On August 26, Brig. Gen. John Floyd, commanding Confederate forces in the Kanawha Valley, crossed the Gauley River to attack Col. Erastus Tyler's 7th Ohio Regiment encamped at Kessler's Cross Lanes. The Union forces were surprised and routed. Floyd then withdrew to the river and took up a defensive position at Carnifex Ferry. During the month, Gen. Robert E. Lee arrived in western Virginia and attempted to coordinate the forces of Brig. Gens. Floyd, Henry Wise, and William W. Loring.