooding that threatened what had become a downtown area. Burying the creeks under cement and funneling them through pipes became a social imperative.

In , a Salt Lake Telegram article praised the burial of City Creek as it protected the water supply and prevented accidental drowning. The overflow of snowmelt first showed itself at the mouth of Emigration Canyon. Visible flooding appeared along South where the Emigration, Parleys and Red Butte creeks converge underground. But they were not staying underground. Mayor Ted Wilson called for the floods to be contained and community members began sand bagging the west side of State Street along South to protect downtown.

This would be the last time our city saw the Jordan River tributaries above ground. However, this would also trigger the first time that citizens began to question the efficacy of burying our natural creeks. The term was coined in Berkeley, California in and since then, Berkeley has been a champion in daylighting waterways. Hydrologically speaking, it is always better for waterways to be above ground as a part of the natural biome. City Creek, which not more than two decades ago flowed under a surface parking lot owned by the LDS Church, is the first and only successful daylighting project in Salt Lake today.

McClellan decided to withdraw his forces to Roaring Creek and to postpone the attack upon Camp Garnett until the following morning. Leaving the Ninth Ohio to guard the artillery piece on the knoll, McClellan called in the advance pickets and moved back to Roaring Creek at dusk on July 11, As McClellan was placing his units in position to attack and as the artillery was being moved to the knoll to shell Camp Garnett, a cavalry man rode in from the camp to report the Confederate withdrawal.

This report was verified by Lieutenant Poe. McClellan moved his units out, passed through Camp Garnett, and halted briefly at the Hart farm to speak to the wounded. He then proceeded to occupy Beverly without opposition late in the afternoon. He left Rosecrans' brigade at the Hart farm until the following day when it moved to Beverly. The success of Rosecrans had jeopardized the Confederate position at Camp Garnett. After dispatching Captain Anderson to reinforce De Lagnel, Pegram had decided to visit the Hart farm to check on the progress of the battle.

Ordering Major Nat Tyler to prepare the Twentieth Virginia to move to aid De Lagnel, Pegram proceeded toward the Hart farm, arriving just as the Confederates were being driven back by the charging Federals. Unable to rally the troops, Pegram returned to Camp Garnett. Pegram arrived at Captain Anderson's position between Camp Garnett and the Hart farm just as Tyler's column was being brought up.

Pegram proposed a night attack upon the Federal forces holding the summit of Rich Mountain, a proposal enthusiastically accepted by his men. Pegram led the men through laurel thickets on the north side of the pike to the top of the mountain where he took a position about a quarter of a mile from Rosecrans' right flank.

Major Tyler and Captain Anderson then advised Pegram against the night assault. Pegram agreed. By nine o'clock the following morning, Tyler joined Scott at Huttonsville. Colonel Scott had attempted to come to De Lagnel's aid. During the afternoon Scott learned from a cavalry officer from the Hart farm area that De Lagnel needed his support. Hughes, was sent by Scott to obtain information from De Lagnel regarding his specific needs for reinforcements.

Confederate pickets near the Hart farm, however, shot and killed Hughes, mistaking him for a Federal. Scott moved his regiment up the eastern side of Rich Mountain to a point on the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike about one and one half mile from the scene of the battle. Scott sent a second man to contact De Lagnel, but he was captured by the Federals. When the second courier failed to return, Scott concluded that the Federals were in possession of the Hart farm.

He then withdrew to Beverly. When he learned of the retreat from Laurel Hill, Scott loaded his wagons with the provisions in Beverly and left the little town near midnight. As the ranking officer, Johnson assumed command of the entire force and led the retreat to the top of the Allegheny Mountain, where he met General H.

Jackson in turn assumed command and completed the retreat to Monterey. Colonel Pegram had in the meantime returned to evacuate Camp Garnett. After an exhausting and hazardous trip, during which he lost his way in the darkness and suffered from a fall from his horse, Pegram arrived in Camp Garnett at eleven o'clock. He then called a war council of field officers and company commanders. The Confederates unanimously agreed that a withdrawal from Camp Garnett was necessary.

With some six hundred men, the Confederates were exposed to an attack by Rosecrans who had more than three time their number of troops. McClellan's superior force was also poised to launch a frontal assault. The fall of the position at the Hart farm left Camp Garnett virtually defenseless.

