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 Research ACW US War Dept. Official Records HTML Ser. I, Vol. 5, Ch. XIV–Confederate Correspondence.

THE
WAR OF THE REBELLION:
A COMPILATION OF THE
OFFICIAL RECORDS
OF THE
UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES.

CHAPTER XIV.
OPERATIONS IN MARYLAND, NORTHERN VIRGINIA, AND WEST VIRGINIA.
August 1, 1861-March 17, 1862.
(Carnifex Ferry, Ball’s Bluff)
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CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE.

{p.766}

CAMP BEE, ALLEGHANY COUNTY, August 1, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States:

DEAR SIR: I arrived here to-day, and determined to send Colonel Heth at once to Richmond, for the purpose of giving you full information about the condition of this country, and get your orders as to the line of action to be pursued.

General Wise has retreated and burned the bridge over Gauley, leaving the enemy in undisturbed possession of Kanawha Valley up to the Great Falls. His retreat lays open completely the southwestern part of this State. The road by which I intended to reach Kanawha, through Mercer, Raleigh, and Fayette, is now entirely at the command of the enemy. This is a state of things well understood by the whole country, and produces a great alarm. It emboldens the tories and disspirits our people. If you think these forces now in Kanawha should be driven out at once without reference to the operations about Monterey, I think with a union of my people and General Wise’s force it might be speedily done. If this force should prove insufficient, I am sure 10,000 men could be quickly raised for the campaign at no more cost to the Government than their food and transportation. In such an event the Yankees could be immediately driven out, and a foray of 80 or 100 miles into Ohio could be successfully made.

I advance these views with hesitation, but the facts upon which they rest you may not possibly be in possession of, and I venture them for what they are worth. I am just from Wythe, through the country where the men would in part be raised, and I never witnessed a better spirit than seems to be almost universal. Whilst for any long service there is a little hesitation, there is none whatever for a campaign. If a force strong enough to drive out the Yankees was sent promptly to effect it, their march could be then directed towards the rear of the enemy at Beverly, which I think would be better than to concentrate all forces in his front, leaving our rear to be threatened from Gauley or the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, to be exposed to the damage of an attack.

Colonel Heth will get the arms you were kind and thoughtful enough to order me from Manassas, and for which I most cordially thank you. We will have stirring work in the west before a great while, I think.

With the highest regard and esteem, I am, very truly, your friend,

JOHN B. FLOYD.

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RICHMOND, VA., August 1, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Inclosed you will find a letter* which will I suppose, only assure you of that which was anticipated, as, except among sharpshooters, it is the rule. The troops generally need more of instruction {p.767} than in the face of an enemy it may be practicable to give. To insure something, it was sought to put at least one instructed officer in each regiment organized here. If a major, well; if a lieutenant-colonel, better; if a colonel, best; and in this connection I suggest to you that the instructed officer, as far as possible, be not detached from regimental headquarters, and be employed in instructing especially the commissioned and non-commissioned officers in tactics and field duties.

A few days since I received a telegram from General Beauregard, stating that some of the regiments were without food. An addendum was appended by Colonel Lee, commissary, that the deficiency was of hard bread and bacon, and that he was offered abundance of beef and flour by the inhabitants of the surrounding country. I returned the telegram to General Beauregard, and called his attention to the inconsistency. If, under such circumstances, the troops have suffered for food, the neglect of the subsistence department demands investigation and the proper correction, not only to remedy the evil, but to afford an example which will deter others from thus offending.

We are anxiously looking for the official reports of the battle of Manassas, and have present need to know what supplies and wagons were captured. I wish you would have prepared a statement of your wants in transportation and supplies of all kinds, to put your army on a proper footing for active operations.

General Lee has gone to Western Virginia, and I hope may be able to strike a decisive blow at the enemy in that quarter; or, failing in that, will be able to organize and post our troops so as to check the enemy, after which he will return to this place.

The movement of Banks will require your attention. It may be a ruse, but, if a real movement, when your army has the requisite strength and mobility, you will probably find an opportunity, by a rapid movement through the passes, to strike him in rear or flank, and thus add another to your many claims upon your country’s gratitude.

General Holmes will establish a battery above his present position, near the mouth of the Chopawamsic, where it is reported the channel can be commanded so as to cut off that line of the enemy’s communication with their arsenals and main depots of troops. This measure will no doubt, lead to an attack, and hence the preference for a position between his column and yours, rather than one lower down the river, as that of Mathias Point.

Nothing important from James and York Rivers. The movements at and near Fort Monroe were probably only due to the discharge of the three months’ men of the enemy.

We must be prompt to avail ourselves of the weakness resulting from the exchange of the new and less reliable forces of the enemy for those heretofore in service, as well as of the moral effect produced by their late defeat. Let me hear from you as your convenience will permit.**

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

* Not found.

** Some personal details omitted.

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RICHMOND, August 1, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Manassas:

Your telegram received and submitted to the President, who instructs me to say that information from other sources renders Banks’ movement so doubtful as to require further information. He desires you will seek to obtain full and exact knowledge.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

{p.768}

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MANASSAS, August 2, 1861.

Colonel S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

One thousand of Banks’ forces sent eastward July 30, by cars.

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General, C. S. Army.

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RICHMOND, VA., August 3, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Forces, Manassas:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of August 1, and in reply beg leave to say that prompt steps have been taken to procure wagons and teams and artillery horses for your command.

It is expected wagons and teams in quantity to answer your purposes will reach Manassas on Monday, 5th instant. You will oblige me greatly if you will say what number of artillery horses will be required.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. C. MYERS, Acting Quartermaster-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Huntersville, Va., August 3, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE, Commanding Kanawha Army, Lewisburg, Va.:

GENERAL: I have just received your letter of the 1st instant to General Loring. The object of your returning from the Kanawha Valley towards Covington and uniting with General Floyd was for the protection of the Virginia Central Railroad, which, after the disaster that befell the Northwestern Army, was threatened through this place and Monterey. The enemy are now held in check from the two last-named points, and if they can be prevented from reaching Lewisburg they will be cut off from Covington and Newbern, on the Central and Southwestern Railroads. Are there any strong positions in front of Lewisburg that you can hold, re-enforced by General Floyd and the people of the country, that would accomplish this object, and can you get correct information of the force, movements, and apparent object of the enemy? It is necessary to stop his advance on both roads, if possible, and his progress east of the mountains. You must take care of the safety of your column, and if that does not require a further retrograde movement, you are desired to halt at Lewisburg till further notice. If obliged to retire, retard the advance of the enemy. Send back to General Floyd to support you. Inform General Loring of the positions you will take, and be prepared by a concentration of forces to strike a blow at the enemy.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 4, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I received yours of the 3d this evening at this place, where I have come to encamp, with infantry and artillery, leaving 500 {p.769} cavalry, under Colonel Davis, to be backed by the militia of Monroe and Greenbrier, guarding the passes from Fayetteville, Gauley, and Summersville.

I was very reliably informed last evening that the enemy in the valley had no orders to proceed farther than Gauley as yet. He will scout in strong force to Fayetteville and Summersville. I have ordered axmen to block his way at Bunger’s Ferry and on the Big and Little Sewell Mountains. As soon as I refresh and refit my men here I will return in force to the Meadow Bluff, and go on westward as far as our forage and supplies can be had. The first 30 miles this side of Gauley is very poor, and destitute of both. I am fully informed of all the passes and roads. General Loring will have to look out on the road from Summersville by the Birch Mountain.

To defend the Central Railroad was not the main object of my leaving Kanawha Valley. Had I remained there, I should have been shut in, cut off, or driven down through Berkeley and Princeton to Wytheville. The valley was conquered by the enemy already when I got there from Charleston to Point Pleasant. The treasonable population themselves are worse than the invaders. It was rotten with infection in it and all around it so as awfully to expose a minor force. In the second place, if Lewisburg, or the Warm Springs, or Covington was reached by the enemy, we were isolated and cut off from supplies, ammunition, and re-enforcements. In the third place, I would have been jammed at Gauley or driven to the southwest, where forces are not for the present needed, when if I fell back I could be re-enforced or re-enforce. In the fourth place, most of my men from the east and most of the western men are from Greenbrier, Monroe, Allegany, Rockingham, &c., who desire to defend their own homes. These considerations governed General Cooper, I presume, as well as myself, in ordering to fall back to Covington. It was well I did so as early as I did, for McClellan’s forces are augmenting largely every day at both Gauley and Weston, and they are spurring eastward, converging at Summersville, where now they have large advance parties. Their force at Charleston is at present 1 000 and at Gauley 3,500, with re-enforcements coming up the river from Gallipolis every day. Positions at Lewisburg or Covington will not cut them off from Newbern. If General Floyd moves up this way, he ought at present to tend towards Fayetteville, whence he may unite with me at any time on the Gauley turnpike or Old River road, if the enemy moves towards Summersville.

But to answer your questions. There are several very strong positions in front of Lewisburg, which I can hold against 5,000, without re-enforcements from General Floyd; certainly with them, and especially by his moving towards Fayetteville. The people of the county next to Gauley are against us, and are fully demoralized. I have got pretty correct information of the movements of the enemy. Beauregard’s victory and my escape and McClellan’s call to Washington have staggered them to a stand-still. But I am sure their next move will be, after strong re-enforcements, from Weston and Gauley, to converge on the Summersville road, to re-enforce Huttonsville very powerfully. He may try, I repeat, to fall on General Loring’s rear, and if he does, General Floyd and I may fall on him. I can reach the Huntersville road from here or via Lewisburg. To be sure of the safety of my column, I must be allowed to remain here a week or ten days to organize, to refit, and refresh my very worn men, and to procure for them blankets, shoes, tents, and clothing, and to get arms fit for service. I implore you, sir, {p.770} to order 1,000 stand of good percussion smooth-bore muskets for my command. We have marched and counter-marched, and scouted and fought to some effect, too, and our old arms are found worn-out already in the service. At least 500 of the State troops have deserted since I left Charleston, and they have carried off many good arms. My cavalry, in strong force, are in good pastures, scouting the enemy to their teeth. Will advise of every movement in time for me to advance in front of Lewisburg. I am anxious to meet them somewhere in Nicholas, on ground which I have had well mapped out by Hutton, an able topographer. I will retire no farther; advance as soon as I refit. Will effectually retard and check the enemy, and call on General Floyd when I cannot do so, and General Loring shall be kept vigilantly advised. A concentration of forces soon will be needed.

With the highest respect,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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RICHMOND, VA., August 5, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Manassas, Va.:

Troops have been detained here in order that supplies might be sent by rail. When you are sufficiently supplied with subsistence stores troops will be sent forward on notice from you.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 239.}

HEADQUARTERS, Huntersville, W. Va., August 5, 1861.

I. Brig. Gen. S. R. Anderson, in pursuance of orders from the Adjutant and Inspector General of the C. S. Army, is assigned to the command of the First, Seventh, and Fourteenth Tennessee Regiments, with the Army of the Northwest, under Brig. Gen. W. W. Loring.

...

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 5, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Mr. Hutton, my chief engineer and explorer, is so accurate and reliable, that I fail not to send you the inclosed, just received from him.* He is getting observations on every point between this and Covington. Lest you may want precise maps of Stroud’s Glades, formerly Stroud’s Knob, and to show what beautiful flying sketches Mr. Hutton is doing for me, I send you a report and map of the very locality to which the enemy is reported by his informant to have advanced. You can reach the cattle he speaks of nearest from Huntersville by sending runners and drivers through the mountain paths to head of Cranberry Creek and down that creek to Gauley, and thence to Beaver Creek. I will order my cavalry to scout the enemy close from the mouth of the Hommony up to Beaver Creek, and assist in driving {p.771} off the horses, cattle, and all stock. They are encamped at Meadow Bluff in full force.**

It will take me ten days, at least, to refit here. We have many sick and furloughed, and many naked of everything. Many State troops deserting, and a bevy of Kanawha officers resigning. I am glad to get clear of the latter.

Very respectfully, yours,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

* Not found.

** Some matters of detail omitted.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 5, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: The copy of your letter to Col. A. Beckley was handed me this morning, and though I wrote you fully last night by express, I hasten to say that the militia, under Beckley (that of Fayette and Raleigh), is awfully demoralized. Capt. Thomas L. Brown has just arrived from Boone, with 105 out of 175 new volunteers (70 deserting), and he met hundreds of deserters from the State forces in my camp; attempted to arrest some 20, and had to desist from the state of popular feeling. The people demand that the Yankees shall not be fired upon, lest it exasperate them. Such is one of a thousand specimens of the disloyalty in which I have been operating. I have advised General Chapman to call out his regiments, make no en masse call, but select only true and loyal men, however few, arm them, and supply them with ammunition-say 750 men, ten rounds, and supply them with pickaxes, log wood axes, and shovels, to obstruct roads, passes, and ferries, and to make breastworks. I will return to Meadow Bluff as early as I can refit, and send ahead of me Captain Hutton, with a company, to select positions, construct works, and cause obstructions. Four-fifths of the militia, en masse, cannot be relied on, and if they could be, cannot be armed and supplied with ammunition. We want good arms and powder, and can, when we get them, arm the militia with those we now have. I therefore again urge, supply me, sir, I pray you, with 1,000 good percussion muskets.

With the highest respect,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Huntersville, Va., August 5, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE, Commanding Wise’s Brigade, White Sulphur Springs, Va.:

GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 4th instant, and am glad to learn the precautions you have taken to cheek the advance of the enemy. I hope they may be successful, and that as soon as possible you will advance west of Lewisburg to Meadow Bluff, or such other point as you may deem best, to oppose his eastward progress. As far as I am advised, General Floyd is at the Sweet Springs, unless he is on his march to your support at Lewisburg. If his command was at Wytheville, a movement in sufficient force, as you propose, to Fayette Court-House, would materially lighten the pressure of the enemy on your front. But you will perceive he is not in position for such a move, and I hope will join or precede you to Lewisburg.

{p.772}

From the information I get, perhaps not as reliable as that you receive, the number of the enemy at Summersville is about half that you give. I can only learn of five regiments, about 4,500 men, having left Huttonsville for Summersville, to be increased by about the same number from other points. The advance on this line to Middle Mountain Valley Mountain, and Cheat Range may bring them back to securely guard the railroads to the Ohio. In that event it will relieve your front, and may permit your advance to the Gauley, if desirable.

I much regret to hear that your arms are so poor. There are no percussion muskets for issue by the State of Virginia, unless some have been altered since my departure from Richmond. The only available guns that I am aware of are the flint-lock muskets. I am very sorry to hear that you have lost so many good arms by the desertion of the State troops. They will probably rejoin you on your advance. General Loring will expect to be kept advised of any movement against his rear by your vigilant and energetic scouts.

I am, with much respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS FLOYD’S BRIGADE, Camp Bee, near Sweet Springs, Va., August 5, 1861.

The Forty-fifth and Fiftieth [Va.] Regiments, Floyd’s brigade, under command of Cols. Henry Heth and A. W. Reynolds, respectively, will move from Camp Bee to-morrow at 5 a.m., and take up the line of march in the direction of Lewisburg. The quartermaster of each command will furnish the same with all the transportation at hand. The commissary will furnish the same with such rations as he has. No unnecessary baggage will be allowed.

By order of Brigadier-General Floyd, C. S. A.:

H. HETH, Colonel.

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ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., August 6, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Army of Potomac, Manassas, Va.:

GENERAL: Your letter of 30th ultimo, suggesting that the troops instructed to re-enforce the army under your command be placed by brigades in camps of instruction located in healthy neighborhoods, has been submitted to the President, and I am instructed to suggest that you cause to be selected some position possessing the required advantages on the north bank of the Rappahannock River, or in advance, near the Manassas road, in the direction of the Bull Run Mountain. Having regard to the position occupied by your forces, the President is of opinion that the direction above indicated would afford the best location for the camps referred to.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

{p.773}

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ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., August 6, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding, Manassas Junction, Va.:

GENERAL: General Beauregard was authorized under an emergency to retain at Manassas the Eleventh North Carolina Regiment, then en route for your command at Winchester, but this retention was not intended to be permanent, and it rests with yourself, as commander of the Army of the Potomac, to make such disposition of the regiment as in your judgment the interests of the service require.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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HEADQUARTERS WISE’S BRIGADE, White Sulphur Springs, Va., August 6, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Having an opportunity, by a messenger of General Loring’s camp, I report to you that General Floyd is within 2 miles of me, encamped. He will see me here this evening. I have not seen him as yet. He is reported to me by Colonel Tompkins as well equipped. I am not far from it. All I had is worn out, and we need almost everything, especially tents, clothing, shoes, and means of transportation. To obtain these, I have sent to Staunton, and it will take at least two weeks from this time for me to be anything like prepared for marching. I informed you last evening of reported positions of the enemy. My calvary will scout him from Hommony to Cherry Tree River. I venture to suggest that General Loring’s scouts might meet mine at Beaver or Cherry Tree. If General Floyd can be ordered to guard New River and turnpike between Gauley and Lewisburg, I can throw my forces in between Huntersville and Gauley.

Respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 7, 1861-7 a.m.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I saw General Floyd yesterday evening. He asked whether I had orders from you. I replied none specific. He then notified me that he would move this morning to Lewisburg, and that it was his intent to proceed immediately to attack the enemy at Gauley, but gave me no orders. I dissented from the policy of this attack, suggesting the better course of allowing me to refit my command with clothing and to obtain wagons. I will require ten days or two weeks to do so, and I ask from you special orders, separating the command of General Floyd from mine. Please assign to each one respective fields of operation. I think it would be best to assign him to the guard of the Fayetteville and Beckley roads, and my command to the guard of the Lewisburg turnpike and the roads leading from Summersville to Huttonsville or Lewisburg.

Respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

{p.774}

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HEADQUARTERS, VALLEY MOUNTAIN, VA., August 8, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE, Commanding Wise’s Legion, White Sulphur Springs, Va.:

GENERAL: I have just received your letters of the 6th and 7th instant, and am glad to learn that General Floyd is moving on to Lewisburg. In regard to the request to separate the commands of General Floyd and yourself, and to assign to each respective fields of action, it would, in my opinion, be contrary to the purpose of the President, and destroy the prospect of the success of the campaign in Kanawha District. Our enemy is so strong at all points that we can only hope to give him an effective blow by a concentration of our forces, and, that this may be done surely and rapidly, their movements and actions must be controlled by one head. I hope, therefore, that, as soon as your command can move forward, in the preparation for which I feel assured no time will be lost, you will join General Floyd, and take that part in the campaign which may be assigned your brigade.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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No. 2.*]

HEADQUARTERS, CAMP ARBUCKLE, Near Lewisburg, Va., August 8, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I desire to make a movement towards the valley of the Kanawha as speedily as practicable. To this end I desire to know as soon as possible the exact force upon which to rely. Will you have the goodness to inform me the number of men you can furnish, the different arms and ammunition fit for use, the amount of transportation you can rely upon for the movement, and the supplies you will be able to furnish? An answer in detail to these inquiries will much oblige, yours,

Very respectfully,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

* The numbering of this and following dispatches between Floyd and Wise is taken from General Wise’s letter-book.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 8, 1861-6 p.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD:

SIR: I reply immediately to yours of to-day, by saying that I am now endeavoring to complete the returns of the exact force of my command. These returns have been hindered and delayed by various causes, then beyond control. My command has, from the first, been composed of mixed troops-State troops and those of the Provisional Confederate Army. Neither have been organized, and both have been without commissioned officers; they have been necessarily intermingled in active service; have been necessarily distributed at four different posts, in parts far distant from each other, and have been doing hard marching service, keeping guard, scouting, and fighting the enemy, and lately falling {p.775} back from the valley of the Kanawha, under orders from Adjutant and Inspector General S. Cooper, and from General Robert E. Lee, commanding forces in the State of Virginia. This has prevented the assembling even of my command up to this time. Now, while organizing my artillery and infantry corps, the cavalry of my command are on active duty in checking the enemy and observing their movements on the New River and on the Gauley. Another cause (obstructing returns) is that a considerable portion of the State volunteers considered that they had engaged to serve the time of their enlistment in the valley of the Kanawha alone and on the march from that valley, under orders to defend the Central Railroad, many of them have deserted, and several leading officers of their command have resigned their commissions, after having given furloughs to some of their men, who are now daily returning from their homes to duty. How many will return cannot be ascertained for several days. Connected with the march from the valley thus embarrassed, several serious cases of arrest have occurred, and courts-martial are now sitting and ordered for their trial. More than all, the state and condition of my troops here caused the difficulty and delay of organization, and will cause the delay of my movement for some reasonable time, for refitting, recruiting, and procuring sufficient arms. My men have not been supplied at any time with half-sufficient clothing, camp equipage, arms, or ammunition, and many of them not at all with their tents. Many of them are now destitute of blankets, shoes, tents, and clothing, knapsacks, cartridge and cap boxes, mess-pans, and camp-kettles, and have not half enough of wagons for transportation. My sick list in hospital is upward of 300, and we need medical stores of every kind. I have made large requisitions on the Department, and have sent special agents to Richmond to procure these and all other necessaries.

This will require, for indispensable supplies, at least ten days or two weeks to come. By to-morrow I hope to have consolidated reports, as exact as possible, of my whole force here. They will show the number of men; the different arms to which they are attached; the few arms fit for use; the amount of ammunition, and the want of transportation and supplies. I should mention that at no time as yet have I been furnished with a separate commissary and quartermaster. One officer has had to perform the duties of both departments, and the person nominated for quartermaster is now gone to Richmond to give bonds and obtain necessary orders, devolving the duties of both officers still on my commissary alone.

You shall have, as you request, a detailed answer to your inquiries very soon as to the artillery and infantry of my Legion, and somewhat later a detail of my cavalry and of the State volunteers under my command.

I respectfully suggest that I be allowed ample time for the best preparation I can make, under general orders, which I have received from General R. E. Lee, commanding, &c., and then I will cheerfully cooperate with you, sir, in checking the advance of the enemy. In the short interview I had with you the other evening, I informed you I had no special orders from General Robert E. Lee, but the next morning (yesterday) started to exhibit to you my general orders, received from General Robert E. Lee since I left Lewisburg. They are to check the enemy on both roads to Covington and Newbern, and prevent, if possible, his progress east of the mountains, and to halt at Lewisburg till further notice. If obliged to retire, to retard the advance of the enemy, and to send back to General Floyd to support me; to inform General Loring of the positions I will take, and be prepared, by a concentration of forces, to strike a blow at the enemy.

{p.776}

These orders (dated the 3d instant) I have been and am obeying, and have advised General Lee and General Loring that I propose to advance on the Gauley by the Cherry Tree Bottom road.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

N. B.-I ought to add that new companies are coming in every day, and some of them require everything to be provided for a campaign.

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No. 3.]

CAMP ARBUCKLE, near Lewisburg, Va., August 9, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

DEAR SIR: I write this note to ask the favor of you to send me, if you have them, sabers and pistols, such as you may have to spare, for 300 mounted men. I will return them to you punctually in a short time, and see that they are kept in good order. If you could spare me a company and two 6-pounders for a week’s service you would greatly oblige me. The horses should be good and the pieces provided with forty rounds of ammunition.

With high regard, I am, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

N. B.-It is important to have the arms and company here to-night, if possible.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 9, 1861-5 p.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

DEAR SIR: Your note is just at hand. The only sabers furnished to my command were 260, without scabbards, and all that were scabbarded have been distributed, and 3 or 4 of my troops are now waiting to be furnished. In lieu of the sabers and pistols, of which but fifty-three flint and steel have been furnished to my command, I inclose an order to Colonel Davis, at Meadow Bluff, to co-operate with your cavalry, and be, for the time, at your immediate orders, to-night. A company of artillery I cannot spare you. I have but one that can in any degree serve as artillery, the company of Captain McComas, who is absent from the loss of a child; but I send you a detachment of 24 men, of Colonel Tompkins’ regiment of State volunteers, the remnant of the Kanawha Artillery, who fought at Scarey, and are pretty good artillerists. It is too short a notice to get them ready to-night, but they will be got ready at once, and be sent to you early in the morning. This is the best I can do at present, and I assure you, sir, it will always gratify me to do the best I can in co-operation with your command.

Very truly and respectfully, yours,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General, &c.

P. S.-Captain Caskie reports to me to-day that some scouts of the enemy advanced on the Fayetteville and turnpike roads. We send you forty rounds of ammunition with the pieces.

{p.777}

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HEADQUARTERS, MANASSAS, August 10, 1861.

To the PRESIDENT:

Mr. PRESIDENT: I have suggested, through the Adjutant and Inspector-General, the importance of increasing our forces of artillery and cavalry-the first by borrowing guns from the States, or by casting, especially at Richmond. If guns are to be made, or if different kinds are to be obtained from States, I urgently recommend 12-pounder howitzers to constitute the addition to our present material. We are now deficient in those pieces, even on the principle which regulated the composition of the United States batteries-four 6-pounders and two howitzers. The effect of the howitzers on a field of battle is, I think, more than double that of 6-pounders. With fifty of them respectably served (in addition to our present artillery) we will not fear the enemy, whatever his numbers, in the open field. I beg you, therefore, to aid us by adding what you can to our strength in this arm. I am confident from observation that the Northern troops, like other raw soldiers, fear artillery unreasonably, and that we shall gain far more by an addition of these guns than by one of a thousand men. We are now, you know, far below even the proportion fixed by military writers for an army of veteran infantry. Without that proportion of artillery and cavalry, without further addition of infantry, we ought to be able to drive back all the Northern hordes that may cross the Potomac. It is certain to my mind that all of Napoleon’s successes in 1813 were due to his large proportion of artillery. His infantry was as new and far from being equal to ours.

May I remind you that I have more than once mentioned our deficiency in cavalry? We have not half enough for mere outpost duty. If it had been greater our results on the 21st of July would have been better. For a battle I am sure that 3,000 or 4,000 cavalry in a field would be resisted by no Northern volunteers if they had artillery to open their way. For the last two months I have had one regiment of Virginia cavalry, under Stuart, in the presence of superior forces of regular cavalry, who have never appeared in front of their infantry. Our men, and we can find thousands like them, are good horsemen, well mounted. We can find thousands more like them. Can you not give them to us, and with Stuart to command them? He is a rare man, wonderfully endowed by nature with the qualities necessary for an officer of light cavalry. Calm, firm, acute, active, and enterprising, I know no one more competent than he to estimate the occurrences before him at their true value. If you add to this army a real brigade of cavalry, you can find no better brigadier-general to command it. With our present force we shall be obliged to depend much upon the country people for information of the enemy’s movements.

Very truly, your friend and obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 10, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, General, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Yours, dated the 5th at Huntersville, post-marked the 8th at Staunton, is just received. I am pressing every means to advance as far as will meet the enemy on the Gauley turnpike and Summersville road. This morning I re-enforce General Floyd with a detachment of artillery (two 6-pounders, forty rounds), and a corps of cavalry, under Captain Corns, in addition to Colonel Davis’ force of about 500 {p.778} horse. As fast as a battalion or regiment is ready, I will lead it on to wherever General Floyd may have advanced. There is no ammunition sent for my howitzer, and there is none (I mean ball and cartridge) for my 10-pounder brought from Malden. General Floyd, with two regiments of his own, all my cavalry nearly, and this detachment of artillery, advances from Camp Arbuckle this morning. I will follow from day to day, as I can clothe my men and fit them for a march. The militia here are wholly unreliable, though I have ordered Colonel Beckley to pick all true men he can select, and arm and supply them with ammunition. The enemy conceal their forces very adroitly. They left 1,000 at Charleston and came up to Gauley with 3,500 and eight pieces of rifled cannon, with re-enforcements constantly coming up the river to Charleston and advanced to Gauley. From Gauley they radiate, via Fayetteville, the Gauley turnpike, and the Summersville roads, converging towards Meadow Bluff the forces from Weston (not Huttonsville) coming down from Sutton, being now in advance, about 600, under Colonel Tyler. Thus at Gauley they have probably at present from 4,500 to 5,000, with re-enforcements coming up the Kanawha and down through Braxton in moving columns of unknown numbers. General Floyd’s command and mine will number, all told, not more than 5,500 efficient men, badly armed. By the time the enemy gets through the Gauley and Sewell Wilderness he will be found in force-8,000 at least. His advance through that Wilderness shall be effectually checked. The advance to the Gauley is not desirable at present, because we can get no provisions from Kanawha, and for 30 miles from Gauley east there are no provisions or forage to be had. My idea is to stop the enemy on or near the eastern verge of the Wilderness, and keep him there in the Wilderness by fronting him on the turnpike and by detours on the Fayetteville and Summersville roads. I repeat that we are not half armed. May I not beg you to use your influence with Adjutant-General Cooper to give us some of the arms captured at Manassas or those which are surplus from the crop of that victory? We ought not to be so neglected as not to have what our glorious victors reject. Many of our deserters are coming in, and that induces me to detain the State volunteers here for a few days. I will be active to scout for General Loring, and to give him the earliest intelligence obtained by me. But one thing, of which we are destitute, is absolutely necessary-the portable forge. I beg you to send us at least two for my command, and I suppose General Floyd needs as many. He has about 300, and I about 500, cavalry, and they are barefooted, and blacksmiths cannot be got here, nor shoes, nor iron to make them.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

N. B.-At 10.30 a.m., since the above was written, I have received intelligence that the enemy has moved up, 3,500 strong, to Summersville.

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MANASSAS, VA., August 11, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding, Manassas, Va.

DEAR GENERAL: In order to prevent a coup de main from McClellan, as already communicated to you, I have ordered Longstreet to Fairfax Court-House, Jones to Germantown, and Bonham to full back on Flint Hill, leaving a strong mounted guard at or about Vienna. Cocke goes {p.779} to Centreville; Ewell, to Sangster’s Cross-Roads; Early and Hampton, to intersection of Occoquan road with Wolf Run Shoals road; Evans has gone to Leesburg. The Louisiana Brigade remains for the present at or about Mitchell’s Ford.

Will you permit me to suggest that Elzey should concentrate his brigade at or about Fairfax Station, and Jackson at or about the cross of (Stuart to remain where he is) Braddock’s road with the Fairfax Court-House and Station road.

From those advanced positions we could at any time concentrate our forces for offensive or defensive purposes. I think by a bold move we could capture the enemy’s advance forces at Annandale, and, should he come out to their support, give him battle, with all the chances in our favor; but for that object we must have all our artillery ready in every respect.

Yours, very truly,

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 11, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Colonel Davis, from Meadow Bluff, informs me by last night’s dispatch that he is confident Tyler has joined Cox, near Gauley, and that the enemy is now 7,000 strong. Their scouts are within about 20 miles of Colonel Davis. General Floyd is at Camp Arbuckle, 4 miles beyond Lewisburg. I have sent him a detachment of artillery (two pieces, 6-pounders), and will send on every corps I can get ready in the next three to five days. General Chapman has recalled his militia, and General Beckley can raise no force of any efficiency at all. I have ordered both to call out select men, but do not rely upon them. The cavalry are actively vedetting, and report the enemy as having 250 to 300 cavalry at Summersville, threatening Davis’ rear by the Wilderness road. Colonel Croghan is upon the Cherry Tree Bottom road, but returns today to Colonel Davis. With General Floyd’s force and my cavalry, the enemy cannot advance before I am ready to make our joint forces some 5,500 men.

Very respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 11, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Your dispatch [8th instant], by special messenger, came to hand within the last fifteen minutes. I answer immediately, at 8 p.m., that I will cheerfully and earnestly obey your orders to unite with General Floyd’s command. The most intimate co-operation, in separate command, was all I sought. I seek no further now than to obey your orders. I am inspecting and organizing still, making good progress, and am in strength and condition of force daily improving. All we want now are tents, good small-arms, and some clothing. I will move before all are had, and as early as possible, to do justice to my men. The enemy are reported at junction at Gauley and at Summersville and a part occupying Fayette (Cox and Tyler); in all, 7,000 strong. I have {p.780} written to Beckley and Chapman, urging selection of militia corps, such as are willing and are armed, and will work with axes and spades. Chapman had recalled his men and orders. I have insisted on his renewing his call. Our teams are shoeless, and there are but very few blacksmiths. This delays me as much as any other cause.

Respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 11, 1861-6 a.m.

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, &c.:

SIR: Your note of yesterday reached me last night at 11 o’clock. A letter from Colonel Davis, of the 9th, from Meadow Bluff, was found unopened on my table with yours, no opened dispatches accompanying them. I have received none intended for you. Lest the letter of Colonel Davis to Adjutant-General Harvie may not have been the one opened and read by you, I inclose a copy to you.*

Please inform him that I have sent to you two 6-pounders and a detachment of artillery. I will re-enforce him with about 90 cavalry as soon as blacksmiths can be got to shoe the horses, nearly all of which are barefooted. In two or three days I may be able to move with my artillery and some companies of infantry. If you advance, sir, to Meadow Bluff and beyond to Little Sewell, I will follow as fast as my corps can be organized and made ready for the field.

I regret to learn from General Beckley that General Chapman has recalled the select militia he ordered out. I have ordered General Beckley to proceed in selecting militiamen to co-operate with Major Bailey and Captain Caskie on the Fayetteville road. The militia had better be provided with pick and log wood axes, shovels, and spades to obstruct the roads, which may admit the enemy to our rear from Summersville and other points east of that place on the Gauley. Colonel McPherson, of Lewisburg, might readily select a corps of that description to operate on the road leading from near May’s and Meadow Bluff to the Gauley.

Very respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KANAWHA, Camp Arbuckle, near Lewisburg, August 11, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President Confederate States of America:

DEAR SIR: After a few days’ close observation in this part of the country I am quite sure the enemy’s policy now is to hold all the western portion of the State lying on the Ohio River and as far eastward as the Cumberland range of mountains. They have at Gauley between four and five thousand men, and a like number at Summersville. They are 35 miles distant from each other. The interests of all the west imperatively demand that these people shall be driven out across the Ohio, which I think can be done with the proper management of the force to be secured in this region. I am a few miles west of Lewisburg and 14 miles west of General Wise.

I have deemed it proper, all points fully considered, to assume the command of all the troops about here. I accordingly have issued the {p.781} order, a copy of which I send herewith. One line of policy only should be pursued, and this is the only means by which it can be secured.

There is great disorganization amongst the men under General Wise’s command, as he told me himself, and the course I propose will help to remedy the evil. I hope to be speedily able now to make a movement towards the enemy, and I trust the course I have taken will meet your approbation. I think the inspection I have ordered will result in showing a force sufficiently large, with the volunteer militia who will join us for the campaign, to enable them to move against them.

When we do move it will require great circumspection, attention, and tact to mollify the temper and feelings of the people west of here, if half be true of what has reached me relative to their present exasperated and excited state of feeling.

If the enemy were attacked and driven from Summersville, Cox, at Gauley Bridge, would be helpless and at our mercy, and the junction between these forces I think can be prevented by a prompt but quiet movement. Two well appointed batteries would be of inestimable value to us now. Can’t you send them? The service we will render if we can get into the field will amply repay everything, I think. If we can dislodge these people from Kanawha Valley the whole force could be turned against the rear-Rosecrans. But of course you understand all these views perfectly well, and can order what is best to be done.

With the highest regard, I am, truly, your friend,

JOHN B. FLOYD.

* Not found.

[Inclosure.]

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 12.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KANAWHA, Camp Arbuckle, near Lewisburg, August 11, 1861.

I. The undersigned hereby assumes the command of the forces intended to operate against the enemy now occupying the Kanawha Valley and the country adjacent thereto.

...

JOHN B. FLOYD.

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HEADQUARTERS, VALLEY MOUNTAIN, VA., August 12, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE, Wise’s Legion, White Sulphur Springs, Va.:

GENERAL: I have just received your letter of the 10th and 11th Instant, and I am glad that you are enabled to re-enforce General Floyd so promptly. Your reasons for our troops not advancing to Gauley at present are conclusive, and your plan of stopping the advance of the enemy on the eastern verge of the Wilderness you describe is concurred in until ready to open and penetrate the Kanawha Valley, whence you may draw your supplies. The line of defense you propose, embracing points of strength, is the best.

I have written to General Cooper in reference to arms and forges for your command and forges for General Floyd. I recommend that you forward to Colonel Deas, assistant adjutant-general, headquarters Richmond, a State requisition for such supplies as you may be deficient in. I will direct him to see what can be furnished. As already advised, there are no arms at my disposal, except the State flint-lock muskets; of these you have probably sufficient. I recommend that you also make requisition for ammunition for your howitzer upon Major Gorgas, Chief of Ordnance, C. S. Army. There being no 10-pounders in the service, he {p.782} has not, probably, any ammunition for it. The information of the enemy being re-enforced in front of this position is repeated. Also that he is fortifying at the bridge over the North Branch of the Potomac at New Creek Depot, and occupies Romney. I think it probable that he is spreading his troops over a line of operations from the Kanawha to the Potomac, with a view of influencing the local elections of the Peirpoint dynasty. I hope we shall be able to cut him up in detail. For this purpose our troops must be kept ready for concentration.

I am, with high respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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No. 5.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp Arbuckle, near Lewisburg, Va., August 13, 1861.

General WISE:

SIR: As requested to do, I send you the accompanying communication from Colonel Davis. I have reason to doubt the authority of the report. Yet, coming to me with the official sanction of Colonel Davis, I do not feel at liberty to disregard it. I shall therefore move immediately to his relief with 1,000 men, and request that you will send tomorrow one battery of artillery, with such other forces as you can spare. I understand that the enemy is strong in large guns.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

CAMP AT MEADOW BLUFF.

General FLOYD:

I have reasons to apprehend an attack from the Federal troops tomorrow-probably to-night. They are probably Tyler’s force, from Summersville, who have come into this road by the Sunday road (33 miles from here), re-enforced by a detachment direct from Gauley Bridge. Their number is estimated at 3,000. It is now known that there has been a current of Federal troops passing down the Gauley, which confirms the statement. Mr. Tyree, just taken prisoner by the enemy, has continued to send the news to my scouts, in the neighborhood of his father’s. I can stop them with 1,000 men and two pieces of cannon. Please urge on re-enforcements. Send this to General Wise, and ask him also to send all the aid he can spare.

Your obedient servant,

J. LUCIUS DAVIS, Colonel First Regiment Wise’s Leg-ion.

P. S.-If the report is modified as to numbers, &c., I will inform you.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 13, 1861.

General JOHN B. FLOYD, General Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I imagine, from the reports to me, that Colonel Davis must have received exaggerated reports. Your advance will, at all events, only anticipate any probable movement of the enemy. Your request should be promptly complied with, but for the fact that our horses for {p.783} the artillery have no shoes fit to march with, and it is impossible to find smiths, shoes, or nails. I have sent for iron, and am just setting up a shop. This causes, in part, my delay here. In a short time I will be ready to move some 1,500 men.

Very respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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No. 6.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp Arbuckle, near Lewisburg, Va., August 13, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: You will please send the regiment of volunteers from beyond New River, recently commanded by Colonel McCausland, to join me at Meadow Bluff immediately upon receipt of this order.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 13, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Your order to “send the regiment of volunteers, from beyond New River, recently commanded by Colonel McCausland, to join you at Meadow Bluff immediately upon the receipt of this order,” I respectfully represent cannot possibly be complied with.

The regiment of State volunteers, which you describe, as lately commanded by Colonel McCausland, is in a state of great dilapidation and destitution, from the many resignations of its officers and desertions of its men. It is now being reorganized, under the orders of Colonel Tompkins, who has not yet completed his report, and the men who are left to it are without clothing or equipments fit for a march or any efficient service whatever. Many of them are barefooted, and we have received the first supply of shoes for them this evening, and they are unopened. They are bare of clothing, have not a single tent, and number less than 550 men, many of whom have the measles. Colonel Heth has not inspected them, or his report would show you, sir, how utterly unfit in all respects these men are for any movement against an enemy or to march at all from a place where they are sheltered, and where they are just beginning to receive their supplies and outfits.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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No. 7.]

MEADOW BLUFF, VA., August 13, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

DEAR SIR: Upon arriving here I found much to confirm the reports concerning the approach of the enemy. Colonel Davis’ pickets were driven in this evening by the enemy. We are separated to-night only by the distance of 18 miles, which will be much reduced by morning, as the enemy march at night. I hope you will, with all speed, bring up all your force, and furnish one of my companies with arms. It is a fine {p.784} one, but unarmed, as their guns are behind, with Colonel Wharton. The enemy are very numerous and strong. No artillery. I hope to see you early.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

[Indorsement.]

Received by General Wise’s messenger at 3.30 a.m., August 14, 1861.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 13, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, General, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: General Floyd yesterday assumed command of the forces for the defense of the Kanawha Valley, announced an adjutant and inspector general for his entire command, and ordered my Legion to be first inspected. That Legion is now ready for inspection, and will soon be ready for active service, as soon as the horses can be shod, and the men can be got some clothes, shoes, and blankets, which are daily expected. I now ask for two general orders from you, being desirous to promptly obey General Floyd and to preserve the harmony of our respective brigades: First, that no order be passed from him to my brigade except through me. Second, that the separate organization and command of my brigade, subject of course to his priority of rank and orders for service, be not interfered with. I beg leave to inquire, also, whether I am to consider the State volunteers, under Colonel Tompkins, and the militia, under General Beckley, as still attached to my brigade and command, subject to General Floyd’s general orders of course, or as immediately subject to his orders alone? The enemy have nine regiments in the Kanawha Valley, about 7,200 men. Colonel Croghan reports about 1,500 at Summersville. I hear about 500 are at Fayetteville, 1,000 at Charleston, and about 4,200 at Gauley.

Respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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RICHMOND, VA., August 13, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have stated to Major Gorgas your wish for a larger proportion of 12-pounder howitzers, and he says he can make, say, six per week, and mount them as made, but there is great difficulty in supplying harness. Please send me a statement of the number and caliber of your guns, distinguishing between smooth-bored and rifled also the number of howitzers. This information has been needed in the preparation of ammunition. It is well to avoid mixing the ammunition further than necessary; say smooth-bore or rifle to be with howitzers, but not both kinds and howitzers in one battery.

I have ordered cavalry to join you, and hope you will soon have a regiment and one or more separate companies.

Your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

{p.785}

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RICHMOND, August 13, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding, &c., Manassas:

GENERAL: I have your letter of the 10th instant, and will forward to your command a portion of the shoes here. We have sent to Europe for shoes, and I have officers traveling over all the Confederate States purchasing shoes, making contracts with tanners for leather, and with manufacturers for making leather into shoes. Still, if our force is increased to half a million of men, there must be deficiency. The resources of our country are far too limited for the great demand an immense army creates for supplies of every kind. The demand is double what it would be from the same population in times of peace.

A. C. MYERS, Acting Quartermaster-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, VALLEY MOUNTAIN, VIRGINIA, August 14, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE, Wise’s Legion, White Sulphur Springs, Va.:

GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive this morning your letters of the 11th and 13th instant, and am highly gratified at the rapid progress you are making in organizing your forces, and that their strength and condition are daily improving. I hope you will receive your supply of tents, clothing, &c. As to small-arms, I do not know when they will be obtained. There were none in Richmond when I left. I hope I need not assure you that I never entertained the least doubt as to your zealous and cordial co-operation in every effort against the common enemy. Your whole life guarantees the belief that your every thought and act will be devoted to the sacred cause, dearer than life itself of defending the honor and integrity of the State.

As regards the command of your brigade, the military propriety of communicating through you all orders of its movement is so apparent, that I think no orders on the subject necessary. I have always supposed that it was the intention of the President to give a distinct organization to your Legion, and for it to be under your command, subject of course to do service under the orders of a senior officer. General Floyd, I think, understands this, and I apprehend no embarrassment on the subject. As regards the troops hitherto serving with your Legion, it is within the province of the commanding general to continue them, as hitherto, under your command, to brigade them separately, or detach them, as the good of the service may demand. The incessant rains and constant travel have rendered the roads impassable, and so prevented the transportation of supplies as to paralyze, for the present, operations in this quarter.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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No. 8.]

HEADQUARTERS, NEAR MEADOW BLUFF, VA., August 14, 1861-5 a.m.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: You are peremptorily ordered to march at once, upon the receipt {p.786} of this order, with your Legion and all the forces under your command, to join me at this point.

Your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General Commanding.

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No. 9.]

HEADQUARTERS, NEAR MEADOW BLUFF, VA., August 14, 1861-7 a.m.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: The cavalry company sent me by you at Camp Arbuckle inform me that they are without ammunition. They are, as you will remember, armed with carbines and shot-guns, and number about 45 men. Please send 40 rounds of cartridges for 40 men. For the portion of the company armed with shot-guns I can furnish buck-shot and powder. The bearer of this will take charge of the cartridges.

Your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General Commanding.

[Indorsement.]

AUGUST 14, 1861.

The adjutant-general will cause this request to be complied with.

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 14, 1861-9.30 a.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Your peremptory order, to march at once upon the receipt of it, with my Legion and all the forces under my command, to join you at Meadow Bluff, shall be executed as early as possible and as forces and means of transportation are available.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE.

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No. 10.]

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 14, 1861-11 a.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I am hastening my march by all the means in my power. The quartermaster, by every exertion, has been unable to procure half enough wagons. Will you please send me all the wagons you can spare, to assist the expedition of my march to join you?

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS VIRGINIA VOLUNTEERS, White Sulphur Springs, Va., August 14, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your orders of this date, directing the movement of troops from this camp, and I feel impelled, most respectfully, to enter my protest against its immediate application {p.787} to the volunteer forces under my command. I beg you to remember that these troops are now decimated by disease and casualties incurred by weeks of exposure; that they never have been furnished with tents, or even equipments regarded as essential to the ordinary requirements of service, and, above all, that they are actually destitute of clothing, except such as they bore upon their persons in the hurried march from Kanawha. The Twenty-second Regiment especially may be mentioned as having incurred losses by the destruction of the steamer Maffet, and their inability to communicate with Charleston, which should be remembered by you as worthy of immediate consideration. I cannot, therefore, under the circumstances report any companies of the volunteer regiments as fit for the field, and believe that their removal from quarters at present would be attended with detrimental consequences in every respect.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. Q. TOMPKINS, Commanding Volunteer Brigade.

[Indorsement.]

AUGUST 14, 1861-12.30.

Colonel Tompkins will move only such of the troops under his command as are fit for marching orders. The rest, or, if all are unfit for service, all will remain with him at this post, under my general order of this morning, until further orders or the command is fit to move.

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 14, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

Dispatches were received last night from Colonel Davis, and this morning from General Floyd, giving intelligence of the enemy approaching in full strength from Summersville, via what is called the Sunday road, leading into the Lewisburg turnpike, reported 6,000 strong. I do not credit the report, but, under the peremptory orders from General Floyd, received within the hour, I shall move my entire available force at once to join the general at Meadow Bluff. If my counsel prevails, I shall advance to the west side of Little Sewell. I shall take eight sixes, one rifled piece of artillery, and General Floyd has two sixes. The howitzer was, and is, without ammunition. General Floyd’s whole force, all told, he says, is but 1,200; mine available at once, 2,000. The measles is raging here, and I am reduced nearly half of one regiment of my Legion and the State regiments are nearly wholly unavailable. At most, in two and a half days, I can put forward 1,500 and in five days 2,500 men. General Floyd now has his own force, my whole cavalry (550), a detachment of artillery, with two 6-pounders; in all, say, 1,800 men. In three days he will have 100 more of State cavalry. Thus in four or five days he will have available with him 3,800 men, leaving the sick and unfit for service, say 1,000 men, here. I write in haste, while hurrying on the march of all I can move to-day. There is not half the means necessary for transportation here.

Very respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

{p.788}

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp Six miles west of Meadow Bluff, Va., August 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE, White Sulphur Springs, Va.:

SIR: Your favor of yesterday, informing me of the inability of your quartermaster to procure wagons, &c., enough for your march, and requesting me to send you all the wagons I can spare, has been received. In reply, I have to say that I would take great pleasure in hastening your march to join me, by sending you the necessary transportation, were I able to do so. I have sent quite a number of wagons to Jackson’s River to transport subsistence stores for my men from that point. I have a considerable number of men not able to march and not sick enough for the hospital. These must have transportation. I have left at Camp Arbuckle, near Lewisburg, the tents of my people, because of the appropriation, for the purposes just stated, of the wagons intended for their transportation. These causes, I regret to say, place it out of my power to comply with your request.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 15, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I thank you, sir, for your approval of my endeavors to obey your orders to look to the safety of my command and the proper plans of defense; and I am especially thankful for the promise of your influence to aid me in obtaining good small-arms and for instructions as to requisitions, &c. The ammunition for my howitzer came yesterday, and this morning at 4 a.m. I moved a corps of artillery, with eight pieces, a howitzer, and three 6-pounders, with three companies, under Colonel Gibbs, and three regiments of infantry of my Legion (in all about 2,000 men), to join General Floyd at Meadow Bluff this evening. My corps of cavalry, 50 strong, and 50 artillery, with two pieces, of the State volunteers, are already there, and of the State volunteer cavalry two companies will join him to-day or to-morrow, making my re-enforcements to him about 2,600. His whole force I understand to be but 1,200 all told, making the joint force by to-night 3,800 troops. This is enough to check the enemy until I can have the two State volunteer regiments, now reduced to about 1,200, got ready for marching orders. They are without shoes, tents, clothing, and ammunition, and the measles is raging among them, and cases for the hospital multiplying daily. I leave Colonel Tompkins here in my command, who will report to you, by my orders, my instructions to him, and explain their import. I regret to say that there is a manifest disposition to mutilate my command. General Floyd asked me when here to transfer the State volunteers to his brigade. I declined, both for want of authority and inclination. Since then his orders have been almost peremptory to send one of the regiments to him, which is totally unfit for service in every respect. Colonel Tompkins is faithfully trying to have it ready and efficient. They were the men who guarded Tyler’s Mountain and fought at Scarey unpaid, unclothed, unattended, and have kept the field among deserters. I am obliged, in duty to them, to fit them for the field before they march again. Certain influences have crept in among their officers, and I fear that secret applications have been entertained to have them transferred. I beg you will protect hearty co-operation against any such attempts, which I shall firmly, but calmly, resist to the utmost of my authority. I rely upon you, sir, to interpose admonition to all in time. I protest {p.789} that I desire harmony and co-operation in every sense of cheerful, as well as efficient and healthful, service, but I cannot, in honor, submit to have my brigade mutilated without you order it. I refer to Colonel Tompkins for full explanations, and he, too, seeks the maintenance of his just authority and the observance of the respect due to him. I will be ready for co-operation.

Yours, &c.,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

P. S.-My excellent secretary, Mr. Lucas, has extracted from fragments of a mail thrown out by General Floyd some items which may aid you. Colonel Croghan, of my cavalry, penetrated the Birch Mountain and captured this mail; killed 2 and captured 3-a captain, a corporal, and a private.

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WHITE SULPHUR-SPRINGS, VA., August 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge your order of yesterday, received at 7 p.m., and it shall be promptly and punctually obeyed. I have procured some shoes; enough, I hope, to supply the immediate wants of my command. Those regiments were first supplied which marched this morning to join you at Meadow Bluff and now the regiments left here will be supplied. Transportation, as soon as it can be obtained, shall be furnished, but it is very difficult to obtain sufficient; and, in addition, what is equally necessary, clothing and tents shall be furnished, if possible, under the order of Colonel Tompkins, who is in command of the State volunteers, forming a part of my brigade. I have ordered him to prepare both regiments under him as speedily as possible to join me under your command; but it is impossible for those regiments to join you without some reasonable and necessary delay. To show this, in respect to both regiments, I send you copies of the reports sent to me yesterday by Colonels Tompkins and McCausland.*

Respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

* Not found.

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MANASSAS, August 16, 1861.

Mr. PRESIDENT: The subject of supplying this army with provisions gives us here much anxiety.

In this connection it has been suggested to me that the quantities of some articles of the ration, such as salt, coffee, and bacon, in the Southern States are too small for our wants: that we will probably be unable to procure bacon enough for two issues a week until that of the next season is ready for use. It is said further that certain responsible business men are known to be ready to undertake to introduce a large stock of bacon into the Confederacy and at a price far below that now paid in Virginia, the payment to be on delivery, and in Confederate States funds. I would make this arrangement without hesitation were the necessary amount of money at my disposal. Permit me to urge its adoption by you, and an order to the Commissary-General to carry it into effect, or authority to myself to have the proper persons employed, contracts made, and measures taken to insure their fulfillment.

{p.790}

I will not apologize for troubling you with any matter which seems to me to demand prompt action.

Very truly, your friend and obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

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No. 11.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, On the march, forty miles west of Lewisburg, Va., Aug. 16, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I understand that an order has been issued by you, requiring the officers of your Legion to communicate with me through you. Such an order can result in nothing but the most serious embarrassment, as your headquarters are 40 miles from my position and that of some of your officers co-operating with me. You will see, therefore, the necessity of revoking immediately that order, if such a one has been issued.

I hope you will hurry up all your available force to my support. I shall in all human probability stand in great need of them almost immediately. I learned from a source deemed worthy of full credit that a large force of the enemy has crossed Gauley, and are advancing by this road. Two hundred of their wagons have been counted this side of Gauley. There is the utmost need for promptness and speed in sending your forces to my support.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brig. Gen., Comdg. Forces in the Valley of the Kanawha.

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HEADQUARTERS, Manassas, August 17, 1861.

To the PRESIDENT:

Mr. PRESIDENT: I took the liberty yesterday to trouble you on the subject of our commissariat, and now beg leave to add a few words to what was then written.

There is rarely in store here a stock of provisions sufficient to make us feel secure-never enough for an expedition either to the Potomac or to the Blue Ridge. The latter may, indeed probably will, be necessary; for it seems to me unlikely that McClellan will follow General Scott’s plans. We ought, therefore, to have always here stores for twelve or fifteen days at least. We have now for two-if the flour arrived which was expected to-day.

While in the valley, depending upon a commissary quite new to the service, we had always an abundance of those portions of the ration which are not imported.

I am sure that if bacon could be issued four times a week instead of twice, our Southern troops would be more contented and far healthier. The last consideration is fast increasing in importance. On my last morning report the total present is 18,178; the sick amount to 4,809.

Let me beg you to glance at the inclosed papers.

With high respect, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

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HEADQUARTERS, Richmond, Va., August 17, 1861.

Brigadier-General CARSON, Commanding Virginia Militia, Winchester, Va.:

SIR: At the earnest request of several citizens of Hardy County the governor of the State has been induced to recommend that the militia {p.791} from that section be returned to their homes, as it is believed that their presence there will be of service in preventing the inroads of the Federal troops, which have become frequent of late. You will therefore direct the men from Hardy to return to that county under Colonel Harness, who will make such disposition of them as may best conduce to the public protection.

Very respectfully, &c.,

GEO. DEAS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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TOP OF BIG SEWELL, VIRGINIA, August 17, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan sent to me yours to him of the 15th instant, giving orders to him directly (and very properly under the circumstances) of the apprehended approach of the enemy, saying: “These orders will be conveyed to you after this through General Wise.” On the 16th, at or near Henning’s, while present with my command, at the head of my column, I received yours of that day, remonstrating against my general orders to my command that orders from you and reports to you to and from my officers should be communicated through me, on the ground of the distance of my headquarters, &c., and calling on me to revoke that order. On the same day, and at the same place, Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, of the First Infantry Regiment of my Legion, reported to me in person your order to him, immediately on its receipt, to advance with all the force under his command to join you, and “any orders whatever-in any way confiding with yours you thereby revoke.” Desiring most cordially and cheerfully to co-operate with your command, and to obey and cause to be obeyed all orders properly communicated by you, I extract from a letter of instructions from General Robert E. Lee, dated Headquarters, Valley Mountain, August 14, 1861, the following:

As regards the command of your brigade, the military propriety of communicating through you all orders for its movement is so apparent that I think no orders on the subject necessary.

Bound to maintain the integrity of my command, and whatever is due to it in military propriety, I respectfully reply to your order to Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, that my general order that your orders to my command must be communicated through me is not revoked.

I await your further orders, and am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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No. 12.]

HEADQUARTERS KANAWHA FORCES, August 17, 1861.

GENERAL: You will occupy with your command the encampment located by me this morning-the top of the Big Sewell Mountain.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

P. S.-Remain there until further orders.

{p.792}

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp on the Sewell, Virginia, August 18, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I learn that your Third Regiment is some distance, probably 12 or 15 miles, in your rear. If this be so, you will please hurry them, as we shall in all probability have need of them to-morrow. I have fallen back to this point from Tyree’s on account of the advantage of position which it others for making a stand. I hope to have to-day minute and accurate information of the movements and numbers of the enemy. For this purpose I have sent out large scouting parties.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Forces in Kanawha Valley.

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TOP OF THE BIG SEWELL, VIRGINIA, August 18, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: In yours of the 14th instant you say to me:

As regards the command of your brigade, the military propriety of communicating through you all orders for its movements is so apparent that I think no orders on the subject necessary.

I regret to say that orders on the subject have become necessary by the action of General Floyd, which my letter to you anticipated. You will please understand, sir, that when I marched to the White Sulphur I left my whole cavalry force, some 450, in the rear of Meadow Bluff, to guard and scout against the enemy, checking their advance. General Floyd, with about 1,200 men, passed on to Meadow Bluff, and became interposed between my post at the White Sulphur and my cavalry advanced on this road. Passing Meadow Bluff, he addressed the following very proper note of command to Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan, of my Legion:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp six miles west of Meadow Bluff, Virginia. August 15, 1861.

ST. GEORGE CROGHAN, Lieutenant-Colonel, First Cavalry:

DEAR SIR: Your note of this evening, by messenger from Meadow Bluff, has just been handed me. In reply I send you orders for the movement of your own troops and all others belonging to the Wise Legion that may be at and in the vicinity of Meadow Bluff. These orders will be conveyed to you after this through General Wise. At present the position of the enemy will not justify the loss of an hour in the movement of troops at the Bluff. I have reliable information that the enemy are rapidly advancing and are very near here. You will therefore see the urgent necessity for an early movement of the troops at and near Meadow Bluff in the morning. I shall move from this point to-morrow morning at 5 o’clock. I shall send the companies of infantry to-night to the relief of Colonel Davis.

Very respectfully,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Previous to this I had issued an order to my command that all orders to them from General Floyd and all reports to them from him must pass through me. Yet no objection could reasonably be made under the supposed, but usual, necessity of the case and the position of commands to the above to Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan.

Again on the 16th I was on my march with my First and Second {p.793} Regiments of infantry and corps of artillery, and on the evening of that day reached the eastern slope of Big Sewell, followed by my Third Regiment of Infantry (expected here to-day), nearly all of my Legion, leaving the State volunteer regiments to come on as early as Colonel Tompkins could refit them, showing every disposition to join General Floyd promptly, even before I was half prepared to do so with justice to worn and destitute troops. At Meadow Bluff; on the way, present with my forces, I received the following note myself, and Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, of the First Regiment of Infantry, received the one following that:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, On the march, forty miles west of Lewisburg, Va., August 16, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I understand that an order has been issued by you, requiring the officers of your Legion to communicate with me through you. Such an order can result in nothing but the most serious embarrassment, as your headquarters are 40 miles from my position and that of some of your officers co-operating with me. You will see, therefore, the necessity of immediately revoking that order, if such a one has been issued.

I hope you will hurry up all your available forces to my support. I shall in all human probability stand in great need of them almost immediately. I learned from a source deemed worthy of full credit that a large force of the enemy have crossed Gauley and are advancing on this road. Two hundred of their wagons have been counted this side of Gauley. There is the utmost need for promptness and speed in sending your forces to our support.

I am, sir, &c.,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General of Forces in the Valley of the Kanawha.

To Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson he says:

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, On the march, forty miles west of Lewisburg, Va., August 16, 1861.

Colonel RICHARDSON:

SIR: You are hereby ordered, immediately upon the receipt of this, to advance with all the force under your command to join me. Any orders whatever in any way conflicting with this I hereby revoke.

Respectfully, &c.,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, &c.

Neither myself nor Colonel Richardson has noticed either of these orders. Yesterday morning General Floyd ordered me to occupy this point, which I am doing until his further orders. He advanced 5 miles; has found no enemy, except some scouts, this side of Gauley, and is now, I am told, returning, his advance just arriving. We are here now together, he with about 1,200, and I soon with about 2,000 of my Legion, with this question of communicating orders unsettled. My officers of the Legion cannot be permitted to disregard my general orders nor to take orders directly from General Floyd, and I shall utterly disregard his attempted revocation of it. I lay the case before you in time to prevent collision. If it comes it shall not be my fault, but I will resist, by lawful and respectful means, all encroachments on my legitimate command and the respect which is due it. I will abide your orders, sir, and await your interposition. If General Floyd desires to attach the command of the State volunteers (two regiments) now under Colonel Tompkins to his brigade, I will gladly consent to it, under your orders. Let it be done immediately, and leave me the independent command of my Legion. I beg for this, and prefer to take orders from you. My men will fare better, and our cause will be better served. The enemy have not crossed Gauley at all in any considerable force, {p.794} and have now entirely retired. I am ignorant of the recent movement. Three, or two, or one thousand men cannot be subsisted between Little Sewell and Gauley without great sacrifice. My regiments are reduced by measles 30 per cent. and the cavalry are ruined; nothing but hay, and no shoes.

With the highest respect,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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No. 13.]

HEADQUARTERS KANAWHA FORCES, August 19, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I received last night yours of the 16th instant, in relation to the military propriety of transmitting from these headquarters, through you, orders touching your command. I have the honor to state that the military propriety of thus communicating orders affecting any part of the troops composing your Legion immediately under your command has never been questioned by me. I was informed that you had issued a general order to the officers of your command not to communicate information of any kind directly to me, but first through you only. This will necessarily result in requiring your officers to disobey the orders of your superior, should an occasion arise which in my opinion rendered it necessary for me to give an order directly or to demand a report to be made directly to me by any officer of your Legion. If such an order has been issued, you must see the necessity of its being immediately countermanded. Should troops be detached from your command, I am the judge of the propriety whether my orders should be transmitted through you or directly to the officer in command.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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BIG SEWELL, VIRGINIA., August 19, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I have received your note of this day, in reply to mine of the 16th instant, and regret that it disclosed some difference of understanding between us as to the relations of our respective commands, and some misapplication, I apprehend, of the military propriety even about which we agree. To make my views clear I will call to your mind the different forces which constituted my command when yours became united to it, and when, as senior in commission, you became superior. My command consisted, first, of my Legion; secondly, of the State volunteer force; and, thirdly, of the militia, under General Beckley, assigned by orders of the President and General Lee. The whole of that force is, and ever has been since assigned to me, “immediately under my command.” I am informed of no order, from any authority whatever, detaching any of these forces from my immediate or other command. But without detaching Colonel Richardson from my command, and while I was marching to join you, you directed an order to him, purporting to revoke a general order of mine, of which you were incorrectly informed, and while I was present, leading him, in obedience to your orders, and was at the head of my column at the time.

{p.795}

You say that you was informed that I had issued a general order to the officers of my command not to communicate information of any kind directly to you, but first through me only. Permit me, respectfully, to say that had you required me to inform you what general orders I had issued. I would have copied and sent to you the following General Orders, No. 82, the only one relating to the matter which I had issued, and which will assure you how erroneous was the information given you of its character, to wit:

GENERAL ORDERS, No. 82.

HEADQUARTERS WISE’S BRIGADE, White Sulphur Springs, Va., August 14, 1861.

General John B. Floyd senior in commission to General Wise, having assumed command of the Department of the Kanawha Valley, will be obeyed and respected accordingly. All orders from him to this brigade, and all reports from this brigade to him will pass through General Wise, or through the officer at the time commanding.