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The slightly injured Pegram relinquished command to Colonel Heck. Heck called the pickets in, spiked the cannon to prevent their use by McClellan, and assembled his men for retreat. With Jed Hotchkiss serving as a guide, Captain R. Lilley led the forward company of the Twenty-fifth Virginia. Consisting of two companies of the Twentieth and seven of the Twenty-fifth Virginia, this column left Camp Garnett about one o'clock in the morning of July Before the last section of the troops left camp, Pegram decided to resume command.

He sent an orderly to pass the word along and to halt the column until Pegram came to the front.

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The fifty men who were with Lilley and Hotchkiss, however, were not contacted. They marched directly to Beverly to make good their escape.

A small group of sick and wounded Confederates were also left at Camp Garnett in charge of a surgeon and a sergeant who were to surrender the camp at daybreak. Lilley's detachment was unaware that it was separated from the main column until the following morning. Passing near to the Federals at the Hart farm, they arrived at Beverly before noon. When Lilley learned of the pursuing Federals, he acquired provisions and continued the retreat to Huttonsville. From Huttonsville Lilley led his detachment to the top of Cheat Mountain where he began work upon a defensive position.

He was joined by portions of other companies fleeing Rich Mountain. Making good his promise of visiting the area to rally western Virginians to the Southern cause, Letcher had left the capital to visit Garnett's command. Letcher at first agreed to a proposal by Hotchkiss that fortifications should be established at the top of Cheat Mountain. However, Letcher later agreed with Lilley that the conditions of the troops made advisable the retreat on to Monterey where they arrived on Sunday, July The main body of the troops from Camp Garnett did not fare well as the detachment under Lilley.

Several local people met Pegram to tell him of a Confederate detachment at Leadsville. Pegram left Heck in charge and proceeded to verify the report. When he came within sight of town, Pegram learned that Garnett had withdrawn from Laurel Hill. Pegram then returned to the main column and ordered them to bivouac that night by the Tygart.

Pegram called a council of war to consider surrender. His troops were exhausted and slightly unnerved by their defeat. He considered an orderly retreat virtually impossible. Only Heck and J. Moorman opposed the decision to surrender. Pegram sent to McClellan the following note at midnight SIR: Owing to the reduced and almost famished condition of the troops under my command, I am compelled to offer to surrender them to you as prisoners of war. I have only to ask that they receive at your hands such treatment as Northern prisoners have invariably received from the South.

Accompanied by a small retinue of cavalry, Colonel Thomas M. Since the Lincoln administrations refused to recognize the Confederacy, McClellan could not address Pegram as an officer of an established government. McClellan returned the following firm but considerable note to Pegram:.

SIR: Your communication dated yesterday proposing to surrender as prisoners of war the force assembled under your command has been delivered to me.

As commander of this department, I will receive you, your officers and men, as prisoners of war, but it is not my power to relieve you or them from any disabilities incurred by taking arms against the United States. After addressing this note to Pegram McClellan ordered his men to load food and provisions in wagons and proceed to deliver them to the surrendering Confederates. Accepting the terms of surrender offered by McClellan, Pegram proceeded to check the strength of each company of his regiment.

He learned that one officer had deserted during the night with some forty men, leaving some thirty-three officers and five hundred sixty enlisted men to surrender to McClellan. At Beverly the Confederates surrendered their weapons and received rations and comfortable quarters under guard. The officers, except Pegram and a former U. Army physician, were paroled and given liberty of the town. The fate of the Confederates at Laurel Hill was hardly more fortunate.

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When Garnett learned that the Federals held Rich Mountain, he realized that he could not hope to maintain his position at Laurel Hill. By leaving his tents in place and withdrawing silently, Garnett did escape without detection by General Morris. Intending to move over the Staunton and Parkersburg Turnpike before McClellan blocked his escape route by occupying Beverly, Garnett proceeded southward on the pike until he was erroneously informed that the Federals were already in possession of Beverly.

Garnett turned northward from the pike, hoping to evade the Federals and move his troops around the northern section of the mountain range to return to Staunton. His column found passage across branches of the Cheat River difficult, since it was swollen by the recent rain. At Corrick's Ford the wagons were momentarily halted.