By order, &c.

Thus, you see, sir, that my order applied not only to my Legion, but to the entire brigade commanded by me, and that, so far from requiring my officers to disobey the orders of my superior, it expressly enjoins both obedience and respect, and prescribed only the proper formality to secure both to the command of my superior. And now, in respect to detaching portions of my command and removing them from my immediate orders, I refer you again to instructions to me from General Lee. In the same letter, of August 14, 1861 (the day of my general orders), in which he said, “as regards the command of your brigade, the military propriety of communicating through you all orders for its movement is so apparent, that 1 think no orders on the subject necessary,” he adds:

I have always supposed that it was the intention of the President to give a distinct organization to your Lesion, and for it to be under your command, subject of course to do service under the orders of a senior officer. General Floyd, I think, understands this, and I apprehend no embarrassment on the subject.

He also adds, in contrast or opposition to this:

As regards the troops hitherto with your Legion (meaning the State volunteers and militia), it is within the province of the commanding general to continue them, as hitherto, under your command, to brigade them separately, or detach them, as the good of the service may require.

Thus, sir, I am instructed to command my Legion as a distinct organization, subject to do service under the orders of a senior officer, communicated through me. It cannot be discontinued from my command except by orders of the President or by due course of military law. It cannot be brigaded separately or detached from my command, in whole or in part, by a senior only, for, if it may be detached in part, it may be in the whole, and a junior brigade might be dissolved by being detached, so as to merge it into the senior. Nor can it be mingled with your command, except to unite in the service, under your orders, passed through me, for it is a distinct organization. But as respects the State volunteer forces and the militia the case is otherwise. As yet there have been no orders from you to discontinue my command of them, but you may so order, or you may brigade them or detach them. In respect to these troops, I will cheerfully accede to either order and obey it promptly. But in respect to my Legion, sir, I must respect my sense of duty to maintain its command as my own, subject to your superior orders to do service. Its entirety will be maintained by me, and I will not consent to the whole or any part of it being detached. If the contrary is claimed as your province, I will judge of the propriety of appealing to the superiors of both you and myself in command. In the mean {p.796} time, and in the face of the enemy, I trust we may rationally adjust our relative commands, and harmoniously co-operate, by your detaching from my command all the forces except my Legion and leaving that in the category described by General Lee.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. -.}

CAMP WISE, VA., August 19, 1861.

Brig. Gen. Henry A. Wise will take up the line of march to-morrow at 730 a.m., and proceed with all the forces under his command in the direction of the Kanawha Valley, by way of the James River and Kanawha turnpike. He will place, for the march, his artillery next to his advanced guard of cavalry, and his horse in the rear of his column.

By order of Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd, commanding, &c.:

WILLIAM E. PETERS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Floyd’s Brigade.

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HEADQUARTERS WISE’S DIVISION, Camp Arbuckle, Va., August 19, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding Forces, &c.:

SIR: I have received your note of orders for 7.30 o’clock to-morrow morning. The part relating to the cavalry will require Colonel Davis to be notified to fall back with his command in your advance, in order to comply with your order to proceed with my whole command and to place a portion of my cavalry in front and rear. Colonel Davis and Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan have been stationed, under your orders, where exactly, I do not know. Will you please have a messenger dispatched to Colonel Davis to fall back and meet me on the march, to form the order of march under your command? A portion of the cavalry of my command are at Meadow Bluff and I will order them up immediately. Am I to consider the detachment of artillery which you borrowed as included in your order in respect to my whole command? They have not yet been detached from my command, and were to be returned to me in a week. We are deficient in wagons. It will be difficult to take our ammunition or to move with all our baggage and tents. Can you assist us with wagons?

Very respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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No. 16.]

CAMP WISE, VA., August 19, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: General Floyd’s order of this date is hereby countermanded in so far as you will take up the line of march to-morrow at 9.30 a.m., instead of at 7.30 a.m., as specified in said order. Colonel Davis had orders from General Floyd yesterday to report to him at these headquarters, for the purpose of taking command of the cavalry here, with a view to its better organization. A copy of said order is herewith sent you. General Floyd was not aware until the receipt of your letter of {p.797} the absence of Colonel Davis from the command temporarily assigned him here. As requested, Colonel Davis will be ordered to fall back and meet you on your march. General Floyd will detach from your command all the forces not belonging to your Legion, hence the detachment of artillery at these headquarters is not included in his order in respect to your command.

As stated in a former communication to you, General Floyd is deficient in the means of transportation. If however, he ascertains tomorrow morning that he can spare any wagons, it will afford him very great pleasure to place them at your command.

By order of Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd, commanding forces, &c.:

WILLIAM E. PETERS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Floyd’s Brigade.

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MANASSAS, August 19, 1861.

To the PRESIDENT:

Mr. PRESIDENT: On the 22d of July, just before Brigadier-General Holmes returned to Fredericksburg, he, General Beauregard, and myself agreed as to the expediency of erecting at Evansport a work capable of resisting a coup de main. This work, it was further agreed, General Holmes was to have constructed immediately. He selected for its armament five of the captured guns, the 30-pounder and two small Parrott rifles, and two 12-pounder howitzers, which I had sent to him a day or two after. I was much surprised yesterday to learn that the work had not been commenced. We think it of great importance; that its effect would be to prevent the turning that position on its right by the enemy. It will therefore be begun by us. The guns which General Holmes still has should be sent to the place, however, and for the thorough command of the Potomac three or four of the, large rifles, which it is understood have been made in Richmond, should be added, and a detachment from Fredericksburg might, I think, be advantageously employed in conjunction with ours.

While on this subject may I suggest that this frontier of the Potomac would better form one command than two? Colonel Wigfall has reported, and without other field officers. I was glad to find it, so, because it gives me a hope that you will believe that my Texan friend, R. A. Howard, is the fittest Texan living for military service. He served with me four years in Texas on Indian service. In that I formed the highest opinion of his military character-an opinion which I shared with his West Point associates of highest standing, such as Whiting, Bee, and E. K. Smith. He accompanied Bee in the recent campaign. In the battle I had an opportunity to observe him, and was delighted with his conduct and enthusiastic courage. Colonel Wigfall says that this appointment would be agreeable to him.

We hear of several officers as in Richmond who would be of great value here, Colonels Van Dorn and Walker among them. We require more brigade commanders. It seems to me that our whole strength is to be put forth. In this connection let me recommend as two of the best officers whose services we can command, G. W. Smith and Lovell. They are as fit to command divisions as any men in our service. Smith is a man of high ability, fit to command in chief. These two have not come forward, because, not belonging to seceded States, they didn’t know how officers would be received. Perhaps they have not taken the right course. At any rate they have always wanted to serve {p.798} us. They are now in Lexington, Ky. I venture to recommend, too, from the importance of his position, that our chief quartermaster have the provisional rank of colonel.

Most respectfully, your friend and obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

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RICHMOND, VA., August 20, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

GENERAL: Frequent complaints have been made to me of improper food for the well and a want of care for the sick. I most respectfully invite your attention to both these subjects, and hope that abuses may be promptly corrected. Is it not practicable to construct bake-ovens at or near Manassas, that good bread may be supplied to the troops? The main complaint is of bad bread and of inattention to the sick. I have repelled grumblers, but the clamor has increased in specifications until I have deemed it proper to obtain the facts from you. Captains and colonels, instead of correcting evils by personal attention, seem to have been the sources of no small part of the impressions received and circulated. I have for some time designed to organize a medical board to examine the appointees, and hope soon to do so.

Your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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BIG SEWELL, VA., August 20, 1861-8.15 a.m.

Capt. WILLIAM E. PETERS, Assistant Adjutant-General, &c., Floyd’s Brigade:

SIR: Please inform General Floyd that, owing to one of my infantry ammunition wagons breaking down, I fear delay in advancing at the hour ordered, but every means of transportation shall be exerted.

Respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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CAMP WISE, VA., August 20, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I am instructed by General Floyd to say to you that he cannot spare you any wagons. He finds that he has not enough, by a good many, for the transportation of the equipments of his own people and their provisions.

By order of Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd:

WILLIAM E. PETERS, Assistant Adjutant. General, Floyd’s Brigade.

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No. 17.]

DEET’S, AT FOOT OF SUNDAY ROAD, VA., August 20, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

I hastened on in person to the front this morning. Found Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan reported in danger of being cut off by the advance on the Sunday and Hopping roads, and sent two companies of cavalry to re-enforce him and cover his retreat. The scouts came in immediately {p.799} afterwards from the Sunday and Hopping roads, reporting they were fired upon, and I heard three volleys, apparently from the Hopping road. Our scouts killed 2 on the Sunday road, and Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan had two encounters on the turnpike; the first about one and a half miles beyond Piggot’s, killing 2 and taking 2 prisoners of the enemy. The second was about 2 p.m., half mile this side of Hawk’s Nest, at Hamilton’s, losing 1 man of Captain Buchanan’s company, and 3 wounded. The latter are in a wagon, sent back to a surgeon. A surgeon, if possible, should be sent to the cavalry in front. Colonel Croghan has been met by about 580 of the enemy at Hawk’s Nest, and he was obliged to retire. He will report more in detail to you.

Having executed your special orders, I send him back to bring up the cavalry of my Legion in the rear. Several companies are there, refitting and recruiting men and horses exhausted and worn-out by excessive scouting. Several troops of your brigade are very much shattered, and I have ordered Colonel Croghan to take them to the rear to get horses and some grain. I will order the best of the cavalry to be detailed for an advance guard. I think the enemy will be in force tonight at Hawk’s Nest, and we ought to have a strong artillery and infantry force at Dogwood Gap and upon the Sunday and Hopping roads. The advance should be made to-night.

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Valley Mountain, Va., August 21, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE, Commanding Wise’s Legion, Camp, Sewell Mountain, Th.:

GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 18th instant, and, according to your request, have issued the accompanying special orders, of this date, placing the Twenty-second and Thirty-sixth Regiments of Virginia Volunteers subject to the assignment of the commanding general of the Army of the Kanawha, and confining your immediate command to that of the Wise Legion, as organized, by direction of the War Department.

It is proper, as well as necessary, for the commanding general to organize his troops in the field according to the exigencies of the service. It also becomes necessary to detach troops for special service from their appropriate brigades, and thus place them temporarily under other commanding officers. The rights of officers are not thereby violated, provided they are under their senior in rank, whose orders are always respected and obeyed in well-constituted armies. The necessities of war require the organization of the forces to be adapted to the service to be performed, and sometimes brigades and separate commands have to be remodeled accordingly. This must be done in accordance with the judgment of the commanding officer. The transmission of orders to troops through their immediate commanders is in accordance with usage and propriety. Still, there are occasions when this cannot be conformed to without detriment to the service. Obedience to all legal orders is nevertheless obligatory upon all officers and soldiers.

These remarks are not supposed to be necessary for your information, but to show why I have not considered orders on the subject necessary. Feeling assured of the patriotism and zeal of the officers and men composing the Army of the Kanawha, I have never apprehended any embarrassment {p.800} or interference in the execution of their respective duties believing they would make everything yield to the welfare of the republic.

I remain, with high esteem, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 243.}

HEADQUARTERS, Valley Mountain, W. Va., August 21, 1861.

I. The Twenty-second and Thirty-sixth Regiments Virginia Volunteers, under Colonels Tompkins and McCausland, will be formed into a distinct brigade, or be attached to other brigades of the Army of the Kanawha, as the commanding general of that army may determine.

II. The Wise Legion, as organized, under the directions of the Secretary of War, will be under the immediate command of General H. A. Wise.

III. The militia called into the service of the Confederate States, together with all the troops operating in the Kanawha Valley, will be subject to the orders and under the control of the commanding general of the Army of the Kanawha.

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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No. 18.]

CARNIFIX FERRY, W. VA., August 22, 1861-10 p.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD:

SIR: Yesterday you left two pieces of artillery at Dogwood Gap, which have been ordered to this point this morning. These, added to my eight pieces, make ten under my command. Your verbal orders to me now are to have four pieces of artillery crossed over the Gauley this evening, with one of my regiments of infantry. Permit me to inquire whether you order four of my pieces in addition to your own? And will you please state in written orders the points you wish me to occupy with the remaining portions of my Legion.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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CARNIFIX FERRY, W. VA., August 22, 1861.

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General:

SIR: You will please send me four pieces of your artillery in addition to my own two; also one of your regiments (the strongest), to have crossed over the Gauley this evening. You will likewise please send me early to-morrow-say 7 a.m.-100 of your most efficient horse. With the remainder of the force under your command you will take such a position as will enable you to watch the movements of the enemy and to check any advance by them. I understand that the regiments commanded respectively by Colonels McCausland and Tompkins are on the march from the White Sulphur and are to-day near you. Should the force of your command, after making the above deductions, be deemed inefficient for the purpose of watching the enemy and checking {p.801} his advance, you will retain under your command the regiment commanded by Colonel Tompkins, and order the regiment of Colonel McCausland to join me as soon as practicable. I do not think that any serious apprehensions need be entertained of the advance of the enemy from Gauley Bridge. Should you be likewise thus persuaded, you will please send me the regiments of both Colonels McCausland and Tompkins. At all events you will keep a vigilant eye upon the movements of the enemy and keep me informed of the same.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

P. S.-Since the above was written I have had a conversation with Colonel Heth, which induces me to recall my request for one of your regiments. I will try and make good my position with my own force and your guns. In lieu of the regiment I must beg of you to send me early to-morrow 100 horse.

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ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, August 22, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Army of Potomac, Manassas, Va.:

GENERAL: In transmitting the inclosed copy of a letter this day sent to General Holmes on the subject of a battery at Evansport, I am instructed by the Secretary of War to state that it is of the first importance that a competent engineer officer should be sent to locate the work and superintend its construction. He therefore desires that you will furnish such officer from your command, and, if practicable, detail Captain Stevens, of the Corps of Engineers, for that duty.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector GENERAL

[Inclosure.]

ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, August 22, 1861.

General T. H. HOLMES, Commanding Fredericksburg, Va.:

GENERAL: In answer to your several communications on the subject of the establishment of a battery at Evansport, I am instructed to inform you that it was intended when you were last here that the erection of a battery at Gray’s Point, on the Rappahannock, should be suspended, with the understanding that you would direct your attention to batteries on the Potomac, the point above your position being preferred to that of Mathias Point, if equally effective, because of the advantage it possesses of being in the direction of our forces at Manassas. You will now, therefore, cause to be erected, with as little delay as practicable, the battery at Evansport, as suggested by you. General Johnston, to whom a copy of this communication will be sent, will be instructed to furnish a competent engineer officer from his command for the purpose of locating the work and superintending its construction. General Johnston reports that you had arranged with him when at Manassas to have the work constructed at Evansport immediately on your return, {p.802} and that you selected for its armament five of the captured guns, viz, the 32-pounder and two small Parrott rifles and two 12-pounder howitzers, which he had sent to you a day or two after your interview with him. Besides these guns, Major Anderson, of the Tredegar Works, has been instructed to send you a rifled columbiad for the same battery. It is presumed these guns will be a sufficient armament for the battery in question. If how ever, the rifled columbiad should not be made available at Evansport, it is conceived it might be used with effect at the mouth of Aquia Creek.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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CAMP GAULEY, August 23, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have been enabled, after some days’ march, to cross the Gauley River at a point near the village of Summersville, in the county of Nicholas, which we now command. It has been heretofore held by a strong force of the enemy, and constituted an important link in their chain of communications and defenses between the Kanawha River and the forces in the northeast, under Rosecrans. I learned that all the forces from this point had been sent to the mouth of Gauley, with a confident expectation of an attack from us there. Immediately upon hearing this I turned suddenly in the night, and by a forced march, and succeeded in crossing the Gauley River 25 miles above its mouth and in taking possession of this pass and position, which effectually cuts the enemy’s line of communication and enables us, when sufficiently strong, either to attack General Cox in his flank or rear, on the Kanawha River, or to advance against the flank of General Rosecrans, should General Lee so direct.

If three good regiments could be sent to me by way of the Kanawha turnpike to replace the Legion of General Wise, which can be used to better advantage by General Lee, I think the entire valley of Kanawha can be speedily reoccupied and permanently held. I cannot too strongly enforce upon you the importance of this measure, and the sooner it is done the better. Newbern and Dublin Depot, on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, would be the best point to start from, and their march to Kanawha Valley would be through Giles, Mercer, Raleigh, and Fayette, by a good turnpike road.

The militia west of Kanawha River are embodied, and I hope in a few days to render General Cox’s position untenable.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

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No. 20.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp Gauley, Va., August 24, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I have good reason to believe that the enemy have abandoned all idea of crossing the Gauley River in force. If they have any thought of an attack upon us it must be against all at this point, and this I greatly doubt. But I am fully able to defend myself against the combined forces of General Cox and Colonel Tyler both together, and court {p.803} their assault. I learn that some silly reports are in circulation among the teamsters and camp followers, to the effect that I am in danger of being surrounded and cut up. I hope you will take pains to have this silly and absurd notion exploded, if, indeed, it has made any progress on that side of the river. Such an idea, however absurd, might have a tendency to demoralize the troops. May I ask you to send over the mail, with all dispatches. I have ordered a strong scouting party of my cavalry, still on the left bank of the river, to proceed to Gauley Mountain, and ascertain the position of the enemy, if indeed he is still on that side. I shall be able to cross with the artillery to-morrow.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier General, Commanding the Army of the Kanawha.

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CAMP AT DOGWOOD GAP, NEAR SUNDAY ROAD, August 24, 1861-8.30 p.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Your messenger met me within the hour, returning from a personal view of the enemy. I could get no reliable information from scouts or citizens, and determined to go in person to the Gauley Mountain and see their camp for myself. I passed our camping ground and rose the gorge on the other side of Liken’s Mill, guided by Westlake. He supposed they were encamped in and about a school-house on the hill. I got to the turn of the ascent with a small detachment of cavalry and halted-dismounted, with Colonel Davis and Adjutant Tabb, and went directly up the hill into their camp of the night before, at the school-house. At first it appeared as if evacuated, but going farther and observing ahead more closely, we discovered the smoke of their camp beyond, about 400 yards distant. We returned a short distance to a mound, which failed to command a view, and I then sent Colonel Davis and Adjutant Tabb back, who got a pretty close sight of their sentinels. The camp could not be seen fairly without exposing our party, but the immediate neighbors reported them to be about 700 strong, though but two companies had occupied the school-house last evening. Mrs. Wood, Westlake’s daughter, and an intelligent servant, it is said, escaped from their camp last evening, and report that they have moved over to Rich Creek. The latter is the only indication of an intent to attack you. To watch that movement I detailed the returning scouts from Captain Tyree’s company, as it passed here to-day. I also detailed Captain Bailey and same 20 men and scouts to cross Bowyer’s Ferry and scout that and Miller’s Ferry to Fayetteville turnpike down to Montgomery’s Ferry, and to report upon the practicability of mounting a 6-pounder on the cliffs on the south side of New River, to give a plunging shot into their camp and barricades at Gauley; and, finally, to descend into their rear on the south side of the valley of the Kanawha, by the Loop, or Paint Creek, or Coal River. This to divert them from an attack upon you. I trust you will approve these orders. I have ordered all my available and shod cavalry to guard as low down as Liken’s Mill, and shall move a battalion of infantry to the same point, and gradually step up towards the enemy. To-morrow I will order a daring scout of the Rich Creek road. Colonel Tompkins must before this have reached Carnifix with two regiments, less than 800 men. They have been reduced less than one-half by desertion and {p.804} measles. I sent Captain Corns’ cavalry yesterday and Captain Beckett’s to-day and left three pieces of artillery for you, thinking Colonel Tompkins would bring you two pieces besides. The loss of your ferryboat and 4 men was dispatched to me last night by Quartermaster Dunn, very properly, to obtain nails and plank to construct a new and better boat. This was promptly attended to, and the apprehension it caused was doubtless the foundation of the report you name. I do not think these reports will damage your command (if the enemy do not), but I will endeavor to guard you, sir, from both to the utmost of my power. I respectfully submit that an attack from Cotton Hill would have a strong effect upon the enemy. If you will order it, sir, I will try to make it effectual, if artillery can be taken over New River and up its cliff.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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No. 21.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, August 24, 1861. (Received August 25 2.30 a.m.)

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I have this evening received information that 500 of the enemy are encamped within 5 miles of this place. This is probably the advance guard of their entire force, who may make an attack upon me to-morrow. To meet this contingency you will send down to the river at once, upon receiving this, one of your regiments-the strongest. The boat will be ready for their conveyance across the river by daylight to-morrow morning. Should subsequent developments prove that no attack upon me is intended, your regiment will be sent back to you. You will also please send me your iron howitzer.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.

P. S.-You will please issue forty rounds of cartridges to the men and one hundred for the howitzer.

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DOGWOOD GAP CAMP, August 24, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I received your last dispatch this morning, and I confess with a heavy heart. The general instruction is that my command is independent in its organization, and cannot be detached, yet General Floyd may divide and detail it in part, subject to his direct orders, in any proportion of force, so as to deprive me of all opportunity to organize and protect it, and to command the respect from it which I must have in order to make it efficient or to be myself of any use in the service. To be plain, sir, I am compelled to inform you expressly that every order I have received from General Floyd indicates a purpose to merge my command in his own and to destroy the distinct organization of my Legion. We are now brought into a critical position by the vacillation of orders and confusion of command.

Two days ago I was ordered to proceed down this turnpike to meet the enemy. Everything was put in motion, and the commands were united at the foot of Gauley Mountain, where the foe was found in force. We arrived on the evening of the 21st. That night General {p.805} Floyd, for the first time, conferred with me, and I concurred in a plan to attack Carnifix Ferry, on the Gauley, while he should hold the front on the turnpike, and was accordingly ordered to proceed that night at 3 o’clock to take and cross that ferry. He was to check the enemy in front and join me at the ferry, after covering my train and artillery, which he had left at Dogwood Gap. At 3.30 o’clock I marched. Found no enemy on the Sunday road. They had retreated across the ferry, and I arrived there early in the morning. I paused to get breakfast while looking out for boats on which to cross. The enemy had sunk one and sent the other adrift over the falls. I had scarcely paused before General Floyd, with his whole force, arrived by another road, leaving his train and his artillery unprotected on the turnpike. The rain and mud were nearly insufferable the day before yesterday, and the men without tents after a night’s march. In the course of the day he changed orders three times, and at last ordered me to divide my batteries, giving him three pieces of artillery, with a detachment for the guns, and 100 horse to follow across the Gauley. The sunken boat having been raised-a single boat of the smallest size for a country ferry-he ordered me, with the remainder of my command, to take position on the road and check the enemy, leaving me four pieces and he taking six-four of mine and two of his own. Under these orders I marched back yesterday to Dogwood, leaving Captain Hart, with my detached artillery, on this side of the ferry, awaiting the opportunity to cross, General Floyd having taken over his own two pieces. Last night his quartermaster dispatched to me the message that their boat sank yesterday and went over the falls, drowning four men, and that all means of communicating with General Floyd are cut off until we can build another ferry-boat. He has with him only about 1,000 men and two pieces of artillery, the enemy having about 4,000 men at Gauley and Rich Creek, and within a few hours’ march of him. This unfortunate move may cut him to pieces, but Colonel Tompkins is coming up with about 750 men, and we will do what we can to cover the retreat or to re-enforce his position.

I now ask to be entirely detached from all union with General Floyd’s command. I beg you, sir, to present this request to the President and Secretary of War for me. I am willing, anxious, to do and suffer anything for the cause I serve, but I cannot consent to be even subordinately responsible for General Floyd’s command, nor can I consent to command in dishonor. I have not been treated with respect by General Floyd, and co-operation with him will be difficult and disagreeable, if not impossible. I earnestly ask that while he is attempting to penetrate Gauley I may be allowed to operate in separate command from him, but aiding his operations, by being ordered to penetrate the Kanawha Valley on the south side, by the Loop or Paint Creek, or by the Coal River; or send me anywhere, so I am from under the orders of General Floyd.

I am, with the highest respect, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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HEADQUARTERS WISE’S LEGION, At Buts’, Va., August 25, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Captain Tabb being absent, I inclose the following memorandum:

“AUGUST 25, 1861.

“Adjutant Taft will forward a dispatch to General Floyd, stating hat the enemy in my front, in large force, have cut the cavalry, under Colonel Jenkins, to pieces, and {p.806} I am moving forward two pieces of artillery and a picked corps of infantry, to meet the enemy, and this will delay the regiment to be sent to him.

“HENRY A. WISE, “Brigadier-General.”

Very respectfully,

DAN’L B. LUCAS.

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DOGWOOD, VA., August 25, 1861-6 p.m.

Brigadier-General FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I wrote to you a hurried note this morning* to excuse my delay in executing orders to send a regiment. Colonel Jenkins’ cavalry (the Nelson and Lee Rangers) got into a severe skirmish to-day, in which they were completely ambuscaded by about 700 infantry and suffered much. With untrained horses and men, they broke very badly and left the commander with but few men rallied. None were killed, but some 8 or 10 badly wounded and several horses killed and crippled. The disaster called out my infantry in force and delayed my sending the regiment this morning. It shall be at the Carnifix Ferry early to-morrow morning, and I will have my whole force ready to re-enforce you. Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan is at Meadow Bluff.

Very respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

[This note was written at the head of his column by General Wise, leading against the enemy (in the direction of Hawk’s Nest). Richardson’s regiment was already drawn up and about to start to Carnifix, when the rout of Jenkins’ cavalry caused the reverse movement.-D. B. L.]

* See Lucas to Floyd, preceding.

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No. 22.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp Gauley, Va., August 25, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I am obliged to you for the information you impart to me about the enemy. Although meager, it is all I have been able to gather from that locality since I crossed the river. The enemy no doubt are within a few miles of me, but in what force I have been unable to ascertain up to this time. It may be the whole force of their combined column, for I supposed from the first that their object would be to repossess themselves of all the country this side of Gauley. Hence the probabilities are that the force in our neighborhood is the advance guard of the entire command at Gauley Bridge. Of this I hope to know more before morning. If they come against me with all their people you ought to give me the benefit of your whole force, which would still leave us inferior to them in numbers. In this view, therefore, I think for the present you had better not get your force beyond supporting distance. With one regiment at the river and your others at Dogwood Gap, ready to march at a moment’s warning, I would look upon my position here as nearly impregnable. If the enemy do not make a movement against me, which must be determined within twenty-four hours, then no doubt your plan of operations for the left bank of the Kanawha is the correct one, and must result in driving them from the Kanawha Valley. If those operations are properly sustained by energetic measures on this side of the {p.807} Kanawha immediately upon ascertaining certainly the action of the enemy in this direction, I will give orders in conformity to the foregoing, views. I am without a field officer for cavalry. Will you oblige me by detailing Colonel Croghan for special service with me for a short time, until I can be supplied? He can be of service to me if you can spare him.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the Kanawha.

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No. 23.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, August 25, 1861-3 p.m.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: The enemy are very near us; their advance guard within 3 miles. You will dispatch your strongest regiment to my support and hold your entire command, if you can do this, within supporting distance.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding Forces, &c.

In the absence of General Floyd I have signed the above order.

WILLIAM E. PETERS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Floyd’s Brigade.

3.30 p.m.-Enemy advancing in battle array.

W. E. P.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. -.}

HDQRS. VALLEY MOUNTAIN, VIRGINIA, August 25, 1861.

I. Brig. Gen. T. T. Fauntleroy, Provisional Army of Virginia, at his own request, is relieved from the command of the troops in and about Richmond.

...

III. Name the officer to relieve General Fauntleroy or to command the different camps, &c.

By order of General Lee:

-.

HEADQUARTERS, VALLEY MOUNTAIN, VIRGINIA.

Lieut. Col. GEORGE DEAS, Assistant Adjutant-General:

COLONEL: Above you have an order relieving General Fauntleroy from duty, in accordance with his request. Before issuing it, please see as to his successor, and append another paragraph, appointing him to the command. If Colonel Dimmock can attend to the duty, appoint him, and, if necessary, see General Cooper on the subject. I have no news. The constant rains and travel have made the roads almost impassable, and the effort is to supply the troops with provisions. Other movements are at a stand. I sent Mayo to Richmond to report to you, on account of his health, which was suffering from the exposure. Sign the above order when completed as usual.

Very truly,

R. E. LEE.

{p.808}

P. S.-Since writing the foregoing I have issued the order from the Adjutant-General’s Office, diverting the Fourteenth North Carolina Regiment from this column to General Floyd’s. The second paragraph being unnecessary, I have consequently erased it. Re-enforcements are wanted on this line. Can any be had?

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RICHMOND, August 26, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Staunton, Va.:

GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs that you be informed that your requisitions for clothing are being filled and the articles forwarded. He also wishes you to be informed that Colonel McDonald had previously to your orders to him been directed to proceed with his regiment to Hampshire County, to carry out his original instructions in that quarter, which were highly important.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. H. CHILTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, August 26, 1861.

Adjutant-General COOPER, Confederate Army:

GENERAL: In answer to the petition * of the county court of Shenandoah to Governor Letcher, in relation to that portion of the militia from that county in my brigade now in service at Winchester and by you handed to me for the facts, I have to say:

1st. Governor Letcher and the county court are mistaken as to who ordered the brigade into service. General Johnston made the order, dated June 21, for two regiments, through me, which has been shown to both the Secretary of War and yourself. Under proclamation of the governor of July 19, calling out the militia, the balance of my brigade was condensed into two regiments, making four in my command, and numbering over 3,000 men.

2d. In carrying into effect the several proclamations of the governor every opportunity was given the men to volunteer, and recruiting officers from all sections were permitted to mingle with the men for that purpose. Nearly all the recruits obtained were from the two regiments ordered out by General Johnston. In these two points the county court is mistaken.

3d. That I have never conceived the two regiments ordered into service by General Johnston under the control of Governor Letcher, but the Confederate authorities, and that the two regiments ordered out by his proclamation of July 19, as soon as organized, were under the same control.

It is proper for me to state that four-fifths of the militia now serving at Winchester belong to my brigade and have been actively engaged in drill, throwing up intrenchments, mounting guns, and for the defense of that place and the valley of Virginia., and that since the battle of Manassas I have received orders from General Johnston to have them drilled and prepared for service wherever needed.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

GILBERT S. MEEM, Brigadier-General, Seventh Brigade Virginia Militia.

* See inclosure A to Walker to Johnston, August 29, p. 817.

{p.809}

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 134.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, August 26, 1861.

I. Brig. Gen. W. H. T. Walker, Provisional Army, will proceed to Manassas, Va., and report for duty to General J. E. Johnston, commanding.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, August 27, 1861.

General T. H. HOLMES, Brooke’s Station, via Fredericksburg:

GENERAL: Your letter of the 22d instant has been received. The President conceives it important that measures should be taken to occupy with some military force a portion of the Northern Neck against marauding attempts of the enemy, and also for the same purpose a portion of the country south of the Rappahannock River, and it is therefore urged upon you to unite with the Lancaster troop of cavalry, now reported to be in the Northern Neck, Beale’s company of horse, and also to send Richardson’s regiment to the south side of the Rappahannock, where it is understood some of his companies are serving.

If this disposition can be made without weakening your command too much in other quarters, it is the President’s wish it be done.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KANAWHA, Camp Gauley, Nicholas County, August 27, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

SIR: The force under General Tyler which left this vicinity a few days ago to strengthen General Cox for the expected fight at the mouth of Gauley, upon learning that I had crossed the Gauley and taken position here, returned to this neighborhood night before last. They took up their position 2 miles from my camp, when I attacked them yesterday about sunrise, and defeated them completely after a sharp conflict. Between 45 and 50 of the enemy were killed and wounded, and we have taken over 100 prisoners and some stores. The force of the enemy was completely routed and dispersed in every direction. We are still picking up the stragglers. I hope the result of this fight will enable me to break up entirely all communication between the valley of Kanawha and the forces under General Rosecrans.

It is a matter of vital importance to the interests of Western Virginia that a strong and controlling force should be sent into this quarter of the country. The undecided and timid portions of the people would at once side against the invaders, and the Union men would diminish to an inconsiderable number. If such should be the policy of the Department, no time is to be lost.

With great respect, I am, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of Kanawha.

{p.810}

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HEADQUARTERS, VALLEY MOUNTAIN, VA., August 27, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE, Commanding Wise’s Legion, Camp Dogwood Gap, Va.:

GENERAL: I have just received your letter of the 24th instant, and am much concerned at the view you take of your position and its effect upon your Legion. I do not apprehend the consequences you suppose will follow from its being under the general order of the commander of the Army of the Kanawha, or from its forming a part of that army. It will be under your immediate care and control, and, though it may be occasionally detached from your command, it cannot suffer any harm under its regularly-constituted officers. The Army of Kanawha is too small for active and successful operation to be divided at present. I beg, therefore, for the sake of the cause you have so much at heart, you will permit no division of sentiment or action to disturb its harmony or arrest its efficiency. In accordance with your request I will refer your application to be detached from General Floyd’s command to the Secretary of War. At present I do not see how it can be done without injury to the service, and hope, therefore, you will not urge it. Your account of General Floyd’s position makes me very anxious for his safety, and I would immediately dispatch an infantry force to his support (the only character of troops that could reach him across the mountains), did I not suppose from the time that has already elapsed and the distance they would have to march (about 60 miles) they could not possibly arrive in time to be of any avail. I think, therefore, he will either have retired up the Gauley and recrossed at the ferry, or that you will have built a flat and crossed to his support.

Your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, August 28, .1861.

Brig. Gen. GILBERT S. MEEM, Commanding Seventh Brigade, Virginia Militia, Winchester:

SIR: In your communication to this Department of the 26th of August you submit for its decision various matters relating to your command at Winchester. Before proceeding to answer your interrogatories it is necessary to inquire into the circumstances under which the forces under your command were called into the Confederate service.

It appears that under the exigencies surrounding General J. E. Johnston he called for a brigade of two regiments from the Third Division Virginia Militia on the 21st of June, 1861, to which call you responded as the brigadier general of this district, and that having raised the two regiments required, you were ordered by General Johnston, on the 2d of July, 1861, to take post at Winchester.

It further appears that on the 19th of July, 1861, Governor Letcher, in obedience to the requisition of the President calling out the militia of Virginia, made a further call upon the militia of the Third Division, under which the other regiments were raised and added to your command at Winchester.

These four regiments thus raised were, in the opinion of General Johnston, necessary to the defense and protection of Winchester, in view of his operations in the direction of Manassas, and they were organized in accordance with the laws of Virginia regulating her militia.

{p.811}

The militia laws of Virginia provide, among other things, “that each major-general, brigadier-general, and colonel shall appoint his own staff,” &c. Under this state of facts, the first question arising for the decision of this Department is that propounded by yourself: Whether the staff officers of your brigade appointed by yourself, and the regimental staff officers appointed to each regiment by the colonel thereof, will be recognized and commissioned by the Confederate Government under the provisions of the act of Congress approved March 6, 1861, to provide for the public defense?

This act, in its fifth section, provides that “officers of volunteers below the grade of general shall be appointed in the manner prescribed by law in the several States.” But the sixth section of this act provides that “the President shall, if necessary, apportion the staff and general officers among the respective States from which the volunteers shall tender their services as he may deem proper;” and the seventh section of this act reads: “Whenever the militia or volunteers are called and received into the service of the Confederate States under the provisions of this act, they shall have the same organization, and shall have the same pay and allowances, as may be provided for the Regular Army;” and by the ninth section of this act the power is extended to the President, by and with the consent of the Congress, “to appoint one commissary and one quartermaster with the rank of major, for each brigade of militia or volunteers called into the Confederate service, and one assistant quartermaster and one assistant commissary, with the rank of captain, and one surgeon and one assistant surgeon, to each regiment; the said quartermasters and commissaries and assistant quartermasters and commissaries to give bonds, with good sureties, for the faithful performance of their duties.”

The State and Confederate laws in relation to militia staff appointments would seem thus to conflict. Nor does a recurrence to the mere words of the Constitution of the Provisional Government, under which we are acting, serve precisely to settle the difficulty. The sixth section of this instrument provides that Congress, among other things, shall have the power to provide “for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Confederacy, suppress insurrections and repel invasions, to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia., and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the Confederacy, reserving to the States respectively the appointment of the officers,” &c.

In this reservation to the States are staff officers as well as commanding officers embraced, or shall it be contended that the Congress, by the act to provide for the public defense, has so far exercised its constitutional power of “organizing and governing” the militia called into the Confederate service as to confer on the President the right to make staff appointments in supercession of State laws? If the first inquiry be answered affirmatively, then your command as at present organized and officered has to be in all respects accepted. If the last position be yielded, the brigade and regimental staff officers of your command will depend upon the discretion of the President, who may or may not accept the appointments made by yourself and your colonels. Whatever appointments are recognized will of course occupy positions under the ninth section of the act to “provide for the public defense,” and they will hold the same rank and receive the same pay “allowed to officers of the same grade in the regular service.” The act to provide for the public defense evidently regards militia as such and militia as volunteers. In the first light they are subject to draft upon requisition or may be {p.812} called out en masse. In the second light they freely tender their services; and here again a distinction has to be drawn. They may tender their services through State intervention indirectly to the Confederate Government or without State intervention directly to the Confederate Government. If drafted or called out en masse, they can only be compelled to serve six months, whereas under a tender of service they may be accepted and compelled to serve for any period specified, according to the necessities of the Government and country. But in whatever light they may stand, the nature of the question as affecting staff appointments demands an interpretation that shall generate unity, consistency, and harmony in the general service of the Army, and which could never be obtained if staff officers were not compelled to give bond and surety to that government whose treasury was at their mercy. It would be a strange anomaly in administration to admit a set of officers into the Treasury of the Confederate Government whose bonds and sureties were given in the line of their commissions to the State authorities, from whose treasuries nothing was to be drawn. How could the Confederate Government exact bond and surety from a State officer? Yet the act “to provide for the public defense” imperatively demands that this Department shall exact “bond and good sureties” from all its agents employed in the Army as “quartermasters and commissaries” and as assistant quartermasters and assistant commissaries. The nature of the case and the reason attendant upon it lead to the conclusion that in every branch of the service staff appointments are with the President, and that he may accept or reject those selected by the officers of your command.

Your second interrogatory is plain. The four regiments under your command, having been called into the Confederate service by proper authority and retained at Winchester, are entitled to the usual pay allowed by law to volunteers and militia for the time they have served and shall continue to serve. Nor is there any difficulty in regard to your third and last inquiry. The militia called into the Confederate service are clothed, subsisted, and paid as other troops.

In conclusion, it may be remarked that this Department has received from the county authorities of Shenandoah and from the Hon. J. Randolph Tucker, the attorney-general of Virginia., earnest petitions for the discharge of all that portion of your command which may be in excess of the 10 per cent, quota demanded by this Government for active service in the field. The question of their discharge will be referred to General Johnston, who will be governed in his decision by the necessities associated with the defense of Winchester and the country comprising the third militia division.

Respectfully,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS, CAMP DOGWOOD, At Dogwood Gap, Va., Monday, August 28, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Deeming it proper to keep you fully advised as to movements in this direction, I take occasion to submit the following brief report of the operations of my command during the past few days:

On Monday, the 19th instant, while encamped at Big Sewell Mountain, I was joined by Colonel Henningsen, whom I immediately assigned to the Second Infantry Regiment of this command; also placing him {p.813} in command of the entire body of my infantry and artillery. General Floyd’s brigade was encamped at a little distance westward of me, on the main turnpike leading to Gauley Bridge, and my cavalry, under command of Colonel Davis, was far in advance of the main body of our united forces.

On the evening of the same day I received orders from General Floyd to advance with my command along the turnpike towards Gauley Bridge. This general order was conveyed to me without explanation of the motive or final intent of the movement, nor was I consulted or advised as to any fixed plan of co-operation with General Floyd’s forces. I immediately sent orders to Colonel Davis to fall back to a point 15 miles westward of Big Sewell, and on the morning of the next day (Tuesday, the 20th instant) I started early to join Colonel Davis, leaving instructions with Colonel Henningsen to follow on with the rest of my command. Together with the order to move forward General Floyd had sent me an order of march for my command, specifying the hour of 7.30 a.m. as the hour of starting, which, however, by a subsequent order was modified to 9.30 a.m.; but I was not informed whether General Floyd intended the two commands to move together, or, if together, whether my command should move in advance or in rear of his own forces. I was therefore obliged to modify the order of march in such manner as would best adapt itself to my moving separately and in advance. During the day’s march I discovered that General Floyd was moving on in advance of Colonel Henningsen, whose command was encamped at Locust Lane, 21 miles from Gauley Bridge and 40 miles from Lewisburg. I learned that General Floyd’s command had encamped at the same place on the evening before; that Colonel Henningsen had encamped with him by General Floyd’s order, and that shortly before my arrival General Floyd had, without notification to and leaving no order with Colonel Henningsen, broken up his own camp and moved forward. I immediately followed on with Colonel Henningsen’s forces, and that afternoon found General Floyd’s command encamped at Piggot’s Mill. His officers conveyed to me an order to encamp in some meadows which they pointed out. Finding the place thus indicated to me ineligible, I selected another position, where my command would be more securely posted, and where I could better protect General Floyd’s camp from the approach of the enemy. On the same evening General Floyd visited me at my quarters, when I expressed to him the desire to be informed, if not consulted, as to his wishes or plans. He replied that he had no idea of operating without the fullest explanation and consultation with me, and proceeded to indicate and discuss several plans of operation. I took occasion to express to General Floyd my regret that my command had been ordered so soon westward from the White sulphur Springs. Except for his urgent orders I should certainly have remained three weeks longer at that point, at least that time being required for instruction, rest, and refitting. If, however, a move became imperative, I would advise against a direct movement towards Gauley Bridge.

Beyond Piggot’s Mill commences a series of defiles continuing to the Hawk’s Nest, a naturally strong place, about 6 miles this side of Gauley Bridge, already fortified by the enemy. I suggested that, in view of our inferiority of force, these positions could not be carried except at great loss and dangerous exposure of our rear and flank to the enemy, and that their capture would be barren of result, since, because of the above-named causes, we should be compelled to fall back immediately. General Floyd admitted the justice of these views, and I then called his attention to the fact that Colonel Tyler already occupied, with some {p.814} 1,800 or 2,000 of the enemy’s forces, a position near Summersville. I then suggested that if any move on the enemy was imperative, the most feasible was in this latter direction, and I proposed that General Floyd should remain with his forces at Dogwood Gap to protect the main turnpike from the encroachment of time enemy, while I would march by a crossroad to Carnifix Ferry and dislodge the enemy from and occupy that point. General Floyd heartily approved this proposal, insisting that the movement should be made early, before daybreak, the next morning (Thursday, August 22); arranged that I should leave for him at Dogwood Gap two of my 6-pounders (he having already obtained from me two others); promised himself to occupy Dogwood Gap without delay, to protect my rear from the enemy’s forces posted at the Hawk’s Nest, and to divert their attention by advancing some militia along the southern bank of New River to a point called Cotton Hill. He also ordered me, in the event of my defeating the enemy either this side of or at Carnifix Ferry, to capture the ferry, cross the Gauley River, hold that position, and report to him, but to proceed no farther. It was past 8 p.m. when I finally received these orders. The roads were very muddy from the incessant rain of several days’ duration. My cavalry was worn down by scouting. My infantry had suffered much from the inclemency of the weather and by measles (many only just recovering from that disease), and operations of this nature required that the men should take with them three days’ cooked provisions. I had no bread cooked, my beef was on the hoof, and the camp-fires burned out. To relight them would excite the suspicion of the enemy. To slaughter and cook would have deprived my men of all rest during the night previous to their march towards the enemy. The only practical means then was to take three days’ provisions of meal, coffee, &c., packed in one wagon for each regiment, and to drive the bullocks along with us. At 1 a.m. the men were quietly awakened, and at 3.30 a.m. the column commenced the march.

On reaching Dogwood Gap we left two pieces of artillery for General Floyd, but here we found only two companies of militia to receive them, who said that they were under orders to march within an hour. Our pieces of artillery required six horses each, and had but four; took, therefore, two horses from each of our caissons (except one) to supply this deficiency. We left behind us five caissons and all our baggage wagons (except one for each regiment). This was done, of course, in the confident anticipation that General Floyd would send a force to take charge of the artillery and protect the position. When half way between the turnpike and Carnifix Ferry we received the intelligence that the militia companies had left Dogwood Gap without being relieved by any other force. I was thus obliged to order all the artillery and baggage left at the latter point to follow in our rear.

On reaching Carnifix Ferry we found that the enemy had precipitately retired, having destroyed one flat and sunk the other The men, who had marched 17 miles ankle-deep in mud and through incessant rain, were ordered to make fires and cook breakfast while preparation was making to cross the river. This had hardly been commenced when General Floyd, with his whole brigade, made his appearance at the junction of the two roads. It was thus evident that soon after my departure from Piggot’s Mill General Floyd had started directly for Carnifix Ferry by a shorter route than I had taken, and which we had agreed I should not take, lest the enemy should thereby be apprised of my movement. Doubtless this unexpected move on the part of General Floyd caused the immediate retirement of the enemy’s forces from {p.815} the ferry and the destruction of the boats, besides leaving the main turnpike at the mercy of the enemy, enabling them to cut us off entirely from Lewisburg, and exposing to seizure the baggage and artillery in my rear. The sunken flat-boat having been discovered, General Floyd determined to recross the river.

Late in the afternoon he demanded of me two pieces of artillery and one regiment to accompany him. I prepared to comply with this demand, but determined to accompany the detachment in person (believing that General Floyd would thus expose himself to imminent danger of being cut off), and to send back Colonel Henningsen with the remainder of my command to occupy Dogwood Gap and cover the road to Lewisburg. A few hours afterwards General Floyd changed his mind, and required of me four pieces of artillery and 100 more than all my efficient cavalry. I sent the cavalry and three pieces of artillery, which I placed at his disposal. It was late in the afternoon before General Floyd announced to me his determination.

My troops were kept all day exposed to the rain and mud, their tents not arriving until nightfall. On Friday I marched my remaining force back to Dogwood Gap. On Saturday morning learned that General Floyd had succeeded in transporting his infantry to the other side of the river but in doing so the flat-boat had been sunk, drowning 4 men, and leaving the cavalry, three pieces of artillery, and all the baggage and provisions on this side. His quartermaster, Captain Dunn, sent to me the same day for assistance to build another flat-boat. On the next day Colonel Tompkins arrived at Dogwood Gap, and at midday marched his two regiments to Carnifix Ferry, to re-enforce General Floyd. On Saturday night General Floyd, being apprehensive of an attack from the enemy, urged me to send another regiment to his relief. My cavalry was then at Piggot’s Mill, observing the movements of the enemy and scouting. My infantry and artillery, under Colonel Henningsen’s command, were occupying Dogwood Gap, reconnoitering and strengthening the same. Altogether, my whole command was barely sufficient to hold in security the turnpike road, and, in case I should even be driven back to another point on the same road, General Floyd’s rear would be left exposed to the enemy. Nevertheless, I determined to march in-person, with an infantry regiment and a 12-pounder howitzer, to General Floyd’s relief. Shortly before the time fixed (on Sunday morning, the 25th instant) for the marching of the regiment a heavy firing was heard in the direction of Piggot’s Mill, and shortly, to our surprise, some fugitives of General Floyd’s cavalry rushed in, reporting the advance of the enemy. Within fifteen minutes’ time we started eighteen companies of infantry and three pieces of artillery on a double-quick march towards Piggot’s Mill, some 5 or 6 miles below. On reaching this point we found that some 150 or 180 of General Floyd’s cavalry, under command of Colonel Jenkins and Major Reynolds, had, without any intimation to me, penetrated the defiles beyond Piggot’s Mill, and had fallen into an ambuscade of the enemy.

I was exceedingly surprised that General Floyd, after alleging a deficiency of cavalry at Carnifix, and requiring a portion of mine, should without notice to me send his cavalry thus within the lines of my command.

Our scouts (detachments of Captain Brock’s and Captain Phelps’ companies) were thoroughly acquainted with the ground, and were at the time stationed as vedettes or occupied in scouting the adjacent hills.

They descended at once, and endeavored to warn General Floyd’s cavalry. These, however, pushed rapidly on, till, finding a large force {p.816} of the enemy, they were compelled to retire after exchanging a few shots. But they found the trap closed, several hundred of the enemy’s infantry having passed their rear close to the road-side on inaccessible ground. Captain Brock, with 20 men, having come down to warn them, now brought his little force up in good order to their relief. Colonel Jenkins, when caught in the ambuscade, and Captain Brock, who had deliberately come to his assistance, behaved with the greatest gallantry, and ran the gauntlet of the enemy’s fire at a few yards’ distance, bringing up their forces with very little loss under the circumstances. Captain Brock had 1 man killed and 5 wounded. Colonel Jenkins has made no report to me. He was slightly injured in the arm, lost 1 prisoner, and some 10 or 12 of his wounded were found on the road, besides 3 disabled horses, some 20 hats, and 2 saddles. Many of his men threw away and lost their arms, and, after getting through the defile, were met by us 4 miles from the enemy in an incurable state of panic. Captain Brock’s men, with a single exception, were quite cool, kept good order, and were willing to ride in again. The enemy retired immediately to their stronghold in the vicinity of the Hawk’s Nest. Since then General Floyd has made an attack on the enemy, caught a regiment at breakfast, and in five minutes put them to flight, with the loss by the enemy of some 100 prisoners, 2 or 3 wagons, and some 20 or 30 killed and wounded, losing himself but 2 or 3 killed (it is said by our own artillery) and a few wounded. The enemy are about 700 strong below the Hawk’s Nest, on this side of Gauley, and about 500 on Cotton Hill, the other side of New River, and about 4,000 or 5,000 in a main body, strongly fortified, about the bridge on Gauley River. The militia under Generals Chapman and Beckley (about 1,400), with small detachments of cavalry and infantry from my force (about 75 in alp, are moving up the Cotton Hill, whence firing was heard yesterday.

I have the honor to be, most respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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RICHMOND, August 29, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding on the Potomac:

GENERAL: The inclosed petition from the authorities of the county of Shenandoah [A], transmitted to this Department by his excellency Governor Letcher, with his indorsement, in support of the prayer of the petitioners, together with the communication of the Hon. J. Randolph Tucker, the attorney-general of Virginia [B], relating to the same subject, represent that the county of Shenandoah has furnished in volunteers very nearly the full quota of 10 per cent. of the population for service in the Army, without estimating 600 men drafted under your requisition issued to Brigadier-General Meem and 900 men since drafted under the requisition of the President through Governor Letcher, and it is urgently desired that all of these 1,500 men now at Winchester in the brigade of General Meem, over and above the quota of 10 per cent. of the population, may be discharged from further service and be permitted to return to their agricultural pursuits. The case is strongly stated, but the Department must rely upon the judgment of its commanding generals as to the exigencies originally requiring this force to be called into the field, and which may still render it necessary to be retained in service before deciding upon its merits. As it was under your orders and requisition Brigadier-General Meem proceeded to form two out of four {p.817} regiments now at Winchester under his command, it is deemed the wiser course to refer the entire case, together with the question of discharge, to your better knowledge of the facts and your judgment in the premises.*

I have the honor to be, very respectfully,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

* See Johnston to Walker September 1, p. 826.

[Inclosure A.]

Hon. JOHN LETCHER, Governor of Virginia:

The undersigned members of the county court of Shenandoah, at the August term, 1861, sitting, and others, respectfully represent:

1st. That they feel deeply interested in the present struggle for the Southern independence, and that they are willing to yield to none in the sacrifices which they are required to make. Yet they are likewise conscious that unnecessary evil and suffering may arise from circumstances not within their control, but fully within that of the Government. Of this nature they conceive the existing levy of militia to be, not in itself, but from its attendant circumstances, which may be enumerated, as follows:

1st. The population of our county, according to the last census, was 12,829. This, under the terms of your proclamation, would require us to furnish 1,282 volunteers. We have 900 in the field, exclusive of about 100 or 120 teamsters, who have been taken into the service by impressment with their teams or those of others. This would leave us 282 yet to be furnished, provided there were no exempts. These, however, are considerable in number, such as railroad hands, millers, overseers, saddlers, shoemakers, tanners, &c., who would otherwise have been liable to duty. If these were deducted, it is doubtful whether more than 200 would be required to fill out our complement under the proclamation, if, indeed, that number.

2d. What, then, is the fact as to levies already made of the militia, exclusive of the volunteers, teamsters, and exempts?

In the first place, General Johnston, of the Confederate Army, and General Carson, of Frederick County, called out the residue of the militia en masse. They were discharged after a few days’ service, with instructions to be ready at an hour’s notice.

In the next place these generals drafted out of the militia in this county 600 men, out of which, in part, two regiments were formed (two regiments from this brigade being required). Subsequently the residue of the militia of the county was drafted under your last proclamation, although we had already furnished more than the 10 per cent., as will be perceived by the above statement. Under this last call some 900 men have been taken into the service, to the great detriment of their private interests, of their families, and the public. Could we be induced to believe that this is required for the attainment of the great object in view, we would not utter one word of complaint, but we do not so think.

3d. It may be replied that all the needed relief might he secured by making up the difference between the volunteers now in service and the quantum required by the proclamation in volunteers. This might be done, we presume, but for the fact that the militia officers (General Meem, &c.), we understand from good authority, deny the right of any {p.818} of the first two regiments drafted to volunteer, and insist that they have been regularly mustered into the service of the Confederate States. They also insist that those men recently drafted have no right to volunteer, and thus continue them all in service. They likewise insist that they are not subject in anywise to the governor of Virginia. If this be so, they constitute more than our quota, and the whole of the last draft should be permitted to return home, unless there is some overruling necessity requiring their presence in the field. If it is not the fact, then these officers should be imperatively required to adopt some mode by which the quota of our county may be furnished and the residue released.

As you are advised, there are only 443 slaves in this county over twelve years of age of both sexes, and only about 150 working negro men. The labor is performed in a great measure by those who are in the militia, and if they be continued in service at this critical time, when they should be employed in preparing the land for a fall crop, this vast productive agricultural region, instead of being the Egyptian granary whence our armies may be fed in the coming year, will scarcely support our own population in the aggregate, while many must be plunged into the most abject want and thrown, upon the hands of the overseers of the poor. This, with the increased taxes called for by the State and Confederate Governments, will render our condition, to say the least, very undesirable.

This matter requires prompt and immediate attention, and we earnestly hope will receive it at your hands if the relief can be afforded by your excellency, and if not, by those who can. In this latter event we desire that you will present this paper to the proper authority, with such suggestions as you may deem proper under the circumstances.

All of which is most respectfully submitted.

JACOB LANTZ, P. J. P.

AUGUST 12, 1861.

At a court held for the county of Shenandoah on Monday, the 12th day of August, 1861, a memorial to the President of the Southern Confederacy and to the governor of Virginia respecting the volunteers and militia from this county was approved and ordered to be signed by the court, and copies to be transmitted to President Davis and Governor Letcher.

Test:

S. C. WILLIAMS, C. S. C.

The undersigned fully concur in the facts set forth in the foregoing memorial and approve its object, and most respectfully ask for it a favorable consideration.

S. C. WILLIAMS, Clerk. JAS. G. TRAVIT, Notary Public. MOSES WALTON, Attorney at Law. MARK BIRD, Attorney for Commonwealth. WM. SMITH ARTHUR.

[Indorsement.]

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, August 17, 1861.

The militia of this county were called into service by Brigadier-General Carson at the instance of General Johnston, and as they have been {p.819} mustered into service I have no power to relieve them from duty. Under what authority the draft referred to was made I am not informed. The case is one of serious hardship, and I respectfully refer it to your excellency for such relief as you may think it just and proper to grant.

JOHN LETCHER.

[Inclosure B.]

RICHMOND, August 27, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: I am requested by some of the citizens of the valley counties to make a representation to you of the facts bearing upon the call of the militia in that region.

It is the most fertile part of Virginia for wheat and corn growing. It has no other staple of consequence. The call of the militia was at a time when the harvest was scarcely over, and the farmer left his crop standing in the field unhoused. No plow has been put into the ground for the fall seeding of wheat. See, then, the sacrifice which our people in that region are called on to make-to imperil the crop of the past year and to prevent the raising a crop for the coming year.

I know it is supposed the same rule of 10 per cent., being applicable elsewhere, must be applied to the valley, and with no worse results; but one fact will show the contrary: In Shenandoah County there is a white population of 12,800 and a total population of 13,800, showing only 1,000 blacks, free and slave. Ten per cent. of the whites makes a call of 1,280 for militia service drafted from the laborers, the tillers of the soil, and not leaving sufficient slaves at home to work while the master is abroad to fight.

Nansemond County, near Norfolk, has a total population of 13,700, (nearly the same as Shenandoah), of which 5,700 are white and 8,000 black, free and slave. The draft of 10 per cent, draws 570 whites, but leaves the negro to the farm labor.

This is an evil which calls for a remedy, if one can be had. Of the militia at Winchester, numbering, say, 5,000, perhaps one-half are unarmed. Might not furloughs be allowed, or a part be disbanded who are unarmed, upon call to be summoned again if needed, especially since report says the column of General Banks has fallen back from the valley towards Baltimore? If anything can be done for as true and patriotic a people as there are in the South, I appeal to you to do it. When I tell you that in Shenandoah County, which cast 2,500 votes for the secession ordinance and only 5 against it, there are only 700 slaves, I think I may vouch for the integrity of her people upon the great crisis of the South.

I am, with high respect, yours,

J. R. TUCKER.

Shenandoah has furnished about 950 volunteers. Could not enough of her militia be retained to make up her quota and release the residue on furlough? As it is now, she has largely more than her quota in the field, counting her volunteers and her militia.

J. R. TUCKER.

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No. 25.]

CAMP GAULEY, VA., August 29, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: Since our signal success over the enemy here and their dispersion and demoralization, I think you might now advantageously move {p.820} towards Gauley, and take possession of the strong position at and about the Hawk’s Nest. In all probability the enemy are likely to retire down the Kanawha, and you should be close at hand to annoy their retiring columns. You send me a report from C. F. Henningsen. Will you be good enough to state whether he is a commissioned officer, and, if so, what commission he holds, and the date of it?

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of Kanawha.

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RICHMOND, August 30, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Confederate Forces on the Potomac:

GENERAL: Since the communication to you from this Department was closed on yesterday, relating to the discharge of the militia from Shenandoah County on service at Winchester, the inclosed petition from officers of the Seventh Brigade and Third Division, Virginia Militia, in regard to the same subject, has been received from Governor Letcher. You will take it into consideration with the rest in forming your decision upon the case.*

Very respectfully, yours,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

* See Walker to Johnston, August 29, p. 516, and Johnston to Walker, September 1, p. 826.

[Inclosure.]

WINCHESTER, August 25, 1861.

Governor LETCHER:

SIR: The officers of the four regiments from the Seventh Brigade, Virginia Militia, now stationed at this place, have requested me to forward to you the inclosed petition to the President of the Confederate States, and to solicit your aid and influence in its behalf. They have been informed that the power of relief has, in part, been transferred to the President, otherwise the prayer would have been addressed to your excellency; yet, notwithstanding the transfer, we are confident you will lend your aid and influence willingly and cheerfully in procuring the relief asked for, and which is due to a portion of the Confederacy than which none other is more loyal and true to its interests.

Very truly, yours, &c.,

G. W. MURPHY.

[Subinclosure.]

CAMP FAIR GROUNDS, Near Winchester, Va., August 23, 1861.

Hon. JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States:

We, the undersigned, officers of the Seventh Brigade, Virginia Militia, would most respectfully beg leave to represent to you the condition of the men under our commands and the condition in which the great valley of Virginia must be placed unless relief can be rendered.

We desire, first, to say that no portion of Virginia has been more loyal to the South and her interest than the militia of this valley; that we were among the first to send our volunteers to the field of battle; {p.821} that we have as great a number of volunteers in the field now in proportion to the strength of our militia as any portion of the State; yet, not withstanding this, the whole of the militia of this brigade have been called into service, and most of them have been here near two months. We fully appreciate the condition of our country, and are willing to make any sacrifice necessary to advance the interest of the South and to secure our independence, yet we would present to you a few facts.

The valley of Virginia is a wheat-growing country, in which slave labor is scarce; consequently the larger proportion of the labor must be performed by white men between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years. The time for seeding the wheat crop has arrived, and unless at least a considerable proportion of the men new here can be returned to their homes to attend to putting that crop in the ground we will be unable to raise supplies sufficient for our own subsistence.

In addition to this, we are here with not more than one-half of our men armed, and they armed with the most inferior guns, so that, if we were to be attacked, we would be compelled to make an inglorious retreat, and bring upon as brave men as can be found in any country the ridicule of the public.

In view of all these facts we regard it as our duty to the men under our commands, and especially to our country, that we should make to you a simple statement, being satisfied that you will render us the relief asked for, if consistent with the interest, prosperity, and happiness of our Confederacy, by permitting us for the present to return to our homes.

MANN SPITLER, Colonel Second Regiment. JAS. H. SIBERT Colonel Third Regiment. E. SIPE, Lieutenant-Colonel First Regiment. THOMAS BUSWELL, Lieutenant-Colonel Second Regiment. J. A. HOTTEL, Lieutenant-Colonel Third Regiment. CULLIN W. FINTER, Major Second Regiment. JOHN H. NEWELL, Major Third Regiment. C. P. HORN, Major Fourth Regiment, and others.

[Indorsement.]

AUGUST 27, 1861.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT:

Colonel Conn, of Shenandoah, is a most respectable and reliable gentleman, and wields great influence in his section of the State. He desires to consult you in regard to the disposition to be made of the militia now at Winchester. You will recollect that I sent you [August 17] a memorial from the county court of Shenandoah on this subject, with my indorsement thereon.* Any representation Colonel Conn will make to you may be implicitly relied upon for its accuracy.

JOHN LETCHER.

* See Walker to Johnston, August 29, p. 816.

{p.822}

No. 26.]

CAMP GAULEY, VA., August 31, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: The messenger who carries this note to you gives me information, which he will impart to you, to the effect that the enemy have abandoned Gauley Bridge, and are now advancing upon me at this point. If this information be correct, you should send me the strongest of your regiments to the top of the hill, near Gauley, with a good battery, so as to be perfectly in reach of me in case of need, and you should at once advance with the remainder of your command, and take possession of the camp at the mouth of the Gauley. I must ask of you also to send me two companies of efficient cavalry. Mine is in Greenbrier recruiting, and I am measurably without dragoon force. I have but little doubt of their retreat, although I much doubt of their intention of coming this way. Still, lest it be true, all necessary precautions should be taken to meet them, and to this end your regiment of infantry and a squadron of horse will probably be essential.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of Kanawha.

–––

HEADQUARTERS OF WISE’S LEGION, Dogwood Gap Camp, Va., August 31, 1861-10 p.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Your messenger, Mr. Carnifix, has just arrived, and is met by Captain Caskie, just from Cotton Hill. From the latter we learn that on Wednesday last the enemy were apparently moving up Gauley towards Twenty Mile Creek, but yesterday and to-day they have returned numerously. Their tents had been struck, and are now erected again. Certain it is that they have on this side retired from the Hawk’s Nest and Turkey Creek to Big Creek, and have left the heights above Rich Creek, on the Gauley side of the mountain. I have this day, accordingly, moved up all of my available cavalry, and am preparing to move up my artillery and infantry tomorrow. My regiments are reduced one-half by the measles, my cavalry more than one-half in efficiency by want of forage and horseshoeing and by the detachment of one troop over New River, and my artillery one-third by the detachment re-enforcing your brigade. My whole available and efficient force here is less than 1,800 men of all arms. If I send you, then, my best regiment, a good battery of artillery, and two companies of efficient cavalry, there will be left, for the defense of this road, or, rather, to execute your order to take possession of the camp at the mouth of the Gauley, less than 1,100 men and but one piece of artillery. You have three of my pieces of artillery, and I have but five left. If a good battery is taken away; and one regiment, the best out of three (now reduced in numbers to the complement of one and a half regiments), and also nearly all of my efficient cavalry are detached, I shall not have force enough for defense, much less to take possession of the camp at the mouth of the Gauley. Five times my numbers cannot take that camp without any, or with but one, piece of artillery, well fortified as it is, with nearly double the number of pieces of our combined commands. The enemy are about 700 strong on this side of the mouth of the Gauley, with artillery in position. To drive them first across Gauley, in the face of batteries covering them, from the camp on the opposite side, and then to take {p.823} that camp with 1,100 troops (800 infantry only and 300 cavalry, which will be useless in the assault across a rapid river without a bridge and without a ferry for us and without artillery, against double my numbers, intrenched in a stronghold), will be wholly impracticable and desperate in the very attempt.

I therefore submit to you the reconsideration of these orders. My forces are too weak already for the execution of them. I submit this with the less hesitation, as I am informed beyond doubt that another regiment of your own brigade is advancing now, and will join you tomorrow evening probably. I will dispatch a messenger to hurry them on to you, and beg to be allowed to advance upon the enemy with my whole force, throwing one of my regiments across New River, and attacking them from Cotton Hill with a part of my artillery. I venture, respectfully, to submit these suggestions of what I deem the best plan of strengthening your position, by drawing the enemy back from an advance upon it.

In reply to another note received from you this morning, ordering me to advance upon the enemy with my whole force, and asking who Colonel Henningsen is, I have the honor to inform you, sir, that he is a distinguished commander, who is not in his first command, and has accepted, at my request, the colonelcy of one of my regiments; is the senior of infantry in my Legion; is in command of the post at Dogwood Gap, superintending the works for its defense, and is awaiting the commission for the office to which he has-been recently appointed and which he has accepted; a gentleman and officer, whose reports are implicitly relied upon by his commanding general.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

–––

No. 27.]

CAMP GAULEY, VA., August 31, 1861-12 noon.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I have received information, through scouts under command of Captain Corns, that the enemy in full force are advancing from Gauley Bridge in this direction. They are within 12 miles of this point. You will therefore send me without delay, upon receiving this, 1,000 of your infantry, your best battery, and one squadron of your horse.

Your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.

[Indorsement.]

Received by Brig. Gen. H. A. Wise on September 1, 1861, at 4.40 a.m.

–––

VALLEY MOUNTAIN, VA., August 31, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE, Comdg. Wise’s Legion, Dogwood Gap, West of Lewisburg, Va.:

GENERAL: I have just received and read with much interest your report of the 28th instant. The troops under your command deserve great commendation for the alacrity and cheerfulness they exhibited in the trying march they underwent to Gauley River and the promptitude with which they performed their duty. I regret the loss sustained by {p.824} Colonel Jenkins’ cavalry, by apparently incautiously advancing into an ambuscade. The behavior of Captain Brock on the occasion was praiseworthy. Danger is so sharp that its frequent presence will inspire coolness and self-possession in the men, and ultimate benefit will result from it. Yet they ought not to be exposed unnecessarily. I am much gratified at General Floyd’s success in dispersing and punishing the regiment of the enemy beyond the Gauley, and feel assured that by your united efforts you will be able to drive back to Ohio his whole force. A re-enforcement of two regiments (one from North Carolina and one from Georgia) is on the march to Lewisburg.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

–––

Abstract from return of the Department of Fredericksburg, commanded by Brig. Gen. T. H. Holmes, August 31, 1861.

Station.Present for duty.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
BROOKS’S STATION.
Camp Bee25411617
Do40562809
Camp Potomac35380665
Camp Howe31465882
Stafford Court-House34558893
Camp Galloway32649869
Mathias Point11102185
Marlborough Point417301,105
Heathsville20315351
Camp Bee27480711
Camp Clifton22236400
Lancaster County694101
Tappahannock27539726
Camp Chopawamsic34472
Do34765
Dumfries47099
Camp Bee379121
Grand total3945,7618,678

Abstract from a field return August 31, 1861, of the First Corps, Army of the Potomac, commanded by General Beauregard, Manassas, Va.

Troops.Present for duty.Total present.Aggregate present.Total present and absent.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
General staff1515151515
Infantry1,20917,99023,74825,11829,17730,825
Cavalry901,1061,3731,4701,5691,677
Artillery489231,0441,0931,1461,200
Grand total1,36220,01926,18027,71631,90733,717
{p.825}

Organization of the First Corps, Army of the Potomac, commanded by General G. T. Beauregard, C. S. Army, headquarters Manassas, August [31?] 1861.

  • FIRST BRIGADE.
    Brig. Gen. M. L. Bonham, commanding.
    • Second South Carolina.
    • Third South Carolina.
    • Seventh South Carolina,
    • Eighth South Carolina,
  • SECOND BRIGADE.
    Brig. Gen. R. S. Ewell, commanding.
    • Fifth Alabama.
    • Sixth Alabama.
    • Eighteenth Alabama.
    • Twelfth Mississippi.
  • THIRD BRIGADE.
    Brig. Gen. D. R. Jones, commanding.
    • Fourth South Carolina.
    • Fifth South Carolina.
    • Sixth South Carolina,
    • Ninth South Carolina.
  • FOURTH BRIGADE.
    Brig. Gen. James Longstreet, commanding.
    • First Virginia.
    • Seventh Virginia.
    • Eleventh Virginia.
    • Seventeenth Virginia,
  • FIFTH BRIGADE.
    Brig. Gen. Ph. St. Geo. Cocke, commanding.
    • Eighteenth Virginia.
    • Nineteenth Virginia.
    • Twenty-eighth Virginia.
    • Twenty-ninth Virginia.
  • SIXTH BRIGADE.
    Brig. Gen. J. A. Early, commanding.
    • Fifth North Carolina.
    • Eleventh North Carolina.
    • - North Carolina.
    • Twenty-fourth Virginia.
  • SEVENTH BRIGADE.
    Col. N. G. Evans, commanding.
    • Seventh Mississippi.
    • Thirteenth Mississippi.
    • Seventeenth Mississippi
    • Eighteenth Mississippi.
  • EIGHTH BRIGADE.
    Col. J. G. Seymour, commanding.
    • First Special Battalion, Louisiana.
    • Sixth Regiment, Louisiana.
    • Seventh Regiment, Louisiana.
    • Eighth Regiment Louisiana.
    • Ninth Regiment, Louisiana.

–––

Abstract from return of the Third Division Virginia Militia, commanded by Brig. Gen. James H. Carson, for August, 1861.

Troops.Present for duty.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
SEVENTH BRIGADE.
First Regiment Infantry26367461798
Second Regiment Infantry29423661985
Third Regiment Infantry21291373644
Fourth Regiment Infantry31331450770
SIXTEENTH BRIGADE.
Thirty-first Regiment Infantry27115148732
Fifty-first Regiment Infantry2082155251
Eighty-ninth Regiment Infantry136788230
One hundred and fourteenth Regiment Infantry32415462845
One hundred and twenty-second Regiment Infantry133885233
Grand total2122,1292,8835,488
{p.826}

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Manassas, September 1, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your hitters of the 29th and 30th of August in relation to the militia of the county of Shenandoah now in the service of the Confederate States and the papers inclosed with them.

Two matters are involved: What number of infantry the service requires in and near Winchester and what section should furnish it.

The first question should be answered by me; the second, I suggest, with all respect, should be submitted to the governor of Virginia or answered by the War Department.

While commanding in the valley of Virginia especially, I called into service about 2,500 militia. There were two considerations in fixing the number-the force required and that which the district ought to be called upon to furnish. I still think the force then called out sufficient. But whether it should be furnished by that or some other section of Virginia or of the Confederacy I have no means of forming an opinion. I have no means of ascertaining what percentage of its population any portion of the country may have sent into the field.

Permit me to suggest, therefore, the reduction of the militia force in the valley of the Shenandoah to the number of 2,500, and that the proper authorities of Virginia be requested to select the portion to be disbanded, and to direct such portion to deposit their arms in Winchester and return to their usual avocations.

With high respect, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

–––

No. 28.]

CAMP GAULEY, VA., September 1, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: From more recent information I think it doubtful whether the movements of the enemy require at this time the union of your force with mine, as embraced in my last order to you late in the evening. You will therefore retain your forces in camp until further orders. Your explanation about Colonel Henningsen is sufficient, but in future you will require all officers under your command, when making reports to be sent to headquarters, to superadd their rank to their signatures.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the Kanawha.

–––

RICHMOND, September 2, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Army of the Potomac, Manassas, Va.:

SIR: I am instructed by the President to inquire of you how the regiments of your entire command are organized into brigades, naming in each case the brigade and the regiments of each command; also such regiments as are associated together but not under a brigadier, and any other regiments which may be serving separately. You are desired to {p.827} state also the whole force of cavalry, how organized, where posted, and how commanded; also the whole force of artillery, how organized, where posted, and by whom commanded, designating batteries which are associated together, those which are serving separately, and such as form the armament of field works; and, further, designating such batteries or guns as were captured at the battle of Manassas and such as have been sent to your command since that battle.

This report is intended to embrace the whole force of the Army of the Potomac except the command of Brigadier-General Holmes.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

–––

RICHMOND, September 3, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding, &c., Manassas, Va.:

GENERAL: The President desires that you will order Brigadier-General Trimble to Evansport, on the Potomac, to command the battery and troops at that point.

I am, sir, respectfully, &c.,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

–––

RICHMOND, September 4, 1861.

HON. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: According to your suggestion this morning I beg leave to present in writing one or two considerations connected with the military arrests made and being made in the region of the lower valley of Virginia along the Potomac border.

A number of such cases were submitted to my examination by General Johnston while in command at Winchester, and the principle I acted upon was to arrest no one, and to prosecute no one further who had been arrested, when turned over to me, for holding merely in the abstract disloyal opinions, nor even where they expressed them conscientiously and in a general way, but to seize only such as were actively engaged against us in some mode giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

The effect of this policy has been, as I am fully satisfied, to improve greatly the popular sentiment and to strengthen our cause in that part of Virginia where I regret to say it was much needed. Recently, as I have reason to believe, several arrests have been made by the military upon mere general suspicion of the party holding (and perhaps expressing in a general way merely) unsound opinions as to the great issue between us and the North, and I am satisfied evil consequences will result from it. Gentlemen of high character and social position, I understand, are under arrest now at Winchester, without any opportunity or means whatever afforded them of having their cases examined and determined. Others also of like character, I have reason to believe, will soon be taken into custody.

Without troubling you, therefore, further in detail with the reasons which induce me to believe these arrests will be productive of much mischief, I beg leave to suggest that something in the way of a commission, {p.828} made in part at least of civilians of intelligence and undoubted loyalty, be constituted, to examine into these cases promptly, and make proper disposition of them, by either remitting them to the civil authorities, where prosecutions can be maintained, or turning them over to the proper higher military authorities, or in proper cases discharging them from custody. The law of Virginia is very defective on this subject, and in these border counties, with the enemy around them, it is quite out of the question to pursue the ordinary slow course of prosecuting such cases.

A reply, if addressed to Charlestown, Jefferson County, Virginia, will reach me, though it may not be important that I should have one if proper instructions be given to the military authorities.

Your obedient servant,

ANDREW HUNTER.

–––

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF FREDERICKSBURG, Brooke’s Station, September 4, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army:

GENERAL: In compliance with the instructions of the Secretary of War I have the honor to report, concerning the fortifications of Grey’s Point, that I have no reason to suppose the enemy has or has had any intention of establishing himself there for any purpose, neither do I see any benefit he could derive from so doing.

With regard to the construction of a battery there by ourselves, I think Mr. Montague’s calculations are erroneous: first, as to its effect to close the river; and, second, as to the number of men necessary to defend it. The distance across the channel (1 1/2 miles) is too great for the effective fire of any but rifled guns even in the daytime, while a whole fleet might pass without molestation by night. Should the enemy determine to attack the battery at all, the designated force would be but a tithe of what would be required to defend it, and situated as it is, within four or five hours of Fortress Monroe, with no greater garrison than that suggested, we might soon hear of another Hatteras. If I could detach two regiments from here I would, for the convenience of the people on the river, construct a battery at Grey’s Point and another at Cherry Point, opposite; but I have not now a single soldier more than I think will be required to defend the batteries at Aquia Creek and those which are to be constructed at Evansport.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

TH. H. HOLMES, Brigadier-General, Commanding Department.

–––

RICHMOND, September 4, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Staunton, Va.:

GENERAL: Your several communications were duly submitted to the President, who has read them with much satisfaction and fully approves of all you have done.* He has not ceased to feel an anxious desire for your return to this city to resume your former duties, even while satisfied of the importance of your presence in Western Virginia so long as {p.829} might be necessary to carry out the ends set forth in your communications. Whenever, in your judgment, circumstances will justify it, you will consider yourself authorized to return.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* No reports found.

–––

No. 30.]

NEAR HAWK’S NEST, VA., September 4, 1861.

Brigadier-General FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

Since writing by Colonel Croghan to-day,* I am urged (by the appearance of the enemy and intelligence of their forces, in order to defend Miller’s Ferry and Liken’s Mill, which I am determined to hold) to ask that you will re-enforce me by sending to me the whole or a part of Colonel Tompkins’ regiment, with him in command, and to return my corps of artillery also. We want two pieces for Cotton Hill, and I can send an additional cavalry force to Loop Creek. I am assured that Colonel Tompkins will not object to this order. Lieutenant Witcher informs me that my attack upon them yesterday drew nearly all their forces from Gauley Bridge.

Respectfully, yours,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

* Report of skirmish near Hawk’s Nest. See p. 122.

–––

RICHMOND, VA., September 5, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Yours of the 3d instant* was delivered by Mr. Washington, who promised to call to-day for an answer. I am still weak, and seldom attempt to write; even to you it is necessary to be brief. The view in relation to the number of guns necessary at Evansport was communicated to the Chief of Ordnance, in order that he might, when practicable, furnish them. I do not know whether the movements of troops by the enemy indicates operations from the base, or fear of an attack by us upon that point, or preparation for a movement from Fort Monroe as a base. You have again been deceived as to our forces here. We never have had anything near to 20,000 men, and have now but little over one-fourth of that number. General Walker [who] came here sick, has since gone up to join you. Van Dorn has not been here, and, so far as informed, has not yet left Texas. When relieved he will come here, unless otherwise directed. Magruder applies for 8,000 troops to check projected operations of General Wool in the Peninsula. Wise is dissatisfied with General Floyd, and seeks to be withdrawn. Without his command Floyd cannot hold the valley of Kanawha. We have been disappointed in our efforts to get arms. Had you arms to supply the 10,000 men you want they could soon be had.

Lee is still in the mountains of Virginia. The rains have retarded his march, or I think he would have beaten the enemy in that quarter. Had we the means to move on Beverly from Winchester, it might result in the capture of Rosecrans and the repossession of Western Virginia. To permit the enemy to gain a success over any portion of the {p.830} Army of the Potomac would be a sad disaster, and I have done all that was possible to strengthen you since the date of your glorious victory. The enemy has grown weaker in numbers and far weaker in the character of their troops, so that I have felt it remained with us to decide whether another battle should soon be fought or not. Your remark indicates a different opinion.

The organization of the army into divisions would be advantageous if you have junior brigadiers of great merit and senior brigadiers unfit to command. As to a commander-in-chief, it is provided by the rule applying to troops who happen to join and do duty together.

In relation to the command of Brigadier-General Holmes I will only say that it is in easy communication with this place by railroad and telegraph, but has little and tedious connection with Manassas; wherefore it has been kept in direct correspondence with Richmond.

The battery above Aquia Creek was located with reference to width of channel of river and defensibility against attack from Alexandria. The lower side of the Quantico commands the upper. The upper side of the Occoquan is reported to command the lower. The long and circuitous march from Alexandria to Quantico would enable you to strike the column in the flank and reverse. The direct and short march to Occoquan offers no such advantage. If we drive off the vessels from that part of the Potomac, the Marylanders can come safely to us and we may cross to that part of Maryland where our friends are to be found.

Every effort shall be made to furnish the howitzers you want. Colonel Pendleton will give you details. I wish I could send additional force to occupy Loudoun, but my means are short of the wants of each division of the wide frontier I am laboring to protect. One ship load of small-arms would enable me to answer all demands, but vainly have I hoped and waited. I have just heard that General A. S. Johnston is here. May God protect and guide you.

Your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

* Not found.

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, September 6, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Confederate Forces on the Potomac:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I wish, unofficially, to say that the inclosed copy of a letter of Mr. Vice-President Stephens reveals a case similar to several others that have been brought before me, and which I have been compelled to regard as exceptional to the general rule established by you, that no furlough shall be granted at this time in the Army of the Potomac. You are doubtless aware that every rule, to be perfect, must admit of exceptions, like the case presented, that appeal to the higher and holier principles of humanity, the preservation of which the rule itself acknowledges and is intended to secure. I fully appreciate the necessities of your position regarding the orders you have issued in regard to furloughs and their rigid enforcement; but I respectfully suggest that a case may occasionally arise in itself constituting the essence of the rule.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. P. WALKER.

{p.831}

–––

No. 31.]

NEAR HAWK’S NEST, VA., September 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Last night and this morning my scouts report lights appearing and disappearing, as if shed from dark lanterns, all along the ridges north of my lines, and also blue lights, evidently signaling with those on the side from the Cotton Hill. They have beaten innumerable and indescribable paths in every direction from Shade Creek, just this side of Piggot’s Mill, with a view to fall on my rear, and this compels me to extend my posts beyond my effective strength, covering from Dogwood Gap to the Hawk’s Nest now, in order to guard my own rear and the approach to Carnifix Ferry. The enemy came up in large re-enforcements the other day from Gauley, with several additional pieces of artillery, and are now at least 1,800 strong. My whole available force here, of all arms, is not over 1,200 men, 300 of whom are cavalry, and not effective, at this point. We are obliged to leave two pieces of artillery at Dogwood, and require at least six pieces here, and we have but three. I beg you to return to me my corps of artillery, with their three pieces, and to re-enforce me with Colonel Tompkins’ regiment, less, I believe, than 400 men. I ask this the more unhesitatingly as the Georgia and North Carolina regiments (two full ones) are on the march to you, and will be with you in a few days. And here permit me to add that, by strengthening me here, I can move so as to make your approach down the Gauley towards the enemy perfectly easy. On the 3d instant (when the double attack here and on Cotton Hill was made) he drew a large proportion of his forces from the bridge. I think they will attack me to-night or to-morrow, before they return. I have concerted signals to-day with Generals Chapman and Beckley. Captain Fitzhugh has just left me, on the rumor of a fight at Cotton Hill at 5 o’clock yesterday evening, and the rumor is we have got the cover of Montgomery’s Ferry. I will defend Miller’s to the last, and can do it certainly if re-enforced. You can draw the enemy back to the bridge if you will move to the mouth of Rich Creek.

Very respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

–––

CAMP GAULEY, VA., September 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I send over this morning, at your request, the Twenty-second Regiment (Colonel Tompkins’), and also that section of your battery heretofore sent me under command of Lieutenant Hart. You will take care not to make any movement which will require the presence for any length of time over a very few days of more troops than your own Legion. I cannot spare any men from this column, and it is very probable your command will be necessarily moved on this line. This will only be done in case of absolute necessity. In the mean time you will with all convenient dispatch send two pieces of artillery across the river to General Chapman, to accompany his column on its march down the left bank of Kanawha. Beyond holding your position at Hawk’s Nest, or thereabouts, so as to secure the communication you had already established across New River by the ferries, you had better not attempt anything beyond annoyance against the enemy. That is not the direction from which he can be most successfully attacked. Colonel {p.832} Tompkins will not remain longer than until I am ready for a forward movement, which I hope to be very shortly.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the Kanawha.

–––

No. 32.]

CAMP NEAR HAWK’S NEST, VA., September 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I am obliged for the re-enforcements you have sent to me, and especially by the return of the section of my artillery, which is much needed in the position I occupy on this road. Colonel Tompkins’ regiment will not be removed at all from this road. Whenever the two pieces of my artillery can be spared from this camp I will order them, under a detachment of my own command, as you direct. The militia of General Chapman are not trained and may lose the pieces. If a piece is required anywhere, it is needed at Cotton Hill.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

–––

No. 33.]

CAMP NEAR HAWK’S NEST, VA., September 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: I now send orders to Capt. G. Hart, in command of the men and pieces of artillery you have ordered to be returned to my Legion. I have ordered the pieces belonging to volunteers of the States attached to your command, left at the White Sulphur, to be sent on, and they shall be sent over to you as soon as they arrive. The two you had and these two, with your own battery, will leave no necessity, I hope, for my guns, and if I am to send two of my pieces to co-operate with General Chapman, the Legion will be without guns enough.

Very respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

–––

RICHMOND, September 7, 1861.

Lieut. Col. J. GORGAS, Chief of Ordnance:

SIR: It has come to my knowledge through an official source that the million of cartridges which reached Camp Pickens, at Manassas, a few days since, are lying in piles on the ground, exposed to the rain, and must be damaged. The Quartermaster’s Department is responsible for transportation and storage, but I call your attention to the fact stated, and suggest, if it be not your custom, that the ordnance officer at Manassas be notified in advance, so long as there is insufficient storage, of intended transmissions of ammunition for the Army, so that similar casualties and unmerited censure may be avoided as far as possible.*

Respectfully,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

* Answer, if any, not found.

{p.833}

RICHMOND, September 7, 1861.

Lieut. Col. A. C. MYERS, Acting Quartermaster-General, C. S. Army:

SIR: I have received from an official source information that the million of cartridges which reached Manassas a few days ago from Richmond are lying in piles on the ground, exposed to the rain, and must be damaged. If sent from Richmond without notice to the quartermaster at Manassas to provide sheds, the blame is in Richmond. If this notice was given, the quartermaster at Manassas is to blame. Every one knows that the deficiency in store-houses at Manassas has existed from the time the army arrived, and this defect should have-been remedied long ago. Quartermaster’s stores of all kinds lie out in the rain for weeks. I have no patience while powder, &c., is exposed to damage and our plans exposed to failure by want of ordinary management. I do not mean to censure anyone, for I know none of the heads of the department; but these facts should be made known in Richmond, and prompt steps taken to remove the evils. I regret to trouble you, and only do so in hopes that some good may be the result. It is only necessary for me to add that the subject demands immediate attention and the evils complained of prompt remedy.*

Respectfully,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

* Answer, if any, not found.

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RICHMOND, September 7, 1861.

Colonel NORTHROP, Commissary-General Subsistence:

SIR: In a communication received to-day there appears the following suggestive paragraph in reference to the subsistence of the army at Manassas and on the Potomac:

It is said to be impossible to provide rations ahead for the troops. So it may be if everything comes from Richmond; but if purchases are made in the valley of Virginia, such as flour, corn, oats, bacon, and beef, it is certainly practicable to accumulate any quantity, as two railroads would be in requisition instead of one. Besides, flour can be bought in the valley of Virginia, at the end of Manassas Railroad, one dollar per barrel cheaper than in Richmond, while the cost of transportation would be only one-half that from Richmond.

This communication comes from a source entitling it to consideration. Respectfully,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., September 8, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have duly received and considered the letter of General Beauregard of the 6th instant, addressed to you, and your reply of the same date.* The first and controlling point in the case is the occupation of a line in close proximity to the enemy’s intrenchments; and on this I am not sufficiently informed to have a decided opinion. If the purpose be to occupy the attention of the enemy by creating alarm of an attack until the battery at Evansport has been completed, the measure can have little permanence and no material effect {p.834} on your general plan of operations. The purpose not being stated that has occurred to me as the most probable, because I take it for granted that you do not contemplate, with your present means, to attempt regular approaches on the enemy’s works; and, from inspection of the map, suppose that, either to prevent a movement by land across the Occoquan and Quantico to attack our Position at Evansport or to move your forces to cross the Potomac, you would equally prefer to make your base farther to rear. If, however, you should wait for an attack, still less can it be doubted that you would gain by removing the battlefield as far from the enemy’s intrenchment as other considerations may permit. We cannot afford to divide our forces unless and until we have two armies able to contend with the enemy’s forces at Washington. Two lines of operation are always hazardous. I repeat that we cannot afford to fight without a reasonable assurance of victory or a necessity so imperious as to overrule our general policy. We have no second line of defense, and cannot now provide one. The cause of the Confederacy is staked upon your army, and the natural impatience of the soldier must be curbed by the devotion of the patriot. I have felt and feel that time brings many advantages to the enemy, and wish we could strike him in his present condition; but it has seemed to me involved in too much probability of failure to render the movement proper with our present means. Had I the requisite arms the argument would soon be changed. Missouri and Kentucky demand our attention, and the Southern coast needs additional defense. It is true that a successful advance across the Potomac would relieve other places; but, if not successful, ruin would befall us.

I had hoped to have seen you before this date. I wish to confer with you and General Beauregard, and, as my health is rapidly improving, expect to be able to do so at no distant day.

General A. S. Johnston will leave very soon for Tennessee and Arkansas, to command on that frontier.

Ever, truly, your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS, Manassas, September 9, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have just had the honor to receive your letter of the 6th instant, inclosed with a note from the Vice-President to you.

After a careful perusal of your letter I am uncertain whether it is intended to explain your motives for granting the leave of absence asked for by the Vice-President for Captain Lamar, or instructions for my guidance, made unofficially out of delicacy to me. May I beg to be informed.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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RICHMOND, September 9, 1861.

Brig. Gen. T. H. HOLMES, Commanding, &c., Brooke’s Station, Va.:

GENERAL: It was not designed in sending General Trimble to the command of the batteries and troops at Evansport to relieve you from the charge and responsibilities of your command, but rather to assign {p.835} a competent officer of rank to have the direction there. This will be explained in a communication to General Johnston, lest he may he led into error in respect to the extent of your command. I inclose herewith a letter of General Johnston, and request that you will fill so far as it is possible the requisition contained therein, there being at Norfolk no guns, carriages, or projectiles to meet these wants.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS, Manassas, Va., September 7, 1861.

General HUGER, C. S. A.:

GENERAL: I have just been informed by General Trimble that you have many spare heavy guns, for which there are barbette carriages. Such guns are required for works which have been commenced on the Potomac. I have therefore written to the Secretary of War, asking that you be authorized to send to Evansport, say, twelve 32-pounders (three or four rifled), two 8-inch seacoast howitzers, two portable furnaces for heating shot, to be sent in the manner suggested by General Trimble.

I have asked you by telegraph to send, if you can, the negroes mentioned in General Trimble’s postscript.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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RICHMOND, September 9, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding, &c., Manassas, Va.:

GENERAL: In reply to yours of 7th instant,* in relation to heavy guns for Evansport, upon inquiry I find there are no heavy rifled guns at Norfolk; no projectiles or carriages. General Holmes has been advised to send up all the guns he can possibly spare to fill the wants of Evansport. Eight guns of heaviest caliber, including the rifled gun taken at Manassas, will have arrived at Evansport this evening, and three 32-pounders, one rifled, will be there within three days. In the assignment of General Trimble to the command at Evansport it was not contemplated to detach this force from General Holmes’ command, who has been advised to that effect.

I am, sir, respectfully, &c.,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* Inclosure to Cooper to Holmes, September 9, p. 835.

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RICHMOND, September 9, 1861.

Hon. L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War:

SIR: Your letter of the 7th instant has been received, furnishing me with the following extract:

It is said to be impossible to provide rations ahead for the troops. So it may be if everything comes from Richmond, but if purchases are made in the valley of Virginia, such as flour, corn, oats, bacon, and beef, it is certainly practicable to accumulate any quantity, as two railroads would be in requisition instead of one. Besides, flour can be bought in the valley of Virginia, at the end of the Manassas Railroad, one dollar per barrel cheaper than in Richmond, while the cost of transportation would be only one-half that from Richmond.

{p.836}

Some weeks ago the President sent to this Department, for me to read and remark on, several reports relating to the subsistence of the Army of the Potomac. The above extract expresses the substance of a part of those reports, and implies similar censure, while it may be only an outside attempt to make me abandon the principles I have fixed upon to supply the army. It evinces the readiness of the writer to criticise the operations of this department without being acquainted with the facts or the plans on which they are based. My replies to the President were placed by him in your hands. They cover all that may be inferred from this paper and explode it. I therefore shall not reply further than to request you to reperuse those papers. I have studied the flour question, and resisted much outside pressure after I arrived here, determining not to buy until the market opened, and then to fix prices on the new crop, as I was the only purchaser in the field. By firmness I held out to the last barrel, and have made ruling contracts in Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Lynchburg.

I will be glad if your correspondent will come forward and accept this proposition, viz: If flour of the same actual (but not inspected) quality can be bought at the end of the Manassas Gap Railroad at $4.25 per barrel, and laid down at Manassas at that price for thirty-three cents freight, which is the substance of the proposition stated in the figures to which my contract in Richmond will bring it, I will take it with pleasure, contracting with the party to furnish the whole Army of the Potomac. No such offer has been made to me from any source. Furthermore, I will contract to receive all the bacon he can deliver to Major Blair for two cents more than that I lately furnished the Army of the Potomac from this city.

I add that Major Blair, who has authority to purchase flour to any extent on the principles of this department, which are admitted by the entire community and the millers to be correct (while objecting to the rule), is now offering to the people of the valley forty-two cents more per barrel than your reliable correspondent says they are willing to take.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. B. NORTHROP, Commissary-General of Subsistence.

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CAMP NEAR HAWK’S NEST, VA., September 9, 1861-1.15 p.m.

Brigadier-General FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: At 8.30 a.m. this morning I received your two notes, the one dated September 8, and the other September 9, 1861, at 1 a.m. The latter date and notation of the hour is obviously a mistake.

I regret exceedingly that any (if it shall be found that any) officer of my Legion should have seized upon a rifled brass 6 pounder or upon anything else belonging to your brigade, at Jackson’s River, or anywhere else; and I equally regret that an order was issued for his arrest by you without affording me the opportunity of correcting what may, and, I think will, turn out to be a mistake, upon the one side or the other, of the question to which brigade the gun belongs. For some time past I, too, received notice of a gun for my brigade, forwarded from Richmond, and have been in daily expectation of receiving it, to complete a battery for Captain Roemer’s company of artillery, and he had orders to take charge of all artillery pieces which might be sent to my {p.837} brigade arriving at Jackson’s River. He has made no report to me, and I am not informed that he has taken or received any gun, but it is very probable that, finding a gun at Jackson’s River, he has brought it on to the White Sulphur, supposing it the one intended for his company. If intended for your brigade, it is obvious that no injury has been done to your command by bringing it on its way to the White Sulphur, especially as you have been anxiously awaiting its arrival at your camp, and I have forwarded orders at once to deliver it up to your officer in charge. It was probably a mere mistake, by which, too, the gun was considerably forwarded on its way to you, and no harm, for the same reason, was done, even if the person made no mistake, and knew the gun was intended for you, and not for the Legion. And, if it is intended for the Legion, then the officer understood the matter correctly, and he did but execute orders in forwarding the gun on its way to me by taking it to the White Sulphur.

In any event, sir, permit me to say that I cannot consent that the order to arrest my officer, issued by you at Carnifix Ferry, shall be executed upon him at the White Sulphur under the circumstances of this case. First, because the White Sulphur is not a place within the bounds of your command, except so far as you may order persons belonging to your brigade. Those belonging to my brigade there are subject only to my orders or those of General Lee. Second, because the complaint for arresting an officer of my immediate and independent command, should have been made to me, and the proper orders should have been passed through me, to have afforded opportunity for inquiry of the officer complained of. Third, because the alleged offense has not been inquired into at all, and is believed to be a mere mistake, doing no harm, at least, if not furthering your wishes, and founded on a zeal to do duty and obey orders. Fourth, because the gun is just as probably intended for the Legion as for your batteries.

If, then, it turns out that my officer has taken a gun to the White Sulphur from Jackson’s River, he ought not to be arrested by your orders, both for want of validity and of justice, and the order to that end will be resisted in my command. I therefore (if it shall turn out that this offense has been committed by any officer belonging to my Legion) will, as long as your order for arrest is pending, most respectfully decline to furnish you with a list of my officers and the dates of their commissions, that you may select from among them such names as you would like to be placed upon the court-martial. It will be time enough to do what is legitimate and proper to be done when it is no longer hypothetical whether it will tutu out or not that any offense has been committed by anybody, and, if by anybody, whether committed by any officer belonging to my Legion.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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No. 35.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp Gauley, Va., September 9, 1861-1 a.m. (Received 8.45 a.m.)

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: The enemy are beyond doubt advancing from Sutton. They are reported by the scouts of Colonel McCausland (who, with the regiment, is stationed in Summersville) to be within 12 miles of that place, and in full force, 6,000 strong. My strength, including the regiment {p.838} of Colonel McCausland, does not exceed 1,600 men. My own scouts returned yesterday with the information, which may be relied on, that there are 1,000 of the enemy at the mouth of Twenty Mile Creek. This would seem to indicate a junction of the forces under Cox with those marching from Sutton. It is highly important that this should be prevented if possible. For me to effect this, it is necessary that I should be strengthened by all the re-enforcements that can be sent me. You will then return me without, delay the regiment of Colonel Tompkins, and at the same time send me one of your own regiments. With the remainder of your force you can maintain your position. Should you, however, need any addition to your force, you can draw re-enforcements from the command of General Chapman.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.

[Indorsement.]

MEMORANDUM.-A verbal message was delivered along with the second dispatch (No. 35) at 2.15 a.m. by J. A. Totten, provost-marshal, as follows: “The enemy are in Webster, about 2,500 strong. Their object seems to be to unite with the column advancing from Braxton. General Floyd wishes to know at what point he can find the re-enforcements he sends for and at what hour he may expect them.” Requires immediate return of the messenger. Messenger further reports that at 5 o’clock 4,000 or 5,000 were at the foot of Powell’s Mountain, on this side. At the time of messenger’s leaving (about 2 at night) they were 4 or 5 miles distant above Summersville; 2,500 were in Webster, about 50 miles distant, advancing.

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CAMP NEAR HAWK’S NEST, September 9, 1861-4 p.m.

General JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: In obedience to your orders of yesterday, received at 8.30 o’clock a.m. to-day (though dated September 9, 1861, 1 o’clock a.m.), I have passed them to Colonel Tompkins, and he is on his march to join you at Carnifix Ferry. As to sending you one of the regiments of the Legion, I find it impossible to do so without endangering the safety of my command. I am now in front of the enemy, numbering from 2,000 to 3,000 men, and have three regiments, reduced by two companies from each left at Dogwood Gap, necessarily required there, and by measles, to not more than 300 effective men each, and to a corps of artillery, numbering about 150, making in all 1,050 efficient forces, without a breastwork. It is very hazardous to remain where I am with this force, and if one-third of it be called to re-enforce you at Carnifix, I shall have to fall back again to Dogwood Gap, lose all I gained by driving the enemy to Big Creek, and beyond all quick intelligence and easy communication with Generals Chapman and Beckley by Miller’s Ferry, and all the advantages of a first-class mill to grind the meal and flour for my men, where both are difficult and costly to be obtained. There is not half force enough now for the defense of this road, and if one-third be taken away, the whole had better be retired. I cannot maintain my position with the remainder of my force, much less annoy the enemy, as you have instructed me. I now need re-enforcement, and cannot draw a man from the command of General Chapman, for he now is calling urgently for {p.839} re-enforcements from me, and especially to mount artillery on Cotton Hill, and to defend Boone and Cabell Counties, and to penetrate the valley of the Lower Kanawha.

My cavalry, too, is of no use here, for the reason that forage cannot be obtained for more than two companies required for vedettes; and I have been compelled to send five troops, about 250 horse, to Coal River and the Loop for subsistence and better service than they can render here without half enough food.

I beg you, therefore, to relieve me from the order to send you one of my fragments of regiments, and I ask this the more unhesitatingly, because I am reliably informed you have a large re-enforcement advancing on the way to join you, and I am sure that with its aid you can maintain your strong and intrenched position against the odds likely to attack you. For these reasons I feel confident that you will justify me in awaiting further orders and the removal of the immediate pressure of the enemy.

Further, I beg you to order me to attract the enemy from Gauley Bridge, and from advancing against you thence, by promptly proceeding to penetrate the Kanawha Valley down Loop Creek or Coal River with my whole Legion. In this way I am sure, sir, I can re-enforce you without endangering my command; and this consideration alone makes me venture diffidently to ask for the order, without pretending to interfere with the plans of your own judgment.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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CAMP NEAR HAWK’S NEST, VA., September 9, 1861-10 a.m.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Again I am harassed with orders which I find it difficult, if not impracticable, to comply with. After attacking the enemy on the 3d instant, he, as well as I, felt back a short distance to better positions. We are now about 3 miles apart, and he is re-enforced to the number of about 3,000 men. I am reduced in effective force to about 1,000 infantry and artillery. My cavalry is useless here among steep hills and for want of forage. In this state I called for re-enforcements from General Floyd. The day before yesterday he sent to me Colonel Tompkins’ regiment of the State volunteers. This morning he announces the enemy approaching him from Sutton, as I expected, 6,000 strong, with the apprehensions of 1,000 from the opposite direction at Twenty Mile. This I do not credit; but he orders Colonel Tompkins immediately back, and also one of my regiments to be sent to him. I have issued the order to Colonel Tompkins, but must decline sending one of my regiments, or give up Miller’s Ferry and Liken’s Mill, and perhaps Dogwood Gap.

Again, some time ago my command had notice of a piece of ordnance forwarded for its service. I left an artillery officer (Captain Roemer) at White Sulphur, to take charge of three pieces there, and to forward on to that place the piece or pieces expected from Richmond. Now, it seems, General Floyd expected four pieces also and several coming to Jackson’s River, and my officer, innocently supposing one of them to be the one intended for the Legion, took it to the White Sulphur. Thereupon General Floyd notifies me that he has sent an officer to arrest him, and calls upon me for the names of commissioned {p.840} officers of my command to form a court-martial to try him. I shall resist this order, firstly, because the White Sulphur is not a place within the bounds of his command, being subject alone to your orders; secondly, because he (General Floyd) has no right to arrest an officer of my Legion at the White Sulphur by an order issued by him at Carnifix, without passing the order through me and affording opportunity for inquiry into the cause by me; thirdly, because the alleged offense has not been inquired into at all, and is believed to be a mistake, founded on a desire to do duty promptly and to place the guns in service; and, fourthly, because the gun is just as probably belonging to my command as to General Floyd’s. For these reasons I shall dispatch counter orders to those of General Floyd as to the arrest. As to the gun, I shall order it to be delivered to General Floyd or his command if his, and to be brought to me if intended for the Legion. I state these matters in order that you may interpose your authority in good season, deeply regretting to be compelled to trouble you with these annoyances of mine so repeatedly.

I am, with the highest respect, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

P. S.-Since writing the above Colonel Tompkins has shown to me the inclosed letter, and begs me to add that he could not enter into particulars, for want of time, on the eve of his march; but to say that you may be assured that there is the most disheartening discontent among men and officers with the orders of General Floyd. It extends so far as to threaten both his and my commands, and we concur in the earnest wish and prayer to be separated at once from General Floyd’s command, and to have his regiment incorporated into my Legion. By sickness and other causes we are both reduced to one-half our original numbers. General Floyd now has, and has coming very near to him, first his force with which he arrived at White Sulphur, 1,200; McCausland’s State volunteers, 400; another regiment of his brigade, 400; two full regiments, nearly here, from Georgia and North Carolina, 1,600; Generals Chapman’s and Beckley’s militia, 2,000. In all, besides Tompkins’ and mine, 5,600. The Legion has, for present service, effective infantry, 1,200; artillery, 250; cavalry, 350; and Tompkins has about 400. Total, 2,200.

Cavalry is of no use here. Tompkins is now ordered away, and I have but 1,800 men to guard Dogwood Gap and four other principal points, especially the Hawk’s Nest, Miller’s Ferry, Liken’s Mill, and the Saturday road. If I send a regiment to re-enforce Carnifix, I must fall back and lose the quick communication with Chapman and Beckley, while General Floyd is impregnably intrenched with a force of over 4,000 men. This, too, is required when by his falling back this side of Gauley 250 men would defend Carnifix against thousands.

Colonel Tompkins’ men are loyal and true, and from the valley, and if we are ordered to cross New River and to penetrate Kanawha Valley below, we can best co-operate with General Floyd and relieve him. He will need relief if he does not enlarge his ferry. I unite, then, in asking that Colonel Tompkins may be incorporated in my Legion, and that we may be ordered to part from General Floyd to the south side of Kanawha, Boone Court-House is just burned, except one stable. We are badly treated, and I protest against the command as it now stands.

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

{p.841}

[Inclosure.]

CAMP NEAR HAWK’S NEST, VA., September 9, 1861.

Maj. Gen. R. E. LEE:

SIR: It is with great reluctance that I recur to the subject of two recent letters addressed to you from the White Sulphur. It is very clear to my apprehension that the volunteer forces organized and commanded by me are destined to a disintegration, which, if not in violation of law, is by no means in accordance with the purposes for which they were designed. After joining General Floyd on the 25th ultimo, while our regiments were separated, the Thirty-sixth was sent to Summersville and the Twenty-second sent to this place. I am now under orders to join General Floyd. These demonstrations, superadded to other evidences, warrant the belief that we are the mere appendages of the Legion, without the benefits that may obtain to that arm of service. I respectfully submit that I have not been treated with the consideration due either to past experience or recent service, and, without the most remote wish to promote my own personal interests, I claim your attention to the matter. It is needless to add that I shall most willingly offer the resignation of my commission if it is believed I am incompetent to exercise the command which was specially organized and prepared under my auspices.

I am, General, very respectfully,

C. Q. TOMPKINS, Colonel Twenty-second Regiment Virginia Volunteers.

P. S.-I return immediately to the camp of General Floyd.

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No. 36.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp Gauley, Va., Sept. 9, 1861. (Rec’d Sept. 10-2.15 p.m.)

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: Within an hour after my dispatch to you this evening one of my most reliable scouts came into camp, with information, which cannot be questioned, that the enemy, at 5 o’clock to-day, were advancing this side of Powell’s Mountain. Their force is certainly very large. I am induced to believe that it is not less than 4,000 men. Their object is either to attack me here or to re-enforce General Cox. To defend my position with success against this force, or to prevent their junction with Cox (which is important), I must have re-enforcements. You will therefore burry up the regiment of Colonel Tompkins, and, in addition, send me at once 1,000 of your own men, with one of your own batteries. With this re-enforcement my own will be inferior in number to the force of the enemy, according to the lowest estimate of their strength.

Your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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No. 37.]

CAMP GAULEY, VA., September 9, 1861, (Received September 10-2 p.m.)

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I have just received intelligence, which is entirely reliable, that the enemy in considerable force is marching through the county of Webster in this direction. This force is certainly a portion of the reserve of Rosecrans, and their object is, I doubt not, to form a junction {p.842} with the forces at and near Sutton, with a view to a movement upon me or to the re-enforcement of General Cox. Should this junction be effected, their strength will be rendered very formidable. In the present attitude of things you will station your regiment for which I sent last night at Dogwood Gap. There it will be in supporting distance of me, and can be more readily supplied with provisions than here in consequence of the bad condition of the road between that point and the turnpike. The regiment of Colonel Tompkins will join me here, as ordered in my last dispatch to you.

Your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the Kanawha.

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HEADQUARTERS, VALLEY MOUNTAIN, VIRGINIA, September 9, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE, Commanding Legion, Hawk’s Nest, Kanawha Valley, Virginia:

GENERAL; I have just received your report of the 5th instant,* and am very happy to again congratulate you on your success against the enemy. I am very sorry for the necessity under which General Floyd found it necessary to diminish your command, but you know how necessary it is to act upon reports touching the safety of troops, and that even rumors must not be neglected. General Floyd’s position is an exposed one and inviting an attack. He is obliged, therefore, to be cautious, and there is no way of being secure against false information. Troops are consequently obliged to be subjected to wearisome marches. But it is not done intentionally. In my opinion it would be highly prejudicial to separate your Legion from General Floyd. It might be ruinous to our cause in the valley. United, the force is not strong enough; it could effect nothing divided. Great efforts have been made to get this force in marching order. Bad weather, impassable roads, and sickness have paralyzed it for some time. There is a prospect now of being able to resume operations.

There must be a union of strength to drive back the invaders, and I beg you will act in concert. I will forward your report to the Secretary of War, that he may be gratified at the account of the bravery of your troops and skill of your officers. But I must tell you, in candor, I cannot recommend the division of the Army of the Kanawha. We must endure everything in the cause we maintain. In pushing your movements against the enemy, I trust you will not allow your troops to hazard themselves unnecessarily or to jeopardize the accomplishment of the general operations.

I am, with great respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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CAMP NEAR HAWK’S NEST, VA., September 10, 1861-6.30 a.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Yesterday morning I received your orders to return to you the regiment of Colonel Tompkins and to send you one of my regiments. I dispatched Colonel Tompkins’ regiment immediately, and it must have {p.843} reached, if not crossed, Carnifix Ferry yesterday. It will certainly be there this morning, and I prepared dispatches, setting forth the reasons for not sending one of my regiments as ordered. At 2 and 2.30 o’clock last night I received another order, simply to station my regiment at Dogwood Gap, in supporting distance of your forces, and another order to send at once 1,000 of my own men (in addition to the regiment of Colonel Tompkins), with one of my batteries. The messenger who brought the last dispatch said he was instructed (verbally) to say that at 5 p.m. yesterday it was supposed that 4,000 or 5,000 of the enemy had advanced to the foot of Powell’s Mountain and on this side of the mountain and 4 or 5 miles north of Summersville, and that 2,500 of the enemy, about 50 miles distant, were supposed to be advancing upon you from Webster.

In addition to this, I inform you that the enemy at Gauley Bridge has advanced 1,000 men up the Gauley, and every indication shows that they intend to advance about 2,500 men up this turnpike and the Saturday road to the rear of your position at Carnifix Ferry. If all these appearances are correct, you will be threatened from three or four points-front, flank, and rear-by not less than 8,000 or 10,000 men ,and a disaster will be the loss of this turnpike and of Lewisburg, at least.

The only check upon the enemy’s advance upon Carnifix, upon this side of Gauley, is the force under my command. I now have thirty companies of infantry, six of which are at Dogwood Gap, and twenty-four companies here, averaging, reduced as they are by measles, not more than 40 men each, making in all 1,200 effective infantry (960 here and 240 at Dogwood Gap). My artillery, numbering in all about 314 men, is reduced by the same cause, and by one company at White Sulphur, to less than 200 effective men, and six out of eight companies of my cavalry have been sent over New River to Loop Creek and Coal River, there to do more effective duty than they can do here, and to get corn and oats, having been starved here for want of grain. To re-enforce you with 1,000 men and one of my batteries would leave me with only 200 infantry, 100 artillery, and about 120 horse, to meet a force of 2,500. This would render my command wholly inadequate and unsafe. If, then, I am to send 1,000 infantry and a battery, I had better take my whole force, strengthen you the more thereby, and leave none exposed. In either event all the positions for checking the enemy on this turnpike will have to be abandoned (none of them can be held), and we will lose Liken’s Mill and Miller’s Ferry.

If I am not to cross Carnifix Ferry, it is best to check the enemy before reaching there, and not at the cliffs of Gauley. If I am to cross that ferry, then there will be no force to guard it and your rear. If the enemy advance upon you from the other side of Gauley with 4,000 men, and besiege you in front, while 2,000 of them are allowed to reach Carnifix and command the ferry in your rear on this side, you will be cut off at once from all supplies of food, forage, and ammunition. On this side or the other, then, my command must be endangered at Carnifix (the ferry there is wholly insufficient for your present forces, and would be hardly better than none in case of a retreat in presence of the foe). In any view, then, I submit that the best position to support you at present is to leave my whole command posted on this road. We now can hardly check the enemy or repel him in time for you to recross the Gauley and unite our forces on this side. A few men can on this side, with this turnpike and the roads leading from it to Carnifix guarded, defend that ferry. On the other side our united forces may easily be cut off and starved out by such advance of the enemy as seems to threaten your present position. {p.844} I respectfully advise that your force shall recross the Gauley, station a permanent guard of a battery (quite sufficient on this side of Carnifix Ferry), the remainder operate here in co-operation with Generals Chapman and Beckley, and that you send my whole Legion over New River to Coal River, to penetrate Kanawha Valley whenever I can strike a blow below the falls, or Charleston, even, and to protect our loyal citizens in Boone, Cabell, and Kanawha Counties. However these suggestions may be received, I feel it to be my duty to protest, respectfully, as I do, against being-ordered again to Carnifix, and against crossing that ferry with any portion of my command.

Very respectfully and faithfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

P. S.-At 10 a.m. I have just received intelligence that the enemy is now advancing upon me, with what force is not exactly ascertained, but three companies are seen on the hills near my advanced post.

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

* See p. 124.

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No. 38.] CAMP GAULEY, VA., September 10, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I am surprised to learn this morning that the men I ordered from your command had not started yesterday. My order was positive, and the reasons for the order were given. The safety of my whole command may, and probably will, depend upon the prompt execution of the orders I have given you. You will immediately, upon the receipt of this order, send to me 1,000 of your infantry and one battery of artillery, if they have not already started, and urge them to advance with all possible speed. Reply, if you please, to this order, and state the hour of its receipt amid-that of starting your reply.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of time Kanawha.

[Indorsement.]

SEPTEMBER 10, 1861.

Message received at 12.05, at Hamilton’s, where I am called to meet an advance of the enemy.

HENRY A. WISE.

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AT HAMILTON’S, NEXT TO THE HAWK’S NEST, VA., September 10, 1861-12.30 p.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Mr. Carr has just handed me yours of to-day at 12.05 m. It found me here, called to meet an advance of the enemy, who are reported to threaten my picket at the Hawk’s Nest, and all my force of three regiments of infantry, a corps of artillery, and two companies of cavalry are under arms, to prevent, if possible, an obvious attempt to turn our right flank and to pass us at the turnpike, most probably to gain Carnifix Ferry in your rear. Under these circumstances I shall, upon my legitimate responsibility, exercise a sound discretion whether {p.845} to obey your very peremptory orders of to-day or not. Please excuse my stationery; it is such as I catch on the road, and I have to use your own envelope.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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No. 39.]

CAMP GAULEY, VA., September 10, 1861-8 p.m.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

DEAR SIR: You are hereby peremptorily ordered to dispatch to me, immediately on the receipt of this, all of your disposable force saving one regiment, with which you will occupy your present position, unless you deem it expedient to fall back to a more eligible one. The enemy has attacked me in strong force, and the battle has been raging from 3.50 till 7 o’clock. I still hold my position, but think the enemy will renew the attack by day in the morning, with perhaps increased force.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD.

(Signed by the adjutant-general, because General Floyd is disabled in the arm.)

[Indorsement.]

Received from Mr. Carr and Major Glass about 12 or 1 o’clock at night.

H. A. W.

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SEPTEMBER 10, 1861.

To His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederate States of America:

The undersigned, citizens of Hardy County, Virginia, desire to call your attention to the exposed and suffering condition of our county. We have been invaded for the past two months by Northern thieves. Our houses have been forcibly entered and robbed. Our horses, cattle, and sheep in large numbers driven off. Our citizens arrested, carried off, and confined, only because they are loyal citizens of Virginia and the Southern Confederacy. Our cattle, sheep, and horses, to the amount of $30,000, have been forcibly taken from us and appropriated to the support of the Army of the United States.

Our county, unfortunately, is divided, the we stern portion being disloyal. The Union men, as they call themselves, have called upon Lincoln for protection. He, in answer to their call, has sent amongst us a set of base characters, who not only protect the Union men, but under their guidance are committing acts unheard of in any country claiming civilization. We have been wholly unprotected and unable to protect ourselves. Our enemies have met with no resistance. We do not complain, as it is perhaps impossible to give protection to all who are suffering like depredations; hut we would suggest whether the interest of the Confederacy, apart from the large private interest involved, does not require the protection of our beef; our pork, and our corn for the use of the Southern Army. General Lee is now drawing his supply of corn from us. There is perhaps no valley in America of the same extent that produces more fat cattle and hogs than the valley of the South {p.846} Branch. Were we protected in the possession of our property we should be able to supply the Army with several thousand cattle and hogs and at the season of the year when the supply from other sources fails; but if no protection should be given us, and the present state of things suffered to go on, we may well despair not only of feeding the army, but of feeding ourselves. Our enemies, not content with driving off our cattle and sheep by hundreds and our horses in numbers, are to-day, we are most reliably informed, engaged in thrashing out the crops of wheat of some of the farmers of Hampshire.

We have been hoping for relief from General Lee’s army in Western Virginia; that the necessities of General Rosecrans would compel him to withdraw his forces from us. In this we have been disappointed. We find still a force on our border acting with the Union men sufficient to rob us. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at New Creek Station is but about 30 miles from our county seat and so long as that point is suffered to remain in the possession of the enemy we must be insecure. We Placed ourselves under the protection of the Confederate States with a full knowledge of our exposed situation, being a border county, yet relying upon the ability and willingness of our more Southern brethren, who are less exposed, to defend us.

We now would most earnestly call upon you, the chosen head of the Confederacy, for relief and continued protection, if not inconsistent with more important interests.

JACOB VAN METER ET AL.

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HEADQUARTERS VALLEY MOUNTAIN, September 10, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: It has been reported to me that the supplies of provisions for the Army of the Northwest are being exhausted at the depots at Staunton and Millborough, and that no notice has been received of a further supply being ordered from Richmond. I request that directions be given for full supplies to be delivered at those points as soon as possible, if it has not already been done.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, commanding.

P. S.-SEPTEMBER 10. I have just heard that the enemy is withdrawing all his forces from about Romney and along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to Huttonsville in our front. The report has been forwarded from Staunton by Major Harman. If true, now is the time for Colonel McDonald to push at the railroad and destroy it. I would write to him, but do not know where he is. I begin to advance to-day.

R. E. L.

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RICHMOND, VA., September 11, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Commanding, Manassas, Va.:

GENERAL: Your letter of September 6, 1861,* has been submitted to the Secretary of War, who desires that you be informed that at this {p.847} time it is impossible to spare the two regiments referred to from the particular service for which they are designed. Such unarmed companies as can be sent from this quarter for battery purposes at Fort Pickens and Evansport will be forwarded.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. H. CHILTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* Not found.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, September 12, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 9th instant. In reply I beg leave to assure you that my letter of the 6th instant, to which you refer, was intended wholly as explanatory to yourself personally of my motive and action in the ease in question, and not for the purpose of conveying instructions for the guidance of your official conduct.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully,

L. P. WALKER, Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, September 12, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Army of the Potomac, Manassas, Va.:

GENERAL: Your letter of September 9,* in relation to Colonel McDonald’s mounted regiment, has been submitted to the President, who states that he cannot spare at this time Colonel McDonald’s regiment from the special and important duties in which that regiment is now engaged; that efforts are being made to send forward cavalry to the Army of the Potomac as rapidly as they can be obtained.

I am, sir, respectfully, &c.,

R. H. CHILTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* Not found.

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MANASSAS, September 12, 1861.

Brigadier-General WHITING, C. S. Army:

MY DEAR GENERAL: General Trimble informs me that there is reason to suspect that the enemy designs the occupation of some point on the Occoquan and fortifying there. He works so fast that we must be able to interrupt him as soon as he lands-that is to say, very soon after.

For this you had better, instead of moving in the direction of Dumfries, take a position somewhere in the vicinity of Bacon Race Church. Colonel Hampton says that the district is a healthy one. Forney’s brigade will be a part of your command, should any movement be necessary. After seeing the country, decide as to whether he need move. The position, or location rather, will enable you to help General T. If necessary, act upon the banks of the Occoquan. Colonel H. will give you information, which his cavalry will look for, and be nearer to us than at present, especially our right, by Wolf Run Shoals Ford.

{p.848}

My headquarters will be for some time near Fairfax Station. They will be transferred to-morrow; hence the necessity of your commanding Colonel Forney’s Brigade in case of emergency.

Colonel Stuart yesterday, with two field pieces, a company of his regiment, and 305 infantry (Virginia), under Major Terrill, put to flight Griffin’s battery of eight pieces, three regiments of infantry, and a body of cavalry, strength not given. They left behind 5 dead and 6 prisoners, one mortally wounded.* Stuart is confident that they carried off a good many dead and wounded. A prisoner said that the redoubtable McC. was present. If so, I shall never forgive Stuart for not securing him.

Yours, truly,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

Stuart says our loss was not a scratch to man or horse.

Write to me your opinion of the force necessary for the observation of the Occoquan and succor of Evansport. Would Wigfall’s regiment be sufficient for the latter, to be placed somewhere near? I have no objection, in your estimate, to consider Forney’s Brigade divisible. Send letters to Cabell for transmittal.

J. E. J.

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ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, September 12, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, C. S. A., Commanding Forces, Staunton, Va.:

GENERAL: I am instructed by the President to say that you have authority to transfer General Wise’s Legion proper to any other command than that of General Floyd. You can transfer it to your own immediate command or make any assignment of it which you may deem proper, in order to produce harmony of action, it being clearly evident that the commands of Generals Floyd and Wise cannot co-operate with any advantage to the service. The absence of General Wise’s Legion from the future operations of General Floyd will be replaced by orders from here for Colonel Russell’s Twentieth Mississippi Volunteers and Colonel Phillips’ Georgia Legion, both at Lynchburg, to join General Floyd.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector GENERAL

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No. 40.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp Walker, Va., September 12, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I understand that a strong column of the enemy is advancing in this direction from Hawk’s Nest. I have ordered all my available cavalry to guard Carnifix Ferry. You will, then, send at once a detachment of your cavalry to scout the road upon which it is reported the enemy is advancing, and hold your command in readiness to meet them.

Your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the Kanawha.

* See p. 167.

{p.849}

DOGWOOD CAMP, VA., September 12, 1861-10 p.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD:

SIR: I have but two companies of cavalry on this side of New River. One is scouting the Sunday road and the other is already beyond Piggot’s. The other six companies over New River are ordered back immediately. My scouts have just reported having seen 2 of the enemy’s men on the Saturday road, about 4 miles from here. My command will be in readiness to meet the enemy. There is danger from another advance, also, from Carnifix Ferry. My command is not sufficient to guard that as well as Miller’s Ferry, near the Hawk’s Nest.

Very respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., September 12, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

GENERAL: According to orders I submit to yourself, in writing, a statement relating to the rifled gun and the subsequent order of Brigadier-General Floyd, hoping in a few days to make such a verbal report as will be demanded by you.

On August 29 I met Mr. Hutton (at one time your topographical engineer), who, with orders from General Floyd, was to proceed to Jackson’s River Depot in search of such articles as might there be ready for his (General Floyd’s) brigade. Expecting some guns for your command, I asked Mr. Hutton to inquire whether or not they had arrived. On his return he told me of five guns at the depot, which might belong to General Wise, and added: “If he had had a better horse he would have ridden into the country for teams, in order to bring General Floyd’s ammunition away.” He also remarked that, according to General Davis’ statement, the rifled gun belonged to General Floyd. I then told Mr. Hutton that I would send teams to the depot for such guns as were destined for General Wise’s brigade, promising, as a favor, to bring the rifled gun also, provided the teams sent would not be all employed otherwise. The guns at Jackson’s River proved to belong to another artillery company, and the lieutenant (J. W. Watts), whom I sent in charge of the horses and drivers, brought the rifled gun to the White Sulphur Springs. I would not have moved the gun, but for the wish expressed by Mr. Hutton that I should do so; and, secondly, in order to follow up the orders received by me to take charge of the artillery as it arrived at Jackson’s River. The rifled gun was not represented to me as de facto General Floyd’s; consequently, such guns being expected for your command, I directed Lieutenant Watts to bring it, even if the ownership was doubtful, provided the number of horses would allow it. The rifled gun remained at the White Sulphur Springs unclaimed by any one, to my own knowledge, and General Floyd has not experienced any difficulty in obtaining it, but has had the advantage of a start of 30 miles. The order for my arrest was given in plain language, without allowing of any explanation, but the lieutenant bearing it refused to execute it, for reasons obvious to him.

With highest respect for yourself, I remain, sir, your very obedient servant,

B. ROEMER, Commanding Mountain Artillery. {p.850}

No. 42.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp Walker, Va., September 12, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

DEAR SIR: I get information this evening from Carnifix Ferry (where I stationed this morning a pretty strong guard) that the enemy are attempting to cross the river. It becomes necessary that a prompt and definite line of action should be at once determined upon and executed. May I ask the favor of you to come down this evening, and bring such officers as you choose to join us in council? Thus we may determine what is best to be done and put the plan into execution at once.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the Kanawha.

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[NOTE.-After or at the consultation here spoken of, and as its result, verbal orders were given by General Floyd for the whole command to fall back to the top of Big Sewell, in the direction of Meadow Bluff which was done on September 13.-D. B. L.]

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RICHMOND, VA., September 13, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Yours of the 10th instant* is before me and I can only suppose you have been deceived by some one of that class in whose absence “the strife ceaseth.” While you were in the valley of Virginia your army and that of General Beauregard were independent commands; when you marched to Manassas the forces joined and did duty together. I trust the two officers highest in military rank at Richmond were too well informed to have doubted in either case as to your power and duty. Persons have talked here of the command of yourself and Beauregard as separate armies, and complaints have been uttered to the effect that you took the re-enforcements and guns for your own army; but to educated soldiers this could only seem the muttering of the uninstructed, the rivalry of those who did not comprehend that unity was a necessity, a law of existence. Not having heard accusations, I am, like yourself, ignorant of the specifications, and will add that I do not believe any disposition has existed on the part of the gentlemen to whom you refer to criticise, still less to detract, from you. If they believed that you did not exercise command over the whole, it was, I doubt not, ascribed to delicacy.

You are not mistaken in your construction of my letters having been written to you as the commanding general. I have, however, sometimes had to repel the idea that there was a want of co-operation between yourself and the second in command, or a want of recognition of your position as the senior and commanding general of all the forces serving at or near to the field of your late brilliant achievements.

While writing it occurs to me that statements have been made and official applications received in relation to staff officers which suggested a continuance of separation rather than unity in the “Army of the Potomac.”

I did not understand your suggestion as to a commander-in-chief for {p.851} your army. The laws of the Confederacy in relation to generals have provisions which are new and unsettled by decisions. Their position is special, and the attention of Congress was called to what might be regarded as a conflict of laws. Their action was confined to the fixing of dates for the generals of the C. S. Army.

Your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

* Not found. ---

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 129.}

HDQRS. DEP’T OF FREDERICKSBURG, September 13, 1861.

...

II. The First Arkansas, Second Tennessee, and Twelfth North Carolina Volunteers will constitute a brigade, to the command of which Col. J. G. Walker, Provisional Army of the Confederate States, is assigned.

...

IV. General Trimble’s command, at Evansport, will consist of Walker’s and Andrew’s batteries; Swann’s and Waller’s troops of cavalry; Walker’s brigade of infantry, and, in case of attack, the Forty-seventh Virginia Volunteers, now under command of Colonel Richardson, at Clifton Church, are hereby made subject to his orders. He will send daily a courier, by whom he will report all movements of the enemy within his knowledge and the progress of his works, &c., to these headquarters, to which, also, he will make tri-monthly reports of his command on the 10th, 20th, and last days of each month.