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While the First Georgia and part of the Twenty-third Virginia regiments were trying to retrieve the wagons from the deep waters, Federal troops under Captain Henry W. Benham engaged them in a brief exchange of small weapons fire.

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While directing the Confederates in removing the wagons from the ford, Garnett was shot and killed by a sergeant of the Seventh Indiana Regiment. From Beverly General McClellan made good use of the telegraph lines which he had constructed as his armies advanced. McClellan immediately reported the successes of his campaign. The North had been much concerned with his campaign and was elated by McClellan's seemingly easy victory.

To his troops McClellan issued the following Napoleonic-styled congratulatory address, a message which was faithfully reproduced by the Northern press:. I am more than satisfied with you. You have annihilated two armies, commanded by educated and experienced soldiers, intrenched in mountain fastness fortified at their leisure. You have killed more than two hundred and fifty of the enemy, who has lost all his baggage and equipage. All this has been accomplished with the loss of twenty brave men killed and sixty wounded on your part. Although McClellan exaggerated the casualties involved in this campaign, his victory was as decisive as it was virtually bloodless.

As Allan Nevins concludes, Rich Mountain was certainly the most important battle of the campaign by which McClellan virtually freed the Trans-Allegheny counties of organized bodies of Confederates. Testifying later before a Congressional committee, General Rosecrans did not exaggerate in stating that the capture of the gap at Rich Mountain removed the keystone from the Confederate arch of defense. The collapse of Confederate defenses in the Randolph County area not only foiled their plan to destroy the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at Cheat River, which Lee considered "worth to us an army,"64 it jeopardized their position in the Kanawha Valley.

General McClellan planned to use a large segment of his force to move through Sutton and Summersville to cut off the retreat of General Wise from Charleston. General Wise retreated from Charleston to a position near Lewisburg. Cox pursued him to Gauley Bridge, the confluence of the New and Gauley rivers, and established a defensive position. Wise informed General Lee that he had withdrawn "because forces from McClellan may move from Weston to Summersville and cut us off. Therefore, Lee approved the withdrawal. Jefferson Davis considered Rich Mountain disastrous.

Groups gathered on street corners in the Confederate capital to discuss the bad news until past midnight on July This setback destroyed the hopes of General Beauregard to unite the armies of Johnston and Garnett to reassert Confederate control over the Trans-Allegheny counties. While the Confederate press tried to minimize the effects of Rich Mountain, inner circles at Richmond felt that the Federal success there would "embolden the enemy to attack us at Manassas, where their suddenly acquired confidence will be snuffed out. Those advocating an immediate movement upon the Confederates cited McClellan's success as proof that extensive preparations were unnecessary.

The New York Times , however, cautioned the people against demanding an attack on Manassas before adequate preparations were made. McClellan had received national attention and acclaim for his successful West Virginia campaign. On July 13 he was notified that the President and his cabinet were "charmed" by his success. Edwards of New Hampshire introduced the following resolution which was unanimously adopted by the House:. McClellan, and the officers and soldiers of his command for the series of brilliant and decisive victories.

On July 22, , President Lincoln and his advisers concluded that McClellan was the one man in whom the North had confidence, the one who should be given the task of reorganizing the Federal army shattered by defeat. In the gloomy months following First Manassas, the North relied upon the memory of McClellan's successful campaign. As one Congressman observed, it served to "infuse hope in the public mind and to remove the gloom and despondency.

The political effects of Rich Mountain enhanced its importance in both national and local history. To be sure, the prestige of the Federal Government rested with the outcome of McClellan's campaign. One week before the battle of Rich Mountain, Lincoln himself recognized Governor Pierpont in an address to the first session of the wartime Congress. As McClellan recognized Pierpont, a Marion County businessman elected as chief executive of the Restored Government, and as he made the area safe for the pro-Union government by removing Confederate armies, he also succeeded to some extent in broadening its base of support.

Aware as he entered Western Virginia of the importance of winning the people to the Federal cause, McClellan ordered his troops to respect private property and civilians. Moreover, he tried to combat Confederate propaganda warning Western Virginians that the entry of Federal troops would incite a slave insurrection. admin