...

By order of General T. H. Holmes:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS VIRGINIA FORCES, ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., September 14, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, in advance of Valley Mountain, Virginia:

GENERAL: General Cooper having submitted to me your letter of the 10th instant, to make inquiries about your supplies, I have had an interview with the Commissary-General, who informs me that the supplies for the Army of the Northwest are going forward with all the dispatch possible. The commissaries of both Generals Floyd and Wise were here a few days since, and were satisfied with the arrangements which were made for supplying their commands.

Having reference to your remarks in regard to Colonel McDonald’s movements, I am directed to inform you that instructions have been already sent to that officer to move in the direction indicated.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. DEAS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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No. 43.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp Sewell, Va., September 14, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: It is essential that the turnpike west of this point should be watched and scouted to-night, in order that I may be reliably and {p.852} speedily informed of the advance of the enemy. My cavalry are all on the Wilderness road, under Colonel Croghan. There are of the companies of Captains Corns and Beckett only 10 fit for service. These 10 have been already sent upon the turnpike west of this. This force, it is clear, is entirely inadequate for the purpose of a proper scout. You will therefore detail from your cavalry 20 men, to proceed at once upon the turnpike west of this point, and scout the same as far as practicable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.

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No. 44.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp Sewell, Va., September 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I learn that your cavalry picket of 12 men, sent out last night to scout the turnpike west of this point, has returned. As the safety of my entire command depends, in a great measure, upon being informed of the advance of the enemy, if they do advance, you will please send, immediately upon receiving this, a strong force of cavalry, with instructions to scout the road between this point and Dogwood Gap, or as far in that direction as possible, and to remain on the road until recalled. As I informed you last night, I have with me only 10 available horsemen. These are scouting this road.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding, By WILLIAM E. PETERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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CAMP AT DIXON’S, September 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: The detachment of cavalry sent out last night from my camp has returned only to feed their horses. There is no provender in our front, and we have but two companies, which have been on constant service at Dogwood and through the adjacent roads. Owing to the excess of horses and scarcity of forage at and all this side the Hawk’s Nest, I sent six of my companies to the Upper Kanawha, at Loop, Paint, and Lens Creeks and Coal River, leaving only their exhausted horses and sick men. My two companies are worn about the same degree as the troops of Captains Corns and Beckett, of your command, a hundred at least of whom are in the rear. They may pick their men, say 25, to unite with as many more from my two companies, and I beg you, sir, so to order them. But permit me, respectfully, to say that the cavalry, worn as they are, are fit only for vedette duty, and they ought to be preceded by at least two of the picked rifle companies, to ambuscade each side of the turnpike, taking the ridges and road-sides, with two days’ provisions, using the cavalry to tole the enemy into the ambush.

Yours, respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

P. S.-I will order 25 cavalry immediately on duty.

{p.853}

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EVANSPORT, NEAR DUMFRIES, VA., September 15, 1861.

General B. HUGER, Commanding, Norfolk, Va.:

DEAR SIR: I have no reply from you about guns. All we can obtain in Richmond are fourteen; too small a number for our success. You must let us have twelve 32s, six at once and the others if called for. I know you can take six out of the batteries at Norfolk, say four from new batteries at Lambert’s and Pinner’s Points, and two from intrenched camp. Then mount some of the navy guns in the old batteries at those places on army carriages, in barbette, which will make one gun equal to four in embrasure, by so much increasing the sector of fire. Let 100 rounds of various fixed ammunition come with the guns, and do spare me Lieutenant Taylor, from Lambert’s Point, with his artillery company, to work the guns. I want a skillful and vigilant officer here greatly. Our enterprise here is scarcely less important than any now being executed anywhere in the South, and no efforts or risks should be wanted to insure success. I have begun the work, and in a week shall want the guns. I have 3,000 men to support the batteries and hope to erect them unnoticed by the enemy, who keep a daily watch on us from the river, 1 1/2 miles distant from our position.

Yours, truly,

I. R. TRIMBLE.

P. S.-Telegraph me through General Holmes, at Brooke’s Station, Aquia Creek, on the receipt of this, and say when we may expect the guns.

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No. 45.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp on Big Sewell, Va., September 16, 1861.

DEAR SIR: I should be pleased to have you in consultation with me, together with such of your officers as you may think proper to have attend you, at my headquarters, at as early an hour this afternoon as possible. Please excuse stationery, as I am out.*

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, By WILLIAM E. PETERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* See General Wise’s memorandum of September 18, p. 854.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, September 16, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I am instructed by General Floyd to say to you that it has been determined to fall back to the most defensible point between Meadow Bluff and Lewisburg. He will put his column in motion at once. You will hold your command in readiness to bring up the rear.

By order of Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd:

WILLIAM E. PETERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.854}

No. 46.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp at Meadow Bluff, Va., September 18, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I am instructed by General Floyd to inquire of you why his order of the 16th instant, “to fall back to the most defensible point between Meadow Bluff and Lewisburg,” has not been carried out.

By order of Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd:

WILLIAM E. PETERS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Floyd’s Brigade.

[Memorandum on No. 46.]

BIG SEWELL, VA., September 18, 1861.

On the evening of the 16th instant I received a notice from General Floyd that he wanted a conference of officers, and a request to take to his headquarters such officers of my command as could attend. As early as practicable (about 5 p.m.) I went, accompanied by Major Tyler, Captain Stanard, Captain Wise, and Colonel Jackson. The interview lasted from one to two hours. The general wished counsel as to what movements were best. I urged that his camp on the top of the Big Sewell was indefensible, and that a position I had taken 1 1/2 miles in his rear was almost impregnable, if well defended by a small force; that we ought to occupy that position by my Legion, and he ought to take ground with his own command on the left, to defend Bowyer’s Ferry and the old State road; that these positions would support each other easily against largely superior numbers; that Colonel Davis, with my cavalry, had just won a victory within 12 miles of Charleston, and ought to be supported by infantry; and that, if he would permit me, I would take a picked corps from my command and one from his, a regiment or battalion or less, from each, and follow an active movement down the left bank of the Kanawha. He said he liked the idea, and at first assented. I told him that upon his retreat from Dogwood I had ordered my cavalry to fall back to support him on this turnpike, and asked whether I might countermand that order and renew the one to descend the Kanawha Valley. Again he assented. I wrote the order, and sent it from his camp to Colonel Davis, at Raleigh Court-House or Jumping Branch. After having read it to General Floyd, and after his approval, I then urged again that he would fall back to my position and await the enemy. He then said that he would view the position the next morning, and if he found it strong would wait there for several days at least, until he could hear from Richmond. This I considered the concluded arrangement of our movements when I left him. He inquired whether I knew of any movement by General Lee. I told him the state of the roads was so bad that General Lee could not move from his position. Other subjects were mentioned, such as mustering in the pack company from Mercer into my Legion, as it was raised for it. He promptly replied that the men should be allowed to elect their own command, and choose the Legion or not, and be mustered in accordingly; and also that Captain Newman’s company, if it so elected, might be transferred to the Legion from the State volunteers. After this and other conversations I left.

On returning, Major Tyler remarked the preparations for a movement in General Floyd’s camp, and it was thought that a retreat was intended before I was called to conference. We had hardly ridden to {p.855} my headquarters (1 1/2 miles off) when General Floyd’s wagons came moving back, and in a short time, while his front column was in motion, he sent me notice that he determined to move to some defensible position between Meadow Bluff and Lewisburg, and would move at once. He was then moving, and he ordered me to hold myself in readiness to bring up his rear. I have held myself in readiness, but have received no orders to move. This morning he addressed me an inquiry why I had not obeyed his order to move. I have replied, stating my reasons in detail, but not in full.

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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CAMP ON BIG SEWELL MOUNTAIN, VIRGINIA, September 18, 1861-10.30 a.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: In answer to your inquiry, addressed to me this morning, why your order of the 16th instant, “to fall back to the most defensible point between Meadow Bluff and Lewisburg,” has not been carried out, I reply: First, no such order was ever given to me. On the contrary, I was notified late the 16th, after night, that it had been determined to fall back to the most defensible point between Meadow Bluff and Lewisburg, and that you would put your column in motion at once, and that I would hold my command in readiness to bring up the rear. I have obeyed that order, and have received no order to move. It was necessary to remain to bring up some baggage left by your camp. Second, this order to be ready followed immediately after a verbal conference with you, at your request, in which I understood you distinctly as determining to hold, for a time at least, the almost impregnable position which I now occupy. I deem it essential to protect your rear, to prevent the advance of forces from Gauley attempting to form a junction with the enemy’s forces from Carnifix. Whatever road they may take, I can effectually check at this position any force from Gauley, and can attack the rear or flank of any enemy from Carnifix when I am obliged to fall back. This will best bring up your rear and prevent the advance of the enemy. Third, your march over the road has rendered it almost impassable, and the rain since has rendered its condition still worse. My camp has many sick, some convalescent, and I deem it inhuman to risk the health of these men in this wet weather. I ask, then, to wait here (in comfortable quarters, at an eligible point) to meet the enemy, until the weather clears up and the roads are passable and I get sufficient wagons to move with facility. Fourth, if I leave this position we will lose the command of Bowyer’s Ferry and the old State road. I have a good supply of provisions now here; I cannot leave without risking their loss, and for these reasons submit to your own superior judgment that I am here in best readiness to defend your rear. I can here repulse twice my numbers, and it is only past this point on this road that the enemy can advance their artillery. I can stop them here, and you will, with seven pieces of artillery, have to meet infantry only, advancing upon you at Meadow Bluff, by the Wilderness, or any other road between this and your position. I respectfully and earnestly therefore ask to be permitted to remain in position here until I see whether the enemy will attempt to advance the whole or a part of their forces on this turnpike past this point and until the weather and the roads are better for a march. I {p.856} pledge myself to defend your rear and to support your command in the most efficient way.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

P. S.-Inclosed is a report of my quartermaster, to which I beg leave to call your attention.

[Inclosures.]

HEADQUARTERS WISE’S LEGION, September 18, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE, Commanding Wise’s Legion:

GENERAL: I have been informed by Captain Farrish that two wagons, under my charge, which were sent to Jackson’s River Depot for the purpose of bringing stores to this command, were loaded with articles belonging to General Floyd’s brigade and sent by Mr. Boyer to him, since which time I have heard nothing of the wagons, and suppose they are still with General Floyd. Two wagons were also sent from the White Sulphur with stores from Colonel Tompkins’ regiment, with the express understanding that they would be returned to me immediately; but so far it has not been done. Also one wagon loaded with picks, spades, was sent from White Sulphur to General Floyd, then on the top of Big Sewell, which was also to be returned as soon as unloaded; but as yet I have heard nothing from it, although it should have been received by me yesterday morning. You will see by this that five of our wagons are now in the possession of General Floyd’s brigade, and as we are at present much in want of them for the purpose of removing both quartermaster and commissary stores, I would respectfully request you would demand them of General Floyd, as I feel that I can do nothing, as I have already without success requested their return.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. D. CLEARY, Captain and Assistant Quartermaster.

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CAMP ON BIG SEWELL, VIRGINIA, September 18, 1861-11.30 a.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: By the foregoing report to me of Captain Cleary, my brigade quartermaster, you will see that five of my wagons were loaned to your brigade and have not been returned. We are short of transportation, and need these wagons very much. On the 16th you very promptly assented to my request to have them returned. There is a large amount of stores, arms, ammunition, baggage, &c., to be moved, and the roads are much worse than when you passed. If my five wagons cannot now be identified, I ask that five others as good shall be sent in their stead, as they are indispensable to my march. And here let me respectfully apprise you that from Dogwood Camp here my wagons and hospitals have been burdened with your sick. They have been left neglected, and several have died on the way. I have attended to them the best I could.

Very respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

{p.857}

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RICHMOND, VA., September 18, 1861.

Maj. M. G. HARMAN, Quartermaster, Staunton, Va.:

It is reported that cars are detained at Millborough as store-houses, so as to render it impossible to forward supplies from this place.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE VIRGINIA FORCES, Richmond, September 18, 1861.

Col. ANGUS W. MCDONALD, Winchester, Va.:

SIR: I am directed by General Cooper to furnish you with the following extract from a communication received from General Lee:

“SEPTEMBER 10.

“I have just heard that the enemy is withdrawing all his forces from about Romney and along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to Huttonsville in our front. The report has been forwarded from Staunton by Major Harman. If true now is the time for Colonel McDonald to push at the railroad and destroy it. I would write him myself; but do not know where he is.”

The foregoing is communicated to you for your information and guidance.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE DEAS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, VA., September 18, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Care of Major Cabell, Quartermaster, Manassas, Va.:

It is reported that cars are detained at Manassas for storage, so as to render it impossible to forward from this place the supplies required for your command.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, September 19, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

SIR: I beg leave respectfully to call your attention to the inclosed correspondence, and to represent to you the necessity of promptly discharging and returning the cars of the railroad company as soon as they can be unloaded. This subject is so important, not only to the public interests in general, but also especially to the well-being of your army, that I am sure I need only to call your attention to the complaint in order to insure at once the necessary orders from you for its removal.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

[Inclosures.]

SUBSISTENCE DEPARTMENT, Richmond, September 18, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:

SIR: I received a dispatch from Major Blair, desiring that 1,000 barrels of flour should be sent him from Richmond because of non-arrival of 2,000 {p.858} barrels ordered from Lynchburg and Fredericksburg. This must be due to some difficulties on the roads, as ample provision has been made at both places. The agent of the Central Railroad writes that it is impossible to transport the flour, and therefore I inclose a copy of the agent’s letter, stating the reason.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

L. B. NORTHROP, Commissary-General Subsistence.

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RICHMOND, September 18, 1861.

J. H. CLAIBOURNE, Esq.:

DEAR SIR: The Confederate States have all of our cars at Manassas and Millborough. We cannot get them back. We have only two cars now in Richmond. Our depot is blocked up. If you send the flour today we shall be compelled to put it out of doors, and the Confederate States must take the risk.

Respectfully,

S. HUNTER.

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RICHMOND, September 19, 1861.

Lieut. Col. TURNER ASHBY, C. S. Army, Commanding, Halltown, Jefferson County, Va.:

SIR: In reply to your letter of the instant [following], from Halltown, I am instructed to inform you that it has been our object, with the President, for some time past, to destroy the canal at any point where it could not be repaired. If this can be accomplished at the mouth of the Monocacy, the destruction would be irreparable for an indefinite period. The destruction of the canal and the railroad have been cherished objects, and a disappointment at the failure of all past attempts to effect them has been proportionate to the importance attached to their achievement. But while this much is said on the subject, it is intended that any attempt of the kind should be made with the greatest caution, so that the safety of the command may be duly secured. The stores seized by you and sent to Winchester must be regarded as a seizure from the enemy, and may be turned over to the quartermaster and hospital departments for use, receipts being taken for them, as usual.

Very respectfully, &c.,

R. H. CHILTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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CAMP NEAR HALLTOWN, JEFFERSON COUNTY, [September -, 1861.]

Adjutant-General COOPER:

SIR: Inclosed I send you invoice of goods seized by my order from a store upon the Potomac, in Berkeley County, belonging to A. R. McQulken, who has fled from the Confederacy. He was a member of the Wheeling Convention. I would be pleased to hear from you as to how to dispose of them. I send them to-day to Winchester to be stored until I hear from you, which directions will find me if directed to Charlestown, Jefferson County. I think it proper to state to you my position. I am in command of a detachment of Colonel McDonald’s regiment, together with a force of militia furnished me by General Carson, for the {p.859} purpose of protecting Mr. Sharpe, Government agent, now removing engines, &c., from Baltimore and Ohio Road to Strasburg. There are now stationed upon the Maryland side of the Potomac, opposite this county, two infantry regiments, guarding the canal, which is transporting coal and other supplies. I am within 14 miles of the river, and watch their movements daily for the whole distance which these regiments operate. I am confident, if not inconsistent with the present policy of the Government, that I can move over at some convenient point and break the canal, securing a large amount of salt said to be now in depots opposite this place. The only force above that mentioned by me on the river as far as the Hampshire line is stationed at Williamsport, some 15 miles up the river-about one and a half regiments. I had occasional skirmishes with the enemy in this vicinity, they having crossed twice-once at Harper’s Ferry and again at Shepherdstown. I have driven them back each time without loss, having only 1 man wounded, and he doing well. I have killed several of them each time. They fire at every man, woman, child, or horse that passes the river upon this side. I have sometimes allowed my men to return their fire with long-range (small-arms) guns, with some known effect.

I write this to you owing to my peculiar position, acting by order of Colonel McDonald, who is or is to be in a different locality, too far to give his attention to the minutiae of my movements, and too, having under my command other forces than from his regiment, with no defined instructions as to policy to be pursued towards the enemy in this locality. Will you give them to me?

Respectfully,

TURNER ASHBY, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding near Harper’s Ferry.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp at Meadow Bluff, September 19, 1861.

Brig. Gen. HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: Your favor of yesterday, informing me that five of your wagons were loaned to my brigade, and have not been returned, has been received. Immediately upon receipt of your letter I made such inquiries of the commissary and quartermaster departments of my brigade about the matter, and found that the quartermaster of the Twenty-second regiment, Colonel Tompkins, had in his possession two of the wagons of your legion. The letter of Captain Miller, which accompanies this, will explain to you the circumstances under which the wagons came into his possession, and will inform you that they have been returned to you today. They were taken without authority from me, and without my knowledge. I know of no other wagons in my brigade belonging to your Legion.

I supposed that my order to you of the 16th instant was sufficiently explicit, inasmuch as it is therein distinctly stated that I would put at once my column in motion, and that you would hold your command in readiness to bring up the rear, and I have not yet been able to discover how you could bring up the rear of a moving column by remaining stationary after this column had passed. My determination and order to fall back upon the most defensible point between Meadow Bluff and Lewisburg was based upon what I conceived the safety of my command demanded. I felt sure that it was the plan of the enemy to advance upon Lewisburg, and in at least two columns, by the turnpike and {p.860} the Wilderness road, and to unite their columns at the junction of those roads. In this persuasion I was not mistaken. My scouts on the Wilderness road have just come in, and report that the enemy are advancing upon that road, which in all probability is true. I felt that this junction could be more certainly prevented and, if effected, could be most successfully met by the combined movement of all the forces under my command. If you have not advanced in the direction of my camp on the Sewell I have been misinformed.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the Kanawha.

[Inclosure.]

CAMP AT MEADOW BLUFF, VA., September 18, 1861.

General JOHN R. FLOYD:

GENERAL: As instructed by you, I report the circumstances under which two of General Wise’s wagons came into my possession, as assistant quartermaster of the Twenty-second Regiment Virginia Volunteers. Lieutenant Chilton, of this regiment, was sent to White Sulphur Springs recently to bring back some sick soldiers of the regiment, left there when we marched to join your brigade. He was instructed to apply to Captain Adams for transportation. Captain Adams obtained two two-horse wagons for him, and Lieutenant Chilton detailed two of the soldiers to drive them. The wagons arrived at the camp on the Big Sewell Mountain late on the evening of the night we returned to this post. Under the instructions of Colonel Tompkins, they were turned over to me, as assistant quartermaster, and used by me on the march here, and are now in my possession. I had on that day and on the day previous used four of my wagons for bringing into camp forage, provisions, &c., and to convey some sick to the White Sulphur Springs, under the direction of Dr. McDonald, surgeon of the regiment. None of these wagons had returned when we were ordered to march. Without the two wagons I could not have made the march and transported the provisions, baggage, &c., of the regiment. I was compelled, however, to put another horse in one of the wagons, and the other was a very balky, bad team, but which I got to work tolerably well at last. I shall send the two wagons to General Wise’s camp to-morrow.

Very respectfully,

S. A. MILLER, Assistant Quartermaster, Twenty-second Regiment Va. Vols.

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CAMP NEAR TOP OF BIG SEWELL, VIRGINIA, September 19, 1861-11.30 p.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Your order to me was to be in readiness on the 16th, and no order was given to me to move. I am now intrenched, and cannot move with advantage, and can fight with a confidence of repulsing the enemy. They have about five hundred tents (six men each), and their forces as yet are principally from Gauley, and they may reach 3,500, and cannot re-enforce more from that point, as Colonel Clarkson (just arrived) reports certainly that they sent two regiments from Gauley to meet Colonel Davis’ cavalry. What artillery the enemy in front of me {p.861} may have cannot yet be told, but I can meet them in the trenches with 1,800 infantry and artillery, and by to-morrow will have my eight companies of cavalry (say 350 to 400) in all, 2,200, with nine pieces of artillery. With this force, posted as I am, I can repulse 4,000. I doubt whether the enemy are advancing upon the Wilderness road, and if they are, they cannot take artillery on it. They may be double your force, but without artillery they cannot make a successful attack upon you, your seven regiments and six pieces, numbering at least 3,500, besides your 300 or 400 cavalry. Thus strong, though we may be divided, the enemy are divided too, if your opinion is correct, and the divisions are about proportionately distributed to our respective forces. But if my opinion is correct (that from the Bracken’s Creek road the enemy from both Gauley and Carnifix will advance in main force, with artillery, on this turnpike), then I submit that I ought to be re-enforced by one of your regiments, to co-operate with my cavalry. If any or either regiment of your brigade is sent, I ask that you will order Colonel Tompkins’ regiment to re-enforce me. I most earnestly protest that I wish in the most efficient way to co-operate with your command, and will not press reasons, otherwise than those already urged, for the course I am pursuing. As to the wagons I sent you, the report of my quartermaster as to the number loaned to your brigade and Mr. Miller’s report do not relate to three out of five of them. But, at all events, I beg you to cause my wagons passing Meadow Bluff to hurry on to Frazier’s. I regret to urge another matter. Captain Roemer, of my artillery, arrived to-day, and reports that Colonel Croghan has taken some fifty-four of my sabers for your cavalry, which were sent to McLeary, of Lewisburg, to be scabbarded for my artillery. These sabers I sent to Richmond for, expressly for my Legion, and obtained them without scabbards, and myself had them scabbarded and belts made for them. I respectfully ask that Colonel Croghan be ordered to deliver them to me.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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No. 47.]

CAMP ON BIG SEWELL, VIRGINIA, September 19, 1861-2 a.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: Two of my scouts (John T. Amick and Madison Walker) report the enemy approaching on this turnpike, at double-quick, 6 miles off, at Masten’s. They left Gauley River, at Carnifix, at 10 a.m., and the enemy were not done crossing the river there then. The Gauley forces, from the bridge, had reached the Sunday road first, and those now advancing are probably some of the latter. The scouts came into the turnpike by the Bracken’s Creek road, at Billy Masten’s house, at Bracken’s Creek, where they came in between two regiments or two companies, they could not see which. They followed the front column up to old Masten’s house, about three-fourths of a mile, and found them plundering the house, and then spoke to some of the enemy, and turned back to the Bracken’s Creek road, and upon it rode back to Meadow River, and came around into my camp, on the position of my artillery. At Nichol’s Mill, at Meadow River, a man told them that 15 of the enemy had been seen there, and at the mouth of the Bracken’s road, on the turnpike, they had met another column, in the rear of the first. Thus they saw the rear of one and the front of another column, but cannot describe their numbers. Amick says he was alone when he saw the enemy. {p.862} Walker joined him at Meadow River, on his way back, and Walker reports hearing their drums at the turnpike, at Sunday road, and at Alderson’s all this morning. Amick says there are none across Gauley, on the other side of Meadow River. I shall hold on here and fight the enemy, expecting them to attack me before sunrise this morning.

Please send forward any empty wagons which can be dispatched from Meadow Bluff.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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No. 48.]

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp near Meadow Bluff, Virginia, September 19, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I have been aware for several days of the advance of the enemy. Before I left the top of the Big Sewell Mountain I was well assured that his plan was to concentrate all his force at an eligible point (which I thought might possibly be Meadow Bluff) on the Turnpike road and to advance upon Lewisburg. I chose this position to meet him, because I believed it to be the most eligible. I regret exceedingly that you did not think proper to bring up my rear, as directed in my order of the 16th, but on the contrary chose to advance in the direction from which I had come. Disastrous consequences, which may ensue from a divided force, may result from this, unless counteracted by some prompt and decided movement. If you still have time, upon the receipt of this, to join my force and make a stand against the enemy at this point. I hope you will see the necessity of doing so at once. The country has a right, I think, to expect the strongest resistance which all the combined forces under my command can make to the advance of this powerful enemy, and I do not think this just expectation should be disappointed.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the Kanawha.

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CAMP NEAR THE TOP OF BIG SEWELL, VIRGINIA., September 19, 1861-9.45 a.m.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: There are two essential mistakes in your note of this day, just put into my hands. You say that you “regret exceedingly that I did not think proper to bring up your rear, as directed in your order of the 16th.” I repeat that I did think proper “to hold my command in readiness to bring up your rear” precisely in the language and sense of your order of the 16th. I justly interpreted your order of that date to mean that I was not to move immediately after your movement. You said in that order that you would move “at once,” and ordered me simply to hold myself in readiness to bring up your rear. That order I have obeyed in letter and in spirit better by remaining here than by moving “at once” after you. I could not move “at once” on the 16th, nor on the l7th, nor on the 18th.

Five of my wagons have been borrowed by your command and not returned, and a number of them had been sent eastward for supplies of {p.863} corn, and to take on not only my own sick, but many of the sick of your command, whom your surgeons left suffering and dying on the way. And I am informed that your quartermaster has stopped some of my wagons, and that others, containing my supplies, have been turned back. I have a large amount of baggage, ammunition, and stores accumulated here, which I am bound to save, and will save from the enemy, who have approached within 6 miles of me in force.

My position here is strong, and is much stronger than that of Meadow Bluff. I can hold it, repulse the enemy, and thus defend your rear, and fall back in due time without the loss of a single thing of value, and before there can be any junction of the enemy’s forces to attack you or any combined forces at Meadow Bluff. I have ascertained this morning that the enemy are not upon the Wilderness road, but they have crossed at Carnifix, and are upon the Bracken’s Creek road, leading from Carnifix to Masten’s, and upon this turnpike from Gauley. They will, if they form a junction at all, form it at Bracken’s Creek, 6 miles west of me.

If they do combine and advance, and our joint forces can repel them at Meadow Bluff, I will repel them here, combined or not combined, and will thus save my stores and supplies, and bring up your rear. You need not re-enforce me here. I will re-enforce you in full time at Meadow Bluff, and, as to the manner of bringing up your rear and saving my command and its baggage and honor, in execution of your order of the 16th, I must, I respectfully urge, be allowed the sound and saving discretion of one trusted with a separate brigade. Further, you not only say that “I did not think proper to bring up your rear, as directed in your order of the 16th, but, on the contrary, chose to advance in the direction from which you had gone.” In respect to that, sir, you have been misinformed or are mistaken. I have not chosen to advance in any direction; but, on the contrary, have retired one of my regiments behind my artillery from its advanced position when you left, and have ordered on all my commissary and quartermaster supplies, not necessarily required immediately, towards your camp. I will make a timely move when I can do so safely and without loss to join your force, and make a stand against the enemy at Meadow Bluff. I do not see the necessity of doing so at once, and in the present state of the roads cannot do so “at once” unless my wagons are speedily sent to me from this, eastward, from your command, from Lewisburg, White Sulphur, and Jackson’s River. I repeat the request that you will have sent to me the five now held by your quartermaster. I will earnestly endeavor to co-operate in making the strongest resistance, and I am doing so by remaining here for the present at least. I will try hard, on my part, not to disappoint any just expectations of the country in resisting the advance of the enemy, between whom and my command there is now but a very short space. When I fail in meeting such expectations I hope that I may be held to the utmost responsibility of my position as a commander, bound to due obedience, and trusted with sound discretion.

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

P. S.-As I finish, the enemy appear four miles and a half from my camp. This is certain. I shall await an attack, and leave it to your better judgment to send re-enforcements or not.

{p.864}

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RICHMOND, VA., September 19, 1861.

Capt. E. T. TUTWILER, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: You will proceed without delay to Millborough, and inform yourself of the amount of transportation required for the prompt supply of General Lee’s command with every description of stores for the army that we sent to that depot to be forwarded. A supply train has no doubt been already organized on the road from Millborough to Huntersville and beyond as far as Valley Mountain. You are authorized to purchase wagons and teams to make the supply train sufficient, and to engage hands to work upon the roads and keep them in order. Major Corley, assistant quartermaster at Huntersville, is the principal officer in the country where General Lee is operating. You will report to him and carry out such instructions as he may give you in furtherance of the duty assigned to you. On your arrival at Millborough you will report to me the amount of supplies on hand to be forwarded to Huntersville. ... You will report yourself to General R. E. Lee when you arrive at his headquarters, and take any orders he may have to give you connected with your special duties.*

A. C. MYERS, Acting Quartermaster-General.

* Some matters of detail omitted.

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LEWISBURG, September 19, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Southern Confederacy:

DEAR SIR: Influenced by no other motive than the promotion of the cause of the Southern Confederacy, I deem it my duty to make to you a statement of a few facts that have come under my own personal observation with regard to the condition of affairs in the western division of our army, a condition which I think must result in nothing but disaster to the cause unless remedied, and that very soon. I allude to the unfriendly relations existing between the two generals, Floyd and Wise. They are as inimical to each other as men can be, and from their course and actions I am fully satisfied that each of them would be highly gratified to see the other annihilated. I have spent a few days recently in their encampments, and learn that there is great dissatisfaction existing among the officers as well as the privates, and am of opinion that it would be much better for the service if they were both deposed, and some military general appointed in their stead to take command of both their divisions. This I am sure would be gratifying to the commandants of the different regiments, and would insure success to our cause, at least in this division of our Army. It would be just as easy to combine oil and water as to expect a union of action between these gentlemen.

I have taken this liberty and responsibility, though a perfect stranger to you, of presenting these facts, in the hope that they may bring about an investigation of the matter, and will refer you to Governor Letcher, Wyndham Robertson, esq., William H. Macfarland, esq., William F. Ritchie, esq., and other prominent individuals of Richmond City.

Believing that you are not aware of this condition of things, and hoping that the needful remedy may be applied at once, I am, very respectfully and truly, your obedient servant,

MASON MATHEWS.

{p.865}

[Indorsement.]

LEWISBURG, September 19, 1861.

Mr. Mathews, the author of the foregoing letter, has been and still is our county representative in the legislature-a gentleman of truth and intelligence, whose statements are entitled to the fullest credit. In addition to what he states we have understood from other sources that a great want of harmony exists between Generals Floyd and Wise. The remedy for this dangerous evil we submit to your cooler and better judgment.

Very truly and respectfully,

SAML. PRICE. M. ARBUCKLE.

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LEWISBURG, VA., September 19, 1861.

To the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES:

Your Excellency will excuse, I hope, the liberty which I have taken of addressing you, a few lines relative to the apprehensions which cause much anxiety in our community and the circumstances which have given rise to them. At the time of the battle at Camp Gauley General Wise was at the Hawk’s Nest, a short distance this side of Gauley Bridge. Cox’s encampment and our militia 1,500 or 1,800 strong, were at Cotton Hill, opposite to Cox, on the western side of New River, near its confluence with Gauley. In the battle of Camp Gauley our loss was some 5 or 6 wounded, and from all we can learn the slaughter of the enemy was terrific. I have conversed with individuals who were in the engagement, but they could only infer from the exposed condition of the enemy and the quantity of grape, &c., thrown amongst them their probable loss. They suppose it to have been great, but reports from persons in the neighborhood, who got their information from the enemy, represent his loss to have been tremendous. The dead and wounded, they say, amounted to thousands. After the battle General Floyd crossed Gauley and retreated to a point on the James River and Kanawha Turnpike road, about 12 miles south of where the battle was fought-Dogwood Gap. There he was joined by General Wise. Both subsequently retreated to Big Sewell, about 30 miles west of this place, where General Wise yet remains, but General Floyd retreated on Monday night last to Meadow Bluff 16 miles west of Lewisburg. On yesterday we learned that he was again moving west, but I am unable to say whether by the turnpike or the Wilderness road leading to Summersville, and crossing Gauley at Hughes’ Ferry. From the time the battle of Gauley Camp occurred we have been anxiously expecting that General Lee would follow Rosecrans to Summersville, and many reports have reached us that he was doing so, but I fear our hopes in this respect are unfounded. We have no positive knowledge that the enemy in force has yet crossed Gauley, but it is said that his scouts have done so, and I apprehend that he will soon learn that Floyd’s and Wise’s forces combined are much less than his own. Heretofore I believe he has overestimated our strength. We do not know Rosecrans’ strength in the battle of Camp Gauley, or rather the exact number of men with which he marched into Nicholas. It is variously reported at from 7,000 to 12,000 I am disposed to believe the smaller number nearly correct. But a union with Cox will give him probably 10,000 men, unless his {p.866} reported loss in the battle with Floyd be correct. This force would be too strong for our generals, even if they acted in harmony and concert, which I am very sorry to say I fear they do not from the reports current in the country. Indeed, I have been requested by a gentleman of high standing to write to you upon this subject; but as I know personally nothing of the facts, and am so loath to conclude that two gentlemen so distinguished could permit private feelings of any character to interfere with the discharge of duties so vitally important as those now devolving upon them, I even allude to the matter with extreme reluctance. Inasmuch, however, as the matter is one commonly talked of here, I have concluded to refer to it, confident that a gentleman of your administrative talent and general acquaintance with mankind will know best what weight to attach to it, and whether or not it calls for action on your part. A report has just reached me (3 p.m.) that General Wise has left Sewell and retired several miles nearer to Lewisburg, and is now at Frazier’s, 26 miles west of this, and that he has sent for all to join him who can, as he expects an attack from the enemy. Since beginning my letter I learn that General Floyd is to-day at Meadow Bluff, I also learn that a dispatch has been forwarded to Richmond.

I have thus, my dear sir, given you briefly the circumstances which cause us much solicitude. I really fear that our county and town are in great danger of falling into the hands of the enemy, and such an event would indeed be deplorable, not only to our loyal citizens, but to our cause. I hope you will do something for us, and that speedily.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. H. SYME.

P. S.-Messrs. Price and Mathews some months since, at my instance, addressed you, inclosing a note in pencil from myself. I refer to this fact that you may form some idea of myself, &c.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 157.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., September 19, 1861.

...

6. Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith, Provisional Army, will proceed to Manassas, Va., and report for duty to General J. E. Johnston, commanding the Army of the Potomac.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, September 20, 1861.

General T. H. HOLMES, Aquia Creek:

GENERAL: In the present condition of Maryland the Government feels a deep solicitude in behalf of the unfortunate citizens who are cut off from all hope of escaping from the tyranny exercised over them. I do not desire to make any special order in relation to the mode of securing you against the abuse of such facilities as can be afforded for crossing the Potomac, but it is necessary that some means of passage for our friends be kept open if at all possible. It occurs to me that you might place some one or more confidential officers in command of the {p.867} point where the boats make their landing on our side, and by proper police regulations guard yourself against spies while affording means of passage for the inhabitants who are seeking refuge with us, as well as for the recruits who desire to join our service. I leave the mode of securing the safety of your command against the intrusion of spies to your discretion, and content myself with requesting that you open the communication at the earliest possible moment in such manner as you may think best.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, September 20, 1861.

Lieut. Col. A. C. MYERS, Acting Quartermaster-General:

SIN: General Johnston telegraphs the President from Fairfax Station that his chief quartermaster reports that the cars are never unnecessarily detained at Manassas, but unloaded as soon as possible after arriving. The truth on this subject must be ascertained, and the party actually in fault for the detention of the cars and the obstruction in the regular transportation service must be detected. You are therefore instructed to make immediate examination and report to me the facts in the case. The contradictory statements now reported to me officially demand that I should know which of the officers has made a report unfounded in fact.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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MILLBOROUGH, VA., September 20, 1861.

His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS:

I have just received a note from Major Harman, inclosing a dispatch from you stating that you understood that cars were detained here for the purpose of store-houses, and that the cars were wanted, and must be sent down.

The small county of Rockbridge is the only place that I have had to press teams; I have had them in service now for about two months, and, the roads being in such a terrible state, most of them are now broken down, either horses or wagons. I have never been able to get any teams from Staunton, where they have a fine rich country to get teams from.

In consequence of this, provisions have accumulated upon me to such an extent, that I have had to keep some twelve or fifteen cars for several days.

I will immediately have sheds erected to put provisions in, and have them unloaded as soon as possible. We have some ten or fifteen days’ provisions ahead with the army.

I would respectfully refer you to General Loring or to Major Corley, the quartermaster of the northwest, for the manner in which provisions have been forwarded from this place heretofore and for the disadvantages under which I have labored.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. POWELL, Captain, Acting Quartermaster.

{p.868}

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CAMP AT MEADOW BLUFF, VIRGINIA, September 21, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE, Wise’s Legion, Camp on Big Sewell, Virginia:

I have just arrived at this camp, and regret to find the forces not united. I know nothing of the relative advantages of the points occupied by yourself and General Floyd, but as far as I can judge our united forces are not more than one-half of the strength of the enemy. Together they may not be able to stand his assault. It would be the height of imprudence to submit them separately to his attack. I am told by General Floyd your position is a very strong one. This one I have not examined, but it seems to have the advantage of yours, in commanding the Wilderness road and the approach to Lewisburg, which I think is the aim of General Rosecrans. I beg therefore, if not too late, that the troops be united, and that we conquer or die together. You have spoken to me of want of consultation and concert; let that pass till the enemy is driven back, and then, as far as I cant all shall be arranged. I expect this of your magnanimity. Consult that and the interest of our cause, and all will go well.

With high respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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FRAZIER’S, September 21, 1861-5 p.m.

General R. E. LEE:

GENERAL: I have just returned from feeling the enemy, being out all night and driving in their pickets this morning, and finding their precise position; but, wet, weary, and fatigued as I am, your note reads so like a rebuke, which I do not think I deserve that I do not dry or warm my person or lose a moment without replying. I am so desirous to deserve and to have your good opinion and approbation, sir, that you must permit me to be plain in saying that I apprehend you have been told something else besides the fact that my position is a very strong one, and regret that I was not heard before inferences were made to which I cannot consent or correct. In the first place, I consider my force united with that of General Floyd as much as it ever has been, and in a way the most effectual for co-operation. General Floyd has about 3,800, and I about 2,200 men, of all arms, and of these at least 5,500 are efficient. The enemy can now spare from Gauley not more than 2,000 men, and has not elsewhere, with which to attack us in any short time, more than from 4,000 to 5,000 men. If he can be driven to attack General Floyd at Meadow Bluff, advancing by the Wilderness road, he must do it without artillery, and 3,000 men can repulse him as long as he is compelled to divide his force in nearly equal parts in order to bring his artillery at all, as he can bring it only by this turnpike. If he brings it by this turnpike he will be repulsed easily by the Legion, if his force on this road does not exceed 3,500 men. Colonel Davis’ successful attack on him in the Kanawha Valley, within 12 miles of Charleston, has drawn two of his regiments to the Lower Valley, and the utmost estimate of his force within not less than 6 miles of my camp is 3,000. But 250 tents, of 6 men each, have been counted, and I have driven in his pickets, and killed one of them, to-day, with five companies of infantry only, with impunity.

So much for this road, except that while I am 6 miles from our enemy (who dares not attack me or to advance), my camp is less than {p.869} 12 miles from General Floyd’s, and we can reciprocally support each other against a divided enemy better than we, combined, can defend against him, combined, at Meadow Bluff. With General Floyd’s co-operation here the enemy, combined, cannot turn our flanks. He can easily turn either flank at Meadow Bluff. But this is speculation. I know the country well and have scouted the enemy close. He is not yet combined on this turnpike between me and Gauley, and he is not on the Wilderness road at all. He began to advance upon that road and retreated; and if he is to combine on either road, it will be on this turnpike, between me and Gauley. If that be the fact, it will be better to meet him combined on our own part here. It is immeasurably a stronger position than that of Meadow Bluff. But this even aside, I tell you that he is not going to advance on Lewisburg at all by either road against either position. His main object now is to preserve his base line from Gauley to Huttonsville. He dreads you too much, sir, to advance on Lewisburg while your force is in position to advance on Summersville or to strike his rear from Huntersville. I concur in the imprudence of dividing our forces, but submit, most respectfully, that this is the far stronger position in which to combine, notwithstanding Meadow Bluff is said to command the Wilderness road. That position, I hold, commands nothing, by General Floyd’s forces and mine, combined, against 7,000 of the enemy well commanded; and this commands all that can be commanded by our joint forces in the defense of Lewisburg. The two roads and the two positions had perhaps better be examined, I respectfully submit, before my judgment is condemned. But, sir, I am ready to join General Floyd wherever you command, and you do not say where. I will join him here or at Meadow Bluff. The enemy, while I am writing, has been firing on my pickets, as just reported, from the other side of Big Sewell. I chased him to-day a half mile beyond Keeny’s, his reported position day before yesterday, and he is now feigning to advance as I retire to camp. I laugh him to scorn, and do not stop writing, as I know he wishes to retire more now than I do. Just say, then, where we are to unite and “conquer or die together” against an enemy who dares not to advance upon the rear guard of a retreat, which has sullenly stopped, turned front, and defied all odds of attack. I have been consulted but twice, and then each time all concert was thwarted by every step of action taken in contradiction to my understanding of joint council. I have let that pass. I was obliged to, for want of relief, and turned all my wrath away from my superior upon the common enemy, whom I am now trying successfully to check, if not to drive back. I stop his artillery, and Meadow Bluff cannot stand it. I ask no consideration, no promises of any sort, to do my duty. I will delight to obey you, sir, even when rebuked. Where common justice has been done me, I trust I have never failed, and never will, to be generous, and I challenge contradiction of the honest, earnest claim for myself, that no man consults more the interest of the cause, according to his best ability and means, than I do. I am ready to do, suffer, and die for it, and I trust, sir, that I may cite you triumphantly as a chief witness of the truth and justice of that claim whenever and-by whomsoever it may be assailed. Any imputation upon my motives or intentions in that respect by my superior would make me, perhaps, no longer a military subordinate of any man who breathes. I am sure you mean to cast no such imputation, whoever else may dare. I trust all will go well, most confidently, in your hands.

I am, with the highest respect and esteem, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE.

{p.870}

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LEWISBURG, VA., September 21, 1861.

To the PRESIDENT:

DEAR SIR: I took the liberty of addressing you by the last mail relative to the anxieties of our people; the proximity and strength of the enemy; the positions of our forces and their numerical strength; our generals, &c.

Since writing reports have reached Lewisburg that the enemy have crossed Gauley, and were advancing by the James River and Kanawha Turnpike eastwardly, and on yesterday they were said to be approaching the western base of Big Sewell Mountain, some 34 or 35 miles west of this. It was also said that General Wise, posted just on this side of the top of Big Sewell, was expecting an attack. I understand that Colonel Henningsen regards General Wise’s position as a strong one. I have not heard whether General Floyd has gone to the support of General Wise. At last accounts he was at Meadow Bluff 16 miles west of this.

Our citizens were much pleased at the arrival of General Lee in our town this morning, en route for the west. He passed through, and I suppose by this time has reached Meadow Bluff. He had with him only an escort of cavalry, and I have not heard of any re-enforcement to our little army being expected from Cheat Mountain. His presence in our midst has, however, given great satisfaction, as it assures us that, should the reports of want of harmony and concert have been well founded, no ill consequence can now flow from that source.

I observe that the Richmond Dispatch estimates Rosecrans’ army, in the neighborhood of Gauley, at 20,000 men. I think, from all I can learn, this estimate too high, but am yet well assured that our force is entirely too small to accomplish anything of moment upon the Kanawha Valley. Availing himself of our mountain passes, I hope General Lee will be able to prevent the enemy’s farther progress eastwardly, but I fear he will be compelled to abandon all offensive operations until strengthened. Could a few regiments be sent down the western side of New River to the mouth of Gauley and 3,000 or 4,000 men be added to General Wise’s and General Floyd’s forces from Cheat Mountain, we might be able, I think, to cut off Rosecrans’ supplies, and probably force him to a surrender. The repossession of the Kanawha Valley is a matter of very great moment to this section of country, and the occupation of Greenbrier by the enemy would, I fear, be deplorably demoralizing in its effect.

A large number of our young men are enlisted in the war, and out of our seven or eight companies two are at Manassas and one with General Loring.

I hope your excellency will do for us all in your power, for should the enemy succeed in his efforts to “hold, occupy, and possess” Greenbrier, I greatly fear that the difficulty of defending Richmond will be materially enhanced.

We started this morning for Richmond some 42 prisoners, taken by Col. J. Lucius Davis, of Wise’s brigade, in Boone County. They are a part of the miscreant band which burned Boone Court-House. Through respect to those holy laws which we are not at liberty to disobey, no matter how vile their conduct, we must extend towards our enemies the benefit of Christian charity and forbearance; but truly our people have been sorely tempted, and it is no less a matter of astonishment than of rejoicing that they have so constantly manifested that noble characteristic of the brave-mercy towards the fallen.

{p.871}

We have entire confidence in General Lee, and doubt not he will do all for us that can be done.

With the highest esteem and respect, your most obedient servant,

W. H. SYME.

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QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., September 21, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:

SIR: I received your letter of yesterday in regard to the reported detention of cars at Manassas, and, in obedience to your instructions, have the honor to inform you that I received a telegraph yesterday from Major Cabell, chief of the quartermaster’s department at Manassas, informing me that the cars of the Central Railroad were never unnecessarily detained at Manassas, and that no cars were now there. His dispatch was in reply to mine ordering the cars immediately to Richmond. I had been informed by a railroad president that some hundred railroad cars were detained at Manassas.

Several of the Central Railroad cars are detained at Millborough, beyond Staunton. As far as I can discover, there is a mistake in the report of the detention at Manassas.

The superintendent of the Central Railroad, in his reply to my questions to him on the subject of the detention of cars at Manassas, concludes with these words: “I have been misinformed.”

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. C. MYERS, Quartermaster-General.

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RICHMOND, September 22, 1861.

A. G. MYERS, Quartermaster-General:

SIR: I have your letter of 21st instant, which exonerates from blame the quartermaster at Manassas, but this is only half the result required in my letter to you of the 20th instant. I desire to know whose is the fault that the transportation on the road was so blocked up-by the absence of cars from Richmond that the Commissary-General was unable to get one thousand barrels of flour conveyed to the army in an emergency. We have now a definite issue before us. You have ascertained that the blame was not attributable to the officer at Manassas. Who was the delinquent? 12 must insist that the investigation be pursued until the question is satisfactorily answered.

Please to report as early as possible.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS, BROOKE’S STATION, September 22, 1861.

Col. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: Yours of the 20th instant is received. I do not see how it is possible for me to aid the fugitive patriots in escaping from Maryland. {p.872} They excite my liveliest sympathy, and I have given orders that the troops in the neighborhood of Mathias Point shall extend to them every facility should an opportunity occur. All persons coming from Maryland are permitted to land, but very few, and those under the pass of the War Department, are permitted to return or visit Maryland.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your excellency’s obedient servant,

TH. H. HOLMES, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS, NEAR FARR’S CROSS-ROADS, September 22, 1861.

To the PRESIDENT:

SIR: In confirmation of my telegram to you in relation to the detention of cars at Manassas, I respectfully submit a letter from Major Cabell, chief quartermaster, and a note to him from the agent of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

CHIEF QUARTERMASTER’S OFFICE, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, September 19, 1861.

Maj. THOMAS G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

MAJOR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a telegram which was received from President Davis by General Johnston, and referred to me.

In reply, I beg leave to state that I received a telegram from Colonel Myers, Quartermaster-General, early this morning, and made the necessary inquiry and issued the necessary orders to have the cars sent down at once. There are no cars detained for storage either at this place or Manassas, nor have I ordered or allowed any cars to be taken for that purpose. No cars of the Central Railroad, from which the complaint originated, I understand from the president of the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, have been detained here. There were, so he informs me, but twelve cars at Manassas Junction, and those belonged there, yesterday evening, and the military superintendent of the road was informed of that from Manassas by the agent of the road. I have given this my personal attention, and have never permitted cars to be detained here a longer time than it was absolutely necessary to unload them, and I cannot understand why the delays are always attributed to this place. From the best information I can obtain, the delay of the cars is on the western terminus of the Central road, at a place called Millborough, and when investigated it will in my opinion prove correct.

It is impossible to unload a train of cars in an hour, but every exertion is made to unload cars promptly, and to insure a speedy unloading when troops arrive the baggage is always taken and placed on the side of the track before the tents are pitched. I feel confident that an investigation {p.873} of this will show that no cars have been detained for a longer time than absolutely required for unloading.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. L. CABELL, Chief Quartermaster Army of the Potomac.

P. S.-I inclose a note from the railroad agent at Manassas.

W. L. CABELL, Major and Quartermaster.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

MANASSAS, September 20, 1861.

Maj. W. L. CABELL:

DEAR SIR: In answer to your inquiry I would state that the cars at this place are unloaded with all possible dispatch and returned. There are none in use as store cars.

Yours, very respectfully,

JAMES A. EVANS, Agent.

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HEADQUARTERS, NEAR FAIRFAX STATION, September 22, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:

SIR: I had the honor to receive this morning your letter of the 19th instant and the correspondence inclosed with it.

The President had already, by telegraph, given me orders on the same subject. As evidence against the correctness of the charge, I laid before him letters from Major Cabell, chief quartermaster, and Mr. Evans, agent of the railroad company. Copies of the same letters are respectfully submitted to you.* I hope that they may convince you that the negligence with which we are charged does not exist.

I beg leave to suggest that flour could be bought at very moderate prices in the valley of the Shenandoah, and brought to us, with certainty as to time, on the Manassas Gap Railroad.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

* See Johnston to President, same date, p. 872.

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CAMP ON SEWELL, VA., September 23, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding Forces, &c.:

GENERAL: The enemy are in strong force on the Big Sewell, I believe in full force (of at least 3,000 men), and a scout just in from Nichol’s Mill says 7,000 are reported there. I saw the masses crossing the top of Big Sewell, with artillery and cavalry. We could see about four regiments, and now count thirty camp fires. Their advance commenced firing at mine about one-half hour or an hour by sun. I cannot retire my baggage wagons or other present incumbrances. It is now 12 o’clock at night, and we are expecting an attack. My cavalry has crossed New River to this side, and there are none of the enemy on the old State road. Every few hours I get reports from Nichol’s Mill, and there have not been seen any but a few stragglers there. The idea of the {p.874} enemy passing from Sunday road to the Wilderness road by Nichol’s Mill is simply absurd. There is hardly a trail there. If one, no army can possibly pass it that would startle a hare. I am compelled to stand here and fight as long as I can endure and ammunition lasts. All is at stake with my command, and it shall be sold dearly.

I am, very respectfully,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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CAMP, MEADOW BLUFF, VIRGINIA, September 23, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE, Commanding:

SIR: I have just received your dispatch of this date, saying that the enemy has occupied Sewell Mountain in full force. It is difficult, without knowing more of the facts in the case; to suggest what is your best course. It will depend upon the force against you and your force-power to withstand it. If you cannot resist it, and are able to withdraw your command, you had best do so. At any rate, send to the rear all your incumbrances. It is reported this evening that the enemy is coming from Sunday road, by Nichol’s Mill, to the Wilderness road. Should that prove true, General Floyd cannot advance to your aid, but may have to retire. The presence of the enemy before you may be a feint, to keep you in position while they advance by other roads to the rear of General Floyd. If you find that out and cannot disperse them, retire at once. As soon as anything reliable can be ascertained of the reported movements of the enemy on the Wilderness road you will be informed. Colonel Croghan, with his cavalry, has gone on the old State and Chestnutburg roads, to ascertain if there are any movements of the enemy there.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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SEPTEMBER 23, 1861.

Maj. Gen. R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I am directed by General Wise to say that the enemy in very heavy columns has occupied the top of Sewell Mountain. Infantry, artillery, and cavalry are all plainly visible from our camp, about 1 mile distant. They have not as yet opened fire, and are reported by some of our cavalry as fortifying. When my last letter of to-day was written, I had just returned from the mission of truce, and the enemy came as fast as I did.

With great respect,

NAT. TYLER, Lieutenant-Colonel, Infantry, C. S. Army.

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CAMP ON SEWELL, VA., September 23, 1861.

Maj. Gen. R. E. LEE, Commanding:

GENERAL: I am directed by General Wise to send you a copy of a letter addressed by me to him, and to say that Captain Magruder reports {p.875} the number of tents of the enemy now to be seen as munch less than before their late retreat; that he is also of the opinion that General Rosecrans is no longer with General Cox, and that the army now threatening Sewell is in command of General Cox only. I will add that Major Bacon and the other officers who accompanied me with the flag of truce concur in the opinion I have expressed in my letter to General Wise. At the same time it is only an opinion, while the circumstances under which it was forwarded are faithfully stated in my letter to General Wise.

Very respectfully, yours,

NAT. TYLER, Lieutenant-Colonel First Regiment Wise’s Legion.

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QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL’S DEPARTMENT, Richmond, September 23, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:

SIR: I have received your letter of the 22d instant in reply to a report I made you in reference to the detention of railroad cars at Manassas, which I supposed was the main object of your first inquiry on this subject. Your letter to which I now have the honor of replying remarks, “We have now a definite issue before us, to find out the delinquent, and to pursue the investigation until the question is satisfactorily answered.” I inclose herewith a letter from the superintendent of the Central Railroad and one from Maj. W. S. Ashe, assistant quartermaster, specially charged with the superintendence of railroad transportation, from which I gather the fact that the road was idle for some time, and sought to transport public stores without receiving them, and that on a sudden a requisition was made for the transportation of 1,000 barrels of flour, which the road had not the capacity to accomplish.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. C. MYERS, Acting Quartermaster-General.

[Inclosure No. 1.]

RICHMOND, September 23, 1861.

Col. A. C. MYERS, Quartermaster-General:

DEAR SIR: Your letter, inclosing one from the Secretary of War, asking information relative to the detention in the transportation of flour, was duly received. Not having heard of this detention, I sent the letter to the superintendent of the Central Railroad for the information desired. His reply to the inquiry I inclose you. I am confident that he is right in stating that a few weeks back he sought transportation of provisions, observing that his cars were going out empty of Government freight, and he would like to have it sent so as to reach him gradually. This fact, if I mistake not, I brought to your attention.

I will, in addition to what he states, remark that it is almost impossible, without previous notice, to transport, on the moment, such a large amount as 1,000 barrels of provisions. It appears from the response of the superintendent that a portion of them went off on the same day the order was given, the balance on the next and the ensuing day. Although this dispatch was not such as was desired, yet I think it was so prompt, that it relieves the company from any charge of dereliction of duty.

{p.876}

I avail myself of this opportunity to call your attention to the absolute necessity of having cars loaded with freight discharged as soon as practicable. Every moment’s delay is felt more than any person who is not acquainted with railroad schedules can conceive of. This should not only be done at the various destinations of freight, but also here in Richmond. I am satisfied that a depot situated near the line of the railroad should be established, so that cars so loaded could be discharged without the aid of wagons, &c.

With respect,

W. S. ASHE.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

VIRGINIA CENTRAL RAILROAD, GENERAL SUPERINTENDENT’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., September 23, 1861.

Maj. W. S. ASHE, Quartermaster, &c.:

SIR: In answer to the letter from Acting Secretary of War to Col. A. C. Myers, Quartermaster-General, I respectfully submit the following information:

There are three causes why the Government freight has been detained to some extent, as follows:

1st. The want of rolling stock. This road was provided with barely stock enough for the transportation of produce, &c., in ordinary times, and even then we had delays from want of cars at certain seasons. Now we have the armies of the West, the Northwest, and of the Potomac, the population of a considerable city, to supply. I think I am reasonable in saying that 75 per cent. of the supplies for this army is taken over some portion of our road.

2d. The Government freight is irregular. Two weeks since (I write from memory) I applied to you, as you may recollect, for freight to transport, for I feared the very state of affairs which has since occurred, and for want of Government freight we were transporting goods and merchandise for private parties. Then came this rush upon us, to be followed by another leisure spell.

3d. Want of storage room at several of the points where goods are sent from by wagons to the army at Manassas, Fairfax, and Millborough. At these points goods have remained in the cars, because they could not be unloaded for want of storage. It is not long since one of my employés, one who is considered a reliable man, saw thirteen trains at Manassas; eleven of these were loaded. Some of the trains probably came from Lynchburg. But as we have never sent more than two freight trains from Richmond to Manassas, you must see that there has been detention at one time, to say the least. I have no doubt there was good cause for it. I know that the cars have been detained at Millborough. There were probably fifty loaded cars there on Friday last. You have been obliged to issue orders to have them unloaded without a shelter for the goods. In future I suppose this cause of delay will not trouble us.

But with all the delays I can assure you that the detention in Richmond has not been serious. My impression is that it has not exceeded forty-eight hours, except in the case of the flour mentioned. The order for that came the 18th. We sent seventy barrels that day, and the last of the lot was loaded the 21st and went off this morning.

We are taking no private freights without permission from the quartermaster’s office.

Very respectfully,

H. D. WHITCOMB, General Superintendent.

{p.877}

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 160.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., September 23, 1861.

...

ll. Col. George E. Pickett, Provisional Army, is assigned to temporary command on the Lower Rappahannock, which will include the troops operating on either side of that river. He will repair to Fredericksburg, Va., and report to Brigadier-General Holmes, commanding that department.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, September 24, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Fairfax Court-House:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I received your message by the Prince of Polignac. You are aware, I presume, that General Van Dorn has been appointed a major-general, and will report to General Johnston. This will give to the army two major-generals, and will somewhat relieve the labors of General Johnston and yourself. I suggest to you that you converse with General Johnston, and determine between yourselves what divisions you would like to have favored, and which of the brigadier-generals you would both recommend for promotion as major-general.

Without, of course, considering your recommendations as conclusive, both the President and myself would consider them as entitled to great weight, and I doubt not we would be able to gratify the wishes of General Johnston and yourself.

Very truly, yours,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, September 24, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Army of Potomac, Manassas:

SIR: I have just received your letter of 22d instant, in reply to mine of 19th. I was gratified to ascertain before receiving your reply that there was no truth in the assertion that the delay was caused by the detention of the cars at Manassas, and I am resolute to discover who was really to blame, the more especially for making to me an unfounded written statement in relation to the public service. I find that by oversight the original written statements of the parties were inclosed to you in my letter of 19th instant and no copies reserved in the office. Please return them to me at once, retaining copies if you desire them.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, September 24, 1861.

Brig. Gen. ROBERT TOOMBS, Fairfax Court-House:

MY DEAR SIR: ... The President says you are mistaken in considering the Army of the Potomac as two distinct corps d’armée. It {p.878} is one army, under command of General Johnston, who commands in chief. He suggests, therefore, that you make your application on the subject to General Johnston.*

Yours, very truly,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

* Personal matter omitted.

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MEADOW BLUFF, VIRGINIA, September 24, 1861-4 a.m.

General HENRY A. WISE, Commanding, &c., Camp on Sewell, Virginia:

GENERAL: Your dispatch of the 23d is just received. I am glad to hear that the force of the enemy in your front does not exceed 3,000. No information that is reliable has been received at this camp from Wilderness road or the Chestnutburg road, nor have I any more tidings of the enemy passing from the Sunday road to the Wilderness read than I have already given. It seems from your letter that by the report of one of your scouts, there are 7,000 at Nichol’s Mill. In another part of your letter you state that only a few stragglers are there. I am unable, therefore, to form any opinion as to their numbers at that point. I regret to hear that you cannot retire your baggage wagons, &c., and are compelled to remain, as at the distance you are from support it may jeopardize the whole command. Please send word whether you have sufficient ammunition, and any information as to the operations of the enemy that may serve to regulate the movements of General Floyd.

I am, with high respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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CAMP DEFIANCE, BIG SEWELL, VIRGINIA, September 24, 1861-7.15 a.m.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Last night in camp, very busy. In pencil I noted what my secretary should communicate to you. I infer from your note of 4 o’clock this morning that he must have reversed everything I noted. The enemy’s force in my front is from three to seven thousand. None of them on the old State road, where I have a strong force of cavalry far down below this position, and none even at Nichol’s Mill except two stragglers. I sent you no reliable information last night about any road leading from the Sunday to the Wilderness road. There is no such road, or, if any, it is an impassable trail to any but foot, and no enemy yet seen on the Nichol’s Mill road in any force. I tell you emphatically, sir, that the enemy are advancing in strong force on this turnpike. They are not advancing on the old State road at all, as yet, and none but two stragglers were seen yesterday at or near Nichol’s Mill. Their advance ceased firing at dark last evening, wounding Captain Lewis and 2 privates, neither mortally, though Lewis severely. They were quiet last night, and we are ready this morning. I have a good supply of ammunition and provisions; shall keep them here, and start away my baggage wagons, if I can, this morning. I trust, at least, that their retreat can be protected and guarded by General Floyd’s command. If {p.879} you order me to retreat, I ask that my wagons may be emptied of their baggage and the teamsters be forwarded back to me, to take off the ammunition and supplies. I desire to save everything, if compelled to retire.

With the highest respect,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

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CAMP DEFIANCE, VIRGINIA, September 24, 1861.

Maj. Gen. R. E. LEE, Commanding:

GENERAL: I am directed by General Wise to say to you that the enemy are advancing from their position on Big Sewell towards our lines.

Very respectfully,

NAT. TYLER.

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CAMP DEFIANCE, BIG SEWELL, VIRGINIA, September 25, 1861-5.5 o’clock.

General R. E. LEE:

GENERAL: By your aide (under the approach and fire of the enemy, at a stand, made under my orders, where the struggle will be severe, whatever be the result) I received the within order from the Acting Secretary of War.* It is imperative, requiring “the least delay,” but it could not have foreseen these circumstances-the most extremely embarrassing to me. I come to you for counsel, and will abide by it, because I have been under your eye, and you are competent to judge my act and its motive, whatever it may be. I desire to delay my report in person until after the fate of this battle. Dare I do so? On the other hand, can I, in honor, leave you at this moment, though the disobedience of the order may subject me to the severest penalties? Will you please advise and instruct me?

I am, with the highest respect and esteem, your obedient servant,

HENRY A. WISE, Brigadier-General.

* Not found.

[Answer.]

[No date.]

GENERAL: I will briefly state, in answer to your inquiry, appreciating, as I do, the reluctance and embarrassment you feel at leaving your Legion at this time, what I should feel compelled to do, as a military man, under like circumstances. That is, to obey the President’s order. The enemy is in our presence and testing the strength of our position. What may be the result, whether he will determine to attack or whether we may retire, cannot now be foreseen. I can conceive the desire your command would have for your presence, yet they will also do justice to your position.

With highest esteem, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

{p.880}

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STAUNTON, VA., September 25, 1861.

General COOPER:

SIR: By an order of General Jackson I have brought the two companies (I and K) of the Twentieth Regiment Virginia Volunteers to this place, to await further orders. From the fact that the two companies have been ordered from active service to this place, I ask leave to submit to you, sir, a report of their condition. They have been engaged in active duties since the 3d of June last.

After our disastrous retreat from Rich Mountain all the companies of the Twentieth Regiment asked to retain home for the purpose of recruiting, except Companies I and K. We were ordered to form a separate battalion, and to act as a guard to Captain Shumaker’s battery of Danville artillery, which position we have occupied ever since, up to the late order of General Jackson. Shortly after our retreat, before the men could recover from cold contracted from exposure, the measles broke out in our company. In Company I alone there were 50 cases. The men have mostly recovered from the measles, but the debility consequent upon this disease has left them unfit for the hard service of the northwest.

There are at present here now 38 men, rank and file, of Company I. Of this number there are not more than 25 who would be fit for duty. The most of the company were granted furloughs from this place and Richmond, and from last accounts they were, or most of them, convalescent. The same statement is true of Company K. Besides the sickness in Company I at this time 7 have died and 6 were taken prisoners. Company K is under command of first lieutenant in Company I, it being destitute of a commander. Two of their lieutenants were taken prisoners at Rich Mountain. The other has since died. Their captain has been lying in Richmond sick for the last two or three weeks.

In view of all these facts I most respectfully suggest that if it is not the purpose of the Government to muster these companies out of service, they be permitted to visit their homes under a furlough for thirty days, to recruit their health and attend to their business-such as would need their immediate presence to transact. I will further say that, under favorable circumstances, in thirty days each of these companies ought to report at least 60 men, rank and file.

Respectfully submitted.

JOSEPH JONES, Captain, Comdg. Companies I and K Twentieth Reg’t Va. Vols.

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RICHMOND, VA., September 25, 1861.

JACOB VAN METER and others, Hardy County, Virginia:

GENTLEMEN: In reply to your memorial [of 10th instant] to the President, I have to say that it is hoped the expectations entertained by the citizens of Hardy County with regard to the operation of General Lee’s army will be realized, but in any event attention will be given to their exposed condition at the earliest possible moment.

Respectfully,

A. T. BLEDSOE, Chief of Bureau of War.

{p.881}

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KANAWHA, September 25, 1861.

Maj. ISAAC B. DUNN:

SIR: Your note September 23 is at hand. In reply I am instructed by General Floyd to say that he would urge you to send up his re-enforcements with all possible dispatch. To this end you will use every possible effort to get transportation for them upon arrival at Jackson River Depot. The enemy have concentrated their entire available force in Western and Northwestern Virginia on this road, and it is absolutely necessary to the command of General Floyd and to the cause that he should have re-enforcements, and this speedily. The enemy have already appeared before Wise in large force. General Lee went to his succor with four of General Floyd’s regiments, which leaves the latter with a very small force. Hence you see the necessity of rapid re-enforcements.

By order of Brig. Gen. John B. Floyd:

WILLIAM E. PETERS, Assistant Adjutant-General, Floyd’s Brigade.

P. S.-General Wise was fighting yesterday, but with what success I have not learned.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 31.}

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, September 25, 1861.

I. Maj. Gen. Gustavus W. Smith, Provisional Army Confederate States, is assigned to the command of the Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac.

II. The Second Corps will consist of the troops of this army not heretofore assigned to the First Corps.

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, September 26, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR Richmond:

SIR: The troops now under my command occupy a front of about 6 miles from Flint Hill, through Fairfax Court-House and Fairfax Station, to Sangster’s Cross-Roads. An advance guard of eleven regiments of infantry and Colonel Stuart’s cavalry is stationed at Falls Church, Munson’s and Mason’s Hills, at Padgett’s (where the Columbian turnpike enters that from Alexandria to Fairfax), and at Springfield Station, on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. Munson’s Hill is apparently little more than 3 miles from the enemy’s line of works on the heights extending from Georgetown to Alexandria. I assumed this advanced position as soon as the repair of the railroad enabled the Quartermaster’s and Commissary Departments to afford us supplies with a twofold object-to {p.882} remove the troops from the unhealthy atmosphere of the valley of Bull Run and to be ready to turn the enemy’s position and advance into Maryland whenever the strength of this army would justify it. By ordering the troops forward, besides securing healthy and comfortable locations, we could keep better watch over the enemy and maintain an attitude in accordance with our recent victory. Thus fain the numbers and condition of this army have at no time justified our assuming the offensive. To do so would require more men and munitions.

We are not now in a strong defensive position either to fight a battle or to hold the enemy in check. The position was occupied for a different purpose. It is now necessary to decide definitely whether we are to advance or fall back to a more defensible line. There are very grave and serious objections to the latter course, and the idea even should not be entertained until after it is finally determined to be impracticable to place this army in such condition as would justify its taking at an early day the active offensive. The difficulty of obtaining the means of establishing a battery near Evansport and length of time required for the collection of those means have given me the impression that you cannot at present put this army in condition to assume the offensive. If I am mistaken in this, and you can furnish those means, I think it important that either his excellency the President of the Confederate States, yourself, or some one representing you, should here upon the ground confer with me in regard to this all-important question. I send this by an officer of my staff, who can give you detailed information in regard to the positions now occupied by the troops under my command. I beg you to write an answer by the officer who will deliver this as soon as may be convenient to you.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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DUMFRIES, September 27, 1861.

President JEFFERSON DAVIS:

Colonel Hampton’s battery, at the mouth of Powell’s Run, on my left, opened on several small vessels passing yesterday. The war steamers of Lincoln’s hug the Maryland shore and remain silent. The Long Tom is moved this morning farther down the river. My command are looking over into Maryland as the promised land. Major Marshall is with me.

L. T. WIGFALL, [Colonel First Texas Infantry.]

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, September 28, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

MY DEAR SIR: Your favor of the 24th instant has only this day been received, and in accordance with your suggestion General Johnston and myself have prepared a list of major and brigadier generals which we hope will be approved of by the President and yourself, for they have been selected entirely according to their reputation and merit as officers. They have few equals, and none superior, in any service. What {p.883} is required is prompt action, for we may at any time be called upon to meet again the “Grand Army of the North,” which this time will do its best to wipe out the disgrace of Manassas, and these officers ought to have a few days to organize their divisions and staffs before the battle commences. One or two major-generals only to each corps would not help us materially. General Johnston has seven and I nine brigades of from three to five regiments each of volunteers, so that our orders have to be so multiplied and repeated, that the genius of a Napoleon would get entangled on a day of battle. What we want is a simplification of the whole system, with one head and several co-ordinate branches.

With much respect, I remain, yours, very truly,

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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RICHMOND, September 29, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

SIR: Your letter of the 26th instant has been handed to me by Captain Preston, and has received the attention both of the President and myself. It is extremely difficult, even with the aid of such information as Captain Preston has been able to give us orally, as suggested by you, to determine whether or not we can furnish you the further means you may deem necessary to assume the active offensive. We have not in the Department a single return from your army of the quantity of ammunition, artillery, means of transportation, or sick in camp or in hospitals, to enable us to form a judgment of what your necessities may be. Having had charge of the War Department but a few days, my first effort was to master our situation, to understand thoroughly what we had and in what our deficiencies consisted, but I have been completely foiled at all points by the total absence of systematic returns. I beg to call your attention to this, as it will be obvious to you that the Department cannot be administered without a thorough reform in this respect. I have, therefore, earnestly requested the President to visit your headquarters in person, and to learn on conference with you the true position of your army in all respects, and the possibility of a prompt offensive movement. He has consented to this, and I hope will reach your camp within a day or two. Your note relative to Captain Mansfield Lovell will be carefully considered in disposing of the services of that justly-esteemed officer.

I am, respectfully,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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DUMMIES, September 29, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

GENERAL: I am happy to inform you that the first of our river batteries at Evansport is finished, and guns mounted ready for service without discovery by the enemy. I write you to-night.

Yours,

I. R. TRIMBLE, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

{p.884}

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Abstract from a field return, September 30, 1861, of the First Corps, Army of the Potomac, commanded by General Beauregard.

Troops.Present for duty.Total present.Aggregate present.Total present and absent.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
General staff1717171717
Infantry1,28619,75925,09126,54930,18331,866
Cavalry881,2371,4111,5021,8091,925
Artillery591,0721,2231,2831,5681,645
Total1,45022,06827,74229,35133,57735,473

Abstract from return of the Department of Fredericksburg, commanded by Brig. Gen. T. H. Holmes, for September, 1861.

Station.Present for duty.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
Evansport and vicinity1241,8853,160
Marlborough Point33670
Do36483725
Camp Holmes36494855
Camp Bee38479787
Aquia Creek.29366869
Cross Roads36697
King George County34496
Camp Clifton25337514
Camp Potomac38362646
Mathias Point992182
Tappahannock33416647
Fort Lowry32671
Richmond County26305331
Heathsville19319357
Grand total4255,7109,407

Council of war at Centreville.

OCTOBER 1, 1861.*

On the 26th September, 1861, General Joseph E. Johnston addressed a letter to the Secretary of War in regard to the importance of putting this army in condition to assume the offensive, and suggested that his excellency the President, or the Secretary of War, or some one representing them, should at an early day come to the headquarters of the army, then at or near Fairfax Court-House, for the purpose of deciding whether the army could be re-enforced to the extent that the commanding general deemed necessary for an offensive campaign.

His excellency the President arrived at Fairfax Court-House a few days thereafter, late in the afternoon, and proceeded to the quarters of General Beauregard. On the same evening General Johnston and I {p.885} called to pay our respects. No official subjects of importance were alluded to in that interview. At 8 o’clock the next evening, by appointment of the President, a conference was had between himself, General Johnston, General Beauregard, and myself. Various matters of detail were introduced by the President, and talked over between himself and the two senior generals. Having but recently arrived, and not being well acquainted with the special subjects referred to, I took little or no part in this conversation. Finally, with perhaps some abruptness, I said: “Mr. President, is it not possible to put this army in condition to assume the active offensive?” adding that this was a question of vital importance, upon which the success or failure of our cause might depend. This question brought on discussion. The precise conversation which followed I do not propose to give; it was not an argument. There seemed to be little difference of opinion between us in regard to general views and principles. It was clearly stated and agreed to that the military force of the Confederate States was at the highest point it could attain without arms from abroad; that the portion of this particular army present for duty was in the finest fighting condition-that if kept inactive it must retrograde immensely in every respect during the winter, the effect of which was foreseen and dreaded by us all. The enemy were daily increasing in number, arms, discipline, and efficiency. We looked forward to a sad state of things at the opening of a spring campaign.

These and other points being agreed upon without argument, it was again asked: “Mr. President, is it not possible to increase the effective strength of this army, and put us in condition to cross the Potomac and carry the war into the enemy’s country? Can you not by stripping other points to the last they will bear, and, even risking defeat at all other places, put us in condition to move forward? Success here at this time saves everything; defeat here loses all.” In explanation and as an illustration of this the unqualified opinion was advanced that if for want of adequate strength on our part in Kentucky the Federal forces should take military possession of that whole State, and even enter and occupy a portion of Tennessee, a victory gained by this army beyond the Potomac would, by threatening the heart of the Northern States, compel their armies to fail back, free Kentucky, and give us the line of the Ohio within ten days thereafter. On the other hand, should our forces in Tennessee and Southern Kentucky be strengthened, so as Le enable us to take and to hold the Ohio River as a boundary, a disastrous defeat of this army would at once be followed by an overwhelming wave of Northern invaders, that would sweep over Kentucky and Tennessee, extending to the northern part of the cotton States, if not to New Orleans. Similar views were expressed in regard to ultimate results in Northwestern Virginia being dependent upon the success or failure of this army, and various other special illustrations were offered, showing, in short, that success here was success everywhere, defeat here defeat everywhere; and that this was the point upon which all the available forces of the Confederate States should be concentrated.

It seemed to be conceded by all that our force at that time here was not sufficient for assuming the offensive beyond the Potomac, and that even with a much larger force an attack upon their army under the guns of their fortifications on this side of the river was out of the question.

The President asked me what number of men were necessary in my opinion to warrant an offensive campaign, to cross the Potomac, cut off the communications of the enemy with their fortified capital, and {p.886} carry the war into their country. I answered, “Fifty thousand effective, seasoned soldiers” explaining that by seasoned soldiers I meant such men as we had here present for duty, and added that they would have to be drawn from the Peninsula about Yorktown, Norfolk, from Western Virginia, Pensacola, or wherever might be most expedient.

General Johnston and General Beauregard both said that a force of sixty thousand such men would be necessary, and that this force would require large additional transportation and munitions of war the supplies here being entirely inadequate for an active campaign in the enemy’s country even with our present force. In this connection there was some discussion of the difficulties to be overcome and the probabilities of success, but no one questioned the disastrous results of remaining inactive throughout the winter. Notwithstanding the belief that many in the Northern Army were opposed on principle to invading the Southern States, and that they would fight better in defending their own homes than in attacking ours, it was believed that the best, if not the only, plan to insure success was to concentrate our forces and attack the enemy in their own country. The President, I think, gave no definite opinion in regard to the number of men necessary for that purpose, and I am sure that no one present considered this a question to be finally decided by any other person than the commanding general of this army.

Returning to the question that had been twice asked, the President expressed surprise and regret that the number of surplus arms here was so small, and I thought spoke bitterly of this disappointment. He then stated that at that time no re-enforcements could be furnished to this army of the character asked for, and that the most that could be done would be to furnish recruits to take the surplus arms in store here (say 2,500 stand); that the whole country was demanding protection at his hands and praying for arms and troops for defense. He had long been expecting arms from abroad, but had been disappointed; he still hoped to get them, but had no positive assurance that they would be received at all. The manufacture of arms in the Confederate States was as yet undeveloped to any considerable extent. Want of arms was the great difficulty; he could not take any troops from the points named, and without arms from abroad could not re-enforce this army. He expressed regret, and seemed to feel deeply, as did every one present.

When the President had thus clearly and positively stated his inability to put this army in the condition deemed by the generals necessary before entering upon an active offensive campaign, it was felt that it might be better to run the risk of almost certain destruction fighting upon the other side of the Potomac rather than see the gradual dying out and deterioration of this army during a winter, at the end of which the term of enlistment of half the force would expire. The prospect of a spring campaign to be commenced under such discouraging circumstances was rendered all the more gloomy by the daily increasing strength of an enemy already much superior in numbers.

On the other hand was the hope and expectation that before the end of winter arms would be introduced into the country, and all were confident that we could then not only protect our own country, but successfully invade that of the enemy.

General Johnston said that he did not feel at liberty to express an opinion as to the practicability of reducing the strength of our forces at points not within the limits of his command and with but few further remarks from any one the answer of the President was accepted as final, and it was felt that there was no other course left but to take a defensive position and await the enemy. If they did not advance, we had but to await the winter and its results.

{p.887}

After the main question was dropped, the President proposed that, instead of an active offensive campaign, we should attempt certain partial operations-a sudden blow against Sickles or Banks or to break the bridge over the Monocacy. This, he thought, besides injuring the enemy, would exert a good influence over our troops and encourage the people of the Confederate States generally. In regard to attacking Sickles, it was stated in reply that, as the enemy controlled the river with their ships of war, it would be necessary for us to occupy two points on the river, one above and another below the point of crossing, that we might by our batteries prevent their armed vessels from interfering with the passage of the troops. In any case, the difficulty of crossing large bodies over wide rivers in the vicinity of an enemy and then recrossing made such expeditions hazardous. It was agreed, however, that if any opportunity should occur offering reasonable chances of success, the attempt would be made.

During this conference or council, which lasted perhaps two hours, all was earnest, serious, deliberate. The impression made upon me was deep and lasting; and I am convinced that the foregoing statement is not only correct as fain as it goes, but in my opinion it gives a fair idea of all that occurred at that time in regard to the question of our crossing the Potomac.

G. W. SMITH, Major-General, C. S. Army.

Our recollections of that conference agree fully with this statement of General G. W. Smith.

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General, C. S. Army. J. E. JOHNSTON, General, C. S. Army.

Signed in triplicate.

CENTREVILLE, January 31, 1862.

* The exact date does not appear in the records. That above is approximately, if not absolutely, correct.

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RICHMOND, October 1, 1861.

JAMES L. RANSON, Esq., Charlestown, Jefferson County, Va.:

SIR: The President requests me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 27th instant in regard to border defense, &c., and to express his great gratification with the spirit manifested by you and your fellow-citizens on the border, as expressed in your letter.

I beg leave to call your attention to the act of Congress of August 21, 1861 (No. 229), “To provide for local defense,” &c., in explanation of the mode in which volunteers may be enlisted and accepted for such service. It has been the policy of the Department to refer all offers of troops for such special service to the general officer commanding in the district of country for which they are intended, as being best able to judge of the necessities for defense in such locality. So far as may be possible consistently with this policy, every encouragement will be given to the people of the border counties to enlist for the defense of their own homes. All offers of troops should be communicated here, stating manner and time of proposed enlistment, &c.

Volunteer companies elect their own officers.

Respectfully,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

{p.888}

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RICHMOND, VA., October 1, 1861.

Capt. C. R. MASON, Assistant Quartermaster, now at Richmond, Va.:

SIR: You are assigned to the special duty of superintending the road from Staunton to Greenbrier River, the headquarters of General H. R. Jackson, and from the Warm Springs to Huntersville; also to the headquarters of General Loring. It will be your especial care to repair the roads and bridges wherever it is required, and to keep them in order for the transportation of supplies from Staunton to the several headquarters named above. You will rebuild the bridges and renew the embankments where required on account of the late freshet. To enable you to perform this work thoroughly you are, with the consent of the governor of Virginia, empowered to use all the appliances for work and labor that have been in use on the State road, and to hire or purchase, as you may regard best, wagons, carts, and teams, and all additional labor you think necessary.*

A. C. MYERS, Acting Quartermaster-General.

* Details omitted.

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HEADQUARTERS VIRGINIA FORCES, ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., October 3, 1861.

Maj. GEORGE S. STEVENS, Commanding, Nelson Station, Va.:

SIR: I have the honor to submit to you the following remarks of Governor Letcher relative to your detailed report of the state of the militia in the county of Nelson, dated the 23d ultimo, viz:

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, September 28, 1861.

The county of Nelson not having furnished her quota of volunteers, the militia went into camp August 6, 1861. The return of the colonel, one received at the office of the adjutant-general (Richardson), on the 7th of this month, showed that he then had at Camp Mitchell 197. This return shows 163, a reduction of 34. Under the 10 per cent. regulation they were short of their quota upwards of 150 men. While in the camp I proposed, if they would furnish a company of 80 volunteers, I would accept them and disband the balance. These men were to be furnished by a given day, which has long since passed. I still indulged them, and told the officers and others who called upon me that if the number of 80 was not furnished I would order the militia to rendezvous at Staunton, where they would be attached to a regiment being formed at that place. Finding they would do nothing, they were ordered to Staunton. After the order was issued Major Stevens came here to see me, and did not pretend to justify their conduct. Among other things, he said, in the presence of Colonel Dimmock, that they did not think I would order them into service; that I was not in earnest. I told him as the order had been given they could now tell whether I had been jesting on so serious a subject, and that he must return and execute the order without delay.

JOHN LETCHER.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. DEAS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, October 4, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Fairfax Court-House, Va.:

I have this moment received a dispatch dated at Fredericksburg at 12.30 o’clock, stating that the enemy are landing near Occoquan in {p.889} large numbers, and that General Whiting, at Dumfries, has ordered [sic] General Holmes’ whole brigade there immediately, and has also notified Captain Kennedy at Aquia Creek to look out.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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FAIRFAX COURT-HOUSE, October 4, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

Your dispatch of to-day received. I have a report from General Whiting, written at 12 m. to-day, that the enemy was advancing toward the Occoquan by the Pohick road. We have no information of such a movement. Our pickets near Pohick were driven early this morning. I have delayed this dispatch for fuller information, but have received none.

J. E. JOHNSTON, General, Commanding.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 401.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 4, 1861.

Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn is assigned to duty with the First Corps, Army of the Potomac, and will report to General G. T. Beauregard.

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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CHARLESTOWN, October 5, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War ad interim, &c.:

DEAR SIR: At the instance of a number of the good citizens in this quarter of the State (my own judgment fully concurring) I am induced to call your attention to the condition of things here connected with the operations of the military, and I beg leave to protest that I do so under a full sense of the diffidence and delicacy which should govern a mere civilian in dealing with such subjects. I know of no one connected with the military at Winchester or on this border who is not my personal friend, and as to whom certainly I have none other than the most kindly feelings, and yet I deem it my duty to say broadly that the management of military affairs in this quarter is in utterly incompetent hands.

Ever since General Johnston marched his army from Winchester in July, most absurdly as it seems to me and to hundreds of others here, large bodies of militia have been assembled there and kept there, 30 miles from the border, where the enemy are constantly not only committing depredations, but doing everything in their power to debauch the minds of our people off from their allegiance and loyalty to the South, and recently, at the very time when the enemy are making their boldest inroads upon us, plundering, insulting females, and keeping the whole border for miles into the interior in a state of uneasiness and alarm, the militia from this (Jefferson) county have been marched away {p.890} to Winchester, and are now held there under the miserable pretext of drilling them.

The feeling is becoming very general among our people that while we have plenty of men ready and willing to protect the border against these incursions of the enemy, yet that we are suffering needlessly for want of competent officers. Without, there fore, entering further into particulars, or preferring complaints of incompetency or inefficiency against any particular officer or officers, I beg leave to submit whether it be not practicable and expedient to send here (that is, on this border of the valley) some competent regular or experienced officer of the army to take charge of and direct the whole military operations in this quarter, or if this can’t be done, and we must have the peace establishment militia officers still in command, then that some experienced and intelligent officer be sent here to inquire into the condition of things, and report what is proper to be done.

My friend and colleague Hon. A. R. Boteler I presume is now in Richmond, and he will give you full and minute information about the matters and things referred to in the foregoing.

Very truly, your obedient servant,

ANDREW HUNTER.

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HDQRS. FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Fairfax Court-House, October 5, 1861.

Maj. Gen. E. VAN DORN, Commanding Division:

GENERAL: As active operations are immediately impending, the general directs that you send without delay all heavy baggage of the regiments of your division to Fairfax Station, to be transported thence by rail to Manassas. In charge of this baggage will be sent one commissioned officer from each brigade, one non-commissioned officer from each regiment, and one trusty private from each company.

This party is to remain at Manassas until further orders, and the officer in command will report to Brigadier-General Clark at that post.

Your brigade quartermaster will superintend the forwarding of this baggage from the station, reporting to the chief quartermaster of this corps when he will be ready for a train to receive it.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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NEAR CHARLESTOWN, October 6, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: Your agreeable and most acceptable communication of the 1st instant reached me by yesterday’s mail, and all you say upon the subject of our border is encouraging.

The work goes on encouragingly, and the scarcity of horses alone prevents our putting into the field at once a corps of mounted men that would, under a proper leader, render valuable service. Colonel Baylor has a goodly number, and if horses can be had will soon raise one hundred or more. Capt. Jo. Hess has now already mounted one hundred, and both of these patriotic men are scouting the borders of this {p.891} county night and day, in conjunction with others, Colonel Ashby and Captain Henderson-the last-named gentleman confined at present by a shot by one of his own men; and in connection with this sad affair I beg leave to say that should the court-martial sitting in Winchester blunder upon an acquittal, or what would be tantamount, fall down to some compromise sentence, it would have a most unfortunate influence throughout this border. There would be great difficulty in future in enforcing subordination. It is reported that a corps of lawyers are engaged, and, as proof, the trial drags, and procrastination is the consequence.

You refer to the law and the policy of the Department. The law we have not, and I fear cannot obtain it short of Richmond, and I dread the control of militia commanders, Letcherized all over, as they generally are, and therefore sought for officers, if to be had, direct from President Davis.

Are there not clever and well-qualified officers of the Confederate Army not in the field who have no men? I remember to have met one or more in the army of the lamented Garnett-Captain Cole and Captain Alexander. The latter, I grieve to learn, died shortly since. The former I should rejoice to meet on our borders-a graduate of West Point and a gallant officer. (Could not Col. Jack Hays be had for this service? All would acknowledge his pre-eminent qualifications.) But we will do our best. The enemy make daily crossings over the Potomac, and I deem it all important in case of collision that our raw men should be preserved from disaster.

The reference to military commanders-is it militia? The general of this brigade, a very clever civilian, with no experience in the field, may guide us, and successfully, but I have my fears. The gallant Ashby will do to lead cavalry, but we want a man to lead infantry and artillery.

Hoping the subject of my letter may prove a sufficient apology for this lengthy communication, I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES L. RANSON.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 7, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

GENERAL: As the cold season of the year is near, it seems to me time to decide whether huts shall be constructed for the troops of this army or they shall continue to lodge in tents.

Should the construction of huts be decided upon, shall the materials be prepared elsewhere and put together on the ground here or shall the troops erect log huts?

General Beauregard, a skillful engineer, proposes the first method. It would require much time and labor, I think, to collect in this neighborhood timber enough for the second.

I respectfully ask the early decision of these questions by the honorable Secretary of War.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

{p.892}

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RICHMOND, October 7, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have had a conference with the President since his return on the subject of the organization of the Army of the Potomac, as recommended in your letter of the 28th ultimo,* and not received till after his departure for your headquarters.

The President cannot persuade himself that the number of generals of all grades recommended by the joint letter of yourself, General Beauregard, and Major-General Smith can be necessary for the number of troops now forming the Army of the Potomac. The inconvenience of so large an accession of general officers in the service would be felt in more than one way. Not the least of the objections is that it could not be accorded without revolting injustice to the Army of the Potomac alone. Of necessity we should be compelled to make similar appointments in each of the other armies and military departments, and by this vast increase not only cheapen the value of military rank, but augment the expenses of the war at a moment when its hourly increasing proportions admonish us that the most rigid economy is required.

In view of all the facts and circumstances, the President has concluded that an addition to your army of two major-generals and two or three brigadier-generals will afford you as much assistance as could reasonably be required, and he has directed the promotion of Brigadier-Generals Longstreet and Jackson to the rank of majors-general. Your army will then have as general officers two generals; four major-generals of provisional army, namely, Van Dorn, Smith, Longstreet, and Jackson; thirteen brigadier-generals, namely, Bonham, Clark, Walker, Ewell, Jones, Kirby Smith, Toombs, Crittenden, Sam Jones, Whiting, Elzey, Early, and Stuart. Total, nineteen general officers, to whom will be added some two or three other brigadier-generals that it will be necessary to appoint after you shall have made the changes recommended by the President in uniting the troops from each State as far as possible into the same brigades and divisions, so as to gratify the natural State pride of the men, and keep up that healthful and valuable emulation which forms so important an element in military affairs. The whole number of general officers will thus be about twenty-two in an army of thousand men. I will not state the number as matter of prudence, but you can make the calculation, and I feel sure you will admit that it is thus as fully officered as armies generally are, and certainly more fully than any army we have in the field.

Please to communicate this answer to Generals Beauregard and Smith, who joined in signing your letter to the Department.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

* Not found.

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ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, October 7, 1861.

Lieut. Col. TURNER ASHBY, McDonald’s Regiment:

COLONEL: Inclosed herewith you will find copy of a special order increasing your command to four companies of Colonel McDonald’s regiment of cavalry and four companies of Colonel Monroe’s regiment of {p.893} Virginia militia (infantry). You are also authorized to muster into service for local defense, in accordance with authority given by inclosed copy of the law, a sufficient number of men to serve the pieces of artillery now with your command, organizing them into a company of artillery. It is desired that you will make out with the cavalry equipments now in the possession of the four cavalry companies, as they cannot be supplied from here.

It is especially desired that you will destroy the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal as quickly as possible wherever found practicable, whether at the Monocacy or other point.

I am, sir, very respectfully,

R. H. CHILTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS BROOKE’S STATION, October 9, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army:

GENERAL: I returned from Evansport last night. The two principal batteries could open fire at once, as their guns are mounted; but a letter from General Johnston to General Trimble requests that our fire may be delayed until he has completed certain arrangements of his own, of which he will advise us. I have little doubt the batteries will be abundantly able to block the river, except in dark nights; and if the enemy should attempt to capture them, I have as little doubt that the force there, aided by General Whiting’s command near there, will be able to defeat him.

The season is approaching when it will be necessary for us to make our arrangements for winter. Will you do me the favor to advise me whether I shall make preparations in the positions we now occupy, or is it better to wait further developments before acting in the matter?

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

TH. H. HOLMES, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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RICHMOND, VA., October 10, 1861.

Maj. Gen. G. W. SMITH, Army of the Potomac:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I had the pleasure to receive yours of the 8th* instant last night. The matter of controlling railroad transportation has frequently engaged my attention, but was not presented in the form you offer, that of being under the charge of General Beauregard. He could no doubt do more than any one thought of in that connection; but how can he be spared from his present duties? The plan, as I understood him, which he had contemplated, was to employ an agent. That would be less effective than the one existing, viz, the appointment of a quartermaster, specially selected for the duty, and sustained by direct communications between the Executive and the railroad presidents on all questions which arise. The generals in the field may do much, by giving timely notice of irregularities and by seeing that trains at their depots are not detained improperly or permitted to leave the freight or passengers which the public service requires to be transported.

{p.894}

In relation to the list of generals proposed, I will now request you to divide the effective strength of your army by the number of generals you would have if the addition was made. Would not the number more nearly correspond to the command of colonels than generals? For 37,000 men I still think four divisions enough, and am still at a loss to perceive how the change of title would increase the efficiency of a brigadier; but can conceive how a brigadier would lose something of his value by being brought into immediate command and minute supervision of a major-general of a small division, say about equal to an efficient brigade.

Your remarks about the moral effect of repressing the hope of the volunteers for an advance are in accordance with the painful impression made on me, when in our council it was revealed to me that the Army of the Potomac had been reduced to about one-half the legalized strength, and that the arms to restore the number were not in depot. As I then suggested, though you may not be able to advance into Maryland and expel the enemy, it may be possible to keep up the spirits of your troops by expeditions, such as that particularly spoken of against Sickles’ brigade, on the Lower Potomac, or Banks’, above, by destroying the canal, and making other rapid movements whenever opportunity presents to beat detachments or to destroy lines of communication.

Let me insist that you revive something of your early respect for military grades, as your recommendations evince that you have adopted the militia value for the commission of field officers. I have never regarded one entitled to expect of the Confederacy the same grade he may have held under a State.

How have you progressed in the solution of the problem I left-the organization of the troops, with reference to the States and terms of service? If the volunteers continue their complaints that they are commanded by strangers, and do not get justice, and that they are kept in camp to die when reported for hospital by the surgeon, we shall soon feel a reaction in the matter of volunteering. Already I have been much pressed on both subjects, and have answered by promising that the generals would give due attention and I hope make satisfactory changes.

The authority to organize regiments into brigades and the latter into divisions is by law conferred only on the President and I must be able to assume responsibility of the action taken by whomsoever acts for me in that regard. By reference to the law you will see that, in surrendering the sole power to appoint general officers, it was nevertheless designed, as far as should be found consistent, to keep up the State relation of troops and generals. Kentucky has a brigadier but not a brigade. She has, however, a regiment. That regiment and brigadier might be associated together. Louisiana has regiments enough to form a brigade, but no brigadier in either corps. All of the regiments were sent to that commanded by a Louisiana general. Georgia has regiments now organized into two brigades. She has on duty with that army two brigadiers, but one of them serves with other troops. Mississippi troops were scattered, as if the State was unknown. Brigadier-General Clark was sent to remove a growing dissatisfaction; but, though the State had nine regiments there, he (C.) was put in command of a post and depot of supplies. These nine regiments should form two brigades. Brigadiers Clark and (as native of Mississippi Whiting should be placed in command of them, and the regiments for the war put in the army man’s brigade. Both brigades should be put in the division commanded by General Van Dorn, of Mississippi. Thus would the spirit and intent {p.895} of the law be complied with, disagreeable complaint be spared me, and more of content be assured under the trials to which you look forward. It is needless to specify further. I have been able in writing to you to speak freely, and you have no past associations to distrust the judgment to be passed upon the views, presented.

I have made and am making inquiries as to the practicability of getting a corps of negroes for laborers, to aid in the construction of an intrenched line in rear of your present position.

Your remarks on the want of efficient staff officers is realized in all their force, and I hope, among the elements which constitute a staff officer for volunteers, you have duly estimated the qualities of forbearance and urbanity. Many of the privates are men of high social position, of scholarship, and fortune. Their pride furnishes the motive for good conduct, and, if wounded, is turned from an instrument of good to one of great power for evil.

General Lovell proposes to leave in the morning for New Orleans.

Nothing has been heard of the armada, which sailed some time since for the subjugation of the Southern seaport inhabitants.

Bragg made a descent upon Santa Rosa, of which you will see in the journals the telegraphic report.

It will give me pleasure to hear from you frequently and fully.

Very truly, your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS GREENBRIER RIVER, October 12, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army:

GENERAL: I feel it to be my imperative duty most respectfully to direct the attention of the Department of War to the condition of the staff departments of this division of the Northwestern Army. There is no commissioned quartermaster upon this line. Major Corley, the quartermaster for the Northwestern Army, has not been upon it for upwards of two months. The suffering resulting for the want of transportation, and especially from the want of forage for horses, has been almost incalculable. The public animals have been so reduced as to be at times wholly unfit for active service, and that in a country supposed to abound in grass and grain. I have labored against these difficulties to the best of my ability and to the full extent of my authority, but that authority is limited, and my remoteness from the headquarters of the army renders it impossible, I suppose, for its responsible staff officers to see to the prompt action and systematic movement of their respective departments.

The cold weather is already upon us, and with a winter climate like this, with more than 70 miles between the army and its depot of supplies, with the connecting road becoming daily worse and worse, and with the country immediately adjacent already exhausted, unless new energy be infused into the staff department it is not easy to conceive the amount of loss, embarrassment, and suffering which must in a short time be developed.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. R. JACKSON, Brigadier-General, &c.

{p.896}

[Indorsement.]

Copy of letter sent to Major Harman, at Staunton, to report upon the condition of the department. It is believed that officers of the Quartermaster’s Department have been ordered to General Jackson’s command.

Respectfully returned.

A. C. MYERS, Quartermaster-General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 419.}

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 12, 1861.

I. Maj. Gen. James Longstreet is assigned to duty with the First Corps, Army of the Potomac, and will report to General G. T. Beauregard, commanding.

II. Maj. Gen. T. J. Jackson is assigned to duty with the Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, and will report to Maj. Gen. G. W. Smith, commanding.

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, October 13, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Potomac:

SIR: The Adjutant-General has referred to me your letter of 7th instant in relation to the cantonments required for the troops during the ensuing winter. It is a source of deep regret to the Department to be brought face to face with this necessity. I had hoped almost against hope that the condition of the army would justify you in coming to the conclusion that some forward movement could be made, and that the roofs to shelter the troops during the approaching winter would be found on the other side of the Potomac-but our destitute condition so far as arms are concerned renders it impossible to increase your strength whilst your recent report to the Adjutant-General develops the painful fact that nearly one-third of your numerical force is still prostrated by sickness.

I have paid earnest attention to the difficult problem now presented to us. The men must not, if it be possible to avoid it, be exposed to the inclemency of the winter under canvas alone. Taking it, then, for granted that the army is to be hutted, the first question that presents itself is, where are these huts to be built? This is a purely military question, which must be decided by yourself as commander-in-chief of the Army of the Potomac. It is evidently impossible that I should undertake to decide for you on the proper locality of your winter quarters, as this is a question dependent on many considerations, such as fuel, water, defensive works, &c., involving a minute knowledge of the topography and resources of the country, familiar to you and unknown to me.

Under the circumstances, and the pressing importance of the subject not admitting of delay, I have availed myself of the able co-operation of the Secretary of State, whose intimate knowledge of the resources of his native State and whose zeal and patriotism have rendered him an invaluable counselor in this emergency. Through his aid I have secured {p.897} the services of Mr. James Hunter and Dr. John P. Hale, and our joint efforts have devised a scheme-the only practicable one that has suggested itself-by means of which our men can be furnished with comfortable shelter in huts, to be built at a rate which will supply about 800 men per diem, beginning on the 21st instant. At this rate the whole force now under your command would be under cover by 10th December at furthest, and I hope even by the 1st of that month. In order to accomplish this without waste of time I send you this letter by the hands of the two gentlemen above named. They will explain to you the plan proposed, and I know I can rely on your zealous co-operation in furtherance of it. They will require, of course, your countenance and aid as the commander-in-chief, and especially will it be necessary for you to determine (after such consultations, if any, as you may choose to have with the generals under your command) the locality and lines where the huts are to be built. I am also happy to inform you that arrangements are made with Mr. James Hunter for procuring a body of 1,000 laborers for working at intrenchments for the defense of such points as you may indicate as necessary for the protection of your forces. I need not urge on you the absolute necessity of prompt determination of those questions, which are to be decided by you before Mr. Hunter and his associate can commence active work.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, October 13, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Army of Potomac:

SIR: It has been represented to the Secretary of War that there is in the possession of the several regiments and battalions of your command a number of arms over and above those in the hands of the men present, which have been deposited by absentees who have left their commands, either sick, on furlough, or by reason of discharge. The Secretary considers that these surplus arms, as well as the accouterments belonging to them, are liable to loss by reason of the rapid and sudden movements of the troops at any moment, and he therefore desires that you will cause them to be collected and deposited for safe-keeping with the officer in charge of the ordnance department at Manassas (after having them properly labeled with the name and number of the regiment and battalion to which they belong), to be there held for future issue, as the necessities of the service may require.

I am, very respectfully, &c.,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 442.}

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, A. P., Fairfax Court-House, October 14, 1861.

I. Maj. Gen. James Longstreet, having reported for duty with this army corps, is assigned to the command of a division composed of the Fourth and Fifth Brigades. He will at once assume command of his division. {p.898}

II. Brig. Gen. Charles Clark will turn over the command of the post of Camp Pickens to Col. G. B. Anderson, and report to these headquarters for further orders.

By command of General Beauregard:

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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CAMP PICKENS, October 15, 1861.

Col. L. B. NORTHROP, Commissary General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 12th instant, inclosing complaints of deficiency of supplies from brigade commissary, First Brigade, First Corps, the commissary to Hampton’s Legion, and the commissary Ninth S. C. Regiment (one inclosure), and directing me to report “whether or not these regiments were furnished with their due proportion of those articles of the ration of which there was not a full supply.” I have to reply that they have been since August 28, 1861, the earliest day after I came upon duty (August 23, 1861) at which I could so systematize the affairs of the subsistence department here as to inaugurate such a system. I am not aware of any failure to receive such proportion by any part of the troops since that time.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. B. BLAIR, Major, and Commissary of Subsistence.

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NEAR CHARLESTOWN, JEFFERSON COUNTY, VA., October 15, 1861.

His Excellency President DAVIS, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: The enemy crossed the Potomac at Harper’s Ferry last week, and in considerable numbers-how many it is not easily ascertained, but sufficient to hold the place-and have been arriving ever since, pillaging and ravaging as they advanced. The farmers below this place are being robbed of slaves, horses, and everything the enemy can use.

Our new recruits are in the field, under Baylor, Glenn, and Hess. Colonel Ashby, with some 300 cavalry and 300 militia from Shenandoah, &c., is also with us. Headquarters near Charlestown, our county seat, and on the Winchester and Potomac Railroad.

The men of this vicinity at last are showing signs of resistance, and I do hope we shall be able to give a good account of the rascals. We do want a military leader in this brigade. General Carson is a most estimable gentleman, but not suited for the time and exigencies of the moment.

The enemy have long been in possession of Harper’s Ferry, desecrating our soil, pillaging our defenseless and loyal people, and outraging the sanctity of helpless and loyal families. The widowed mother of Captain Henderson, of a volunteer corps, doing good service all the while until shot by one of his own men, was awfully outraged-three negro men and all valuables that were portable carried off, and her house and farm left desolate. Her sons all at their posts-one, younger than the captain, in General Johnston’s army. Other farms are being visited.

{p.899}

Last night a lady swam the Shenandoah to let us know that the enemy were being re-enforced, and the first aim would be to destroy our woolen factories along the Shenandoah; also our large flouring mills. This will be done. The delay heretofore has been caused by the shipping of some 20,000 bushels of wheat seized at Harper’s Ferry.

This done, our whole country must be devastated, and, to say nothing of mills, slaves, and other valuable property, all the grain in stack or garner will be burned up.

General Carson’s headquarters are at Winchester, distant 30 miles from the enemy, and while all these things are transpiring he has never been in the county or visited our post.

Written in much haste.

With high consideration, your obedient servant,

JAMES L. RANSON.

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CAMP OF FIFTY-SECOND VIRGINIA REGIMENT, Top of Alleghany Mountains, October 16, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:

SIR: Having been stationed at this place with my regiment for two weeks past, I hope it will not be considered a violation of any of the rules of the service if I address to you directly a suggestion or two, involving, as I believe, the safety of my command and of all the Confederate forces on this line.

You are no doubt aware that the army on this line cannot depend upon the surrounding country for supplies of any kind. The country at the best is sparsely populated, and produces no surplus of any kind of provision except live stock, and the troubles of the times have brought upon the people an unusual scarcity of all kinds of supplies. The only points from which any supply of food or forage has been drawn in the past are the Hardy Valley and the region about Staunton, and there is no other promise for the future so far as I know. As to the Hardy Valley, the supply has been much interrupted by incursions of the enemy, who have succeeded in capturing some of our trains and have produced such an alarm among the people that it is almost impossible to induce men to engage in the transportation of supplies to our army. At the best the distance from this point to Petersburg is at least 70 miles, and the road one which in winter would hardly be practicable for loaded wagons. As to the other route, from Staunton, the distance to this point is 60 miles, and to the principal camp at Greenbrier River is 68. The road in summer is good, but in winter may fairly be said to be impassable for wagons, and even now is in such a condition as to require the constant services of a large force to keep it in a tolerable condition. Since I have been stationed at this point the horses of my regiment have repeatedly been reduced to half rations of corn, and for nearly all the time they have been wholly without forage of any kind. They are now subsisting upon the only hay to be procured within 10 miles of the camp, and that supply is only for a very few days.

I by no means seek to obtain information which in the discretion of my superior officers is withheld from me, but if it is the purpose of the Government to retain troops upon this line, it seems to me to be of high, concern to know that a single snow-storm, such as is by no means uncommon in these mountains at this season, would starve every horse in this army, and, unless the other troops are supplied differently from {p.900} my regiment, would seriously endanger the entire command. Independent of any of these considerations I deem it proper to state that the advance of the season admonishes us of the rapid and near approach of winter. Two weeks from to-day the winter in these mountains may be said to have set in. As yet there is no preparation for the wintering of troops here; no huts or houses have been prepared, nor can any be found in this region already built. I have upon my own responsibility instituted inquiries for the tools necessary to enable my men to build for themselves if required, and to my surprise and alarm I find that we have not in this army enough tools of the most common kind to enable us to use the timber which is so abundant all around us. Already the weather has been such as to freeze the tents of my regiment solid after a soaking rain and to coat the water in vessels with thick ice, and I am satisfied that this is not more than what maybe expected at this season in these mountains. If as I have stated, it is the purpose to retain troops here for the winter, measures cannot be too promptly or energetically taken and pressed for putting them into habitable winter quarters. These facts and my impressions upon them I have felt bound to communicate as a part of my duty to the Government and to the regiment, composed of my neighbors and friends, which has been intrusted to my care.

I hope I shall not be understood as disposed to avoid any fair share of the labors and sacrifices which must fall upon all engaged in our national defense. My men have made no complaint, but are looking forward with calm confidence in the provident care of the Government. I trust their confidence will be fully justified in their future history.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. BALDWIN, Colonel Fifty-second Virginia Regiment.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KANAWHA, Camp on New River, October 16, 1861.

His Excellency the SECRETARY OF WAR:

SIR: In a letter to the President, dated at Meadow Bluff, -, 1861, I gave some account of the positions then held by the Confederate forces, and of my plans for the occupation of the left bank or southern moiety of the Kanawha Valley.

I preferred to make a stand at Meadow Bluff because it was a stronger position than Sewell Mountain; because it was nearer the supplies; because it was less exposed to the weather; because there was more probability that the enemy would attack there than on Sewell, and because, should his attack fail, he would not be able to get away from the consequences of that failure. General Lee was constrained by circumstances to hold the ridge near the top of Sewell, and I followed him to that point with all my force. We remained eleven days, and those days cost us more men, sick and dead, than the battle of Manassas Plains. Provisions were hauled up the mountain 16 miles from Meadow Bluff over the worst road in Virginia, and we were exposed to tempests of wind and rain; for the conformation of the ground is such that there are always storms on Sewell Mountain. Finally the enemy retired beyond Gauley. The condition of the main body of our army was such that pursuit was impossible, and General Lee yet remains on Sewell. But he then assented to my plans for the expedition {p.901} down the left bank of the Kanawha, and I set out without delay with all the force under my command, except the North Carolina regiment and the Fiftieth Virginia, which had been nearly annihilated by sickness, and the Wise Legion, which I found to be in such a state of insubordination and so ill-disciplined as to be for the moment unfit for military purposes. But with the fine regiment from Mississippi, under Colonel Russell, with Phillips’ Legion, the Fourteenth Georgia, the Fifty first, the Forty-fifth, the Thirty-sixth, and Twenty-second Virginia, and 500 cavalry, at least with such portions of those corps that were able to march-in all some 4,000 men-I left Sewell, and after a difficult march over the mountain roads passed New River, which is the name of the upper branch of the Kanawha. From the point where I now am I have one day’s march over bad road to the Red Sulphur turnpike, which commands that half of the valley of the Kanawha in which I propose to operate. I hear of several parties of the enemy on this side of the river. The strongest, 800 or 1,000 men, are said to be encamped in the marshes of Cove. If this is so, and if chance favors, I think I shall be able to destroy or capture this body. Their position, if correctly stated, is a great strategic error. They are distant 60 miles from Charleston, with the worst roads in the world, while I shall soon have access to them by one day’s march along the Red Sulphur turnpike. If my reports are confirmed, I propose to take 1,500 men under my own command, and fall on them so soon as I get my troops over the hills to the turnpike. But it is now time to consider the proper disposition of the column under my immediate orders in winter quarters. I still adhere to my original purpose of wintering near Logan Court-House, for the following reasons:

1. If you will examine the map of Virginia you will perceive that the Kanawha River divides an immense tract of country, known as the Kanawha Valley, into two nearly equal portions. Charleston is its center, and the northern half partakes of the character of Northwestern Virginia, of which it is properly part. The people on the northern side of the river are generally disloyal to the South. The enemy have 15,000 men to keep at Charleston this whole winter, and the army now under my orders is not sufficient to drive them out during that season. But my presence on the other side of the river will effectually prevent them from extending their dominion to the southern half of the valley. It will also preserve the people of that part of the country in their present temper and opinions, which are excellent; while, on the other hand, if left to the mercy of the enemy, and exposed as they are to marauding detachments, who cross the river and carry off all the grain and cattle of the country, they may by next spring be subdued to the same submission which now characterizes the counties on the northern bank of the river.

2. The pretended new State of Kanawha, for whose existence a regular poll is soon to be taken, comprises the southern as well as the northern half of the valley. The presence of the Confederate troops in its territory will effectually destroy all appearance of legality in the proceedings, and may be useful in preventing embarrassment in future negotiations and treaties which the Confederacy may hereafter have with the United States.

3. The southern half of the Kanawha Valley is that portion of Virginia which touches the State of Kentucky. The presence of my army in that quarter will exercise a good influence on that neighboring country. It may even become very useful to the strategic combinations of General Johnston’s forces there. At all events it will be first {p.902} in the field of operations next spring, when we may be in condition to contest the possession of Northwestern Virginia with the enemy.

These and other reasons satisfy me that it would be desirable for myself and troops to winter in the Kanawha Valley, if it is possible to subsist them there in a perfectly safe place. Such a position, I think, is to be found near Logan Court-House, at the first fork of the turnpike road. Those who know the topography of the country from the map alone cannot perceive without explanation its complete security. If the enemy have 15,000 troops so near to that place as Charleston, what, they will ask, is to prevent them from marching over there after communications have been cut off with Eastern Virginia by the weather, breaking up my winter quarters, and perhaps capturing my whole command. I answer, the maps do not show that between Charleston and Logan Court-House there are two immense chains of mountains, and that the passes through those mountains are among the most easily-defended localities on the continent. It is ground with which I am perfectly familiar, and with the troops now under me I can safely guarantee my defense against twice the force which the enemy can by any contrivance bring against me.

The question of security may be laid aside. It remains to consider the more difficult matter of supplies at a point so remote from the center of the State. Ammunition and the small commissary stores, such as candles, sugar, coffee, and clothing, would be brought by the Virginia and Tennessee road to a station within 130 miles of my camp. The roads from that point to Logan are of course bad, but I can have them soon put in sufficient repair for my purposes. Forage in sufficient quantities for all my cattle I do not hope to obtain around my proposed camp, and therefore, after establishing myself, I should send away all the horses and males that I do not absolutely need to Tazewell, where their wants can be fully met. It rests to ascertain whether I can get enough meat and meal in the country for my men. I think I can, but I cannot say so with perfect assurance till I have myself examined the present resources of those counties; but the advantages to be gained by establishing my quarters in that region are so great, that I am determined, unless prevented by your orders, to make the experiment. My plan at present is to try for some weeks what I can do against the enemy’s army. Then I will go to Logan, hut my troops, stockade my camp, fortify the approaches, repair the roads, and ascertain the capability of the country to support my army. If it is sufficient to carry us through the winter without suffering at all, I shall remain till the spring, unless I should see a good chance for a blow during the winter; but if the country has been too much exhausted by the war and the enemy, I will at least stay there till the end of November, up to which time there can be no difficulty, and then march my men up to the Lynchburg and Tennessee road.

These are my own plans. I wait with anxiety the answer of the Department confirming or altering my views, and will obey with alacrity any instructions it may send; but if the Department would double my force here I can assure them that it is possible to effect great results in this region. If my Government would raise my command without delay to 10,000 men, which it might do in ten days if immediate orders were given, I would seize a point on the Ohio and hold it through the winter in spite of every effort to dislodge me.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of Kanawha.

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BROOKE’S STATION, October 16, 1861.

General COOPER:

A messenger from Maryland says McClellan will attack Johnston today, to cover an expedition from Annapolis up the Rappahannock. Do you know anything about it?

TH. H. HOLMES, Major-General.

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RICHMOND, VA., October 17, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Inclosed you will find a letter and slip referred to in it; also another slip, derived from a different and, as supposed, friendly source. You will be able better than myself to judge of the value or importance of the matters contained in these papers.*

A man has been sent up to confer with General Johnston and yourself in relation to the preparation of winter quarters and the employment of negroes in construction of a line of intrenchment. The Secretary of State commended him as a man of great capacity for such work.

I have thought often upon the questions of reorganization, which were submitted to you, and it has seemed to me that, whether in view of disease or the disappointment and suffering of a winter cantonment on a line of defense, or of a battle to be fought in and near your position, that it was desirable to combine the troops, by a new distribution, with as little delay as practicable. Your army is composed of men of intelligence and future expectations. They will be stimulated by extraordinary efforts, when so organized that the fame of their State will be in their keeping and that each will feel that his immediate commander will desire to exalt rather than diminish his services. You pointed me to the fact that you had observed that rule in the case of the Louisiana and Carolina troops, and you will not fail to perceive that others find in the fact a reason for the like disposal of them. In the hour of sickness and the tedium of waiting for spring, men from the same region will best console and relieve each other.

The maintenance of our cause rests in the sentiment of our people. Letters from the camps, complaining of inequality and harshness in the treatment of the men, have already dulled the enthusiasm which filled our ranks with men who, by birth, fortune, and education, and social position, were the equals of any officers in the land.

The spirit of our military law is manifested in the fact that the State organization was limited to the regiment. The volunteers came in sufficient numbers to have brigadiers, but have only colonels. It was not then intended (is the necessary conclusion) that those troops should be under the immediate command of officers above the grade of colonel. The spirit of the law then indicates that brigades should be larger than customary. The general being the remote commander of the individuals, charged with the care, the direction, the preservation of the men, rather than with the internal police, he has time to visit hospitals, to inquire into supplies, to supervise what others must execute, and the men come to regard him, when so habitually seen, as the friend of the individual; but they also know him in another capacity, and there removed, as it were placed on a pedestal, he seems the power that moves and controls the mass.

{p.904}

This is not an ideal, but a sketch of Taylor when general of the little army, many of whom would no sooner have questioned his decisions, or have shrunk from him in the hour of danger than if he had been their father. The other point was the necessity for unity in the Army of the Potomac. The embarrassment was felt and the sentiment of commanders appreciated, but rivalry, running into jealousy, is the unavoidable attendant of difference in the discipline, the usage, and the supplies of camps. How much more so must it be when corps are associated together, with the inevitable diversity resulting from control by different minds, and in which a reference is made to distinct antecedents, which have never disappeared by a visible transition from the existence under independent heads.

I have had applications made to me for transfer from one corps to another, and among the reasons given was that the sick of one were permitted to go to the hospital, when under like circumstances they were in the other confined to their encampments.

Mr. Benjamin informed me that you had expressed the wish, in the event of your corps being made an undivided portion of the army, to be relieved and sent to New Orleans. If I had thought you could be dispensed with, it would have given me pleasure long since to have relieved the solicitude of the people of New Orleans by sending you there; but I cannot anticipate the time when it would seem to me proper to withdraw you from the position with which you are so intimately acquainted, and for which you have shown yourself so eminently qualified. Nor have I felt that to another could be transferred the moral power you have over the troops you have commanded. My appreciation of you as a soldier and my regard for you as a man cannot permit me willingly to wound your sensibility or to diminish your sphere of usefulness.

Very truly, your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

* Not found.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, October 17, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Manassas, Va.:

SIR: I have your letter of the 9th instant,* in which you state that if you are no longer in command of an army corps, you request to be relieved forthwith from your present false position. In reply, I beg to say, in all kindness, that it is not your position which is false, but your idea of the organization of the Army as established by the act of Congress, and I feel confident you cannot have studied the legislation of Congress in relation to the Army. You are second in command of the whole Army of the Potomac, and not first in command of half the army. The position is a very simple one, and if you will take the pains to read the sixth section of the “Act to provide for the public defense,” approved the 6th of March, 1861, you will see that the President has no authority to divide an army into two corps d’armée, but only into brigades and divisions. Now, your rank being superior to that of a commander of a brigade or a division, and there being no other component parts into which an army can be legally divided, you necessarily command the whole army; but having present with you an officer of equal grade, but older commission, who also commands the whole army, you become second in command.

{p.905}

I have entered into these details because in conversation with the President, since his return from your headquarters, he has informed me that he found the same error as to the organization of the army which you seem to entertain very generally prevalent. The error, however, will probably not be productive of any further injurious consequences, as I hope in a few days to communicate to you such general orders in relation to this whole subject as will dissipate all possible conflict of authority, unite the army under one common head, and give to all its leaders appropriate and satisfactory positions. I therefore refrain from making any further allusion to the subject of the Chief of Ordnance, desired by you, as the whole matter will be so arranged as to gratify all your wishes in the general orders above referred to.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

* Not found.

[Circular letter.]

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A, Richmond, October 19, 1861.

SIR: On the 8th September the following order was issued to you from this Department, and seems not to have been obeyed:

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 147.

ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, September 8, 1861.

...

II. As it is believed there are many arms in the hands of the troops not required by them, the commander of each army corps will detail a field officer to visit and inspect the various encampments under his control, who will take away and cause to be sent to the ordnance depot in this city all the surplus arms he may find, specifying in his returns the kind and quantity taken from each regiment.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

The Department requests that you will communicate what obstacles have prevented your compliance with its order; whether those obstacles still exist, and, if so, when you expect to be able to overcome them.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

To Generals R. E. LEE, G. T. BEAUREGARD, and Jos. E. JOHNSTON; Maj. Gens. BENJ. HUGER, J. B. MAGRUDER; and Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD.

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ORDERS, No. 8.}

HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION FIRST CORPS, A. P., Union Mills, October 19, 1861.

No private property of citizens of the Confederate States will be taken by any person belonging to this division, except under the authority of the division commander or of the brigadier-generals commanding brigades. When private property is taken under orders for the benefit of the troops of this division, or when taken to prevent it from falling into {p.906} the hands of the enemy, a statement will be given to the owner thereof, showing forth the kind of property, its value, and the date it was taken. All such property will be taken by or turned over to the quartermaster’s department of the division, except cattle taken for the subsistence department. The officers of these departments will bear all such property on their return, and will be held accountable for it.

The attention of the troops of the division is called to the fifty-fourth articles of war. It should be borne in mind that whilst there is nothing more noble and honorable than to fly to arms and offer your lives in the cause of offended liberty and in the defense of your country, there is nothing more disgraceful than to rob or wantonly destroy the private property of your unoffending citizens. The two are entirely incompatible with each other, and any one guilty of the last can never be true to his honor.

The major-general commanding regrets having to call the attention of his division to this article of war.

By order of Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn:

JOSEPH D. BALFOUR, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, VA., October 20, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have the pleasure to acknowledge yours of the 15th and telegram of this date.* To the latter I reply that your rank, being of the highest grade known to our service, is equal to any command. Your inquiry must, therefore, be whether there can be a distinction between an army and a corps d’armée. There is none in the law of our army organization. If two corps or arm’s should happen to join or do duty together, though the senior officer would command the whole, the permanent organization of each army would not properly be disturbed by such accidental junction; but, if two armies should be concentrated into one, indefinitely to remain consolidated, the plainest principles of military organization require that they should be organized as one body, reference being had solely to future efficiency. The junior of the two commanders of the former armies would be second in command of the whole, and would or would not have special charge of a subdivision, according to the circumstances of the case. In your case, it would seem to me better that you should not have special charge of a subdivision, because, in the absence of General Johnston, your succession to the command of the whole would not disturb the relations of the officers and troops, nor involve any changes of positions on the line occupied; and, further, because your acquaintance with the whole body of the army, and the absence of any idea of identification with a part of it, would better qualify [you] for that succession.

The growing importance of the District of Aquia, and the increasing necessity for operations in the valley of Virginia, have suggested to me the propriety of bringing those sections into closer relations to the Army of the Potomac. That, it seems to me, may best be done by sending a general of division to the valley, and by placing the senior general (Johnston) in command of a department, embracing the three armies (of the Potomac, the Aquia, and the Valley). This has, I believe, been already intimated to you by the Secretary of War. Two {p.907} rules have been applied in the projected reorganization of the Army of the Potomac: First, as far as practicable to keep regiments from the same State together; second, to assign generals to command the troops of their own State. I have not overlooked the objections to each, but the advantages are believed to outweigh the disadvantages of that arrangement. In distributing the regiments of the several States, it would, I think, be better to place the regiments for the war in the same brigade of the State, and assign to those brigades the brigadiers whose services could least easily be dispensed with. For this among other reasons I will mention but one: The commission of a brigadier expires upon the breaking up of his brigade. (See the law for their appointment.) Of course I would not, for slight cause, change the relation of troops and commanders, especially where it has been long continued and endeared by the trials of battle; but it is to be noted that the regiment was fixed as the unit of organization, and made the connecting link between the soldier and his home; above that all was subject to the discretion of the Confederate authorities, save the pregnant intimation in relation to the distribution of generals among the several States. It was generous and confiding to surrender entirely to the Confederacy the appointment of generals, and it is the more incumbent on me to carry out, as well as may be, the spirit of the “volunteer system.” Your military objection to forming a division of the brigades of a particular State is forcible. In your army, however, that is impracticable. Virginia approximates it most nearly, and it might be well, as a defensive measure, when the accession of other troops will justify it, to transfer one Virginia brigade to the Valley District and fill its place in G. W. Smith’s division by a brigade from another State. The political objection which you suggest is probably answered by the arrangement which is proposed. You will perceive that of the four divisions, three are commanded by soldiers whose attachment to their profession and good sense will probably exclude ideas of political preferment, and the only major-general who comes immediately from civil life has in his division but one regiment from the State of which he is a native.

I will be happy to receive your views and suggestions on all subjects as fully as your convenience will permit. My sole wish is to secure the independence and peace of the Confederacy; for that I labor assiduously in my present position, and there is none other for which I would not gladly exchange it if there I could better promote the end to which my life is devoted. Others decided against my known desire and placed me where I am. With great distrust the post was accepted, and my best hope has been and is that my colaborers, purified and elevated by the sanctity of the cause they defend, would forget themselves in their zeal for the public welfare.

In a recent letter of General G. W. Smith, he says:

The railroad from Richmond to Manassas does not work efficiently. Let Beauregard try to apply the remedy. This need not interfere with your general agent nor the general plan of the Executive. The subject is of vital importance to this army. Beauregard guarantees to regulate it. Try him.

Inform me what your plan is. You must have an agent, and he, to be useful, must have an appointment. I will gladly accept your aid and give you my support.

Complaints are made to me of shocking neglect of the sick, who are sent down in the trains, such as being put in burden cars which had been used to transport horses or provisions, and into which the sick were thrust without previously cleansing the cars, and there left without {p.908} water, food, or attention. These representations have been spread among the people, and served to chill the ardor which has filled our ranks with the best men of the land. If such things have occurred, surely others than the railroad companies must share the responsibility.

Your dispatch, I perceive, is dated at Centreville, and otherwise the news has reached me that you had retired from Fairfax Court-House. The enemy may attempt to achieve something before the meeting of Congress. In this view I had contemplated an intrenched line, which would compensate for our want of numbers, and would be glad to have your conclusions upon that point.

General Magruder is anticipating an attack at Yorktown. His force is less than I could wish, but we have little to give him, and I suspect that, though it may become a real attack, it is only designed to be a feint to cover the advance, either by way of the upper or lower flank of your position.

With my best wishes for your welfare, and prayers for your success, I am, as ever, your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS, SEWELL MOUNTAIN, October 20, 1861.

General JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding Army of Kanawha:

GENERAL: It has been reported to me to-night that General Rosecrans was sending a strong detachment across New River to intercept you. I believe he is aware of you having crossed New River, but if the report I have just stated above is correct, it differs from the report brought me last night by Lieutenant Callison, of Captain Jones’ company, Wise’s Legion, just from Fayette Court-House. He was aware of no considerable force of the enemy being south of the Kanawha. Predatory excursions had been made across that river. Fayette Court-House was, in the opinion of the citizens, being threatened, but he was not aware of any force being sent towards your route. I consider it, however, sufficiently important to send a special courier to put you on your guard.

I must also inform you that General Loring has received dispatches to-night from Generals Jackson and Donelson confirmatory of several previous reports indicative of attacks on both their lines, and calling earnestly for aid. I have resisted these appeals for some time, and retained General Loring’s command here, in the hope of uniting in an attack with your force from the left bank of the Kanawha on General Rosecrans, who still holds his main force on the Gauley. I do not think it proper to retain General Loring any longer, as General Donelson thinks himself unable to maintain his position, and I have not heard what time you expect to make your contemplated movement down the Kanawha.

I shall therefore direct General Loring to commence his return to his line of operations to-morrow, and shall also send the Wise Legion to Meadow Bluff. This latter movement is the more necessary in consequence of the exposed condition of the Wilderness road since the withdrawal of your cavalry from that route and the advance upon it of the enemy’s scouts. It would be useless for it, in my opinion, to remain longer here, as it could accomplish no good purpose, and would be liable to be cut off.

{p.909}

It will be necessary for you to keep yourself informed of the enemy’s movements on this side of the river, so as to secure this road against his approach. On reaching Meadow Bluff I will inform you of the probable time of my return to Richmond.

Should your descent on the Kanawha cause the enemy to withdraw from the Gauley, as I believe it will, it will tend to the greater security of this section.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE, General, Commanding.

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RICHMOND, October 21, 1861.

Major-General JACKSON, Manassas:

SIR: The exposed condition of the Virginia frontier between the Blue Ridge and Alleghany Mountains has excited the deepest solicitude of the Government, and the constant appeals of the inhabitants that we should send a perfectly reliable officer for their protection have induced the Department to form a new military district, which is called the Valley District of the Department of Northern Virginia. In selecting an officer for this command the choice of the Government has fallen on you. This choice has been dictated, not only by a just appreciation of your qualities as a commander, but by other weighty considerations. Your intimate knowledge of the country, of its population and resources, rendered you peculiarly fitted to assume this command. Nor is this all. The people of that district, with one voice, have made constant and urgent appeals that to you, in whom they have confidence, should their defense be assigned. The administration shares the regret which you will no doubt feel at being separated from your command when there is a probability of early engagement between the opposing armies, put it feels confident that you will cheerfully yield your private wishes to your country’s service in the sphere where you can be rendered most available.

In assuming the command to which you have been assigned by general orders, although your forces will for the present be small, they will be increased as rapidly as our means will possibly admit, whilst the people will themselves rally eagerly to your standard as soon as it is known that you are to command. In a few days detailed instructions will be sent you through the Adjutant-General, and I will be glad to receive any suggestions you may make to render effectual your measures of defense.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, October 21, 1861.

General COOPER:

Cannot Ransom’s regiment of North Carolina cavalry be ordered to report to me forthwith? The enemy’s right was yesterday at Dranesville.

J. E. JOHNSTON.

{p.910}

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RICHMOND, October 21, 1861.

General JOSEPH B. JOHNSTON, Centreville, Va.:

Ransom’s regiment leaves here to-morrow morning to join you by route march.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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Proceedings of a meeting of the citizens of Lancaster and Northumberland Counties, Virginia.

OCTOBER 21, 1861.

At a meeting of the citizens of Lancaster and Northumberland, held at Lancaster Court-House, on Monday, the 21st day of October, 1861, William T. Jessee was called to the chair, and H. S. Hathaway appointed secretary. Samuel Gresham, esq., stated the object, and submitted for the consideration of the meeting the following resolutions, which were unanimously adopted, viz:

Whereas it is known that in each of the counties of Westmoreland, Richmond, and Northumberland there is a full number of regimental and staff officers of the militia in the service of the State or the Confederate States, and that in the county of Lancaster there is a colonel, surgeon, quartermaster, and commissary, and in all of the said counties a large number of companies with a full quota of company officers;

And whereas it is also well known that, by the volunteering of a large number of the men subject to military duty in the said counties, the regiments and companies in those counties, respectively, are but skeletons, no one of the said regiments containing as many as 400 men, rank and file, as required by the eleventh section of chapter 23 of the Code of Virginia, and it is believed, from information derived from gentlemen of the highest respectability for intelligence and truth in the several counties, that no one of the said regiments contains 300 men, rank and file, which is necessary to prevent a dissolution of the said regiments, according to the same section of the same chapter of the Code;

And whereas we have been informed by gentlemen of the highest respectability for intelligence and truth, residing in the county of Richmond, that while the said regiment is reported as containing largely over 300 men, that at no time since the militia of that county has been ordered into service have they had over 200 effective men in camp; that many whose names appear upon the muster rolls of the several companies in that county were furloughed when first called into camp and sent home, where they still remain, unable to perform service, and this though they were examined by the surgeon of the regiment and pronounced unfit for military service;

And whereas some of their companies have not more than from 30 to 40 men, with a full force of company officers;

And whereas we are informed that after the proclamation of the governor, of the - day of July, calling out the militia of the State, and the subsequent proclamation excepting such counties as had furnished their quota, and also such counties as might make up their quota by other volunteer companies, to be then immediately formed and mustered into service, the militia officers of some, if not all, of the said counties did discourage and by all means in their power prevent the formation of other volunteer companies in their counties;

{p.911}

And whereas the militia, as thus organized in the said counties, is costing the State or the Confederate Government a very large sum of money, which we believe to be totally unnecessary for the proper officering the militia;

And whereas we, a part of the tax-payers of the State and of the Confederate States, while we are willing to pay to the last dollar of our means the taxes necessary for the proper defense of our country, and have called upon the proper authorities to spare no expense that is or may be necessary for the efficient prosecution of the war in which we are engaged, yet we are unwilling to pay from three to four times the amount necessary for the proper defense of the country, whether that be as regards the whole expense of the war or the expense to be incurred in any particular locality or section of the country;

And whereas we have unlimited confidence in the Government, that while many abuses may escape their notice and attention, yet, when brought properly to their notice, they will be corrected: Therefore,

Resolved, That in the opinion of this meeting the state of things set forth in this preamble is not known to the proper authorities for correcting the same.

Resolved, That in the four counties above named there are not more effective men belonging to the militia than should constitute one regiment, and that the men now divided into four skeletons of regiments, with a full quota of regimental and staff officers and a much larger number of company officers than necessary, would be much more efficient for the defense of the said counties if thrown into one regiment and placed under the command of one colonel with one field officer in the other counties from which the colonel is not taken, to act as lieutenant-colonel or major, and a proper reduction of the number of companies.

Resolved, That, as at present organized, there is not and cannot be any co-operation between the several regiments in the said counties for the defense of each, but if thrown into one regiment, under one commander, they might and would co-operate with each other by the order of the said commander whenever their services might be required for the defense of either county.

Resolved, That we would not have the militia, by this arrangement we propose, withdrawn from either of the said counties, but would continue them in their counties respectively, under the command of their company officers and one field officer, subject to the order of the commanding officer, unless necessary temporarily to call them from one county to another for immediate defense.

Resolved, That while the proposed arrangement would be more efficient than the present, it would not cost the Government and people of the State who pay the expenses of the war more than one-half of the present organization.

Resolved, That a copy of these proceedings be sent by the secretary of this meeting to his excellency Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, to the governor of the State of Virginia, to Brigadier-General Holmes, and to Col. George E. Pickett, commanding the forces on the Rappahannock River.

On motion, the meeting then adjourned.

WM. T. JESSEE, Chairman. H. S. HATHAWAY, Secretary.

{p.912}

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STAUNTON, October 21, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: Inclosed is an urgent letter from General Jackson, and I have done all I could to have the Fifty-eighth to move in accordance with his wishes, but am informed you have allowed them to remain for a short time. If it cannot move, I must ask you to send another regiment up with the least possible delay, to take position on the Hardy line.

With great respect, your obedient servant,

M. G. HARMAN, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

GREENBRIER, October 20, 1861.

Major HARMAN:

MAJOR: I have good reason to fear that a body of the enemy are making their way, by the direction of the Seneca route, towards Monterey. They may do us vast injury, unless we can meet them. They are plundering and devastating the country as they come.

Is it possible, I would ask, that the Fifty-eighth Virginia Regiment, or any portion of it, will consent, under such circumstances, to remain in Staunton? I am lost in astonishment when I realize it. We are here in the immediate presence of a largely superior force. I cannot spare a man to go back, and yet this command, which could have rendered us so much service, and which I designed for this very duty, and which, had it moved, might have prevented, by its mere presence, this foray of the enemy, lingers in Staunton.

Scarcely a day passes that we are not skirmishing with the enemy here, and our presence here is absolutely necessary at this time to the protection of both lines. For our country’s sake, induce this regiment to move, and to move quickly.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. R. JACKSON, Brigadier-General, &c.

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STAUNTON, VA., October 22, 1861.

His Excellency PRESIDENT DAVIS, Richmond:

DEAR SIR: I received on yesterday a pressing letter from General H. R. Jackson, commanding on the Monterey line, to urge the commanding officer of the Fifty-eighth Virginia Regiment to march immediately for Fork of Waters, on the Seneca road. I immediately telegraphed General S. Cooper, and he has ordered the regiment to move without delay. My object in writing to you is to urge the importance of having at least two regiments on the Hardy line to guard the Seneca road. It would be a serious affair indeed if the enemy were to push forward a force on that line and get possession of our supplies at Monterey and come in the rear of our forces on the Alleghany and at Greenbrier River, by which movement, they having a strong force at Cheat Mountain, our forces would be surrounded. The Fifty-eighth Virginia Regiment has a great many men sick in the hospital, and numbers scarcely 400 effective men. I inclose you a copy of General Jackson’s letter. I fear that the Seneca road, not being guarded at all, gives an opportunity for pretended friends to pass and give information to the enemy which may {p.913} induce this movement on their part. I hope you will send a regiment up immediately, if it can possibly be done, if you concur in the importance I attach to guarding this line.

With the highest consideration, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. G. HARMAN, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

P. S.-I inclosed to the Secretary of War a copy of General Jackson’s letter, and also a letter from the commander of the post of Monterey,* which I should like you to see.

* Not found.

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CENTREVILLE, October 22, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

I think that the enemy cannot land near Occoquan without being discovered by our pickets. The report cannot be true. The ordnance officer reports that he can arm 1,000 men with muskets left unmarked, by sick men probably. Please send the men.

J. E. JOHNSTON.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 15.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., October 22, 1861.

1. A department is established, to be known and designated as the Department of Northern Virginia. It will be composed of the three following districts, viz-The Valley District, the Potomac District, and the Aquia District. The Valley District will embrace the section of country between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghany Mountains, the Potomac District between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the left bank of Powell’s River, and the Aquia District between Powell’s River and the mouth of the Potomac, including the Northern Neck, and embracing the counties on either side of the Rappahannock River from its mouth to Fredericksburg.

2. General J. E. Johnston is assigned to the command of the Department of Northern Virginia, General P. G. T. Beauregard to the command of the Potomac District, Maj. Gen. T. H. Holmes to the command of the Aquia District, and Maj. Gen. T. J. Jackson to the command of the Valley District.

3. The troops serving in the Potomac District will be brigaded and formed into divisions, as follows: First division, under command of Major-General Van Dorn: First Brigade, Brigadier-General Clark, to consist of four Mississippi regiments; Second Brigade, Brigadier-General Whiting, to consist of five Mississippi regiments; Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Stuart, to consist of the cavalry of the army of this district, to be united in one brigade; Fourth Brigade, the Hampton Legion, under Colonel Hampton. Second Division, under command of Maj. Gen. G. W. Smith: First Brigade, Brigadier-General Ewell, to consist of four Virginia regiments; Second Brigade, Brig. Gen. S. Jones, to consist of four Virginia regiments; Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Early, to consist of four Virginia regiments; Fourth Brigade, Brigadier-General Crittenden, to consist of two Virginia regiments, two Tennessee {p.914} regiments, and one Kentucky regiment. Third Division, under command of Major-General Longstreet: First Brigade, Brig. Gen. D. R. Jones, to consist of four South Carolina regiments; Second Brigade, Brigadier-General Bonham, to consist of four South Carolina regiments; Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Wilcox, to consist of four Alabama regiments; Fourth Brigade, Brigadier-General Rodes, to consist of four Alabama regiments; Fifth Brigade, Brigadier-General Taylor, to consist of five Louisiana regiments. Fourth Division, under the command of Maj. Gen. E. K. Smith: First Brigade, Brigadier-General Walker, to consist of four Georgia regiments; Second Brigade, Brigadier-General Toombs, to consist of four Georgia regiments; Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Elzey, to consist of three Georgia regiments and one Maryland regiment; Fourth Brigade, Brigadier-General Evans, to consist of five North Carolina regiments; Fifth Brigade, Brigadier-General Wigfall, to consist of three Texas regiments and one Louisiana regiment.

The particular regiments for these several brigades will be designated by the commanding general of the Department of Northern Virginia, in conformity to this programme, according to States. The arrangements will be gradually carried into effect as soon as, in the judgment of the commanding general, it can be safely done under present exigencies.*

By command of the Secretary of War:

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* Paragraph 3 modified by G. O., No. 18. See November 16, post.

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RICHMOND, October 23, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville:

I will send you 1,000 unarmed men immediately. Colonel Ransom marches with his regiment of cavalry to-morrow to join you.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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LEWISBURG, VA., Wednesday, October 23, 1861.

G. W. MUNFORD, Esq., Secretary of the Commonwealth:

DEAN SIR: I hope that you will excuse me for troubling you with a line, and if you are not the proper person to write to on such subjects, do, if you please, pass this line to the proper officer. General Loring’s command is falling back to this place, which is west of Meadow Bluff, and from here they go northward to Greenbrier River Bridge, where it is said that the Federalists are pressing a regiment left to guard that pass. One regiment passed late last evening, and another regiment is passing while I write. It is cold and raw and showery, and some of the regiment that passed this morning came in last night, and in the dark and wet and mud, poor fellows, could get no place to sleep or anything to eat. A distant relative of mine here of the name of Wetzel provided for six of them. Many lay out in the rain all night; many drank and caroused all night, and I am really fearful that it is this unnecessary exposure that has got so many on the sick list.

For a long time yet Lewisburg must be the base of operations, and there could be, and ought to be, a shed built here, as well to protect [the men] from the weather [and] such military stores as remain here for days {p.915} in their transit from Jackson’s River Station to the army. A shed with abundance of straw in it, in which detachments of troops passing to and fro might sleep, is a great desideratum, inasmuch as it would convince our citizen soldiery that all is done that it is possible to do to protect them from exposure, and such a shelter, with such feelings, would do much to exempt them from the great sickness that now desolates these western camps. The expense could not be much of such an erection, and the benefits would be great. The teams are also suffering severely for want of forage. That could be obviated in some degree by a very simple process, not adopted by the Quartermaster’s Department, and yet so obvious that any one is surprised at its non-adoption, unless it is purposely omitted. Why could not each wagon that hauls flour or other heavy material for the army from any of the depots take with them from three to five hundred pounds of hay or blades? It would fill the wagon; it would protect the load from the weather; it would sustain the transportation attached to the moving columns of the army; it would prevent the loss of stock, and enable the army to move with more alacrity and facility.

Then there is a very great mistake in hauling flour to the army in the mountains, where they have nothing but flour and meat, and the consequence is indigestible bread, and consequently sickness. A bakery established anywhere in the rear, either at Jackson’s River Station or Covington, 9 miles west of that, could bake bread for the army, and the weight would not be greater to haul in bread or crackers than in flour; and if you could not put a load of bread in a wagon, the wagons could be a little altered so that a load could be put on them, or under other circumstances a heavy package of some sort could be put in each bread wagon, so as to give the necessary weight to haul. The expense would be but small, and the gain great in the increased health and efficiency of the men-the fewer hospitals; for, if what I have heard be true, the expense of the hospital at White Sulphur will equal, or nearly equal, the expense of the transportation from Jackson’s River Station to the army.

As to vegetables, pounded hominy would be the most convenient, palatable, and healthy that the army could get, winter or summer, and it is the easiest dressed for eating of anything, and could be so easily supplied to each army, and the machines for cracking the corn and hulling it are so abundant and cheap, that it is to me wonderful that some department of the Army had not introduced it. I will venture to say that it is far better than rice, and could be supplied at one-third the cost of that article per pound.

The Tennessee and Georgia troops, with many of whom I have talked, are very averse to serving in the mountains. The climate does not suit them, and toiling up the mountains on marches breaks them down directly. It is strange that they should be sent here to serve while many regiments raised in the mountains, accustomed to the inequalities of the surface of the earth, inured to the rigors of the climate, all having homes or relatives to defend, should be retained in Eastern Virginia and the defense of their homes intrusted to strangers unaccustomed to so rough a country and so bleak a climate. The Twenty-seventh Virginia Regiment, so effective at Manassas, came from Greenbrier, Monroe, and Alleghany Counties, and perhaps a company or two from Rockbridge.

I am no military man. Age has disabled me from bearing the fatigues of a campaign, and if that were not so, blindness has disqualified me from so doing. Amaurosis has wholly obscured one eye, and the other one sympathizes with it. I therefore do not pretend to be a military {p.916} critic. But old, blind, feeble, and ignorant as I am, I would have risked a general battle to have got into the valley of the Ohio, to have prevented the vote from being taken to-morrow on the question of the new State of Kanawha, which territory is militarily occupied by the Federal Army, and they really do not seem to care at present about any other portion of Western Virginia. If that vote shall be overwhelmingly in favor of it, which it is likely to be from the circumstance of the friends of the South being overawed, and Congress shall next winter at Washington pass a law admitting it, you will find that the Federal forces will swarm there this winter; fortifications will be erected, the militia of that region will be called out, and the remainder of Western Virginia will be assailed from each fortress, each one of which will be made a base of operations. It will be very highly prejudicial to the State in a civil and commercial point of view, and very prejudicial to the Confederacy. Look at it for one moment. It is the great coal field of America, from which the South is to obtain the fuel down the Ohio River that will drive their spindles and propel their commerce, both oceanic and river. The timber of that country is indispensable to the South for many purposes-barrels and hogsheads for their molasses and sugar, flooring, and even for building a mercantile marine. That country would supply the whole Confederacy with salt during the blockade, for my county alone (Mason) can turn out one thousand barrels a day of salt, and Kanawha County could double that. Some fuel, and flour to almost any amount, would descend the Ohio to the South, to say nothing of butter, lard, and other things of that nature, such as the oils, both natural and artificial, for it is in that region that the cannel coal [is found], out of which they make oil, and in the county of Wirt, northeast from Parkersburg about 30 miles, are the finest wells of natural coal oil in the world. My county has for years past sent east about one thousand head of stall-fed cattle annually and large quantities of hogs. These things are articles of prime necessity to the South, which, if not produced in the Southern Confederacy, must be admitted free of duty from the North, and it is no doubt that object in view that induces the attempt to attach that part of Virginia to the Lincoln Government.

Then look at it with reference to the State. In the first place, great fortunes of many here, friends of the State, are situate there-Judge Allen, Judge Camden, Colonel Jenkins, and hundreds of others, whose property will be confiscated; and if the Governments give up that portion of Virginia a large but just claim will exist against the Governments for compensation-more, perhaps, than the expense of reconquering it. To leave that portion of Virginia with the Lincoln Government will also very much retard the action of Northern Kentucky, and perhaps also strengthen the Lincolnites in that part of Kentucky; for in my opinion those two sections are acting and reacting on each other, and any decided preponderance of one party or the other in any part of that section in either State will seriously affect the other section. Besides the command of the Ohio River from near its head-for Northern Virginia reaches within 40 or 50 miles by water of the head of the Ohio, and if Kentucky goes with us, as she will do if not withheld by the State-of that portion of Virginia, it will give the Confederacy such a control of the Ohio River as would enable them to get better terms with reference to the navigation of other rivers not within their boundary-for instance, the Upper Mississippi and Missouri, the upper portion of the Chesapeake Bay, and perhaps other desirable waters.

Leaving these views of the subject, there is another one which ought never to be lost sight of by a Virginia statesman. If a new State is {p.917} made, then you may depend upon it that it will be not only a free State, but a bitter abolition one. The very fact of separation will make them bitterly hostile to Virginia and all her institutions, and will carry abolitionism up to the very valley of Virginia. Border quarrels will always occur and reprisals will be made. That will lead to hostile incursions, and that to a border warfare, so that war in fact will exist, though no war be declared.

I could fill a quire of paper with reasons why that country ought not to be allowed to slough off, and while we are engaged in war I think that our true policy would be to hold it, even if in doing so we shall be compelled to stain every square foot of its soil with human blood.

Yours, &c., very respectfully,

HENRY J. FISHER.

[Indorsement.]

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT, October 26, 1861.

This letter is from a gentleman of great reliability and intelligence, and contains many suggestions, some of which I regard as worthy of consideration. It is therefore respectfully referred to the honorable Secretary of War.

JOHN LETCHER.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KANAWHA, Camp Dickerson, October 23, 1861.

His Excellency the SECRETARY OF WAR:

SIR: In pursuance of the plan detailed in my late dispatches, I have arrived at a point on the left bank of the Kanawha 5 miles below Fayette Court-House; occupied a strategical point famous for its strength named Cotton Hill, and hold the ferries which lead from it to the other side of the river. I have with me, when all my troops shall have come into camp, some 4,000 men. The enemy occupy the right bank of the river, immediately opposite, with a large force-not less, I have reason to believe, than 13,000 men. Their whole camp is in full view, and we have daily skirmishes. When I arrived in the neighborhood they had 2,000 men on this side, and had made known their intention to occupy and fortify Cotton Hill, which they declared capable of defense, if fortified, against 100,000 men; but on my advance they retreated with precipitation to the other bank. Their present position is admirably selected. It is nothing less than the key to the northwest and the Kanawha Valley. The powerful army which they have assembled there and the fortifications which they have erected around evince their determination to hold it permanently, and I have received some information, though not certain, of re-enforcements on the way to it from the State of Ohio. In this position-the fork of the Gauley and New Rivers-they command the Kanawha River, by which steamboats laden with supplies come within 6 miles of their headquarters, as I witnessed to-day with my own eyes. They command, also, the roads to Clarksburg and the northwest, which they have put in perfect order by employing on them the labor of all their prisoners and all the secessionists in the country which they have overrun. In this position, also, they are always ready to strike Lewisburg whenever the Confederate force at Sewell Mountain and Meadow Bluff is removed. To keep their position is clearly their most important object and purpose in Western Virginia. To dislodge them is equally important to us. I have reconnoitered {p.918} the country below our two camps with that view, and I find it easy to do so with proper force. I have only to seize the river and roads between them and the Ohio, and the base of their operations is at once destroyed. They would be forced to come and fight me in the positions which I would choose, or retreat by their roads to Clarksburg and the northwest, and abandon the whole of the Kanawha to the Confederates. This is the action which I propose to the War Department and to myself. Had I now in camp the whole force that has been allotted to me and Wise’s Legion I would execute my idea without a day’s delay, but with the troops already here I cannot think that it would be a prudent course in the face of an enemy so powerful. I hope that the War Department will give the necessary orders for the speedy arrival of re-enforcements. If I can assemble 10,000 men here I shall dislodge the enemy and win the whole Kanawha before the campaign is concluded.

Appended your excellency will please find a dispatch from General Lee, from which it will be seen that the road to Lewisburg will soon be left under the sole protection of Wise’s Legion.* This is an additional reason for the immediate re-enforcement of my command at this point, for should the enemy attempt the advance on Lewisburg, while I have a sufficient army to cross the river I can always stop him in full career by cutting his communication and supplies.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding Army of Kanawha.

* See Lee to Floyd, October 20, p. 908.

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RICHMOND, VA., October 24, 1861.

General G. W. SMITH:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I did not forget your request in relation to Lieutenant Randal. His case has been examined, and it appears that one case, of which he and many others might justly complain, does exist. It was an error, but how can it be remedied? More officers who ranked Lieutenant Randal by former commission are in our service than could be appointed to the grade of captain, so that it is impossible to give him that grade and thus restore his relative position to Childs. The other cases are those of engineers, a corps not having lieutenants, and the members of which were selected for their special qualifications. Before the case was referred back to me he had concluded it by agreement with the Secretary of War, and I hope satisfactorily to him. You ask for his appointment as inspector-general. By reference to the law of organization you will see that no such office is provided for.

My meaning in relation to the revival of your ideas of the value of rank was that you should regard field officers’ posts belonging to age or extraordinary merit, and that a soldier, instead of scouting the grade of brigadier-general, might consider it high enough to repay the labor of a life. Your recommendations indicated a disregard of the propriety of passing through the various steps, as they contemplated the long leaps known rather to militia than regular troops.

I will not argue further the question of the number of generals required for an army as small as yours was stated to be, and see no relation to the matter in the following sentence used by you: “Now, because our rank and file have been so much weakened by disease, it is not to be supposed that the reduced force can be more easily made to beat the enemy than when it was at its full, efficient strength.” The whole force {p.919} for duty was a little larger than when the enemy was beaten, the number of generals had been more than proportionately increased, and the only supposition presented was that a further and great augmentation of generals was necessary. To assume that eight regiments are enough for a major-general’s command, with out regard being had to the number of men in a regiment, you must have resorted to some other reason than that of the length of the line to be occupied, which was, I thought, the strongest urged in our conversation. The remedy of recruiting the ranks which you propose when regiments are reduced is more easily proposed than applied to the twelve-months’ volunteers, who compose the greater portion of your army.

The recent victory at Leesburg must have a powerful effect, but can hardly change the enemy’s plan, though it may postpone its execution. We have reports of the embarkation of a large force at Fortress Monroe.

General Magruder expects an immediate attack at Yorktown. There is reason to believe a descent will be made on the coast of North Carolina, and I am looking all round to see where the 3,000 troops we have here shall be first and most needed. Oh, that we had plenty of arms and a short time to raise the men to use them!

Very truly, your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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CHARLESTOWN, JEFFERSON COUNTY, VIRGINIA, October 24, 1861.

Hon. R. M. T. HUNTER, Secretary of State:

DEAR SIR: In consequence of my absence from home it was only last night that I had the honor to receive your letter, and I exceedingly regret that there is a misconception of our wishes at the War Department in reference to Lieutenant-Colonel Ashby’s promotion. Our main object in asking that he be advanced to a full colonelcy is that we may thereby be enabled to organize under him an additional force of several hundred young men who are anxious to be attached to his command but will not volunteer under another colonel. If they organize under Lieutenant-Colonel Ashby now they will constitute a portion of Colonel McDonald’s command, and although Lieutenant-Colonel Ashby is at present detached from McDonald’s regiment he is under his orders, and the young men I speak of wish to be assured that Ashby alone shall command their regiment.

The condition of our border is becoming more alarming every day. No night passes without some infamous outrage upon our loyal citizens. Ashby’s force is too small to prevent these things, but if he be made a colonel, and those he has with him now be re-enforced by the volunteers ready to rally to his regiment, I promise you that a better state of things will exist up here. I am reluctant to make suggestions to those who are so much better qualified to conduct affairs, but I trust it will not be deemed presumptuous in me to say that it would also be well to make Ashby provost-marshal for the river counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan. These counties are infested with traitors. They cannot be controlled or guarded against unless some one be invested with authority to deal with them as they deserve. They defy all authority now, and are in daily communication with the enemy, as we have reason to believe. The enemy along the canal has been re-enforced, and yesterday I noticed them busy building a raft or boat at Dam No. 4, and also that coal continues to be sent down the canal.

I have just written a letter to the Secretary of War, and hope that {p.920} you will favor us with your good offices in securing the full colonelcy for Ashby. A part of his present force is militia, and they are commanded by full colonels, who rank Ashby, which makes some difficulty always, and which was the source of a serious trouble to Ashby in his fight at Harper’s Ferry on Wednesday last, which I myself had occasion to notice there.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient’ servant,

A. R. BOTELER.

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RICHMOND, VA., October 25, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Your letters of October 20 and 21 have just been referred to me,* and I hasten to reply, without consulting the Secretary of War. This enables me to say, without connecting his expressions of feeling with the present case, that you have alike his admiration and high personal regard, evinced by so many signs that it cannot be to me a matter of doubt. As the essence of offense is the motive with which words are spoken, I have thus, it is hoped, removed the gravest part of the transaction.

You were unquestionably wrong in the order to recruit a company for the Provisional Army. The Congress, with jealous care, reserved to the men of such companies the power of selecting their own officers. The Executive could not recruit a company except for the Regular Army, and as provided by law; to that extent he could delegate his power to generals in the field, but he could not do more. I presume the objection was not that it was to be a rocket battery, but was to the recruiting of a company for special service, the commander having been selected, not by the men, but the Confederate authority. More than half the controversies between men arise from difference of education and habits of thought. The letter in relation to the law of organization was written like a lawyer, and had it been addressed to one of that profession would not probably have wounded his sensibilities, except in so far as to provoke debate upon the accuracy of his position; but it was addressed to a soldier, sensitive as to the propriety of his motives, and careless about the point which I am sure the Secretary intended alone to present, inattention to, or misconstruction of, the laws governing the case. He desired that your position should be entirely satisfactory to you, and that the freest scope should be given for the exercise of your genius and gallantry in the further maintenance of the cause which and the smoke and blaze of battle you have three times illustrated. Prompted by that desire, he anticipated my purpose, which had been communicated to him, to place you in the immediate command of the Army of the Potomac, by referring to an order which would soon be issued and which he hoped would be satisfactory to you.

Now, my dear sir, let me entreat you to dismiss this small matter from your mind. In the hostile masses before you, you have a subject more worthy of your contemplation. Your country needs all of your mind and of your heart. You have given cause to expect all which man can do, and your fame and her interests require that your energies should have a single object. My prayers always attend you, and, with confidence, I turn to you in the hour of peril.

Very truly, your friend,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

P. S.-The Secretary has not seen your letter, and I will not inform him as to this correspondence.

* Not found.

{p.921}

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Near Centreville, October 25, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Pa.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of a communication from the War Department, dated 19th instant, which, setting out with the assumption that an order of that Department had not been obeyed, calls for an explanation of the obstacles which have prevented “compliance with its order,” and in reply to which I have to state, for the information of the Department, as follows:

Although satisfied that there were no arms in the hands of troops of this corps not required for the ultimate wants of the several regiments to which they had been issued, that is, which would not be needed by the returning sick and recruits, I directed the acting inspector-general of the corps-a field officer-to look after these alleged surplus arms, which he has done, so far as was practicable, and thus far with the result anticipated; that is, no really surplus arms have been found.

The constant shifting of regiments, however, their incessant occupation with outpost duties, and the daily engrossing incidents and engagements of the service of this army corps at this time, in the presence of a powerful enemy, making the execution of the order difficult, have led me not to give as much thought to this investigation as I might otherwise have done, and have perchance unduly diminished its importance in my mind. I shall, however, detail another field officer to take up this investigation, and collect any arms he may find not in hands of men who require them. Meanwhile, in order that I may carry out the wishes of the Department as well as the letter of the orders in question, permit me to ask whether it is designed that arms of the absent sick shall be sent to Richmond or left to me (for my corps), to be disposed of under the existing practice; that is, according to the orders a copy of which I append.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, SECOND CORPS, A. P., Centreville, October 25, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: In reply to your letter [of 21st instant] informing me that I have been assigned to the command of “the Valley District of the Department of Northern Virginia,” I have to express my grateful acknowledgment of the honor conferred, and my readiness promptly to comply with the order when received, though it separates me from the brigade which I had hoped to command through the war.

Availing myself of your kind offer to receive suggestions from me respecting the defense of that section of the State, I would, before visiting that region of the State, and ascertaining what troops, stores, and other means of defense are on hand, barely request that, if you have a good and available engineer officer, you would direct him to report to me, and that you will, as far as practicable, send me troops for the war, and keep the supplies, especially of arms, beyond the immediate wants of the forces. Men are more ready to volunteer when told that they can be immediately armed and equipped.

{p.922}

Hoping, through the troops and supplies that you may furnish, soon to see an efficient army in the valley, I remain, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, P. A. C. S.

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CENTREVILLE, October 25, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond:

GENERAL: I have had the honor to receive a copy of General Orders, No. 15 [October 22].

Under that order all the cavalry of this army is to belong to the First Division, Major-General Van Dorn’s. I beg this arrangement may be reconsidered by the administration. All the cavalry of the army is now employed on outpost duty. The officer at the head of that service (Brigadier-General Stuart) should be under the immediate orders of the commander of the army, and make his reports to and receive his instructions from him. In like manner, in battle, the commanding general must keep under his own control the largest portion of the cavalry, so that General Van Dorn’s division would actually become the weakest in the army, although he is the senior major general, with high reputation. Should the cavalry be placed with a division of infantry, it must be kept out of position, either for its daily service of observing the enemy or to play its part in battle. Its pickets now cover a front of some 20 miles. To collect its regiments in a division on the right flank of the line would produce great inconvenience, while the loss of time in reporting to the general of division instead of to the commanding general might lead to disaster. For these reasons I respectfully suggest that the cavalry brigade be not included in any division, but left under the immediate orders of the commanding general, and that the First Division be increased by an equal force of infantry.

I regret very much that we have not cavalry enough to give Maj. Gen. E. Van Dorn a division of troops of that arm.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 462.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, October 26, 1861.

Brig. Gen. Cadmus M. Wilcox, P. A. C. S., is assigned to the command of the Fifth Brigade, Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, and will be obeyed accordingly.

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, October 27, 1861.

Governor JOHN LETCHER, Present:

DEAR SIR: We are in very urgent straits for powder, which is being required on all sides for the defense of the frontiers of Virginia. During your absence the Secretary of State gave me an order for 500 barrels {p.923} of rifle powder, to be sent at once to General Joseph E. Johnston, who made a pressing request for its immediate transmission, but I learn, that your chief of ordnance has suspended the order. There are also 75 barrels of cannon powder in the Bellona Arsenal, which it would be very important to send to General Magruder for the heavy guns recently sent to Yorktown and Gloucester Point. Could you not do me the favor to put this powder at my disposal? I will settle for it on any reasonable terms, and it shall not be used out of the State.

Yours, very truly,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

P. S.-I am told that you have four 12-pounder bronze howitzers not in use. General Johnston is constantly asking for howitzers, and I will send them also to him if you will let me have them.

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RICHMOND, October 27, 1861.

Maj. Gen. T. H. HOLMES, Commanding the Department of Aquia:

SIR: Intelligence has reached this Department from various sources that the Federal fleet in Hampton Roads, with 25,000 men, is destined for the Rappahannock River, with the view of executing a flank movement upon your command. I think it proper to give you warning of the reported plan of attack, though the intimation of their intention to make such a movement may have been thrown out to conceal their real purpose.

Colonel [George B.] Pickett, at Tappahannock, has been written to, with orders to call out all the local forces he can muster, armed with their own weapons, do the best he can, and wait your orders.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, VA., October 27, 1861.

General JOSEPH B. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department of Northern Virginia:

SIR: We have received from several quarters information that the enemy intend a movement in force up the Rappahannock, and that he has about 25,000 men in the fleet now concentrated at Fort Monroe for that purpose. This may be a feint, or the information, although coming from friends, may have been allowed to leak out with the view of deceiving us, yet it is of sufficient importance to be sent to you. I send a private note to Colonel Jordan, the adjutant of General Beauregard, by special messenger. The note incloses a communication in cipher, sent to the President from some unknown quarter, and the President has an impression that Colonel Jordan has a key which will decipher it. If so, the contents will no doubt be communicated to you by General Beauregard, if of any importance. We have so many apparently reliable yet contradictory statements about the destination of this great expedition, that we are much at a loss to prepare defense against it. I have ordered up four or five unarmed regiments from Georgia and Alabama, and hope they will be here in a day or two. Let me know {p.924} by telegraph how many you can arm, and I will send them at once. News from Europe to-day assures us of a very early recognition of our independence and of the breaking of the blockade.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS VIRGINIA MILITIA, Winchester, October 27, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

The enemy has driven Colonel McDonald’s forces from their positions near New Creek and Romney. Many of them are on their retreat to Winchester. Major Funsten is at Blue’s Hotel, hurt by a fall. He writes that it may be a general advance on Winchester.

Most respectfully,

J. H. CARSON, Brigadier General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KANAWHA, Camp Dickerson, October 27, 1861.

His Excellency the SECRETARY OF WAR:

SIR: The re-enforcements which have been, as I am officially informed, ordered to this command, have not, with the exception of Waddill’s battalion of 300, made their appearance or been heard of; and owing to the inevitable hardship and exposures of active operations so late in the season, my force is daily diminished. I have not, it is almost unnecessary to say, attempted the maneuver on the base of the enemy’s lines to cut his supplies and communications, for my plans, as detailed in my last dispatch, depended on an addition to my strength, which I now begin to despair of receiving. I am at present busy in harassing and annoying the enemy in front of Cotton Hill, with the hope that he may be provoked to come and fight me in my position. Should he do so, I have no doubt of the result.

On the 24th of the month, after reconnoitering in person the river to Loop Creek, one of its tributaries, I dispatched Colonel Clarkson, with 160 cavalry, farther down, into the counties of Putnam and Fayette, to neighborhoods known to be strongly disaffected, and in which polls had been opened for the first election of the counterfeit State of Kanawha. The expedition was highly successful; the election was broken up; the Unionists fired on and some of them killed, and 40 prisoners, notorious for their hatred of the Confederacy and their robberies and cruelties to their secessionist neighbors, brought prisoners to my camp. Colonel Clarkson reconnoitered the Kanawha River for many miles, discovering several posts of the enemy, and firing into a steamboat laden with supplies on its way up to their camp. The pilot and other persons on it were killed or wounded and the boat visibly damaged, but for want of means to board we were unable to capture it.

I am now preparing batteries on the mountain side which will command the road along the river to the enemy’s camp, by which they receive their supplies after they leave the steamboat. I hope to open fire to-morrow morning, and think that they will cause such serious inconvenience {p.925} and injury, that the enemy will perhaps cross and give me battle under the conditions which I demand for success. But if the enemy will not do so, and persists in holding on to his present position against all temptations and invitations, his force is so powerful, and mine so small, that I shall be unable to do anything with him unless the Department can prevail on General Lee to make a movement against his front. My march to this point is only part of a larger plan. By it General Lee, with his large army on Sewell Mountain, should have operated on the front of the enemy, while I made my way through a desert to attack his flank. I have done my part of this work, but I have not heard of General Lee’s movements, and unless he should make them speedily, I fear that this campaign must end without any decisive result, and that all the force lately assembled around Sewell Mountain will be of no profit to the war.

In the mean time I await anxiously the views of the Department as to the proper winter quarters for the troops under my command. I have already placed the Department in full possession of my own ideas, and pray that it may speedily decide upon them.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding Army of Kanawha.

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CENTREVILLE, October 28, 1861.

President DAVIS:

Informant in Washington says marine expedition is aimed at Cape Fear River and occupation of Wilmington, Smithville, and Fayetteville Arsenal, North Carolina.

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, October 28, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville:

Just heard from Norfolk that the enemy’s great fleet is going to sea, thus indicating that the threat of attack on the Rappahannock was intended to deceive us.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 192.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’s OFFICE, Richmond, October 28, 1861.

...

VII. Maj. Gen. T. J. Jackson, Provisional Army, is assigned to the command of the Valley District in the Department of Northern Virginia, and will proceed to establish his headquarters at Winchester or such other point as he may select.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.926}

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RICHMOND, October 29, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville;

Just received a dispatch from General Huger informing me that thirty-six steamers and one transport steamer have gone to sea this morning and two went yesterday. This, I think, removes all probability of an attack on the Lower Potomac or the Rappahannock.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, October 29, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville, Va.:

MY DEAR SIR: I have just seen General Wigfall, and find from my conversation with him that you cannot have understood my note in relation to Captain Montgomery. I had no funds in the appropriations from which I could pay for recruiting, and not knowing what to do with him, left him subject to your orders, but with no idea of interfering in any way with any arrangement you might make for the command of the battery. I merely suggested (not knowing that there was any charge against him) that it might be well to let him learn how to manage his battery under the command of the officer you had chosen, but even this was a mere suggestion, to be adopted or not at your discretion. Wigfall says that the men won’t obey Montgomery, and that he is not fit to command, but that you wish to avoid a court-martial, as they are ineffective and troublesome machines with volunteers. This may all be very true, but what are we to do? I know of no other means of getting rid of an incompetent or unworthy officer. The President has no power to dismiss him. I leave the whole matter to you to do the best you can, and have written these few lines only to remove the impression that I desired at all to interfere with the command of the battery, as ordered by you.

I have explained to Wigfall that the two Texas regiments remaining here have been detained solely to aid in repulsing the enemy in the event of his landing on the Peninsula or on the coast of North Carolina, in the rear of our defenses at Norfolk. By Thursday evening we shall know positively whether they have gone farther south than Hatteras, in which event I will send you up the two regiments immediately. I will also, I hope, have two or three Georgia regiments here about the same time to receive the arms you have on hand.

I have told General Cooper to let you retain General Jackson during the present emergency, but as soon as the battle is fought, or all chance of conflict is at an end, I am anxious to get him into the Valley District, where he enjoys the fullest confidence of the people, and where we hope with his aid to organize a very respectable force.

Yours, &c.,

J. P. BENJAMIN.

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RICHMOND, October 29, 1861.

Col. ANGUS W. MCDONALD, Winchester, Va.:

COLONEL: I am desired to inform you, in answer to your communication of the 20th instant, that Maj. Gen. T. J. Jackson has been ordered to the command of the Valley District, extending from the Blue Ridge to the Alleghany Mountains, with full powers to act in all {p.927} matters relating to the defense of that district and the military operations therein. General Jackson, as chief in command of the district, will also regulate and direct the subject of winter quarters, to which you refer.

Very respectfully, &c.,

R. H. CHILTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, October 29, 1861.

Col. GEORGE E. PICKETT, Commanding, &c., Fort Lowry:

COLONEL: Yours of the 28th instant, by special messenger, was duly received this morning, and submitted to the Secretary of War, who greatly regrets his inability to send you re-enforcements.* He has, however, directed a supply of percussion arms and ammunition to be forwarded to you with the least practicable delay. It is impossible to furnish you with the rifled cannon mentioned in your communication.

Very respectfully, &c.,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KANAWHA, Camp Dickerson, October 29, 1861.

Hon. SECRETARY OF WAR:

SIR: I have the honor to request that you will furnish me as speedily as possible two 12-pounder rifled guns and two 24-pounder rifled howitzers. In my present position I feel very seriously the want of heavy artillery, and am quite satisfied that if I had it I could bring the campaign to a successful close. I hold the left bank of New River and am in command of all its ferries. From the river bluffs are plainly seen the several encampments of the enemy at and in the vicinity of the Hawk’s Nest. Some of these positions can be reached, from which with such guns as I ask for the enemy could not only be dislodged from his positions, but the navigation of the Kanawha cut off and its ferries commanded. Could this be effected one of two alternatives is left him-either to fight me in my own positions or to retreat out of the valley through the northwest. With 6-pounder guns such as I have I cannot engage with certainty of success the pieces of the enemy, superior in number, range, caliber, and metal. Any position which I can gain, and from which the enemy’s can be reached, can be brought within range of his guns. With guns of power equal to or approximating that of his I would attack him with a strong conviction of success.

I earnestly but respectfully call your attention to the matter, with the request that you will inform me at once whether the guns can be furnished.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding Army of Kanawha.

{p.928}

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BROOKE’S STATION, October 29, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

An intelligent soldier sent from Evansport across the river reports 15,000 of the enemy there, with eighty pieces of field artillery, to prevent us from crossing, and the batteries are to be attacked as soon as their vessels can be prepared. He heard nothing of the expedition from below, mentioned by Van Camp. He crossed back this morning at Mathias Point.

TH. H. HOLMES, Major-General.

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CENTREVILLE, October 29, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

MY DEAR SIR: Your note of the 27th instant has been received, with its inclosure. The note in cipher was addressed to me-that is, to Thomas John Rayford, a name I adopted before leaving Washington, for purposes of cipher correspondence with Mrs. Greenhow, by whom the note probably was written. As you will perceive from the translation inclosed, the subject-matter is unimportant. I say Mrs. G. probably wrote the note, but it is quite possible she did not, and that it is a shallow device of the enemy to entice into a correspondence which shall fall into their hands. This is the best light to view it, as a correspondence with her or further use of that cipher is useless. This cipher I arranged last April. Being my first attempt, and hastily devised, it may be deciphered by any expert, as I found after use of it for a time. I accordingly would have discarded it long since had Mrs. G. escaped detection, and had, indeed, arranged a cipher to send her just as she was arrested. The War Department at Washington came into possession of one of her letters in this cipher, and by its aid ought to have worked out the key. That does not matter, as of course I used it with but the lady, and with her it has served our purpose, including the one great service of saving General Bonham from a disastrous surprise on the l7th of July. I hear from another source that a reward is offered for the key. I am inclined to furnish it through a person in Washington, and let the friend get the consideration, for, I repeat, the possession of the key can do them no possible good now, nor can it prejudice any one. My suspicion has been excited by the way the value of the key is dwelt upon in this note and the desire to get at it on part of enemy, for I cannot doubt that an expert could unravel it.

I know not who wrote the letter signed A. M. H. The place of attack he indicates is one that Dr. Van Camp has just come here to inform us has actually been determined on as the place of descent by the Annapolis armada. Callan, clerk of Senate Military Committee, is informant. It is doubted here, however, but the army has been put in order for such an exigency.

Last night I telegraphed information sent me that Cape Fear River, Smithville, &c., were the real points of attack. This came from one (Washington, 24th instant) with capacity and wit to make a most efficient emissary. Circumstances have placed her en rapport with me lately, and I expect a good deal of timely, acute observation of useful character from her, but as I cannot be altogether certain of her faith, all will be received with caution, and nothing communicated to her, as was my course, I may also say, with Mrs. G. The person in question communicates the name of an alien just from Portsmouth, Va., one E. {p.929} B. Lookins, who is said to have given so much information deemed of value, that he has already been commissioned. This man had drawings of batteries in the Peninsula. He, she says, has a brother-in-law, by name of Ford, now in the works at Sewell’s Point, from whom he learned a signal in use by us when our vessels are to run the blockade of York River. If there is such a signal it has been communicated, be assured. Generals Johnston and Beauregard think the matter ought to be examined into.

You rightly say the events of the last six months seem all a dream. The most dreamlike thing in the world’s history is the presence here in Fairfax County, in the month of October, 1861, twelve months from the time you were in San Francisco, of two hostile armies, of formidable size, such as now confront each other.

Be assured I shall be pleased to be of the least personal service to you in this quarter.

Yours, truly,

THOMAS JORDAN.

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BALTIMORE, October 29, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

HONORED SIR: The gentleman who will hand you this I have forwarded by our Government route, as he comes on very important business with the Navy Department. He will also give you the Northern papers sent by him up to this day. I have made arrangements to forward them every Wednesday and Saturday. The gentleman who negotiated the purchase of the bonds has been arrested. I will, I think, be able to sell them to other parties, and accomplish our object. Anything that I can do for you here let me know immediately. Any communication directed to Mr. Hermange, Sun office, Baltimore, sent to the river by courier, will reach me safely. Direct inside to me. This is a better arrangement than the one mentioned in my former letter. General Dix has announced his intention of hanging me as a spy if he can find me. That for his intentions.

With every wish for the success of our devoted cause, I remain, very respectfully, yours,

H. A. STEWART.

P. S.-The confusion in Washington is greater than after the battle of Bull Run. An officer of rank says he believes if a decided attack were made on Washington they would capitulate.

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HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Centreville, Va., October 30, 1861.

Brig. Gen. N. G. EVANS, Commanding at Leesburg, Va.

GENERAL: I send you herewith the copy of letter from General Stuart, giving the positions and probable intentions of the enemy for your information and guidance.* General Johnston says:

It indicates, as far as can be relied on a movement of Banks eastwardly. Cannot General Evans ascertain the fact And if the movement has been positively made, then let him join us; that is, by placing himself within striking [distance] of us, to counteract the effect of Banks joining McClellan.

{p.930}

Hence you must endeavor to ascertain what the enemy is about on the other side of the Potomac, and should Banks have moved as above stated, you will act as directed by General Johnston, taking up a new position, either to hold in check the enemy’s forces you may have in front or to join us at a moment’s notice. I suppose in rear of Ball’s and Carter’s Mills, on Goose Creek, would be the best ones; then Gum Spring or Sudley Spring and Church, according to circumstances and the movements of the enemy.

It would be well for you to dispose of all the heavy baggage of your troops, which can be sent to Manassas in wagons pressed into service for that special object, with a guard of three men from each company and a proper number of non-commissioned and commissioned officers.

You must see to the constant proper supply of provisions, &c., for your whole command, keeping the latter always prepared to move at a moment’s notice, without, however, harassing or alarming the officers and men, who must understand that those precautions are necessary for our future strategic operations.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General, Commanding.

* Not found.

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RICHMOND, October 31, 1861.

Maj. Gen. EARL VAN DORN, Army of the Potomac:

SIR: In the reorganization of the Army of the Potomac your command of the First Division was intended by the President to be composed of all the cavalry, two brigades of Mississippians, and Hampton’s Legion. The infantry was attached to the cavalry, because we had not enough cavalry to form for you a division. General Johnston, the commander of the Department of Northern Virginia, has suggested some objections to this disposal of the cavalry which seem to us well founded, and has proposed that additional brigades of infantry be assigned to your division, leaving the cavalry under his immediate separate command. Before, however, making any change the President will receive your views on the matter and consider them. The objections made by General Johnston, and to which the President is disposed to attach great weight, are:

That all the cavalry of the army is now employed on outpost duty. The officer at the head of that service (Brigadier-General Stuart) should be under the immediate orders of the commander of the army, and make his reports to and receive his instructions from him. In like manner, in battle, the commanding general must keep under his own control the largest portion of the cavalry, so that General Van Dorn’s division would actually become the weakest in the army, although he is the senior major-general, with high reputation.

In addition to this is the consideration that your rank would entitle you to the right wing, and in any battle that may occur in the neighborhood of the present position of the army the ground to the right is unfavorable for cavalry, which would of necessity be thrown to the center or to the left, thus separating you from either the cavalry or the infantry of your division during actual conflict. The President is therefore inclined to increase your division, by the assignment of other infantry brigades, to its due strength in proportion to your rank, and to leave the cavalry as a separate command.

Be good enough to answer me as promptly as possible.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

{p.931}

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WINCHESTER, October 31, 1861.

General COOPER:

Referring to my letter of the 28th instant you will perceive that personal considerations should restrain me from undertaking to give you a detailed account of the affair at Romney on the 26th instant. Duty, however, compels me to report the present condition of my command. The companies of Captains Jordan, Myers, and Harper have been ordered to post themselves at Cacapon Bridge, 23 miles east of Romney. The companies of Captains Bowen, Sheetz, and Shands have been ordered to post themselves at the Hanging Rock Pass, 16 miles east of Romney, on the Northwestern turnpike. This division of the mounted force of my command has been made owing to the impossibility of obtaining quarters for all of them at any one point.

The artillery sent me has been received, but neither ammunition nor harness accompanied it.

I have delayed in Winchester thus long in order that I might have the better opportunity of again supplying my command with the equipments, arms, ammunition, baggage, &c., now so much needed by them. I shall leave to-morrow for the Hanging Rock Pass above mentioned.

I herewith inclose you a copy of a letter received by me from a reliable source, together with the indorsement upon it.*

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ANGUS W. MCDONALD, Colonel, Commanding Brigade, C. S. Army.

* Not found.

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RICHMOND, October 31, 1861.

His Excellency the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES:

SIR: I take the liberty of calling your attention to the exposed condition of Hampshire, Hardy, and the neighboring counties of this State, and to submit in the concisest terms some suggestions relative to the subject. I beg to premise by reminding you that the counties referred to, now more or less subjected to the ravages of the enemy, are stocked with every variety of farming product, liable to be destroyed or taken at any moment, which promptness on our part may rescue and secure, and render available for our own purposes. We have, as you are aware, recent accounts, which lead to the apprehension that Romney is now occupied by the enemy in force, about 2,000 strong. If energetic steps are taken before they have time to intrench themselves, they can be easily dislodged and driven beyond the limits of the State. The force already organized under Colonel McDonald and the militia of Hampshire and Hardy, if at once concentrated and led by an active and resolute man, would be fully competent to effect this. Of the large number who have flocked to our standard from Maryland, said to reach from 8,000 to 10,000 men, if but 2,000 could be employed for the purpose they could unquestionably take Cumberland. Holding this point, and cooperating with the forces in the counties spoken of, they could meet the enemy at every point, and effectually protect that portion of Virginia.

The advantages of holding Cumberland, I would respectfully submit, would be very important to the Southern cause. I beg very briefly to refer to some of them. Cumberland is now the eastern terminus of the

{p.932}

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The enemy use the facilities it furnishes for assembling their forces and making their preparations for their frequent raids into Virginia. To take it would be to break up their stronghold for this purpose. By taking that place we also break up the line of communication between the eastern and western forces of the enemy. We also destroy the trade of Wheeling, the market for whose manufactured and other products is Baltimore. In addition, we would control the navigation of the Ohio and Potomac Canal, and cut off Washington and Alexandria not only from their supply of coal, but also of hay, oats, and fodder for their horses, of which they are now particularly in need since the interruption to the navigation of the Potomac.

Again, the possession of Cumberland might be regarded as the initial step towards obtaining the mastery over the railroad between that point and Wheeling, whether for our own use or for purposes of destruction. I would further suggest that, supposing Cumberland in our hands, it would be the great rallying point of the secession citizens of Maryland, now so harassed and oppressed, and here might be inaugurated the revolution destined to restore that gallant State to liberty. At all events, in this view the moral effects would be most auspicious. Maryland would regard the event as an earnest of future aid, and it would spread hope and encouragement far and wide within her borders.

The troops now in Cumberland amount, I am informed, to a full regiment of the Home Guard and a company of cavalry of 180 men. They are part of the forces raised by the authority of the United States Congress under the auspices of Ex-Governor Frank Thomas. The regiment, I know from personal observation, consists mostly of the very refuse of society, and is badly disciplined and officered. A sudden descent of a force of half their number would scatter them to the winds. Nothing could be easier than the surprise and capture of the place.

I am informed by competent engineers that it could be made defensible by but a small body of men.

Respectfully,

C. H. MCBLAIR, Commander, C. S. Navy.

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Abstract from return of the Army of the Potomac, General Joseph E. Johnston, C. S. Army, commanding, for the month of October, 1861.

Troops.Present for duty.Effective total present.Aggregate present.
Infantry.Cavalry.Artillery.
Officers.Men.Officers.Men.Officers.Men.
First (Beauregard’s) Corps1,40619,91362911631,27323,91128,165
Second (G. W. Smith’s) Corps1,20916,7032748018,06321,613
Cavalry brigade (Stuart’s)1311,4871,4921,880
Artillery corps (Pendleton)39663663777
Total2,61536,6161932,1981292,41644,13152,435
{p.933}

–––

Abstract from return of Aquia District, commanded by Maj. Con. T. H. Holmes, for October, 1861.

Station.Present for duty:Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
Evansport and vicinity1171,8223,422
Hedgeman’s farm22293439
Cross-Roads35696
Camp Clifton31307509
Camp Howe32443863
Fort Lowry35453654
Camp Potomac34416626
Marlborough Point36435717
Heathsville20314352
Mathias Point46076
Camp Potomac43570
Lancaster County14159173
Brookes Station37499757
Camp Potomac24570
Grand total3915,3378,824

Abstract from return of the Army of the Northwest, Brig. Gen. W. W. Loring, C. S. Army, commanding, for the month of October, 1861.

Troops.Present for duty.Aggregate present.
Infantry.Cavalry.Artillery.
Officers.Men.Officers.Men.Officers.Men.
Anderson’s brigade1011,8314992612,237
Donelson’s brigade1182,0053342,454
Gilliam’s brigade679693621,480
Jackson’s brigade1061,1842722,060
Taliaferro’s brigade901,17251071,721
Other commands931,210111271,748
Total5758,371182601230211,700

Abstract from return of the Sixteenth Brigade, Virginia Militia, Army of the Valley, commanded by Brig. Gen. James H. Carson, for October, 1861.

Troops.Present for duty:Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.
Officers.Men.
Thirty-first Regiment Virginia Militia, Col. R. F. Baldwin2069126664
Fifty-first Regiment Virginia Militia, Col. C. E. Shryock.2069154284
Fifty-fifth Regiment Virginia Militia, Col. J. J. Grantham21123371285
Sixty-seventh Regiment Virginia Militia, Col. J. Sencendiver1172103266
Eighty-ninth Regiment Virginia Militia, Col. Samuel Johnston153770354
One hundred twenty-second Regiment Virginia Militia, Col. W. Dearmont1685159337
Grand total1034557832,190
{p.934}

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, November 2, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIR: About the middle of October I was visited at Fairfax Court-House by a Mr. Hunter, who had entered into an engagement with the War Department to provide materials for and otherwise aid in the construction of huts for winter quarters. He expected, I understood, to have his saw-mills in operation in this vicinity within ten days from that time. I have not heard of him since that interview. As time is very important in the matter of erecting winter quarters, I respectfully ask that Mr. Hunter be requested to commence his operations without delay.

I do not know his address.

Your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, November 2, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIR: Brigadier-General Carson, now commanding in the valley of the Shenandoah, reports a force under his command of 900 infantry (militia) and the same number of cavalry, including McDonald’s regiment. It appears, therefore, that more than half the militia left in service at Winchester by me have been either discharged or permitted to stay at home. From the latest intelligence from that country I am inclined to think that it may be expedient to send Major-General Jackson to his district. Brigadier-General Carson reports that he has called out three regiments of infantry (militia) from the counties on the southwest of Winchester. I am told by a gentleman just from Winchester that he is sending flintlock muskets to Richmond to be altered. If he does or has done so, I respectfully ask that they be sent immediately back. I suppose that no other troops than militia can be furnished to General Jackson. If so, I beg that measures may be taken by the War Department to call out several thousand more without delay. I cannot, because without information as to the counties which should be called upon or the arms which can be supplied.

It is reported that the enemy intend to repair the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and put it in operation. It is of great importance to us to prevent it. For this I will send General Jackson to his district whenever there is prospect of having such a force as will enable him to render service.

General Carson reports the enemy’s force in Romney to be from 2,500 to 5,000. It is said also that General Loring has no enemy near him. If so, might he not drive off this party and move into the valley?

Your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, ARMY OF POTOMAC, Union Mills, Va., November 2, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: Your letter of the 31st ultimo, in regard to the objections made by General Johnston to the reorganization of my division, has just been received.

{p.935}

In reply I have the honor to say that I consider the objections of General Johnston well founded, and that I shall be glad to have the change made which he proposes. These objections occurred to me after considering the matter and after examining the field of operations in front of us, and I should have suggested the same change, except that I had some hesitation in making propositions so soon after entering a protest against his assignment of me to a command which I considered inadequate to my rank.

If you will allow me to suggest, I would be glad to have the Texas troops assigned to my division in addition to the Mississippians, and such other troops as you may see fit to give me, as I have been identified with the people of that State for several years, and I believe it would be somewhat conducive to the interest of the service if I were placed in command of her troops.

Thanking the President and you, sir, for the consideration you have shown me, I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

EARL VAN DORN, Major-General of Division.

–––

RICHMOND, November 2, 1861.

General W. W. LORING, Huntersville, Va.:

It is not intended to retain in the mountains for the winter more than the 4,500 men necessary to guard the passes. Instructions will be sent in a day or two for the disposal of the remainder of your forces.*

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

* See inclosure to Cooper to Floyd, November 5, p. 938.

–––

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 202.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’s OFFICE, Richmond, November 2, 1861.

...

XII. Brig. Gen. Richard Griffith, Provisional Army, will report to General J. E. Johnston for duty with the brigade lately commanded by Brig. Gen. Charles Clark, Provisional Army.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 480.}

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, A. P., Near Centreville, November 2, 1861.

The following disposition of officers and troops will take effect immediately, namely:

I. Brig. Gen. Charles Clark will turn over the command of the Fourth Brigade to the senior colonel; then repair to Leesburg, Va., and assume command of the Seventh Brigade, relieving Brig. Gen. N. G. Evans, who will report in person at these headquarters. Brigadier-General Clark will report in person to the commanding general of the Army of the Potomac for special instructions.

II. Brigadier-General Ewell will turn over the command of the Second {p.936} Brigade to Brig. Gen. R. E. Rodes, and will report in person for orders to Maj. Gen. G. W. Smith, commanding Second Corps.

...

By command of General Beauregard:

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 486.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, November 4, 1861.

In accordance with Special Orders, No. 18, Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office, Richmond, Va., October 22, 1861, Maj. Gen. T. J. Jackson, Provisional Army Confederate States, will proceed to take command of the Valley District of the Department of Northern Virginia.

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

CAMP EVANS, November 4, 1861.

SECRETARY OF WAR:

The Potomac is higher than it has been since 1852. It is over the canal bank. The boating is probably over for the season.

TURNER ASHBY.

–––

WINCHESTER, VA., November 4, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army:

SIR: I have been here two weeks, engaged in paying the militia under General Carson and also Colonel McDonald’s regiment of cavalry. I consider it my duty as a disbursing officer of the Government to report the condition of things here. I find brigadier-generals in command of regiments instead of brigades, colonels in command of companies instead of regiments, and captains in command of squads instead of companies. I would therefore respectfully suggest the propriety of consolidating regiments and companies at once and disbanding the supernumerary officers, thereby freeing the Confederacy of all this unnecessary expense.

The Federals are busily engaged at Romney in shucking corn and thrashing grain. They have, it is reported, one hundred teams hauling off all the grain they can lay their hands on.

I have nearly completed my payment to August 31.

I remain, with great respect, your obedient servant.

F. C. HUTTER, Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, Provisional Army C. S.

–––

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 484.}

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, A. P., Near Centreville, Va., November 4, 1861.

I. Brig. Gen. Richard Taylor, Provisional Army Confederate States, having reported for duty with this army corps, is assigned to the command of the Eighth Brigade.

...

By command of General G. T. Beauregard:

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.937}

–––

HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Winchester, November 5, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: Yesterday morning I received the order from General J. E. Johnston directing me to assume command of this district, and, leaving Manassas by the first train of cars, arrived here last night.

A prisoner who has escaped from the Federal authorities at Williamsport, Md., states that there are about 1,200 of the enemy ready to cross the Potomac so soon as the river shall be fordable, Lieut. Col. Turner Ashby, of the cavalry, reports that there are near 800 Federal troops opposite Shepherdstown, and that additional troops have been moving up the river recently. The most reliable information received from Romney makes the enemy’s strength there near 4,000, and from the last official intelligence they are threatening an advance on this place.

Deeply impressed with the importance of not only holding Winchester, but also of repelling the invaders from this district before they shall secure a firm lodgment, I feel it my duty respectfully to urge upon the Department the necessity of ordering here at once all the troops at Cheat Mountain, and if practicable those also from Valley Mountain, or those near Huntersville. I have frequently traveled over the road from Staunton to Cheat Mountain, and I hope that you will pardon me for saying that if the withdrawal of the Confederate forces from the Cheat Mountain region shall induce the enemy to advance on Staunton it will be his ruin, provided a sufficient available force is kept in this district in marching order. It is very important that disciplined troops of not only infantry, but also of artillery and cavalry be ordered here. It appears to me that there should be at least twenty pieces of field artillery, with their complement of horses, harness, implements, &c., assigned to this command. It will be seen from the accompanying list of ordnance and ammunition that General Carson’s command only had three field pieces. General Carson also reports to me that he has in service only 1,461 militia, in addition to 130 mounted militia.

The detailed instructions referred to in your letter announcing my assignment to this command have not yet been received.

The heavy guns here are but imperfectly available for defense, in consequence of not having officers and men acquainted with the method of serving them. If you can order here Lieut. Daniel Truehart, jr., or some other good artillery officer, to take charge of the heavy ordnance, the efficiency of this arm of the service will be greatly increased. A good engineer officer is very desirable. I have ordered Generals Carson, Meem, and Boggs to march their commands here forthwith.

Lieut. Col. J. T. L. Preston, Virginia volunteers, the bearer of this letter, will give you a full statement respecting the defenseless condition of this place.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, P. A. C. S.

–––

RICHMOND, November 5, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD:

GENERAL: Inclosed you will receive a copy of a letter to General bring, directing him to send General Donelson’s brigade to re-enforce you. You will perceive that General Donelson is to march to Lewisburg, {p.938} and thence join you by the best route. If you can send forward to Lewisburg to notify him as to that route and afford him such facilities as may be in your power, it would be advisable to do so. Two Virginia regiments now here are under orders to join you, via Lewisburg, and will probably leave in a day or two. It would be well to have instructions left at Lewisburg as to the route these regiments are to take on leaving there.

Very respectfully, &c.,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

[Inclosure.]

RICHMOND, November 5, 1861.

General W. W. LORING, Huntersville, Va.:

GENERAL: You will send, with the least delay practicable, Brigadier-General Donelson with Colonels Savage’s and Fulton’s regiments, Tennessee volunteers, to re-enforce General Floyd; and after retaining the 4,500 men for the defense of the Monterey and Huntersville lines, reported by you as necessary to guard the passes, you will send the remainder of the troops of your command to Staunton, there to await orders.

General Donelson’s brigade will march to Lewisburg, and thence join General Floyd by the best route.

Very respectfully, &c.,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

–––

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 206.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, November 5, 1861.

...

II. Maj. Gen. T. J. Jackson, Provisional Army, will immediately proceed to Winchester, Va., and assume command of the Valley District, agreeably to his assignment in General Orders, No. 15, Adjutant and Inspector General’s Office, of October 22, 1861. The brigade formerly under his command will with the least practicable delay be attached to the Valley District. The force thus detached from the Potomac District will be replaced by the following troops, viz:

The Fourth and Fifth Texas Regiments to be assigned to Brigadier-General Wigfall’s brigade. Colonel Wofford’s Eighteenth Regiment Georgia Volunteers, Colonel Judge’s Fourteenth Regiment Alabama Volunteers, Colonel Smith’s Twenty-seventh Regiment Georgia Volunteers; the last three regiments mentioned to be assigned by General J. E. Johnston.

III. The Fifty-sixth and Fifty-seventh Regiments of Virginia Volunteers, Colonels Stuart and Armistead commanding, will proceed without delay, via Lewisburg, to join Brigadier-General Floyd’s command in Western Virginia.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.939}

–––

RICHMOND, November 6, 1861.

General T. J. JACKSON, Winchester, Va.:

I have ordered your old brigade to be sent to you at once from Centreville and McLaughlin’s company of Rockbridge artillery, and had already ordered a further force of about 6,000 men to be detached from Loring’s command and to join you, by way of Staunton, before receiving your letter brought by Colonel Preston. Will send you full instructions by mail.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

–––

RICHMOND, November 6, 1861.

General W. H. RICHARDSON, Adjutant-General, Richmond:

GENERAL: I am instructed by the Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army, to inform you that it is impossible to give you the exact number of Virginia troops in the Confederate service at this time. The exigencies of the service have prevented the commanding generals from furnishing this office with the necessary reports. He hopes to be able to furnish you a complete statement very soon.

There are now in the field: Organized by Virginia, 51 regiments infantry; organized by Confederate States, 8 regiments infantry; organized by Confederate States, 2 regiments cavalry; organized by Virginia, 6 regiments cavalry; organized by Virginia, 1 regiment artillery. Total, 68 regiments volunteers; 1 battalion enlisted men. The regiments will average 750 men each, making 51,000. Added to this is the battalion of enlisted men and very many independent companies, making an aggregate of about 55,000 men. There are in the field several regiments of militia, called out by the proclamation of Governor Letcher from which no returns have been received.

I am, sir, respectfully, &c.,

N. D. GUNN, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 490.}

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, November 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. R. S. Ewell, having been relieved from duty with the First Corps, will report to Maj. Gen. G. W. Smith for duty in the Second.

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 491.}

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, November 6, 1861.

Maj. Gen. E. K. Smith, P. A. C. S., is assigned to the command of the division to be composed of the following brigades: Brigadier-General Elzey’s, Brigadier-General Crittenden’s, and Brigadier-General Taylor’s.

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.940}

–––

RICHMOND, November 7, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Comdg. Department of Northern Virginia, Centreville, Va.:

SIR: Your letter of the 4th instant* has been submitted to the Secretary of War, and I am instructed to inform you that the number of troops to be sent to Staunton, Va., under instructions to Brigadier-General Loring, of the 5th inst. (copy herewith),** is estimated at between 6,000 and 7,000 effective men. It is designed by the Secretary of War that this force be sent to your command on its arrival at Staunton, and orders to that effect will be given, unless some unforeseen event should require its presence in a different quarter.

Very respectfully, &c.,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* Not found.

** See inclosure to Cooper to Floyd, November 5, p. 938.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, November 7, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

I respectfully remonstrate against the sending off the brigade lately commanded by Major-General Jackson to the Valley District. He will be opposed to raw troops, we to the enemy’s best. Our force is raw; far too small for the object it is expected to accomplish. I suggest that troops be drawn instead from H. R. Jackson’s and Loring’s command.

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

–––

RICHMOND, November 7, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville:

The brigade of General Jackson was ordered to join him as a matter of urgent necessity, and on due consideration of your position I send you double the number of men to replace it. The Valley District is entirely defenseless, and will fall into the hands of the enemy unless General Jackson has troops sent to him immediately. You are requested to send him his brigade without delay, as there is imminent danger of the capture of Winchester by enemy. Send with the brigade the battery of Rockbridge artillery, in place of which I have sent you another battery this morning.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

–––

RICHMOND, November 7, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville, Va.:

I have one Alabama and one Georgia regiment here for you, both unarmed, and numbering together over 2,000 men. Shall I send them to Fredericksburg or wait till the railroad can take them to Manassas?

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

{p.941}

–––

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, November 7, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department Northern Virginia:

SIR: It is with the greatest surprise and regret that I have read your letter of the 2d instant to the Adjutant-General. I had not the remotest idea that you expected any aid from Mr. Hunter or from this Department in relation to the winter quarters for the troops, nor can I conceive on what basis you entertained such expectation.

On the 13th of last month I wrote you at considerable length on this subject, and in order to avoid delay forwarded my letter by Mr. James Hunter and Dr. John P. Hale.

The arrangements made by me were ample, and orders were given for securing ten portable saw-mills here in Richmond, for the purpose of sawing the lumber necessary for the huts. Aware of the urgency of the case, and unable to act without your co-operation, because of my ignorance of the locality where you proposed to shelter the army, I closed my letter with a distinct statement that the parties could not commence active work till you decided this question. It was plainly necessary that they should have some indication of the place where they were to locate the saw-mills before going to work.

Several days afterwards Mr. Hunter and Dr. Hale returned here and reported verbally:

1st. That you had referred them to General Beauregard for conference on the subject of the winter quarters.

2d. That they had found General Beauregard so much engaged as to be unable to accord to them the time and attention necessary for any concert of action between them and the general.

3d. That Major Cabell, who was present at their conversation with General Beauregard, had observed that it was entirely practicable for each regiment to hut itself in two or three days, as he knew from actual experience in service.

4th. That General Beauregard seemed quite relieved of care on the subject when Major Cabell gave him this assurance.

The two gentlemen returned with the conviction that their services were not desired nor required by the army, and without any information as to the locality where the lumber was to be sawed; and, indeed, Mr. Hunter gave me to understand, what seems probable enough, that you were not willing to leave open any opportunity to the enemy to guess at your plans by putting a number of saw-mills at work in any neighborhood where you expected to establish your winter quarters.

I therefore concluded that you had, in concert with General Beauregard, reached the conclusion that you could dispense with any aid from the Department, and could hut the army on the plan spoken of by Major Cabell. I received no answer from you to my letter. Mr. Hunter represented that you declined his services. The saw-mills previously engaged by him were not purchased, and none are to be had at this time.

Mr. Hunter has long since gone home, and I had dismissed all solicitude from my mind on the subject of the cantonment of our troops, when the Adjutant-General submitted to me your letter of the 2d instant, indicating an expectation that Mr. Hunter was to commence operations with his saw-mills.

This is distressing in the extreme, and I am entirely at a loss in what mode to assist you. I will, however, do the best in my power, and can now only make the following suggestions:

1st. It is now out of the question to build board huts. The lumber {p.942} cannot be procured in time, and there are no saw-mills now to be had, nor is there now time to carry out the first plan.

2d. It may be possible to procure lumber enough to roof log huts and for forming the openings, but of this I am extremely doubtful, though I will cause instant inquiry to be made here, and beg you will institute similar inquiry in the neighborhood of your intended encampment.

3d. Please send me at once the plan deemed best by you as a substitute for that which I proposed, and which is no longer feasible.

4th. Let me know exactly what is requisite from this place, and the unremitting efforts of the Department shall be directed to furnishing it.

5th. If lumber is required for roofing, and if there is no substitute for it possible, inform me what quantity is required in all, and what proportion of it, if any, can be obtained in your neighborhood.

The importance of affording proper shelter for our troops during the rigors of the coming winter can scarcely be overestimated, and knowing how great your own solicitude on the subject must be, I find it impossible to account for your long delay in noticing my letter of the 13th ultimo, and your failure to exhibit any sign of uneasiness at the nonappearance of the saw-mills or workmen you expected to furnish the lumber. I still entertain the hope, however, that my alarm may be unfounded, and that Major Cabell may be able to suggest some mode of shelter as reported to me, which may enable you to put the troops under cover without the use of lumber, and in time to avoid any great exposure or suffering.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

–––

HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Winchester, Va., November 7, 1861.

Maj. THOMAS G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Army of the Potomac:

MAJOR: I arrived here on the night of the same day that I was relieved from duty at Centreville.

Finding that General Kelley’s forces in Romney, a distance of 42 miles, were about 4,000, and that an advance on this place was threatened, I repeated the call previously made by General Carson for the militia in his brigade and in those of Generals Meem and Boggs. The troops are to rendezvous at this place. But as General Carson’s brigade and that of General Meem are to a greater or less degree in service, and as General Boggs’ command includes the South Branch region, occupied by the enemy, not many men will probably respond to the call.

The militia actually in the field number 1,461, stationed as follows:

At Winchester, 442; at Lockhart’s, distant 12 miles from here on the Northwestern turnpike, 155; at Cacapon Bridge, about 28 miles on the same road, 304; at Hammock’s Gap, 12 miles this side of Romney, 160; at Martinsburg, 200; at Charlestown, 100; at Front Royal, in Warren County, distant 23 miles, 50; at Strasburg, distant 18 miles, 25; and at Mount Jackson, distant 42 miles, 25.

In addition to the foregoing there are 130 mounted militia: At Winchester, 25; at Martinsburg, 75, and at Charlestown, 30.

As Colonel McDonald reports direct to Richmond, and is not, from what I can learn, under my command, his forces are not included in the preceding statement; but they amount to 485, stationed as follows:

{p.943}

Along the Northwestern turnpike, between Cacapon Bridge and Hanging Rock, 285, and at Flowing Spring, 2 miles below Charlestown, on the railroad, 200.

I omitted to mention Captain Henderson’s cavalry, at Duffield’s Depot, about 8 miles above Harper’s Ferry, numbering 60 men, which makes the mounted force 190, thus giving an aggregate of 1,651 under my command.

The enemy are, as reported, about 1,800 strong at Williamsport and near 800 opposite Shepherdstown. General Kelley’s command, at and near Romney, number about 4,000.

An official report received states that an advance of near 300 came as far as Blue’s, 15 miles this side of Romney, but were repulsed by part of Colonel McDonald’s regiment, under Captain Sheetz.

I am now informed officially that if the enemy are not speedily driven from the South Branch, our people, who have heretofore been loyal, may yield and take the oath of allegiance to the United States.

So soon as I can get a report of the ammunition distributed I will forward an ordnance report. There is very little ammunition on hand.

The day after arriving here I sent Lieutenant. Colonel Preston to see the Secretary of War, and wrote a letter urging that the troops on the Cheat Mountain route be ordered here, and also those on the Valley Mountain route, if practicable.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, P. A. C. S., Commanding Valley District.

–––

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF KANAWHA, Camp Dickerson, November 8, 1861.

[Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:]

MY GOOD FRIEND: I write as a duty, resulting from the confidence reposed in me and the kindness with which you treat me at all times.

This army is in confusion, resulting from its disquietude. This disquietude was caused in the first instance by a great horror of Southern troops wintering in what they believe to be a bleak, inhospitable climate, in a country partially desolated by the two opposing armies; but even now Virginia has joined in the cry, back! Those in favor of a retrograde movement raised the cry that the army could not be fed. I made a report demonstrating that I could feed the men certainly. Then I found that, from enjoying more than ordinary popularity with the army, I now feel that the kind courtesy which greeted me on all occasions when I met an officer of rank is no longer extended to me with cordiality. My outside friends following the army inform me that it is in consequence of my sustaining General Floyd’s desire to stay here until he gets a fight or can advance. The general impression is that General Floyd’s conceptions are too bold-rather rash than considerate. The same men that complain so much and express such fears would bear the ills of which they complain if fighting in the State in which they were raised. A very common complaint uttered every day by Georgians, North Carolinians, Mississippians, Louisianians, and even Eastern Virginians, is, “This country is not worth fighting for.” The agitation and anger expressed at General Floyd’s determination to winter here will culminate in desertion or rebellion, unless the Secretary {p.944} of War assumes the responsibility of firmly sustaining General Floyd or of ordering him back to winter elsewhere. Be this as it may, it is my opinion, right or wrong, and it is a conclusion of my mind frankly expressed.

Yours, respectfully,

A. W. G. DAVIS.

–––

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 500.}

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, November 8, 1861.

I. The First Brigade, Second Corps, Army of the Potomac, will proceed to Winchester, Va., under the command of the senior colonel, and report to Maj. Gen. T. J. Jackson. This command will be transported by rail, and the quartermaster will furnish the transportation without delay.

II. Brig. Gen. R. S. Ewell, P. A. C. S., will report to General G. T. Beauregard for duty with a Virginia brigade.

...

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

–––

RICHMOND, VA., November 9, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD:

SIR: I have habitually neglected to keep copies of my letters and telegrams addressed to you since you entered on duty with the Army of the Potomac. Desiring now to have them, I request that my friend, C. D. Fontaine, may be permitted to take such copies from the originals in your possession.

Very respectfully, &c.,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

[Similar letters of same date to Generals J. E. Johnston and Gustavus W. Smith.]

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, November 9, 1861.

General WHITING:

DEAR GENERAL: I received your letter yesterday,* but was too much pressed to answer immediately.

I like your plan much; cannot answer for the guns. I have submitted your letter, with recommendations, to the War Department.

I am mourning over the loss of Jackson’s brigade, ordered to Winchester against my remonstrances. The Secretary of War will probably establish his headquarters within this department soon.

Yours, in haste,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

* Not found.

{p.945}

SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 489.}

HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, A. P., Near Centreville, Va., November 9, 1861.

I. The Third Division of this Army Corps is dissolved. The Third Brigade will form part of the Second Division until otherwise ordered, and Brig. Gen. D. R. Jones will report to Major-General Longstreet for orders. The First Brigade is assigned to the First Division, and Brigadier General Bonham will report to Major-General Van Dorn.

II. Brig. Gen. Richard Griffith is assigned to the command of the Mississippi regiments serving in Loudoun County, Virginia, and will without delay report to Brigadier-General Evans, who for the present will remain in command of all the Confederate troops in that county.

By command of General Beauregard:

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, VA., November 10, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD:

SIR: When I addressed you in relation to your complaint, because of the letters written to you by Mr. Benjamin, Acting Secretary of War, it was hoped that you would see that you had misinterpreted his expressions, and would be content. But while in yours of the 5th instant * you accept the assurance given that Mr. Benjamin could not have intended to give you offense, you serve notice that your “motives must not be called into question,” and that when your “errors are pointed out, it must be done in a proper tone and style,” and express the fear that Mr. Benjamin “will, under all circumstances, view only the legal aspect of things, and that insensibly this army and myself (yourself) will be put into the straight-jackets of the law,” &c., I do not feel competent to instruct Mr. Benjamin in the matter of style. There are few who the public would probably believe fit for that task. But the other point quoted from your letter presents matter for graver consideration, and it is that which induces me to reply. It cannot be peculiar to Mr. Benjamin to look at every exercise of official power in its legal aspect, and you surely did not intend to inform me that your army and yourself are outside of the limits of the law. It is my duty to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and I cannot recognize the pretension of any one that their restraint is too narrow for him.

The Congress carefully reserved to all volunteers the selection of their company officers and provided various modes for receiving them into service as organized bodies. When you disregarded that right, and the case was brought to the notice of the Secretary of War, it could hut create surprise, and the most mild and considerate course which could have been adopted was to check further progress under your order and inform you of the error committed.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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RICHMOND, VA., November 10, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department of the Potomac:

SIR: The Secretary of War has this morning laid before me yours of the 8th instant.* I fully sympathize with your anxiety for the Army of {p.946} the Potomac. If indeed, mine be less than yours, it can only be so because the South, the West, and the East, presenting like cause for solicitude, have in the same manner demanded my care. Our correspondence must have assured you that I fully concur in your view of the necessity for unity in command, and I hope, by a statement of the case, to convince you that there has been no purpose to divide your authority by transferring the troops specified in Order No. 206 [of 5th instant] from the center to the left of your department.

The active campaign in the Greenbrier region was considered as closed for the season. There is reason to believe that the enemy is moving a portion of his forces from that mountain region towards the valley of Virginia, and that he has sent troops and munitions from the east, by the way of the Potomac Canal, towards the same point. The failure to destroy his communications by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and by the Potomac Canal has left him in possession of great advantages for that operation.

General Jackson, for reasons known to you, was selected to command the Division of the Valley, but we had only the militia and one mounted regiment within the district assigned to him. The recent activity of the enemy, the capture of Romney, &c., required that he should have for prompt service a body of Confederate troops to co-operate with the militia of the district. You suggest that such force should be drawn from the army on the Greenbrier. This was originally considered and abandoned, because they could not probably reach him in time to anticipate the enemy’s concentration, and also because General Jackson was a stranger to them, and time was wanting for the growth of that confidence between the commander and his troops the value of which need not be urged upon you. We could have sent to him from this place an equal number of regiments (being about double the numerical strength of those specified in the order referred to), but they were parts of a brigade now in the Army of the Potomac, or were Southern troops, or were ignorant of the country in which they were to serve, and all of them unknown to General Jackson. The troops sent were his old brigade; had served in the valley, and had acquired a reputation which would give confidence to the people of that region, upon whom the general had to rely for his future success. Though the troops sent to you are, as you say, “raw”, they have many able officers, and will, I doubt not, be found reliable in the hour of danger; their greater numbers will to you, I hope, more than compensate for the experience of those transferred; while in the valley the latter, by the moral effect their presence will produce, will more than compensate for the inferiority of their numbers. I have labored to increase the Army of the Potomac, and, so far from proposing a reduction of it, did not intend to rest content with an exchange of equivalents. In addition to the troops recently sent to you, I expected soon to send further re-enforcements by withdrawing a part of the army from the Greenbrier Mountains. I have looked hopefully forward to the time when our army could assume the offensive and select the time and place where battles were to be fought, so that ours should be alternations of activity and repose; theirs, the heavy task of constant watching.

When I last visited your headquarters my surprise was expressed at the little increase of your effective force above that of July 21 last, notwithstanding the heavy re-enforcements which had in the mean time been sent to you. Since that visit I have frequently heard of the improved health of the troops; of the return of many who had been absent sick, and some increase has been made by re-enforcement. You can then {p.947} imagine my disappointment at the information you give, that on the day before the date of your letter the army at your position “was no stronger than on July 21.” I can only repeat what was said to you in our conference at Fairfax Court-House, that we are restricted in our capacity to re-enforce by the want of arms. Troops to bear the few arms you have in store have been ordered forward. Your view of the magnitude of the calamity of defeat of the Army of the Potomac is entirely concurred in, and every advantage which is attainable should be seized to increase the power of your present force. I will do what I can to augment its numbers, but you must remember that our wants greatly exceed our resources.

Banks’ brigade, we learn, has left the position occupied when I last saw you. Sickles is said to be yet on the Lower Potomac, and, when your means will enable you to reach him, I still hope he may be crushed.

I will show this reply to the Secretary of War, and hope there will be no misunderstanding between you in future. The success of the army requires harmonious co-operation.

Very respectfully, yours. &c.,.

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY KANAWHA, Camp Dickerson, November 10. 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: As this is a strictly private letter, I write with my own hand. It is now 2 o’clock p.m. I have labored until 2 in the public service, and have taken this afternoon to arrange my papers and make up my cash account. I find leisure while my clerks are at work, not requiring my immediate attention, to write you. This army is utterly demoralized, or, if this term is too strong, it is the most disquieted collection of men I have ever known massed together. They want to go back to some point to winter nearer to provisions for men and horses. I have opposed this, and do now oppose it, for the reason that we will have to conquer territory abandoned in the spring at full as great a sacrifice as it will cost to hold it this winter. The men of this army are dying, it is true, at a fearful rate, but raw men who do duty every other night would die anywhere. We are compelled to have strong pickets, as we are an inferior force in the immediate presence of a vastly superior one. The mutterings that precede a storm are so loud in the army that any one in the army could hear them in the dead hour of the night if not under the influence of some powerful narcotic. Now, sir, you must fully understand, in my position, as I feel and know it to be from the confidence reposed in me (even from the President down I am trusted), I have and do exercise on most occasions an energy that is startling to the sluggish multitude; but kindness, energy, and the performance of duties fail to satisfy an army who resolve upon a purpose which I oppose; and now, from being the most popular man in this army, I am now satisfied, from the requisitions made on me-some legitimate, but many to vex-that I am now not acceptable to the army.

Yours, respectfully,

A. W. G. DAVIS.

P. S.-Inclosed I send you a topographical sketch, which has the merit of being exactly correct.

{p.948}

[Inclosure.]

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HEADQUARTERS, CENTREVILLE, November 11, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. H. C. WHITING, Commanding Troops near Dumfries:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have sent both your letters on the subject of a new battery* to the War Department with my concurrence. I look upon the case as hopeless, however; it is too late to make this additional preparation against any combined operation against Evansport. Remember that it took our War Department a month to make the mere removal of guns and a little ammunition to Evansport. If the attack you anticipate is to be made, it must be within that time. Is your position near enough to Evansport? Will not the distance, 3 or 4 miles, render it difficult for you to defend both with your force? Consider the whole question carefully before breaking ground. Would not the masked battery used on a former occasion-I mean the guns and gunners-make a useful diversion, should the proposed battery not be ready?

Captain Stevens has been very sick and I fear will not be strong enough for service for some days yet. He is our only engineer, you know. Before leaving us I shall wish him to plan such additions as may enable Fort Pickens to be independent of the army for a few days.

I am embarrassed on the subject of winter quarters. I made arrangements a month ago for the beginning of preparations, but was disappointed by the supposed contractor, who gave up the undertaking {p.949} without giving me notice. I suppose that, upon occasion, your troops could make themselves log huts in a few days. Here we can’t find the logs where the huts will be wanted.

Very truly, yours,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

We have just received a report from Stuart that our pickets at Fairfax Court-House have been driven in, and that a large force is gathered at Springfield, on the railroad, 7 miles beyond.

* Not found.

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HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Winchester, Va., November 12, 1861.

Maj. THOMAS G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General, Hdqrs. Dept. of Western Virginia:

MAJOR: The enemy at Romney are, from the most reliable information, near 6,000 strong, and are fortifying the town.

Before leaving Centreville I had a conversation with the general commanding the department respecting his ordering Lieut. Col. T. H. Williamson, Corps of Engineers, to this district, and he expressed a willingness to do so when Captain Stevens should recover his health. If Lieutenant-Colonel Williamson can, consistently with the interests of the public service, be ordered here, I respectfully request that it may be done at as early a period as practicable, as his services are much needed.

Please send me all the intrenching tools that you can spare. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is so damaged by the late freshets as not to be boatable.

Your most obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, Commanding Valley District.

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, November 12, 1861.

Brigadier-General WHITING:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have received your note of this morning. The location you describe seems to me better than that of Evansport. To a question by telegraph General Cooper replied to-day that the guns you asked for should be sent without delay. This does not encourage me much as to time. In Richmond their ideas of promptitude are very different from ours. By the way, have you seen General Trimble’s arrangements for land defense? If my ideas of the ground, given by a pencil sketch, are at all correct, they amount to nothing. A few of Dahlgren’s boat howitzers would knock them to pieces from the hills in rear.

I have very little apprehension of harm from the bombardment of a mere line like those batteries; nothing is necessary but shelter against the fragments of shells, which burst high. At the distance of 2 miles they cannot kill a man a day. I fear landing in force. It is, as you say, that which Holmes and yourself must look out for. I wish the heights in rear of the batteries were converted into an intrenched camp to enable a couple of regiments to hold out for several days. How is your position compared with the other in respect to defensibility on the land side? If you can prepare for the guns now, why not do it, if it can be done without danger of discovery by the enemy? We have had another {p.950} stampede to-day, caused by reports from Pohick again. Stuart made an expedition in that direction on Sunday, and this, I suppose, is retaliation.

You talk of huts for winter; it is rather a trying subject. I am afraid the Northern people are waiting to disturb us as soon as we have become comfortable for the winter. This place is not fit for our winter residence on any account. If I had not been confident that we should have been attacked here before this time, the troops should have been established nearer to you, that material assistance might have been more promptly given. The difficulty of getting our supplies from Manassas is increasing fast; the roads becoming worse and worse fast. The amount of fortification here now is frightful; I fear that it will be harder to reconcile our troops to leaving them than it was to the falling back from Darkesville.

As to the removal of the guns from Evansport to your new position, you and General H. must determine it. I have no means of deciding between the relative merits of the two places. But strength on the land side I hold far more important than exemption from liability to bombardment. How is the comparison in regard to facility of succor? I should suppose the upper position more within our reach than the other.

l3th.-Stuart reports from Lieutenant-Colonel Wickham, Sixth Virginia Cavalry, that the expedition of yesterday was of 1,500 infantry, a squadron and five field pieces, which went as far as Mrs. Violet’s; a large part of the infantry going as far as Occoquan Creek, on Telegraph road, piloted by Joseph Stiles. Six hundred infantry went to Colchester, piloted by Jonathan Roberts. They are supposed to have bivouacked last night beyond Pohick.

Very truly, yours,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

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CENTREVILLE, VA., November 13, 1861-10 p.m.

Brig. Gen. W. H. C. WHITING, near Dumfries, Va.:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I believe you are nearly correct with regard to your conjecture as to the future movements of the enemy. Those balloon ascensions indicate either offensive or defensive movements, most probably the former. A few days more and we will have this place strong enough to detach a brigade to re-enforce you, i.e., in my opinion, for General J. must decide, and then we could be ready to march a large force to your reliefs, if you could hold out for one or two days with the assistance of Holmes, who ought to sacrifice, if necessary, some of his minor positions to save Evansport. Have Triplett’s and Powhatan Hills been fortified, as had been determined upon; if not, why not? Those and Talbot Hill are the keys of that position; no time ought to be lost in fortifying them, even if it were only for infantry, for if the enemy takes them, how long would the batteries hold out? Not ten minutes! Can you not have it done at once if not already done? I think also the line of the Occoquan to be very important so long as the enemy does not land below it; but where have we the forces to occupy it? We have just lost one of our most important brigades (Jackson’s), which has been sent to the valley of Virginia. It would have been worth its weight in gold with you at this moment.

I cannot approve of withdrawing Evans from Leesburg except for a battle. We cannot afford to lose that important point on our left flank so long as we hold this position.

{p.951}

We are going to construct a large bridge on the Occoquan at Bland’s Ford; already a small one for infantry is being built there, and will be finished in two or three days. I will discuss the whole subject of your letter with General Johnston as soon as practicable, and he will send you instructions for your guidance.

The above are only my own personal views.

Yours, truly,

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, November 13, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:

SIR: I had the honor to-day to receive your letter of the 7th instant, in which you write:

I had not the most remote idea that you expected aid from Mr. Hunter or from this department in relation to winter quarters for the troops, nor can I conceive upon what basis you entertained such expectation, [and] I find it impossible to account for your long delay in noticing my letter of the 13th ultimo and your failure to exhibit any sign of uneasiness at the non-appearance of the saw-mills or workmen you expected to furnish the lumber.

I think that my letter of the 2d instant, to which you refer, shows upon what, basis I entertained the expectation in question, and that your letter of the 13th ultimo and my conversation with your agent who delivered it to me account for my failure to exhibit any sign of uneasiness at the non-appearance of the saw-mills or workmen. As to delay in noticing your letter, it merely accredited your agent. It seemed to me to require from one confident in your agent no other notice than assurance to him of such aid, at the proper time, as you required for him.

You informed me in your letter of October 13 that you had employed two gentlemen-one of whom, Mr. Hunter, delivered the letter-to build huts for this army-and that they would explain the plan proposed, for which my co-operation was asked especially. I was to determine the locality and lines where the huts were to be built. Mr. Hunter made the explanation, and was told that the locality could not then be indicated, but that the lumber might be sawed anywhere in rear of Manassas near the railroads, and we parted with the clear understanding on my part that he would have his mills (ten) in operation about the 25th. He was desirous to consult General Beauregard, who had considered the subject, in regard to the plan of the huts, and I saw him no more. But then, as now, believing him to be perfectly reliable, I did not become uneasy until nearly a week after the period fixed upon by Mr. Hunter, and then wrote to the Acting Secretary on the subject.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

P. S.-The laborers promised in your letter of the 13th October have not been heard of.

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CAMP, MEADOW BLUFF, November 13, 1861.

To the SECRETARY OF WAR, Confederate States:

SIR: This position is one of the most important in the State. Here, or in the immediate vicinity, unite the only good roads to the ferries of {p.952} the New and Gauley Rivers and to the great valley of the Kanawha. It is 15 miles to the west of Lewisburg. The surrounding country abounds in supplies for the commissariat. Wood and coal may be supplied in abundance, and water enough for a large army, by making suitable improvements. With proper attention to drainage and with well-constructed quarters the garrison would be healthy, while a great majority of the people are loyal and true to the Southern Confederacy. The occupation of this post in sufficient force will insure the safety of Lewisburg and the adjacent regions of fertile country and the communications leading thereto, while the enemy would be prevented from making inroads this side of Gauley River, beyond which there is far less loyalty, if sympathy with the North does not actually preponderate. Our forces were, under General Lee, necessarily compelled to fall back to this point by reason of the bad roads. No effective operations can be conducted from this point westward for the reason just stated, transportation except by pack-mules being impossible; while the enemy’s communications by land are better than ours, besides his facilities of water transportation.

An advance force of at least 1,500 men would be required to hold this point, in view of the present attitude and number of the enemy. Three or five thousand more should be within supporting distance, for whom a good position can be had a few miles east of this place. To provision 7,000 or 8,000 men in this vicinity would be very difficult in the present condition of the roads-to do so a few miles west of this, during the winter, well-nigh impossible. To make a successful advance towards the Kanawha Valley or Summersville with a sufficient force while the roads are in their present condition is out of the question. It is absolutely necessary to construct good roads. The best material in this region for that purpose is plank. A steam saw-mill suitably located would soon prepare material for putting our communications on a footing nearly equal to those of the enemy. The improvements contemplated would assist materially in establishing the wavering confidence of the community, and I venture to say would not cost as much as the teams, which must be worn out if they are not made. Besides, rapid and successful forward movements of our troops will then soon become possible, and the struggle soon transferred from this region to the banks of the Ohio.

Hoping that this may meet your approbation, I am, very truly, your obedient servant,

J. LUCIUS DAVIS, Colonel, Commanding at Meadow Bluff.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 177.}

HEADQUARTERS AQUIA DISTRICT, November 13, 1861.

I. Brig. Gen. Samuel G. French, having reported for duty in this district, will, in compliance with special orders from the War Department (No. 210), proceed to Evansport and relieve Brig. Gen. I. R. Trimble, in command of the batteries and defenses of that vicinity.

II. After having bees relieved by General French, General I. R. Trimble will repair to the station which has been assigned to him by the orders of the War Department.

By order of Maj. Gen. T. H. Holmes:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.953}

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RICHMOND, November 13, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville:

The road to Manassas is so encumbered with transportation of supplies that in order to prevent further delay I am compelled to order up to your army three or four regiments by way of Fredericksburg. Please send orders to them there. I have ordered two regiments from Staunton to your re-enforcement, and they will leave Staunton to-morrow or day after. General Jackson is urging me to send him an engineer, and I have not one at my command. Have you one that you can possibly spare him?

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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CENTREVILLE, November 14, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

Send all the troops you can, and as soon as possible. The Fredericksburg route is good. We have but one engineer officer, who is sick. We require more.

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS, November 14, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. H. C. WHITING, Commanding near Dumfries:

DEAR WHITING: We are still waiting the movements of McClellan; but for some time past have been giving more and more attention and thought towards your side than to our front or left flank. Beauregard told me last night that he would suggest to Alexander to practice daily the signal telegraph with you. It is becoming all-important that we have prompt communication. At my suggestion orders have been issued for the making of temporary bridges across the Occoquan. The formation of a reserve for the army has reduced my command here to three brigades. Jackson’s went to the valley of Virginia, Elzey’s and Crittenden’s were put in the reserve; by the way, Crittenden has been appointed major-general, and goes to Cumberland Gap, in Kentucky. I have Sam. Jones, Toombs, and Wilcox here, and your command detached, forming the second Corps, including Field’s cavalry. I am on the wrong flank for prompt movement in your direction, but rely upon it, old fellow, that if they put overpowering numbers against you, I shall give you all the assistance in my power. We are in good condition considering all the drawbacks to which we are constantly subject. My men will move with a will in going to your support.

Allston is here, has taken hold in earnest, and is a great addition to the command. He signed a report yesterday, “Ben. Allston, major, &c., commanding regiment.” So you see he is not entirely weaned from you yet.

I sent you the papers the other day and send two this morning. Give my regards to Hill, Wigfall, and other friends. Your brother, Randal, Allston, and others send kind regards to yourself. Write as often as you can.

As ever, your friend,

G. W. [SMITH.]

{p.954}

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 222.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., November 14, 1861.

...

XIV. The Fourteenth Regiment Georgia Volunteers, Colonel [A. V.] Brumly commanding, and the Sixteenth Regiment North Carolina Volunteers, Colonel [S.] Lee commanding, now at Staunton, will proceed by march to Mount Jackson, thence by railroad via Strasburg to Manassas, to report to General J. E. Johnston. The next two regiments arriving at Staunton from General Loring’s command will proceed by march to Winchester, and report to Major-General Jackson.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, November 15, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department of Northern Virginia:

SIR: I am directed by the President to inform you that after deliberation he has concluded to yield to your suggestions on the subject of assigning the cavalry of the Army of the Potomac to one of the divisions, and that he will accordingly leave the cavalry, like the artillery, to be distributed by you amongst the several divisions or used in such other manner as to you shall seem most effective.

The new organizations into brigades and divisions, rendered necessary in order to assign to General Van Dorn a command suitable to his rank, have also been determined by the President, and will be communicated to you by the Adjutant-General.

In order to supply the brigadier-generals rendered necessary by recent changes, the President has also made the following provisions:

1st. He has directed that Brigadier-General Trimble be assigned to the command left vacant by the promotion of Brigadier-General Crittenden.

2d. That William M. Gardner be promoted to the grade of brigadier-general, and assigned to the command of Brig. Gen. W. H. T. Walker, resigned.

As General Gardner will be confined for some time to come by his wound, the President has sent to you Brig. Gen. Richard Garnett, to be assigned by you to such duty as you may deem proper until a brigade is formed for him.

3d. In order to supply a brigadier-general to assist Major-General Jackson in the Valley District of your department, the President directs that one of the four brigadier-generals from Virginia, assigned by General Orders, No. 15, of 22d ultimo, to the four Virginia brigades, be selected by you, to be sent to command the brigade of Virginia regiments now in the Valley District.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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RICHMOND, November 15, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville:

The Fourteenth Alabama Regiment, Colonel Judge, left here yesterday for Fredericksburg and Manassas. It will require arms. I telegraphed {p.955} General Holmes to-day to halt it near Dumfries. A regiment left to-day by Central; another will leave on the 18th by Central road, and one on the 16th and one on the 17th by Fredericksburg, all unarmed. A North Carolina regiment from Loring’s command, armed, left Staunton yesterday for Manassas by Central and Orange road.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and inspector General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, November 15, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding Army of Kanawha:

SIR: I have hitherto refrained from replying to your several letters in relation to your proposed movements during the coming winter, because it was necessary first to ascertain what force would be under your command, and whether such force could reasonably be expected to succeed in any offensive operation. I have at last succeeded in sending to your aid three fine regiments, that will be with you before your receipt of this letter, one under Colonel Starke, and two Tennessee regiments under Brigadier-General Donelson. With this force the President is satisfied you ought to be able to hold your position at Cotton Mountain, and he hopes you will not fail to do so, as it is very obvious that on your abandonment of so important a point the enemy, now taught by experience, will not fail to seize it. Hardships and exposure will undoubtedly be suffered by our troops, but this is war, and we cannot hope to conquer our liberties or secure our rights by ease and comfort. We cannot believe that our gallant and determined citizen soldiers will shrink from a campaign the result of which must be to drive the enemy outside of our borders and to secure for us the possession of a valley of such vast importance as that of the Kanawha at the present critical juncture. I therefore hope that you will not feel compelled to abandon Cotton Mountain in order to fall back on Raleigh Court-House, or any other point, until you have forced the enemy to abandon their camp at the junction of the Gauley and Kanawha. I have sent you a rifled twelve-pounder within the last few days, and will send you another in a few days more. I am very sorry we have no 24-pounder howitzers. Do your best to keep your road to Newbern in transitable order, and supplies shall not fail you.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, November 16, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War:

SIR: I respectfully inclose herewith copies of two letters just received from Brigadier-General Whiting. This officer, with his own brigade and three Texan regiments of Wigfall’s brigade, is in the neighborhood of Dumfries. I have directed that the three new regiments shall be added to this force-those coming via Fredericksburg.

My object in laying these letters before you is to show the importance of additional re-enforcements to enable Brigadier-General Whiting to defeat such attempts of the enemy as he expects. If you have any {p.956} disposable troops, I venture to assert that no more important object can be found for their employment. Superior numbers and the control of the river and possession of a great number of vessels, give the United States troops in Maryland opposite to Evansport great advantages over us. Should he (the enemy) establish himself on our shore in force, he will so intrench himself in a few hours as to make it impossible to dislodge him, and we shall soon have a fortified army on our right flank. The condition of the roads is now such from the rains, unusual at this season, that the troops here cannot move with such facility as to be able to guard this position and watch the Lower Occoquan and shore of the Potomac near its mouth. We have great difficulty in transporting our supplies from Manassas even. It is necessary, therefore, in order to prevent the apprehended landing of the enemy, that we should have as nearly as possible a sufficient number of troops to repel the enemy on the Occoquan or the bank of the Potomac. It would be impossible to march from this position in time to aid Brigadier-General Whiting after learning the enemy’s designs, which could only be known after his movement should be commenced.

Should the enemy establish a new base on the river below the Occoquan in the manner indicated above, it would be impossible to hold this position. The superiority of numbers against us makes it impracticable to divide this army. This position cannot be given up upon any conjecture of the enemy’s designs. I therefore respectfully urge that any disposable troops you may have be ordered to this army for service under General Whiting. Should they be at Richmond, the Fredericksburg road would he most expeditions for a part of the force at least.

The Adjutant-General informed me that 6,000 or 7,000 of General Loring’s troops would be near Staunton about this time. They might serve here during the crisis, and afterwards perform the service for which they have been intended.

This will be delivered to you by Lieutenant Lane, son of the late United States Senator from Oregon.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

P. S.-McC. regards the division of this army as his best chance of success.

[Inclosures.]

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS NEAR DUMFRIES, November 15, 1861.

Private Hanan, of Andrews’ battery, has just returned from Maryland, where he has been since October 24. He reports very much the same as all others as to force and intention of the enemy. They will attack by the flotilla above and below, and attempt throwing a very large force across. He landed at Holland Point, and informs me that he learned above Occoquan that they were building a pontoon bridge to cross the Occoquan, and the reconnaissance the other day was to select a place for it. This is important. I have seen French. He pronounces the batteries untenable against fire from the opposite side and the fleets; in fact, expresses himself just as I did, you recollect, when I saw them. He is very much disgusted, and he goes in for my plan of changing to Cockpit. I have written to Richmond for permission. If they cross the Occoquan in heavy force I shall probably fight at the Neabsco crossing. {p.957} You must look out on the right. We have tremendous odds against us, and if they cross the run we shall have a heavy fight. It is good that General T. has been relieved, though mighty hard on French. If the re-enforcements come, I will give him two regiments. I have to watch that Occoquan movement. My dear general, the position is difficult and anxious. What wouldn’t I give if G. W. [Smith] was in command down here?

As to the change to Cockpit, if it can be executed it will undoubtedly disconcert and delay the enemy. I only fear it may be too late. Where are all the engineer officers of the Army? Hadn’t you better show this to Beauregard?

Very truly, yours,

W. H. C. WHITING.

HEADQUARTERS TROOPS NEAR DUMFRIES, November 16, 1861.

DEAR GENERAL: I sent you yesterday some important intelligence, received from some of our men who have been over in Maryland. Perhaps owing to the swelling of the creeks it did not reach you. The chief point was the certain information that the enemy are preparing a pontoon bridge to cross the Occoquan. They will cross near the town of Occoquan, and I think land at the same time at Deep Hole, where they can put across a very large force. I think you may depend on the grand attack being on our right this time, and we shall catch it here. You must look out for me. There is no time to be lost. The enemy are only waiting for their flotilla organization. The batteries, per se, as batteries, will not be tenable against a heavy fleet attack combined with the fire from the other side. They were never constructed so as to protect the guns from being dismounted. I telegraphed for authority to withdraw them and place them at Cockpit. The main question is whether it can now be done in time. If you are fortified up there, and believe as I do in the attack here in heavy force, let a brigade move at once toward Bacon Race. There ought to be a regiment of cavalry here to act, and certainly another battery. I have only Imboden and Hampton, and consequently nothing to act with my brigade, which is and will be the reserve troops, the artillery being posted at certain points for action. Heintzelman’s division will I think cross the Occoquan, and Sickles will land in force at Deep Hole. The roads converge at Kankey’s farm, on the Neabsco, where I expect Wigfall to meet and hold them in check while I fall on their flank. The Fredericksburg regiments have not arrived spoken of in your note. The sooner they come the better; but order, if you please, your commissariat and quartermaster’s department to be energetic. My train has the whole burden of the Texas brigade, which was sent here without transportation from Richmond, &c.

Yours, truly,

WHITING.

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NOVEMBER 16, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I believe in all that Whiting says. As to that new battery at Cockpit Point, I fear it is entirely too late. Either we must be prepared to fight them there with some force or withdraw our forces and guns within the line of the Upper Occoquan, and then, should they attempt to move along the Potomac, we must attack them in flank {p.958} and rear. As to Colonel Anderson, he has received orders to work with his garrison on those new forts around Manassas.

I advise you to send an express to Richmond with a copy of General Whiting’s letter to the President, calling his attention to the fact that the intrenched camps and hills in rear of the Evansport batteries have never been constructed, notwithstanding your repeated instructions or advice on the subject.

Yours, truly,

G. T. BEAUREGARD.

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, November 16, 1861.

Brigadier-General WHITING:

DEAR GENERAL: A regiment left Richmond on the 14th for Fredericksburg, and another is to do so to-day and another to-morrow, all unarmed. I directed the quartermaster to send you for these new regiments, beginning with the Texans, twenty-four wagons, which will start to-day, should the Occoquan be fordable. They are to take 1,600 muskets (perhaps 1,800) and about 60 boxes of cartridges for the regiments of the 14th and 16th-dates of leaving Richmond. All these new troops are unarmed, and as I said that two could be armed at Manassas, they send five to use the muskets-these people in Richmond.

I requested General Holmes to procure permanent transportation for these troops about Fredericksburg, if possible; I shall therefore wait to hear from him before sending more wagons.

When I hear of the last regiment, arms shall be sent for it, too, if they can be found.

I have had a bridge over the Occoquan begun on the road from Dumfries to Manassas, and am asking for laborers to improve the road.

I have desired General Holmes to have such field works as can now be made begun on the heights at Evansport. Will you advise in the case?

No Staunton regiments are to join Wigfall. His brigade consists of the three Texan regiments belonging to your command. The three regiments to come, also to be under your command, are new, I suppose, being unarmed. Brigade them at your discretion.

Colonel Walker is, I doubt not, a very competent officer. I knew him as an excellent captain.

If the new regiments can serve where there are breastworks it will be well to so place them, by exchanges if necessary. I wish the dividing lines between the districts considered obliterated.

Yours, truly,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

In arming these regiments don’t include men not likely to be able to use their muskets soon, for we are to have more men than arms.

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HDQRS. SECOND CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Centreville, Va., November 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. H. C. WHITING, Commanding near Dumfries:

DEAR WHITING: General Johnston desires me to write you in answer to your letters to him of yesterday and to-day. The position you propose to occupy on the Neabsco and general plan for resisting an advance of the enemy is considered the best that could be adopted. In regard to moving the batteries, he authorizes you to do whatever in {p.959} your judgment may be best. The only question in his mind is the one suggested by you as to whether there is time. If only part of the guns can be moved, it would perhaps be well to do this; but this and all other points in regard to the disposition of the guns and batteries and their defense are placed under your control. The general expressly directs me to tell you to communicate this fact to General French.

Copies of your letters above alluded to-with certain passages omitted-have been sent by special messenger to the President, with a view to having re-enforcements sent to you by railroad from Staunton or other available sources. A battery will be sent you from here immediately, and a brigade will be kept on the Occoquan in observation. The general suggests that Hampton’s Legion, as far as practicable, watch and endeavor to delay and annoy the enemy at the passage of the Occoquan; and above all get definite information in regard to their strength. If they come upon you in large numbers, approaching, say, half of their effective force for field operations, the whole of this army would probably be thrown against them, with a determination to crush them; but if their attack upon you should prove to be only a strong demonstration, or even a real attack with numbers only a little superior to your own, it would not be well further to divide this army.

It is believed here upon the best evidence that McClellan bases his only hope of success in “putting down the rebellion” upon dividing and materially diminishing the strength of this army. The loss of Jackson’s brigade was a great disadvantage to us, and was but the beginning of what McClellan is trying to accomplish. I think it will go no further; but that if he ventures from his fortifications on the bank of the Potomac he will have to fight us united. Keep us well advised. A bright eye, clear head, and resolute hand will beat them in spite of their numbers, organization, and equipment. We will do everything we can towards getting information of their movements in your direction from Alexandria, and give you the earliest possible advices.

Major Martin, of the Mississippi squadron of cavalry, attacked a party of 50 men, the escort of a foraging train, about 1 1/2 miles this side of Upton’s Hill, this afternoon, killed 4, wounded as many, and took 31 prisoners, among them a captain and lieutenant. He got five wagons-all they had-loaded with corn. On our side “nobody hurt.” With best wishes for your complete success over the invaders, I am, as ever, your friend,

G. W. SMITH, Major-General, Commanding.

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RICHMOND, November 16, 1861.

General HOLMES, Brooke’s Station, Va.:

General Whiting has been authorized by telegraph to exercise his discretion. So inform him.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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EVANSPORT, November 16, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Army of the Potomac:

DEAR GENERAL: I leave for Richmond to-day and hope to be able to rejoin the Army of Potomac under you soon.

One word about Evansport batteries: We have each of these batteries {p.960} nearly inclosed by separate infantry defenses, and the entire shore is picketed off to effectually prevent a surprise by night. This I have deemed very important, and the inclosure of batteries preliminary to the intrenched camp. On this last point I have changed my opinion, as I think you and General Beauregard would yours if here.

Powhatan fill and Triplett’s are too far from the batteries to protect them by infantry, and we have no heavy guns to put into such a camp; besides this, the enemy can only reach these hills (unless on our shore front) by landing above Quantico and Chopawamsic Creeks and marching 5 miles to the head of those creeks and 5 miles down into this peninsula, opposed all the way by our forces, in a country where scarcely more than a platoon can fight in front. This the enemy doubtless knows, and will never attempt. I have therefore abandoned the intrenched camp on the hills, and propose one down on the river plain to inclose the two upper batteries. This has been laid off but not begun, giving place, as I have remarked, to the pickets on the shore and the closing of the gorge of each battery. I have suggested to General French its rapid completion. But, general, we have too few guns here to resist a combined attack from three or more heavy ships and the batteries on the other side, and we should have more guns, either to put on the hills, or (which I prefer) to plant batteries on Cockpit Point Bluff above us, and thus elude the batteries opposite this point, extending our line of defense farther along the river. The guns, I think, can yet be got up on the George Page at night, if they are ready for use. I shall urge this to General Holmes and also in Richmond. What you have now to meet is a severe bombardment from the other side, combined with heavy ships from above and below our batteries. I do not think the enemy will attempt to land before this, but I believe he will at the same time the attack is made march down on the Occoquan, attempt to cross, and fall on our forces at Dumfries.

With the belief you will again defeat the enemy, I am, truly, yours,

I. R. TRIMBLE.

P. S.-Ask General Beauregard if the intended camp was done, or why not; please give him my views.

We have not the men or tools to do more than we have done; our heavy night pickets and large fatigue working parties have made the duty very severe on the command.

You or General Beauregard or General Smith should come down here and take a look. It is to be the center of the next contest.

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CENTREVILLE, November 16, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

Please send several naval officers to serve under Captain Sterrett, at the navy batteries at Manassas, as soon as practicable.

J. E. JOHNSTON.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 18.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., November 16, 1861.

Paragraph 3 of General Orders, No. 15 [October 22], current series, is hereby modified, and the several divisions and brigades therein will be arranged as follows, to wit:

First Division, under Major-General Van Dorn:

First Brigade, Brigadier-General Whiting, to consist of five Mississippi regiments.

{p.961}

Second Brigade, Brigadier-General Wilcox, to consist of five Alabama regiments.

Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Rodes, to consist of five Alabama regiments.

Fourth Brigade, Brigadier-General Taylor, to consist of four Louisiana regiments and one Louisiana battalion.

Fifth Brigade, Brigadier-General Griffith, to consist of four Mississippi regiments.

Second Division under Maj. Gen. G. W. Smith:

First Brigade, Brig. Gen. S. Jones, to consist of four Virginia regiments.

Second Brigade, Brigadier-General Early, to consist of four Virginia regiments.

Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Trimble, to consist of two Virginia, two Tennessee, and one Kentucky regiments.

Fourth Brigade, Brigadier-General Cocke, to consist of four Virginia regiments.

Fifth Brigade, Brigadier-General Garnett, to consist of four Virginia regiments, en route.

Third Division, under Major-General Longstreet:

First Brigade, Brig. Gen. D. H. Hill, to consist of five North Carolina regiments.

Second Brigade, Brig. Gen. D. R. Jones, to consist of four South Carolina regiments.

Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Bonham, to consist of four South Carolina regiments.

Fourth Brigade, Brigadier-General Wigfall, to consist of three Texas regiments.

Legion, Colonel Hampton, to consist of the Hampton Legion.

Fourth Division, under Maj. Gen. E. K. Smith:

First Brigade, Brig. Gen. H. R. Jackson, to consist of four Georgia regiments, en route.

Second Brigade, Brigadier-General Toombs, to consist of four Georgia regiments.

Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Elzey, to consist of three Georgia and one Maryland regiments.

Fourth Brigade, Brigadier-General Evans, to consist of four Georgia regiments.

By command of the Secretary of War:

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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DUMFRIES, November 16, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

What are they sending me unarmed and new regiments for? Don’t want them. They will only be in my way. Can’t feed them nor use them. I want re-enforcements, not recruits. Please to put those new regiments somewhere else. They can do no good here, and will only seriously embarrass all operations.

W. H. C. WHITING. {p.962}

RICHMOND, November 17, 1861.

General W. H. C. WHITING, Dumfries, Va.:

Communicate with General Johnston, at whose instance the regiments via Fredericksburg were to stop at Evansport, where they were to be armed from the depot at Manassas.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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RICHMOND, November 17, 1861.

Maj. Gen. T. H. HOLMES, Brooke’s Station:

The regiment that left here yesterday for Evansport had better remain at Fredericksburg for the present, on account of General Whiting’s dispatch. No more unarmed regiments will be sent in that direction.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, November 17, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department of Northern Virginia:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 13th instant, received yesterday.

I perceive that your impression of the result of your conversation with Mr. Hunter was entirely different from that which he communicated to me, and this fact is, perhaps, the best proof that it would have been more regular and prudent that you should have communicated to me in writing some reply to my letter of 13th ultimo.

This, however, is a matter of small importance now, as I am gratified to perceive by your omission to call on me for the aid tendered in my letter of 7th instant that you have found means to shelter the army without the assistance of the Department.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of War.

P. S.-I am sorry to say that the Hon. R. M. T. Hunter, who tendered his services in procuring the thousand laborers for work on intrenchments mentioned in my letter of 13th ultimo, has been prevented thus far from accomplishing that object by a difficulty in the laws of Virginia. He hoped to get authority from the governor to impress free negroes, but it seems that the power for that purpose does not exist in the governor. The quartermaster is trying to get slaves, in accordance with your recent request, to work on roads in the vicinity of the camp.

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RICHMOND, November 18, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville, Va.:

It is impossible to obtain a naval officer. Every one not otherwise disposed of has been sent South.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and inspector General.

{p.963}

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RICHMOND, VA., November 18, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, C. S. A., Centreville, Va.:

SIR: Upon representations as to the defective construction of the batteries at and near Evansport and the hazard of bombardment by batteries recently established by the enemy on the Maryland shore, directions have been given to remove the guns to Cockpit, as recommended by General Whiting and others. It will, however, give to the enemy opportunity to make a landing at Ship Point, and thence threaten the position of General Holmes. If a large force should be landed on the Potomac below General Holmes, with a view to turn or to attack him, the value of the position between Dumfries and Fredericksburg will be so great, that I wish you to give to that line your personal inspection. With a sufficient force the enemy may be prevented from leaving his boats, should he be able to cross the river. To make the force available at either of the points which he may select, it will be necessary to improve the roads connecting the advanced posts with the armies of the Potomac and of the Aquia as well as with each other, and to have the requisite teams to move heavy guns with celerity. At Cockpit, if the topography has been correctly reported, our batteries will not be in danger of bombardment from the Maryland shore, but will be more liable to a land attack than when at Evansport; and, being farther removed from support by General Holmes, will need to have a larger garrison in the event supposed.

As I notified you, unarmed troops have been sent to receive the arms in your possession, and three armed regiments have been sent to your department since my last letter to you. (The troops from Staunton may be soon expected.) We must ask of our army that it will perform such service as has distinguished it heretofore, and we hope that our just cause is safe in its keeping, though, if it were possible, I would send to you many more troops.

Very respectfully, yours,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

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BROOKE’S STATION, November 18, 1861.

General COOPER:

General Whiting wishes the two other regiments forwarded. He can arm them.

TH. H. HOLMES, Major-General.

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RICHMOND, November 18, 1861.

General T. H. HOLMES, Brooke’s Station:

There is but one other regiment, which will leave for Fredericksburg day after to-morrow. The other regiments have been sent to Manassas, as General Whiting, by telegraph, declined to receive them.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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RICHMOND, November 19, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department of Northern Virginia, Centreville:

SIR: Your communications of the 14th, 15th, and 16th instants* were {p.964} duty received and submitted to the Secretary of War and to such department of the staff to which they related, with instructions. Your inquiries respecting unarmed regiments sent from this city to Manassas and Evansport have been answered by telegraph.

The regiments as they arrive at Staunton from General Loring’s command will be pushed forward to Manassas, but it is proper to state that by a letter received to-day from General Loring it is apprehended that the force from that quarter will be considerably reduced, as he remarks that his position immediately in front of the enemy cannot be weakened by the withdrawal of his troops at present.

I am, very respectfully, &c.,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* None of these communications found.

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HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Centreville, November 19, 1861.

Brig. Gen. N. G. EVANS, Commanding at Leesburg:

GENERAL: Your letter of yesterday calling for instructions has been referred to me. None more definite can be given you than those contained in my letters of the 17th* and 30th ultimo. You must be guided by circumstances, as therein referred to. Should you be able to dispute successfully with your present force the passage of the Potomac by the enemy, you are expected necessarily to do so, for which purpose you must have your brigade properly distributed at or about Leesburg, retreating only before a very superior force, which you will endeavor to stop as long as practicable at Carter’s and Ball’s Mills; from there you will, if overpowered, either join us here or fall back on Manassas via Sudley Spring (according to circumstances), where you will also endeavor to make as long a stand as possible. But you must keep yourself well posted as to the movements and intentions of the enemy, and harass your troops as little as practicable by marches and countermarches.

You should leave, under proper guard, at or about Carter’s Mill all the heavy baggage not already sent back to Manassas and not required by your brigade in a more advanced position.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General, Commanding.

* See Beauregard’s report of engagement at Ball’s Bluff p. 347.

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HUNTERSVILLE, November 19, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

GENERAL: Has my letter of the 9th instant been received, and does Special Orders, No. 222 [November 14], contemplate a further withdrawal from the Huntersville line? Notwithstanding my report therein, at least two regiments will be detached immediately from the Monterey line.

W. W. LORING, Brigadier-General.

{p.965}

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RICHMOND, November 20, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. W. LORING, Commanding, &c., Huntersville, Va.:

GENERAL: I have received your telegram of the 19th instant, and, referring to your letter of the 9th,* I have to inform you that Special Orders, No. 222, was not intended to control your discretion in retaining such amount of force as you might find necessary for defensive purposes, &c., but only to make provision for such regiments as you might send from your command to Staunton. It is hoped you may yet be enabled to spare some troops from your command after making all your arrangements; but of this you must judge for yourself. Troops are much wanted both at Manassas and in the Valley District, commanded by Major-General Jackson; but other points must be looked to as well.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* Letter of 9th not found.

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HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, November 20, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I hope you will pardon me for requesting that at once all the troops under General Loring be ordered to this point.

Deeply impressed with the importance of absolute secrecy respecting military operations, I have made it a point to say but little respecting my proposed movements in the event of sufficient re-enforcements arriving; but since conversing with Lieut. Col. J. T. L. Preston, upon his return from General Loring, and ascertaining the disposition of the general’s forces, I venture to respectfully urge that after concentrating all his troops here an attempt should be made to capture the Federal forces at Romney.

The attack on Romney would probably induce McClellan to believe that the Army of the Potomac had been so weakened as to justify him in making an advance on Centreville; but should this not induce him to advance, I do not believe anything will during, the present winter. Should the Army of the Potomac be attacked, I would be at once prepared to re-enforce it with my present volunteer force, increased by General Loring’s. After repulsing the enemy at Manassas, let the troops that marched on Romney return to the valley, and move rapidly westward to the waters of the Monongahela and Little Kanawha. Should General Kelley be defeated, and especially should he be captured, I believe that by a judicious disposition of the militia, a few cavalry, and a small number of field pieces, no additional forces would be required for some time in this district.

I deem it of very great importance that Northwestern Virginia be occupied by Confederate troops this winter. At present it is to be presumed that the enemy are not expecting an attack there, and the resources of that region necessary for the subsistence of our troops are in greater abundance than in almost any other season of the year. Postpone the occupation of that section until spring, and we may expect to find the enemy prepared for us and the resources to which I have referred greatly exhausted. I know that what I have proposed will be an arduous undertaking and cannot be accomplished without the sacrifice {p.966} of much personal comfort; but I feel that the troops will be prepared to make this sacrifice when animated by the prospects of important results to our cause and distinction to themselves.

It may be urged against this plan that the enemy will advance on Staunton or Huntersville. I am well satisfied that such a step would but make their destruction more certain. Again, it may be said that General Floyd will be cut off. To avoid this, if necessary the general has only to fall back towards the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. When Northwestern Virginia is occupied in force, the Kanawha Valley, unless it be the lower part of it, must be evacuated by the Federal forces, or otherwise their safety will be endangered by forcing a column across from the Little Kanawha between them and the Ohio River.

Admitting that the season is too far advanced, or that from other causes all cannot be accomplished that has been named, yet through the blessing of God, who has thus far so wonderfully prospered our cause, much more may be expected from General Loring’s troops, according to this programme, than can be expected from them where they are. If you decide to order them here, I trust that for the purpose of saving time all the infantry, cavalry, and artillery will be directed to move immediately upon the reception of the order.* The enemy, about 5,000 strong, have been for some time slightly fortifying at Romney, and have completed their telegraph from that place to Green Spring Depot. Their forces at and near Williamsport are estimated as high as 5,000, but as yet I have no reliable information of their strength beyond the Potomac.

Your most obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, P. A. C. S.

* See Johnston to Cooper, November 22, p. 966, and Benjamin to Loring, November 24, p. 968.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, November 21, 1861.

Respectfully forwarded. I submit that the troops under General Loring might render valuable services by taking the field with General Jackson, instead of going into winter quarters, as now proposed.

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, November 22, 1861.

General COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIR: I have received Major-General Jackson’s plan of operations* in his district, for which he asks for re-enforcements. It seems to me that he proposes more than can well be accomplished in that high, mountainous country at this season. If the means of driving the enemy from Romney (preventing the reconstruction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and incursions by marauders into the counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan) can be supplied to General Jackson, and with them those objects accomplished, we shall have reason to be satisfied, so far as the Valley District is concerned.

* Jackson to Benjamin, November 20, p. 965.

{p.967}

The wants of other portions of the frontier-Aquia District, for instance-make it inexpedient, in my opinion, to transfer to the Valley District so large a force as that asked for by Major-General Jackson. It seems to me to be now of especial importance to strengthen Major-General Holmes, near Aquia Creek. The force there is very small compared with the importance of the position.

Your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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RICHMOND, November 22, 1861.

General W. W. LORING, Staunton, Va.:

GENERAL: The Secretary of War is disposed to think, from the great difficulty in obtaining forage and the reported reduced condition of the horses of cavalry companies in the mountains, that you may dispense with a part of the cavalry force with you, retaining that portion of your cavalry which has been raised in Western Virginia, and therefore better able, on the part of both horses and men, to stand the climate. Cavalry is greatly needed in the region of country between the Potomac and Rappahannock, and if you can dispense with the services of Captains Hatchett’s and Douglas’ companies-the first from Lunenburg, the latter from Kent and King George-and Major Lee’s squadron, it is desired that you will at once order them to move down to Major-General Holmes’ command, for duty upon the Rappahannock. If you have another company of cavalry (say, Captain Richards’) disposable, the Secretary would prefer its being also ordered to that point, three Virginia companies being required to complete a cavalry regiment to be organized, if possible, in the District of the Lower Potomac.

Very respectfully, &c.,

R. H. CHILTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 540.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, November 22, 1861.

In compliance with instructions from the Secretary of War, Brig. Gen. I. R. Trimble is assigned to the command of the brigade formerly commanded by General Crittenden, and will report to Maj. Gen. E. Kirby Smith.

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, November 23, 1861.

General HOLMES, Fredericksburg:

GENERAL: The Secretary of War directs me to say that, having made arrangements for getting newspapers from the United to the Confederate States at stated intervals, he desires that you will instruct Captain Beale to receive the packages on the Maryland shore every Tuesday and Thursday and convey them to the Hague, whence they will be carried to Carter’s Wharf, on the Rappahannock, by expressmen, whom {p.968} you are requested to furnish. At the latter place the packages will be delivered to Mr. J. J. Grindall or his agents for delivery here.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, November 23, 1861.

[SECRETARY OF WAR?]:

DEAR SIR: I have received letters from home (Greenbrier), expressing the presence there of great excitement. General Floyd has fallen back from Cotton Hill to a point some miles south of Raleigh Court-House, and will probably retire to Newbern. Two regiments from Tennessee, Colonels Hatton’s and Savage’s, from the Upper Greenbrier country, are now on their way to join General Floyd, whilst a regiment or two, lately at Meadow Bluff have been ordered away either to General Floyd or to some other more eastern or southern point, leaving at Meadow Bluff a force of only 500 or 600 men. Thus, the whole country embraced by the counties of Greenbrier and Monroe are laid open to the ravages of the enemy, in strong force at Gauley Bridge, Hawk’s Nest, and Fayette Court-House, with only the small force at Meadow Bluff to resist him. Hence the excitement in Greenbrier.

If the enemy come into Greenbrier and Monroe, there is nothing to arrest his progress into Botetourt, Rockbridge, and Augusta but distance. The force at Camp Barton and the Upper Greenbrier Bridge, it is understood, is barely sufficient, if sufficient, to arrest the progress of the enemy from Cheat and Valley Mountains. Can nothing be done to afford some sort of security to the people of all that large and valuable country? Can no force be sent there or near enough to that country to be immediately available? If General Floyd retreats to Newbern, the counties of Raleigh, Mercer, Giles, and Tazewell will also be open to the enemy. I should be greatly obliged to the Secretary of War for a free personal conference upon this subject.

Very truly and respectfully, yours, &c.,

SAMUEL PRICE.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 56.}

HDQRS. ARMY OF THE NORTHWEST, Huntersville, Va., November 23, 1861.

I. Brig. Gen. S. R. Anderson is assigned to command of the forces on the Huntersville line.

...

By order of Brigadier-General Loring:

C. L. STEVENSON, Adjutant-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., November 24, 1861.

Brigadier-General LORING, Greenbrier River:

SIR: I inclose you herewith a copy of a letter* just received from General Jackson, which explains itself.

I have for several weeks been impressed with the conviction that a sudden and well-concealed movement of your entire command up the valley towards Romney, combined with a movement of General Jackson from Winchester, would result in the entire destruction, and perhaps {p.969} capture, of the enemy’s whole force at Romney, and that a continuation of the movement westward, threatening the Cheat River Bridge and the depot at Grafton, would cause a general retreat of the whole forces of the enemy from the Greenbrier region to avoid being cut off from their supplies; or if the farther movement west was found impracticable, a severe blow might be dealt by the seizure of Cumberland. The objection to this plan is obvious:. It throws open the passes to the enemy in your front, and gives him free access to Monterey and Staunton. But it is believed, and I share the conviction, that he cannot possibly cross his army at this season and remove so far from his base of supply. He would starve if dependent on supplies to be drawn from the valley or on supplies to be hauled across the mountains. It is quite too late in the season for him to move over to Staunton and then go back across the mountain, and it appears to me that General Jackson is right in saying that his crossing to Staunton would render his destruction more certain.

In opposition to all this we have the views of General Lee and yourself, impliedly given in the recommendation to guard the passes through the winter. We do not desire, under such a state of things, to direct the movement above described without leaving you a discretion, and the President wishes you to exercise that discretion. If, upon full consideration, you think the proposed movement objectionable and too hazardous, you will decline to make it, and so inform the Department. If, on the contrary, you approve it, then proceed to execute it as promptly and secretly as possible, disguising your purpose as well as you can, and forwarding to me by express an explanation of your proposed action, to be communicated to General Jackson.

The enemy at Romney is not supposed to exceed 4,000 or 5,000, very imperfectly fortified, and wholly unsuspicious of such a movement. General Jackson’s forces I suppose to be about 4,500 disciplined troops and 2,000 militia, the latter very good militia. Of course, if you make the movement,it will be necessary to leave behind you, in charge of a good officer, a few troops of cavalry to protect the country against any mere marauding or foraging parties that might be thrown forward when the enemy ascertain that your army has been withdrawn.

In arriving at a conclusion on the subject you will not, of course, forget the extreme difficulty of keeping open your communications in the coming winter if you adhere to the plan of guarding the passes, and thus wintering some 6,000 or 7,000 men in the severe climate of that mountain region.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* See Jackson to Benjamin, November 20, p. 965.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 505.}

HDQRS. FIRST CORPS ARMY OF POTOMAC, Near Centreville, November 24, 1861.

I. All heavy baggage will be sent forthwith and placed in store at Camp Pickens, where it will be properly secured and guarded; to which end division commanders will issue the necessary orders.

II. In the event of an action with the enemy, the new battle flag recently issued to the regiments of this army corps will alone be carried on the field. Meantime regimental commanders will accustom their men to the flag, so that they may become thoroughly acquainted with it.

By command of General Beauregard:

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.970}

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MEMORANDUM.]

HDQRS., CAMP FISHER, November 26, 1861.

Premising that the enemy designs to attack the Evansport batteries by a combined land and river movement, let the first be considered. The attacking column can be regarded as crossing the Occoquan at Colchester, and uniting with a force thrown from Indian Head across the Potomac. With the appliances we have seen gathered there this would be matter of no difficulty. Occoquan is 10 or 12 miles from Dumfries, and connected by an excellent road, the old Telegraph road, which crosses in that distance the Neabsco at 6 and Powell’s Run at 7 miles from Occoquan. Two miles out of Occoquan the main county road branches out to Brentsville. This from Occoquan to the Neabsco is also an excellent road, and would undoubtedly be used by the enemy as his natural direction for the purpose of turning the left flank of the force supporting Dumfries. It is essential that we shall hold both these roads, especially the latter, by which not only the Evansport batteries but Manassas might be turned. To do this effectually, between the two positions on the Neabsco there is a third, which is vital to both. This is at Stowell’s farm. The Third Brigade at Dane’s farm, the Texas at Kaube’s (and little enough there). We must have at least two regiments to occupy this farm, which is the key-point of the line. A brigade would be better, but perhaps so much is not available. It may reasonably be supposed that the passage of the Occoquan, the march thence to the Neabsco through a strange country, and the forcing of our positions by overwhelming numbers, would occupy more time than daylight at this season. Notice being given of the crossing by the enemy, we ought reasonably to count on twenty-four hours for General Johnston to move by Bacon road (this supposing the main attack to be here). If the enemy had advanced to attack at Dane’s farm by that time, Johnston’s attack by the route indicated would fall upon his right and rear, and would unquestionably result in his entire annihilation. It is not, however, well to divide General Johnston’s army, for at the same time undoubtedly a heavy demonstration, if not a real attack, will be made in front of Centreville. The gain of twenty-four hours, then, is vital. To insure it, I must have more troops. To take them from the batteries will not do. Those are required to watch the river, and few enough they are, since they are threatened both above and below and by the fleet.

Can no aid be given from the well-drilled regiments occupying the Peninsula or from Norfolk? If given, it must be given at once. The enemy has one advantage. The roads from him to us are in capital condition, and pass over a hard, sandy, gravelly soil; ours for supply or for retreat are almost impassable. It should be remembered I have but two field batteries.

W. H. C. WHITING, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS, CENTREVILLE, November 26, 1861.

Respectfully submitted to the War Department. I earnestly recommend that the re-enforcement asked for by Brigadier-General Whiting be sent to him immediately. His force is too small for what it must attempt, and this one is too weak to be further weakened. We must be driven back if the enemy establishes himself near Evansport.

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

{p.971}

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CENTREVILLE, November 27, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

Brigadier-General Whiting requires at least two more regiments. I beg that they be sent to him immediately.

J. E. JOHNSTON.

–––

RICHMOND, November 27, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville, Va.:

Having already sent all the regiments we have, there can be no objection to your sending two regiments from your command to General Whiting.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and inspector-General.

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STAUNTON, November 28, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

The four regiments will be at Buffalo Gap to-morrow. It is almost impossible to control the men in the town. I suggest that you give Colonel Taliaferro an order to camp at Buffalo Gap, and have transportation ready at that point on the railroad for them to go to Manassas.

M. G. HARMAN.

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RICHMOND, November 28, 1861.

Lieut. Col. M. G. HARMAN, Staunton, Va.:

The superintendent of the Central Railroad reports his inability to send General Jackson’s command by that road. You will cause the command to march from their present position to the nearest point of the Manassas Gap road, thence by railroad to Manassas.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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CAMP FISHER, NEAR DUMFRIES, November 28, 1861.

[General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:]

MY DEAR GENERAL: I return you your sketch* with some slight corrections. The roads are not correctly laid down. For instance, the county road (Occoquan and Brentsville) should be continued to intersect the Dumfries and Brentsville. It is a broad, good road, and passes by Greenwood Church. The position of my brigade was laid down wrong, as also the fork of the Dumfries and Bacon Run road. In case I should not receive force enough to justify my operating in two bodies on the line of the Neabsco and awaiting the enemy in a pitched battle, and especially in view of Ganysten’s [?] resisting the crossing of the Occoquan, I shall block the road from A. to Greenwood Church (you may recollect it passes through very thick and dense pines) at that {p.972} point, leave my camp, throw my reserves behind Powell’s Run, put forward skirmishers to harass and delay the enemy all along the Telegraph road by ambuscade and bush fighting, and place a small force in the breast-works on the south side of Neabsco. This will cause him to halt, reconnoiter, cannonade, deploy, and attack, and I shall cause him to venture into the open country between Kankey’s and Powell’s crossings, and make my stand along Powell’s Run, in the dense woods and heights, which there are in our advantage, as on Neabsco they are his.

From the nature of the country I design to make it an infantry fight, depriving him of the advantage of his artillery, for which the ground is rather favorable to him at Kankey’s, while I have but few pieces. If he designs to outflank me, he can only do it by a long and hazardous march by Greenwood Church or, by chance, by the position marked for the Sixth North Carolina. Perhaps I would not do this had I force enough to occupy Greenwood, Stonnel’s and Kankey’s. Behind Powell’s the country is all in my favor and against him, and he cannot make the roundabout march without risking a defeat at Powell’s Run, or at any rate a certainty of my knowing his flank movement and meeting it by moving French’s lower regiments on the Dumfries and Bacon Run road.

If he comes in very heavy force, say enough to justify you in moving to attack him, I shall not hesitate a moment to sacrifice the blockade of the river-that is, the Evansport batteries-to securing the entire annihilation of his force, which, if he moves as indicated, would be surely accomplished by your coming by Bacon Run and Stafford and cutting off all retreat. All I would have to do would be to hold him, and to do this I should not hesitate to call up French’s force, leaving but a few for show on the river. If sufficient re-enforcements arrive, why I may try and make battle on my own hook. Otherwise my course must be as stated, since by that I concentrate on what will be probably his main attack by the Telegraph road and prevent the chance of being cat in two. You gave me no answer about Marshall.

Yours, truly,

W. H. C. WHITING, Brigadier-General.

* Not found.

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CAMP LEE, WESTMORELAND COUNTY, November 30, 1861.

DEAR COLONEL: ... I think I discover many slight indications of disaffection to our cause in this section, and full credence to what I hear would render me really very uneasy. The deprivation of salt, sugar, and coffee is severely felt by the poor. Contact with the North in trade had to some extent rendered many very lukewarm, some hostile to slavery, and demagogues if not emissaries represent the war as one for the rich. The obvious importance to the North of securing possession of the south bank of the Potomac, even in the contingency of treating for the acknowledgment of the independence of the Confederate States, would justify strenuous efforts to win over those people, and the almost unrestricted ingress and egress from Maryland affords every facility to tamper with and mislead them. The opinion is expressed that the landing of the enemy would witness the raising of the Union flag now, and an officer in the militia, I hear, thinks over half of his company, if they did not openly take sides with, would at least refuse to fight the Yankees. I do not believe this, yet the knowledge that such belief is entertained by intelligent gentlemen, and the fact that for {p.973} the defense of the coast we are relying upon those men, often render me sufficiently uneasy to keep me in the saddle all night.

...

Very truly, your friend,

R. L. T. BEALE.

[Indorsements.]

HEADQUARTERS AQUIA DISTRICT, December 2, 1861.

Major Beale is in command on the Northern Neck. He is a man of cool discrimination, great intelligence, and in every way perfectly reliable. There are only a few companies of volunteers down there, and my great fear is the enemy will attempt in the Northern Neck what they have practiced in Accomac.

Very respectfully,

TH. H. HOLMES, Major-General, Commanding District.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 513.}

HDQRS. FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF POTOMAC, Near Centreville, Va., November 30, 1861.

The following disposition of the troops of this army corps will be made immediately:

I. Rodes’ brigade, of the First Division, will take up a position in rear of Bull Run. One regiment will guard the fords from Union Mills to McLean’s Ford, inclusive, and the other three will be encamped as near to the Orange and Alexandria Railroad as the nature of the ground will permit in the direction of Manassas, convenient and central to the fords guarded by the other regiment.

II. Major-General Van Dorn will select and establish a new line of battle for Bonham’s and Early’s brigades immediately in rear of Little Rocky Run; Early’s right on this new line to rest on Bull Run, in the vicinity of McLean’s Ford, and Bonham’s left as near to Cocke’s present right as practicable from the nature of the ground. For the present these two brigades will not abandon their encampments, however, unless in the event of a seriously-threatened attack by the enemy, when they will immediately remove their encampments to the rear of the new line of battle, under the orders of Major-General Van Dorn.

III. The ridge commanding McLean’s Ford, where Brig. Gen. D. R. Jones had his former headquarters, will be occupied, as an outpost, by a strong detachment from Early’s brigade.

IV. General Van Dorn will complete the bridge at McLean’s Ford on trestles, as soon as practicable, and will discontinue work on the one near the railroad-Bull Run Bridge. He will make or open a good road from the rear of the new line of battle, hereinbefore directed, to Blackburn’s Ford Bridge, if one does not already exist, and will also shorten, as soon and as much as practicable, the road leading from Camp Walker to Davis’ Ford, by cutting off angles, and will make other needful improvements of that road.

V. Major-General Longstreet will open at once with his division a good and direct road from the right of Cocke’s brigade to the left of Bonham’s, and will throw a strong bridge across the small run between these two positions.

By command of General Beauregard:

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

{p.974}

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Abstract from return of the Department of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston, C. S. Army, for month of November, 1861.

Commands.Present for duty.Effective total present.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.Pieces of artillery.
Infantry.Cavalry.Artillery.
Officers.Men.Officers.Men.Officers.Men.
Potomac District:
First Corps1,13716,36232472571,252*19,16523,28329,885
Second Corps83811,67717374**12,86216,44019,50524
Reserve Division4186,290142007,0008,41210,43112
Cavalry Brigade1772,0162,2042,7243,396
Artillery Corps30423446563699
Total Potomac District2,39334,3292092,4881182,24941,67751,42263,91636
Valley District3323,5053450831144,5235,3569,813
Aquia District***5,7437,1518,82435
Grand total2,7253783412432,9961212,36251,94363,92982,55371

Notes from original return:

* Effective total (2,680) of forces under Brig. Gen. D. H. Hill to be deducted.

** Effective total (6,780) of forces under Brig. Gen. W. H. C. whiting to be deducted.

*** The report of Major-General Holmes does not indicate the “Present for duty.”

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, December 1, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIR: I beg leave to suggest to the War Department the importance of taking immediate measures to keep up our military force during the continuance of the war.

Two occur to me: One to hold out inducements to volunteers for one year to re-engage for the war; leave of absence would be the strongest inducement; the practicability of granting them in this army must depend, however, upon the enemy’s course during the winter. The other to form camps in which volunteers for the war shall be instructed (without arms, if arms are not to be had) and accustomed to camp life and go through the course of camp diseases. Such of these men as cannot be armed will be prepared to take the arms of the volunteers who may be discharged in the spring.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, December 1, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: Our correspondent in Washington asserts that the United States Government has a spy in the War Office. He does not know the name.

He says that an advance is to be made this week in great force; a large force to cross the Potomac below us. The country is in a condition which prevents maneuvering on our part-a great advantage, therefore, to the enemy, who moves on the water.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

{p.975}

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STAUNTON, December 1, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

I have come to Staunton with the view of carrying out the plans proposed in my communication to you.* I have already given every order necessary to do so. Shall I proceed? Four regiments from the Monterey line have been ordered by General Cooper to Manassas. I have directed two other regiments to come here from Millborough. Is it your intention to detach all those regiments from this command? I thought preparatory to the movement I would order them here.

W. W. LORING, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

* See Loring to Benjamin, November 29, p. 983.

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HEADQUARTERS NORTHWESTERN ARMY, Staunton, Va., December 1, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond:

SIR: I am now pushing the sick and munitions to the rear as rapidly as possible, and have given orders to all trains to go back lightly loaded with grain and return with supplies, a large amount having collected both at Monterey and Huntersville. Since my last letter I have heard of no movement of the enemy, except that they are sending their spare troops near the railroad to Romney. The information comes to me through a reliable spy, sent to Philippi and Laurel Hill. From what he could learn they were not sending any troops from Cheat or Beverly in that direction.

I came here to-day to carry into effect the proposed campaign, and find a telegram sending four regiments to Manassas. It is proper to state that, in consequence of movements made, in which I have been endeavoring to carry out your instructions, officers at a distance from my headquarters have been telegraphing without my authority to Richmond, the result of which has been a conflict of orders.

One of the objects I had in bringing the regiments to Staunton was that they should not only be on the spot for the contemplated movement, but should be in readiness for any emergency.

With respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

W. W. LORING, Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.

–––

RICHMOND, December 2, 1861.

To QUARTERMASTER AT DUBLIN STATION, VA.:

Send the following instructions, either by telegram or by special express, to General Floyd:

“Fall back with your command to Dublin Station, on Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, leaving such portion behind as you may deem necessary to gather up your sick and bring them east.”

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

{p.976}

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RICHMOND, December 2, 1861.

Col. M. G. HARMAN, Staunton, Va.:

Send to their destination without delay, by telegraph or express, the following to General Donelson and Colonel Starke, at Lewisburg:

Retire with your respective commands to the nearest point on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, and proceed thence to Bowling Green, Ky., and report to General A. S. Johnston.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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RICHMOND, December 2, 1861.

General W. W. LORING, Staunton, Va.:

Your dispatch to the Secretary of War of yesterday is received, but your communication referred to in that dispatch not yet come to hand. Until the Secretary knows its contents he cannot answer your question. Telegraph so much as will enable him to act. In mean time use your discretion in respect to the two regiments from Millborough.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and inspector General.

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HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Winchester, Va., December 2 1861.

Maj. THOMAS G. RHETT, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Department of Northern Virginia:

MAJOR: The enemy are using the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as far east as the Little Cacapon, and from official information received last night they commenced working on the Little Cacapon railroad bridge at 3 p.m. on Friday last, and will soon complete the work, as they had all the building material on hand. They are energetically pressing the railroad repairs eastward. With but comparative little exception both tracks have been by our Government taken up from the Furnace Hill, near Harper’s Ferry, to Martinsburg, and about 7 1/2 miles of one of the tracks has also been removed west of Martinsburg. One track is as yet preserved for the purpose of hauling away the other to the vicinity of Martinsburg. Captain Sharpe, assistant quartermaster, has repaired a locomotive for the purpose of removing the track more rapidly, and to-day I expect it to commence running, and Captain Sharpe expects to be able with it to remove 1 mile per day of the single track. I have made a detail of 50 men from the militia for the purpose of expediting the work as rapidly as possible.

I have sent General Carson with his brigade into Morgan County. He drove the enemy across the Potomac, took from the railroad at Sir John’s Run Depot about 1,000 pounds of lead pipe and some other property. His headquarters are at Bath, and in consequence of the enemy’s advance from the west, and the intelligence of his being at Paw Paw Tunnel, I have directed him to fall back, so as to prevent his being cut off.

My old brigade is suffering for want of a brigadier. I respectfully request that, if practicable, the commanding general of the department will send one. Col. James F. Preston is sick, and the command consequently devolves on Colonel Allen. I have near 1,200 militia without arms. Can you forward muskets for them? I have detached Company {p.977} A, Twenty-seventh Regiment Virginia Volunteers, commanded by Capt. J. Carpenter, and converted it into a company of mounted artillery. Please inform me if anything more than my order is necessary to entitle it to be mustered and paid as an artillery company.

While the Thirty-third Regiment Virginia Volunteers was en route from Manassas to this place one of its companies (Company E) arrived in camp near here without any officer, in consequence of its first lieutenant (T. C. Fitzgerald) having absented himself without leave. In consequence of Colonel Cummings having reported to me that he could not undertake another march with the company, as it was composed of unmanageable Irishmen, and as the company numbered about 30, and as I had two unassigned pieces of field artillery, and also Second Lieut. W. E. Cutshaw, C. S. Army, a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, was without a command, I assigned him to the command of the company, and ordered the two pieces of artillery to be turned over to him. Yesterday I sent him to Hanging Rock, which is near 15 miles this side of Romney.

Soon after arriving here Maj. W. J. Hawks, chief commissary of this district, purchased 1,000 barrels of flour, at $4.56 1/4, delivered at this point, but soon Mr. James M. Ranson, of Jefferson County, an agent for Major Blair, offered a higher price, consequently the Government has to make an unnecessary expenditure. If it meets with the views of the commanding general, I hope That purchasing agents, when sent to this district, will be required to conform to the prices given in the same locality by the chief district officer of the department to which the purchases belong.

I have established the telegraph line between this place and Charlestown, and have hired an operator for the Charlestown office, giving him $50 per month. He will be directed to report to the chief of his department.

As yet I have heard nothing of the requisitions for camp and garrison equipage having been received in Richmond. Some days since, when the inquiry was made, they had not arrived. Please let me know whether they received General Johnston’s approval and were forwarded.

If you have any spare axes, shovels, picks, or hatchets, please direct them to be forwarded to me.

I have directed Lieut. Col. Turner Ashby, of the cavalry, to establish his headquarters at Martinsburg, so as to be nearer the center of his command.

As yet I have heard nothing from you nor from Richmond respecting the requisite blanks for this district.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, P. A. C. S., Commanding Valley District.

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RICHMOND, December 2, 1861.

Col. M. G. HARMAN, Staunton, Va.:

The Central Railroad cannot transport the regiments to Manassas. All its means are required for supplies. The regiments from Millborough must march as already directed for those now on the way to Manassas Gap Junction.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General. {p.978}

RICHMOND, December 3, 1861.

General W. W. LORING, Staunton, Va.:

Your letter of the 29th ultimo* received this morning. Contents approved. Act as therein indicated. I will send copy of your letter to Winchester.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* See inclosure to Benjamin to Jackson, December 6, p. 983.

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JACKSON’S RIVER, December 3, 1861.

General S. COOPER:

Your dispatches to General Donelson and Colonel Starke and Colonel J. Lucius Davis were received last night, and were forwarded by express to their destinations. I have been informed that General Donelson’s command is now on the march to General Floyd, at Peterson.

J. G. PAXTON, Assistant Quartermaster.

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HEADQUARTERS, CENTREVILLE, December 3, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond:

DEAR SIR: Since the letter from the general herewith was sent to my office for transmission, a secret agent was sent to Washington, and a trusty citizen of Maryland has returned with some notes from friends, copies of which I inclose. As you will perceive, our friends insist there will be an advance this season. The Nashville has reached Southampton. Green and Powell are in Washington to take their seats. The returned agent says some ladies of Baltimore say that there is a female spy in Richmond under the assumed name of Mademoiselle Lina, who gives concerts. I have not noticed whether there is such a person, but thought I would mention the matter. This army is in admirable spirit and morale. Nothing, indeed, could be better than their mood at present. I will send the message as soon as it reaches me. Shall I telegraph any of its salient positions? If the department needs any books of reference from the North, I can get them without difficulty by our agent.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS JORDAN.

[Inclosures.]

NOVEMBER 25, 1861.

This is from undoubted source-a secret agent of theirs. The plan is to affect to go into winter quarters, but extensive and active preparations are going on, making pontoons, collecting provisions, making preparations for building batteries as they proceed. The army is to be divided into five divisions: Hooker below; McCall, McDowell and McClellan in the center, and Banks above. When all is ready a simultaneous movement is to be made by divisions, and a desperate attack is to be made on the part of Banks and Hooker at each side to outflank and get behind the Confederate Army and fortifications, while the three central push on, fortifying as they go. This move is to be a desperate one, and every effort made to secure success. The expression used was that they would be in Richmond before two weeks.

{p.979}

WASHINGTON, November 30, 1861.

I have every reason to believe, from all I can hear, that McClellan will certainly make a bolt at you next week. Watch him on every hand. Every device will be used to deceive you. An impression will be made on every hand that no advance will be made; that the army will go into winter quarters, &c. Pay no attention to such reports. I say, watch by land and by water. I also caution you to look to the several fleets now being fitted out-Butler’s and Burnside’s; they will make a demonstration soon. Watch Norfolk and York River. A meaner set of devils never lived than Butler and Burnside. They would do anything to succeed-burn cities, murder men, women, and children, and do every other wicked thing they can, if by so doing they can raise themselves a button-hole higher with the Northern Yankee devils. Kill the devils incarnate wherever you find them. Watch your batteries on the Potomac by day and by night. The darkest night may be selected to attack your batteries. I expect to send you a dispatch in a day or two from a lady friend, “Mrs. Argie.” You know she received your letter, and was more than delighted to hear from you.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 252.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, Va., December 3, 1861.

...

20. The regiments from Mississippi now serving in the Potomac District will without delay be organized into brigades, as directed in General Orders, No. 18, from this office, current series, as follows:

First Division, Major-General Van Dorn.

First Brigade, Brigadier-General Whiting.

Second Mississippi Regiment, Colonel [W. C.] Falkner.

Eleventh Mississippi Regiment, Colonel [W. H.] Moore.

Thirteenth Mississippi Regiment, Colonel [William I Barksdale.

Seventeenth Mississippi Regiment, Colonel [W. S.] Featherston.

Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment, Colonel [T. M.] Griffin.

Fifth Brigade, Brigadier-General Griffith.

Twelfth Mississippi Regiment, Colonel [Henry] Hughes.

Sixteenth Mississippi Regiment Colonel [C.] Posey.

Nineteenth Mississippi Regiment, Colonel [C. H.] Mott.

Twenty-first Mississippi Regiment, Colonel [Benjamin G.] Humphreys.

The above regiments will join their respective brigades without delay.

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, December 4, 1861.

Brigadier-General LORING, Staunton Va.:

Your letter of 1st instant received. Use your discretion about all the regiments sent from your command, and countermand, if you think proper, the order sending the four regiments to Manassas.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

{p.980}

–––

STAUNTON, December 4, 1861.

Maj. R. G. COLE:

Ask whether I can stop the four regiments under Taliaferro now marching to Strasburg. Reply immediately, so that I can do so, as they reach the railroad to-morrow at Mount Jackson.

W. W. LORING.

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RICHMOND, December 4 1861.

General LORING, Staunton, Va.:

Direct the four regiments under Colonel Taliaferro to proceed to Winchester.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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DECEMBER 4, 1861.

Memorandum to Major Blair.

Say to Major Blair that he should at once take steps in case the enemy should get possession of Loudoun County to drive his cattle off as they make their advance. The general understands that the major depends upon that county for his supply of cattle. If the enemy should land in large force about Leesburg, it would be impossible for the army to remain at Centreville. He would then fall back to the Rappahannock, about Brandy Station-in that vicinity. Wants to know where Mr. Buckner is; understands that the major has a packing establishment at Thoroughfare, on the Manassas road; wants him to consider if Brandy Station,Orange and Alexandria Railroad, would not be better. The major should determine this himself. Wants information about the 6,000 cattle mentioned in his letter; should always keep five days’ supply on hand; he thinks should be as much beef as bread; says that a large supply of beef, looking to all possible contingencies, should be under the major’s control inside of our lines, and with such steps taken as would enable them to be driven off at a moment’s notice.

E. J. HARVIE, Captain, Acting Inspector-General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 254.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, December 4, 1861.

...

IV. The command under Brigadier-General Floyd will return from its present position and take post near Newbern, on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, and there await further orders. A portion of the command will be left to bring up the sick and disabled.

The brigade of General Donelson, to include also the regiment under Colonel Starke, will proceed from their present position to the nearest point on the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, and thence to Bowling Green, Ky., where they will report for duty to General A. S. Johnston, commanding.

The Wise Legion, under command of Col. J. Lucius Davis, will repair {p.981} to Richmond, Va., by the nearest railroad route, and report to General Winder, commanding Department of Henrico.

...

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 565.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 4, 1861.

Brig. Gen. D. H. Hill is assigned to the command of the forces at Leesburg, and will report to General G. T. Beauregard.

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 566.}

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 4, 1861.

Brig. Gen. Richard B. Garnett will proceed to Winchester, to take command of the First Brigade, and will report to Maj. Gen. T. J. Jackson, commanding the Valley District.

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERAL’S OFFICE, Richmond, December 5, 1861.

General HUGER, Commanding, &c., Norfolk:

GENERAL: Dispatches (confidential) have been received from the commanders at Manassas conveying important reliable information received by them from different but undoubted sources, and all agreeing in the particulars, the sum of which is that the plan of the enemy is to affect to go into winter quarters, while at the same time extensive and active preparations are going on, making pontoons, collecting previsions, and making preparations for erecting batteries as they proceed. Their army is to be divided into five divisions, Hooker on the Potomac below, McCall, McDowell and McClellan in the center, and Banks above. When all is ready a simultaneous movement is to be made by divisions, and a desperate attack on the part of Banks and Hooker at each side, to outflank and get behind the Confederate Army and fortifications, while the three central divisions push forward and fortify as they go. This movement is to be a desperate one, and every effort made to secure success. The expression used is that they will be in Richmond before two weeks. It is also stated that a simultaneous attack would be made on Norfolk and on James and York Rivers.

This communication is sent to you at the instance of the President, who has fears in relation to the battery at Burwell’s Bay, because of the liability to a land attack. Your attention is invited to that quarter. Have you any rifled guns in battery there. No time is to be lost, as the attack will probably be made this or the coming week. General Magruder has been advised of the information here communicated.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-General

{p.982}

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CENTREVILLE, December 5, 1861.

General WHITING:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I have just heard that the road from Dumfries to Bacon Race by Greenwood Church is blocked up. I want to know precisely what roads are open and which closed. Please inform me. The enemy’s movements might be such as to tempt me to go in your direction first. It is necessary to be prepared to do so at all events. That road seems to me the best for our purposes. The bridge at Bland’s Ford is done. Preparations are begun for one at Davis’ Ford. Should we go against your enemy it ought to be in two columns on those two routes. The infernal balloon may interfere with such success as we had with Patterson.

Yours, truly,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

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RICHMOND, December 5, 1861.

General LORING, Staunton, Va.:

The exigency requires the arrival of your entire command as rapidly as possible at Winchester.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-General.

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DUBLIN, December 5, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

I am here with part of my command, awaiting your orders. There is neither wood nor water within four miles of this point suitable for building.

Respectfully,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

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RICHMOND, December 5, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Dublin Station:

Remove your command to any point on the railroad where you can get supplies. Your stay will be but temporary. I write by mail. Halt Donelson’s command and Starke’s regiment at some convenient point on the railroad for further orders.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector-General.

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RICHMOND, December 6, 1861.

Maj. Gen. T. J. JACKSON, Winchester, Va.:

SIR: I have hitherto been unable to send you any instructions relative to your command, not knowing what number of troops it would be possible to assign to your district. You will now perceive, by the inclosed copy of letter received from General Loring, that in accordance with your views, indorsed by this Department, he has commenced a {p.983} movement for co-operation with you, which will place at your disposal quite an effective force for your proposed campaign, although I regret to observe that his movement cannot be made as promptly as I had hoped.

Since writing to General Loring and receiving the inclosed answer I am led, by what I deem reliable information, to conclude that a movement is contemplated by the enemy for an attack on you by a rapid concentration of Banks’ division, combined with an advance of the forces at Romney, which latter are being partially re-enforced. This attack on your command is represented by our spies as part of a grand combined movement to be made on our whole army, by Banks on our left, [by -] on our right at Evansport, and McClellan in front-the latter holding back his advance until he can hear of the success of his lieutenants on either or both wings. This may not be true, but prudence requiring that no time shall be lost, I have telegraphed General Loring to-day to move his whole force to Winchester as rapidly as possible, and if successful in joining you promptly you may be able to turn the tables handsomely on the enemy by anticipating his purpose. As soon as you are joined by General Loring’s forces I shall desire a report setting forth your effective force in as much detail as possible, and shall hope thenceforward to receive the regular monthly reports required by the Army Regulations with punctuality.

It will be my pleasure at all times to use all the resources at my command in aiding your movements whenever apprised of any deficiency that our limited means may enable me to supply.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS NORTHWESTERN ARMY, Huntersville, Va., November 29, 1861.

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 24th instant, inclosing one from Major-General Jackson, when on a tour of inspection to my hospitals in rear.

The policy of marching a force from Winchester or that vicinity in the direction of Romney was the subject of conversation between General Lee and myself during the recent campaign of this army. He informed me that troops could not be had there for the purpose.

I consider a winter campaign practicable if the means of transportation sufficient to move this army can be obtained, and especially in a country where supplies are abundant, which I am informed in the communication inclosed in your letter is the case in that section of Western Virginia where it is proposed to operate. With warm clothing, good tents, and proper attention by the regimental and company officers there need be no suffering from the climate in that region.

I consider that it is proper that I should place before you the present disposition of this army, made with a view to the defense of our extended line. The passes now guarded are at Alleghany on the Staunton and at Huntersville on the Millborough turnpike, besides the approaches on the right in front of Franklin and on the left from Summersville and that section on the Lewisburg and Marling Bottom turnpike-the whole distance between one and two hundred miles. The enemy is strongly fortified on Cheat Mountain, and at Crouche’s, on this turnpike, and had a short time since about 8,000 men at and near these places. To-day reliable scouts returned from the vicinity of these points, and {p.984} report the enemy are moving several regiments, they (the enemy) say in the direction of Kentucky and General Floyd, but it is believed by the people their destination is Romney, in consequence of an apprehended attack from General Jackson, now at Winchester. It may be observed that a campaign from Winchester against the enemy at Romney is the subject of conversation among the people from Petersburg to this place, and yesterday I received an express from General Boggs, asking a regiment to aid him in forcing the militia of Pendleton County to turn out for that purpose. The troops here and at Alleghany have nearly completed their huts, and, as now located, it is believed could be subsisted through the winter. Owing to the difficulty of procuring means of transportation and to the present state of the roads, it will require, with every exertion, two, possibly three, weeks to remove to the rear the troops, a large sick report, and a considerable amount of munitions not needed on the campaign.

In order to conceal, as far as possible, the movements of the army, I think it best to send the troops on this line to Millborough, and thence by rail to Strasburg; those at Monterey either direct to Moorefield or to Strasburg via Staunton. The forces at Monterey will check any advance on that line, if attempted, and be in readiness to move as indicated. If the road from Strasburg is practicable, the command ordered there could act with that from Moorefield if impracticable, with that from Winchester.

I do not think that a movement of the army could be kept fully concealed from the enemy, because the Union men have numerous relations throughout this region, and will, notwithstanding the utmost vigilance, obtain information. If the purpose of the withdrawal of this column can be disguised until that at Monterey shall have been fully prepared, the desired object may be effected by a rapid movement. I shall not, therefore, commence the march till sufficient transportation can be procured for the whole command. In the mean time (orders have been given therefor) the sick and public property not needed for the cavalry, which you suggest be left to protect the country against marauding parties, will be removed to the rear as rapidly as possible. It appears that General Jackson anticipates a sudden movement of this command. With the utmost exertion on our part it is impossible to effect it in less time than that heretofore stated. There is a large quantity of ammunition, and from two hundred and fifty to two hundred and sixty thousand pounds of subsistence stores at this depot, a reserve of ammunition at Warm Springs, and a large number of sick in hospital at the springs between this and the railroad. All of these must be transferred to Staunton, and transportation collected here, before the movement can be made.

As I consider prompt movement after starting of much importance, and as my suggestions differ somewhat from those contained in the letter of General Jackson I deem it proper to submit these suggestions to you, and ask for them your attention and opinion before perfecting my arrangements.

If, upon consideration of affairs on this line, you should desire the proposed campaign to be prosecuted, be assured that I shall enter into it with a spirit to succeed, and will be seconded by a command as ardent in the cause as any in the country, and who will cheerfully endure all the hardships incident to a winter campaign.

With respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

W. W. LORING, Brigadier General, Commanding.

{p.985}

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, Va., December 6, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIR: I have just received from the Adjutant and Inspector General Special Orders, No. 252 [of 3d instant].

This order forms two brigades of Mississippi volunteers “without delay.”

I would respectfully bring to the attention of the War Department the following facts, which induce me to request most urgently a suspension of the execution of this order. The carrying it into immediate effect will involve the withdrawal from the field for the space of five or six days of not less than nine effective regiments. The subtraction of so considerable a force, even for one day, at this crisis, would of itself be attended with extreme peril. Of the nine regiments of Mississippians in this army the Second and the Eleventh are in General Whiting’s brigade, near Dumfries; the Thirteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Twenty-first in General Griffith’s, near Leesburg; the Twelfth, Sixteenth, and Nineteenth near Centreville.

The forces as now arranged are perfectly familiar with their respective positions; officers and men have become accustomed to each other, are acquainted with the nature of the ground they occupy, &c. The execution of Orders, No. 252, would work a complete revolution in the organization of the army, and necessitate a change of position of all the regiments from Leesburg to Dumfries, and from this position to Dumfries and Leesburg.

Should the enemy attack us whilst these changes of station are in process (an event by no means improbable), it would be almost impossible to avert disaster to our arms. A conviction that any sudden change of a material nature in the existing organization of this army will be of serious detriment forces me to solicit the continuance of the discretion left me in General Orders, No. 15.

The front occupied by this army extends near 50 miles, the enemy being only half that distance, and meditating (according to latest information) an immediate attack upon us at all points with immense numerical odds. I respectfully assure the Department that the mischief consequent upon the immediate enforcement of Special Orders, No. 252, cannot well be exaggerated.

As General Griffith has already a brigade of four regiments of Mississippi volunteers, I would also suggest that no injury will result from a postponement of the contemplated changes.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, December 6, 1861.

Brigadier-General WHITING:

DEAR GENERAL: I am a little exercised on the subject of our communications. The blocking of the road near Greenwood Church was, I suppose, to cover your left flank. Could it be so done as to give us access to you? Think of it, and tell us how to approach you. I don’t want our communications to be interrupted either by Davis’ Ford or Bland’s. Should we go to you, it might be well to do so in two columns. It would be well, therefore, to observe the river as well as your strength will permit-the Occoquan, I mean.

{p.986}

Should you have to fall back and it is practicable, it should be towards us by Bland’s or Brentsville The batteries should not be watched when you are contending with an army coining from above; to oppose it, get all your troops together. If we beat it, we get back the guns, supposing a river party to have occupied the batteries in the mean time. The only question is, where to meet him-whether on the Occoquan or where you are. Your knowledge of localities enables you to judge better than we can do here. I suppose that if an army approaches us and another the Occoquan, lesser columns will approach by every intermediate road. It might and would be well, as far as practicable, to have a party at each crossing place to impose upon these columns and give information of them.

Yours, truly,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

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CENTREVILLE, December 7, 1861.

General COOPER:

Cannot Brigadier-General Jackson’s troops come here and General Loring re-enforce the Valley District?

J. E. JOHNSTON.

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CENTREVILLE, December 7, 1861.

Brigadier-General WHITING:

DEAR GENERAL: I have received your note of to-day.* Your conclusion is excellent; you can, do nothing better than to whip these gentlemen who are giving us such anxiety. We have heretofore been considering the matter under a single aspect-the consideration of a heavy force thrown against you; this may not be done. We must watch. You must get Hampton to look up the Telegraph road as far and as closely as possible. Should it turn out that they intend to neglect you and bring their great force to crush us, then you will have to come up to our help, and after the defeat of such an army we will go back with you and retake the batteries. We must be prepared for all contingencies. You speak of Van Dorn as if he were on your side of the Occoquan. He is not-no nearer than to have a brigade (Rodes’) between us and Davis’ Ford, in observation both ways. I understood that you and Hampton would observe that ford of Wolf Run.

Very truly, yours,

J. E. JOHNSTON.

P. S.-The enemy’s left may follow the Telegraph road to Pohick, and then turn to Sangster’s, or to Mrs. Violet’s, and thence Union Mills, Wolf Run, &c. You will have to watch very closely. Do you hear anything from Maryland? Should you march up here, your men should bring nothing but their blankets (on their person), cooking implements, and ammunition. It would be welt to deposit the knapsacks as safely as possible. The wagons coming up should be very light.

* Not found.

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CAMP WIGFALL, December 8, 1861.

General JOHNSTON:

My DEAR GENERAL: I beg to thank you for the sword you have honored me by committing to my keeping, and I shall try to return it {p.987} untarnished. It is a beautiful one, and I trust it may do good service whilst in my hands. I have been very busy making such defenses here as I could, but my supply of tools has been so limited, that as yet only a small line of rifle-pits are completed. My main dependence here must be on rifles, for I suppose the enemy will bring such heavy guns, and so many of them, that my artillery cannot fight them very long. As there seems to be a great diversity of opinion as to the object of my being placed here and the course I should pursue, whilst there appears to be no general plan of action settled on, may I ask you to give me directions how to carry out best your wishes? My own plan was to make this place as strong as possible and to hold it as long as I can. If forced to retire, shall I fall back towards General Whiting or up in the direction of Bacon Race? I am sure that I can hold the position if attacked only in front for some hours at least, and if you want it held until re-enforcements can come up, I will do it. I have some apprehension that tugs may be able to run up close to the ferry, as there seems to be some considerable depth of water along the bay and river here. General Van Dorn, who was here to-day, thinks that the enemy should be allowed to cross the river. No line has been chosen for any of the troops to fall back on, and I think the men would fight better if they are told to keep their position. I wish you could examine this country, or that General Beauregard or General Smith could do so. We hear nothing from our scouts, except that the enemy come down almost every day to Pohick Church. Troops can be landed at Deep Hole, and there is a very large body of cleared land around that place.*

...

With my best wishes, I am, yours, very respectfully,

WADE HAMPTON.

* Some private and personal matter omitted.

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RICHMOND, December 9, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department of Northern Virginia:

SIR: Your letter of 6th instant, addressed to the Adjutant-General on the subject of Order, No. 252 [of 3d instant], directing the formation of the two Mississippi brigades without delay, has been submitted to the President, who instructs me to reply that he adheres to his order, and expects you to execute it.

Fully two months have elapsed since the President’s verbal expression of his desires that the will of the Congress on this subject should be obeyed. Six weeks or more have elapsed since orders were formally issued from this Department, to be executed as early as in your discretion it could be safely done, and the President now finds the Mississippi regiments scattered as far apart as it is possible to scatter them, and General Griffith sent to your extreme left, although assigned by orders to the division of General Van Dorn, which is on the right.

The President considers it necessary to re-enforce your right by adding to the strength of General Whiting’s command, as already pointed out by yourself; and he therefore desires that the Thirteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Mississippi regiments be sent to General Whiting, to whose brigade they belong. You can replace the regiments thus drawn from Leesburg by any other brigade you deem proper, calling back from Leesburg the Twenty-first Mississippi, to be brigaded {p.988} with the Twelfth, Sixteenth, and Nineteenth, under command of General Griffith.

The President further desires me to inform you that he can see no reason for withdrawing from General Whiting’s command any of the force now there, even after sending him the three Mississippi regiments in accordance with the foregoing instructions, inasmuch as he considers the danger of attack on your right more imminent than on your center. Ent on this point he does not desire to control your discretion. He confines himself to directing that his repeatedly expressed wishes and orders about the Mississippi regiments be carried into effect.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Winchester, December 9, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: Your letter of the 6th instant has been received, and tends to confirm the apprehension that I have entertained for weeks of the Federal forces on the other side of the Potomac effecting a junction with General Kelley’s troops. The forces in Romney are receiving re-enforcements. On the 5th instant Howe’s battery of six pieces arrived there from Cheat Mountain, and three regiments are expected there soon from the same place. This information is from a reliable person residing in Romney. I have understood that General Loring contemplates leaving his cavalry. It appears to me very important that his force should come as a unit to this point for not only are General Kelley’s forces in Hampshire County at this moment near 7,000 strong, and more expected from the West, but additional troops may at any time cross the Potomac at a lower point, and enter this district. In addition to these reasons for bringing his entire command here may be added the great importance, if successful, in recovering this district and capturing many of the enemy, and disorganizing the mass of such forces as are threatening this region of wintering on the waters of the Ohio, as expressed in my letter of the 20th ultimo. Besides the reasons given in that letter for occupying the northwestern part of Virginia this winter may now be added the inducement of organizing forces in that region this winter, in accordance with the recent ordinance of the Convention of this Commonwealth, in the event of there not being enough troops for the war.

As the Federal forces may move on this place any day, I would respectfully recommend that General Loring be directed not to postpone the marching of his troops in consequence of a desire to save a large supply of subsistence stores. The enemy may remove such stores from this district much more rapidly than General Loring can his to a place of safety. The probabilities are that his stores, after withdrawing his command, could by a quartermaster or contractor be removed before their safety would be endangered but should the enemy advance too soon, it does appear to me that it would be economy to burn or otherwise destroy them. It does appear to me that the capture of General Kelley’s army, including his munitions of war, would be of far more value to our Republic than General Loring’s subsistence stores. If General Loring’s entire command were here I would, with God’s blessing, soon expect to see General Kelley’s army, or a large portion of it, in our possession; but if General Loring is not here speedily my command {p.989} may be a retreating instead of a victorious one, and the consequences of such a retreat may not have their disastrous effects limited to this district. The canal-boats have been going toward Cumberland for near a week. They have gone up empty and in large numbers. To prevent their returning to Washington with coal I attempted to turn the water around the Virginia side of Dam No. 5, but was prevented by the enemy’s sharpshooters. I am still sanguine of accomplishing my purpose at another point.

The militia of the exposed counties ought to be able to protect their localities from marauding parties that might be disposed to commit depredations in the event of General Loring’s cavalry being withdrawn.

Col. W. B. Taliaferro arrived yesterday with his brigade in good condition. I much need a good engineer officer.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, P. A. C. S., Commanding Valley District.

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HEADQUARTERS NORTHWESTERN ARMY, Staunton, Va., December 9, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant General, &c.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose the letter of Colonel Johnson, in command on Alleghany Pass. In consequence of the insufficiency of the cavalry on both lines I think it would be best to leave a regiment of infantry, with a section of artillery,on the Staunton line, in the vicinity of Monterey. It will also be advisable to call out some of the militia on the Millborough line, to aid the cavalry to be left at Huntersville. I think that proposed will be sufficient to keep back depredating parties. Unless you think otherwise, I shall order as above stated.

With respect, I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

W. W. LORING, Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.

[Inclosure.]

CAMP ON ALLEGHANY, December 7, 1861.

Col. C. L. STEVENSON, Assistant Adjutant General, Army Northwest, Staunton:

SIR: If it is intended to abandon entirely this position, under the impression that the enemy have left Cheat Mountain, or that if they have not, the roads and climate, &c., will prevent their making incursions into this country, a grave mistake has been committed. The enemy are still on Cheat Mountain. Their scouts are almost daily seen. To-day my scouts chased a party of 100 from the old encampment at Greenbrier. Yesterday they were in the vicinity of Green Bank, and stole a horse or two. If this post is abandoned there will be nothing to prevent their march to Staunton,, and my opinion is that they will improve the opportunity thus offered them. Moreover, if they get possession here it will be difficult to dislodge them. Our own intrenchments will afford them shelter, and additional works will make this point very strong. The cavalry to be here will be, in my opinion, of no avail against the forces of the enemy. Little reliance can be placed in the cavalry I have thus far seen. Infantry and artillery I consider essential in order to hold this position.

{p.990}

I have deemed it my duty to throw out these hints without making any suggestions, and without knowing upon what information in regard to the enemy the contemplated abandonment of this place is predicated. I only state what I know in regard to the immediate presence of the enemy. They have erected commodious and comfortable buildings on Cheat Mountain, as I hear from a prisoner captured a few weeks since. He furthermore states that they will annoy us all winter.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. JOHNSON, Colonel, Commanding Monterey Line.

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PRIVATE.]

CENTREVILLE, VA., December 9, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

DEAR GENERAL: To prevent spies and others from communicating to “George” our arrangements, I think it would be advisable to keep in reserve, at some safe place, our “wooden guns,” to be put in position only when required. I have so instructed Longstreet for the armament of his batteries. I understand they are “preparing a case” at Richmond relative to the condition of the depot at Manassas, the bad arrangements for taking care of the sick arriving there, and of those on their way home or to other hospitals; also relative to our retreat from Fairfax Court-House, especially relative to the transportation of the sick on that occasion, and of the burning of some baggage and tents at Fairfax Station. I mention these things to you to keep you on your guard.

I hear it suggested there is in some quarter a great desire to send Bragg to command this army. So far as I am personally concerned they can do so, if they please, after our next battle, but not before. With regard to the condition of the quartermaster’s department at Manassas, I think it can be remedied by sending there a competent quartermaster and putting him entirely under the control of Colonel Anderson, who should be made responsible for the proper order and system at that post.

Outside of Barbour I know of but two quartermasters who might answer for that responsible position-Bonham’s and D. R. Jones’ (Captains Young and Adams)-but I fear those generals would almost die before giving them up.

Yours, truly,

T. BEAUREGARD.

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CAMP LEE, NEAR HAGUE, December 10, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary War:

The extent of the obligations of the Confederate Government to Maryland is not known by me, and I feel compelled to ask for information and instruction.

Three gentlemen, with the full endorsation of the Government, captains’ commissions, are here recruiting, and claiming the right to run boats to Maryland. Any man who crosses is taken in, and may go back as a hand on board the boat, and for aught I know any deserter from Sickles’ brigade may come, get any desired information, and go back. A letter from your office to Colonel Arnold, of King George, I think in September, required these gentlemen to be furnished every facility to {p.991} recruit, and they claim the right to send any one to Baltimore to do this. Are they under my control or not? I cannot discharge my duty as provost-marshal to the people here as my judgment directs if they have full discretion in this matter. I have permitted them to use boats, under the impression your order was imperative upon me.

A steamboat was introduced here on Saturday. Is she to pass freely? If so, I hazard little in saying that all communication with the Maryland shore will be cut off in a few days and our creeks will be blockaded by tugs.

I have forbidden the Maryland captain’s boat to cross for the present because of misconduct and by request from friends in Maryland.

The desertions so far about equal the recruits.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

B. L. T. BEALE, Major and Provost-Marshal.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT LOWER RAPPAHANNOCK, Rappahannock, December 10, 1861.

Col. D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant General, Brooke’s. Station, Va.:

COLONEL: I have the honor to state that I have, in obedience to orders from the general commanding, visited Major Beale at his post on the Potomac. After consultation we both came to the conclusion that some strenuous and immediate measures should be taken to avoid, if possible, the contamination which might ensue. A greater portion of our loyal men, the chivalry and high-toned gentlemen of the country, have volunteered, and are far from their homes. There is a strong element among those who are left either to be non-combatants or to fall back under the old flag. I do not consider we have any time to lose. I therefore suggest that the militia of Westmoreland and Northumberland Counties be organized and relieved by other troops, they being ordered away from the dangerous ground and placed under the immediate supervision of some one able to govern them. It is impossible for me to be on both sides of the river at the same time, and I place but little confidence in the present militia ineffective system. This feeling of discontent is augmented in the Northern Neck by a report which has been circulated to the effect that the Neck is to be abandoned. These reports have come to me from various sources as having originated at the War Department and from the general commanding the district. Not having received anything to confirm or even to have suggested such a thought I have denied it, and impressed on all the persons asking for information the falsity of the rumor; for should such a step become necessary, I feel confident I should be informed of it in season to put the inhabitants, who look to me for protection, on their guard.

Your communication of the 6th instant in reference to the boats was received to-night after my return from the other side of the river. I shall forward instructions to Captain Lewis and the other officers in command in the Neck, in accordance with your orders. I inclose copy of order to Colonel [Samuel L.] Straughan on this subject.*

I cannot close this communication to the general commanding without saying that many more complaints are made by a certain class of {p.992} population than are warranted. We have to fear them most. All during a war like this must suffer, but for the good of the general service it will not do to yield to those persons who have refused to volunteer, while the proprietors of the country are actually in the field, and who plead poverty and would join the enemy should an occasion occur. It will be a mistaken leniency, and would only lead to further trouble.

I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. E. PICKETT, Colonel P. A. C. S., Commanding.

* Not found.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS AQUIA DISTRICT, December 13, 1861.

Respectfully referred to the Adjutant-General.

The persons referred to in the last paragraph are the poor and non-slaveholders.

TH. H. HOLMES, Major-General, Commanding District.

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DUBLIN, VA., December 10, 1861.

S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

Donelson’s brigade, 1,300 strong, moves to-day for Petersburg. Eighth and Thirteenth Tennessee, Floyd’s brigade, require repose. There is no disorganization whatever. The men are in fine spirits. A paymaster should be sent up at once. They have not been paid since June 30. I estimate the amount required at 3,000 men for four months. Is this line to be re-enforced The people are alarmed at the departure of the troops.

GEO. DEAS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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RICHMOND, December 10, 1861.

Brigadier-General DONELSON, Dublin Station, Va.:

Proceed without delay with your brigade and Starke’s regiment to Charleston, S. C., and report to General R. E. Lee.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and inspector General.

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RICHMOND, December 10, 1861.

Captain J. G. PAXTON, Quartermaster, Jackson River, Virginia:

Send the following dispatch to Colonel Davis, commanding Wise’s Legion:

“Proceed with your command to Lynchburg in the manner directed in instructions of the Quartermaster-General and Capt. J. G. Paxton, quartermaster at Jackson River. Further orders will be sent you at Lynchburg.”

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

{p.993}

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HEADQUARTERS AQUIA DISTRICT, December 12, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

GENERAL: I have from time to time received information from the lower Northern Neck that makes me apprehensive of danger in that quarter. I fear the inhibition of trade, the absence of necessaries, such as salt, coffee, &c., and the heavy stress on the women and children incident to the absence of the men on militia and volunteer duty, are beginning to tell to the prejudice of our cause among the non-slaveholders. If the enemy do not attack our batteries in a few days I think we may conclude they do not design doing so, and I respectfully submit whether it will not be better for me to withdraw a regiment from Evansport to replace Colonel Brockenbrough’s very excellent regiment, which comes from that region, and send it there to substitute the militia, which should be disbanded. The regiment is in a high state of discipline, full of enthusiasm, and its presence would not fail to have a powerful moral effect on the people, and at the same time give the protection of property they are so clamorous for.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

TH. H. HOLMES, Major-General, Commanding District.

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, December 13, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have just received your letter of the 9th instant, in which you inform me that the President “adheres to his order and expects me to execute it.” You add that “six weeks or more have elapsed since orders were formally given from this Department to be executed as early as in your discretion it could be safely done, and the President now finds the Mississippi regiments scattered as far as it is possible to scatter them, and General Griffith sent to your extreme left, although assigned by orders to the division of General Van Dorn, which is on the right.”

I beg leave to say in reply that there has been no time within the last six weeks when I was not ready, cheerfully and zealously, to put into operation the changes prescribed in the order referred to, had I believed “it could be safely done”; but believing an attack from the enemy imminent at any moment and at any point, and deeming any change, however judicious in itself; to be incompatible with safety, I felt confident that the exercise of the discretion vested in me would meet the entire approval of the President.

The Mississippi regiments are occupying now precisely the positions in which they were when the President last visited this army more than two months ago, except the Twenty-first, which was sent to Leesburg to make up a Mississippi brigade. This was intended as a step towards carrying out the President’s plan, to be consummated whenever opportunity might permit. General Griffith was sent temporarily to the extreme left, to command that brigade until the regiments indicated could without risk be transferred to General Van Dorn’s division.

I beg leave again to assure the President that in the exercise of the discretion vested in me I postponed the execution of his orders fully {p.994} believing that my opinion of the danger attending their enforcement under present exigencies would meet with his concurrence and sanction.

In informing the Government that General Whiting’s command needed re-enforcement, so far from intending to intimate that either the left or center could furnish the additional troops, I sought to impress upon it the fact that both are too weak.

In view of the fact that our right flank is about 25 miles from this point, the left almost as far, the enemy’s center about 15 miles from it, the country full of disloyal people, our army liable to attack upon its whole front or any part of it by at least threefold numbers, I hope the President will favorably consider my appeal, earnestly and respectfully renewed, for a continuance of the discretion he has vested in me, merely as to the time of executing the orders in question.

Trusting that the President will think, as I do, that I only ask for an authority rarely withheld from a general commanding an army, I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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RICHMOND, December 13, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:

GENERAL: I have the honor to state that I have taken the liberty of leaving my command for a couple of days, in order to report to the War Department in person what I have already done by letter to Major-General Holmes, namely, the necessity of some immediate steps being taken in the District of the Lower Rappahannock in order to prevent the possibility of the disaffected element from gaining the ascendency. The landed proprietors of the Northern Neck, Essex, and Middlesex have not only most of them volunteered, but have also appropriated funds for the maintenance of the poor in those counties.

I would respectfully advise that the militia of Northumberland and Westmoreland be at once organized, sent to some other part of the Confederacy, and relieved by troops from elsewhere.

The impression is prevalent that the Northern Neck is to be abandoned. As commanding officer of that part of the country, the inhabitants look to me for protection. I do not wish to be placed in a false position. I have endeavored to quiet their apprehensions. Should the Confederacy wish to abandon the Neck, I would like to be informed at once. Two regiments could be readily and comfortably quartered there for the winter, and at the same time, by sending off this class of people, we will be actively guarding the country, and forcing into service those who have refused to volunteer, and who would undoubtedly join the enemy at the first opportunity.

Should the Rappahannock close during the winter, which is very likely to occur, then the enemy have it at their option to land from Chesapeake Bay, which will be open, and we cannot re-enforce.

It is due to the people, those who are supporting this war by direct taxation, by subscription, and in person, that their families should not be left at the mercy of these Northern marauders.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. E. PICKETT, Colonel, P. A. C. S.

{p.995}

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HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Centreville, Va., December 14, 1861.

Brig. Gen. D. H. HILL, Commanding at Leesburg, Va.:

GENERAL: Your letter of this date is received. The spades called for will be sent as soon as practicable.

General Johnston and myself are of the opinion that any demonstration (however strong) of the enemy against you will be made to cover an attack against the batteries blockading the Potomac, for they are more interested in relieving themselves from the blockade than in taking possession of Leesburg; and however desirable it is for us to hold the latter, we cannot send you any assistance without having to give up the plan of operations already communicated to you when you were here. You can, however, spread the rumor that we are going to send you the division of E. K. Smith, say 10,000 men, of all arms, in case of any serious demonstration against you, for which purpose you can say it has been ordered to Gum Spring. But in case you are attacked by overwhelming odds which you would not be able to prevent from crossing the Potomac, you will act as already instructed. Full discretion, however, is allowed you, as we have entire confidence in your judgment.

It is more than probable that, should the enemy intend to cross again the Potomac, he will make a strong demonstration at one point and cross at another. You will then have to determine whether to fight him along the banks of the Potomac, which is the best, if you are sufficiently strong and quick, or in rear of Goose Creek, at the points already indicated to you.

With strong hopes of your success, I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General, Commanding.

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Report of the inspection of Floyd’s brigade, near Newbern, Va.

RICHMOND, VA., December 14, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

This brigade is now composed as follows:

Twenty-second, Thirty-sixth, Forty-fifth, Fiftieth, and Fifty-first Regiments Virginia Volunteers.

Twentieth Regiment Mississippi Volunteers.

Thirteenth Regiment Georgia Volunteers.

Phillips’ Legion Georgia Volunteers, ten companies of infantry and four of horse.

Guy’s battery of artillery, four pieces, Virginia.

Jackson’s battery of artillery, four pieces, Virginia.

Adams’ battery of artillery, two pieces, Virginia.

Eighth Regiment of Cavalry, Virginia.

The aggregate strength of this command present and fit for duty is about 3,500, and there are absent, sick in hospital at various places, about 1,500. Of these latter many are arriving daily, and in the course of ten days or a fortnight it may be expected that nearly a thousand will join their respective regiments. The troops have suffered a great deal of hardship and exposure during the active campaign in Western Virginia, and now feel the effects of the measles and its consequences; but they are evidently improving, and with a little rest they will soon be able to engage in any service which may be required of them. To {p.996} judge of these men by what is said of them by their officers, they are certainly brave and reliable. To the eye of the critical inspector they present the appearance of raw, undisciplined levies. Their instruction in the most simple evolutions is entirely wanting. Indeed, they have had no opportunity to receive any instruction, having been constantly engaged in the most active operations since the month of August last. Yet these raw countrymen have certainly gone through a campaign which would do credit to any force however perfect in its composition, and I am told that all their hardships have been borne without a murmur.

I am not aware of what disposition it is intended to make of the command of General Floyd, but I certainly would recommend that, if it be not contemplated to remove it to any great distance, he be ordered to establish a winter camp of instruction not far from where he now is. Dublin Depot is not a good place, but the general has such a perfect acquaintance with that region of country that he could at once select a suitable place. I would recommend that the Thirteenth Georgia Regiment, Phillips’ Legion, and the Twentieth Mississippi Regiment be ordered into a milder climate. The severe winters of Western Virginia will be fatal to those Southern men. The cavalry force might be reduced. It will not be necessary to keep there more than four full companies for the winter. The artillery horses are in bad order-entirely unfit for service. The horses of the transport service are in the same condition. All the horses, therefore, should be turned out to winter with responsible farmers, who can be selected by the general. In the spring, then, all these horses would be fit for service again. The wagons are in pretty good condition, but require repairs. The arms of the command are in good order, but in some of the regiments there is a mixture of rifles, flint locks, and percussion guns. This can be remedied when the time arrives for filling requisitions which have been already made. The clothing in some instances is bad, but supplies are arriving daily, both from the public stores and from private contributions. Medical supplies are deficient, and this has been the complaint throughout the campaign. The larger portion of the troops have not been paid for six months. A paymaster should be sent there at once. Many of the men have families who are really suffering for want of support. The discipline of the command seems to be good. The general impression made upon me by this inspection is, that the men having just come from a most fatiguing campaign, and having suffered considerably from camp diseases, they are just at present in a somewhat enfeebled condition, but it is evident that they will improve by repose and the improvement in their daily rations, and in a comparatively short period of time they will recover their usual healthy condition. With good instructions they could soon be made more apt in their evolutions. Without such minute instruction reliance must be placed, as heretofore, upon their steady aim and good luck.

Respectfully submitted.

GEO. PEAS, Assistant Inspector-General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 15, 1861.

Maj. R. L. T. BEALE, Camp Lee, near Hague:

SIR: I am in receipt of your letter of the 10th instant. At the time the authority was given to the several Maryland captains to recruit for {p.997} our service the condition of affairs on the opposite shore was very different from the present state of things, and there was a strong desire to enable our friends on the other side to cross and join us. Ample time has been given for that purpose, and you are authorized to use to the fullest extent your own discretion on the subject. Full facilities have been given, and it is no advantage to our service to continue the recruiting of Marylanders on the Lower Potomac.

The steamer was taken across to a creek within your command by my permission, given to Mr. Henry Stewart, who has been engaged in procuring some supplies for the Government; but all these permissions have been granted invariably with the understanding that they are subject to the discretion of the military commanders. Being responsible for the safety of your command and the police of that district of country, I do not desire at all to interfere with your discretion in enforcing such precautions about the crossing as may seem to you wise and prudent.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 16, 1861.

Maj. Gen. T. H. HOLMES, Headquarters Aquia District, Fredericksburg, Va.:

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 12th instant in regard to the condition of the Northern Neck of Virginia, in which you propose also to send a regiment to that section. This Department entirely approves of your plan, and recommends its execution as soon as, in your opinion, it can be done with safety to your command.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

P. S.-Our friends in Washington inform us that there will be a simultaneous attack at Mathias Point, Winchester, and Centreville before the end of the week.

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RICHMOND, December 16, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding, &c., Centreville, Va.:

GENERAL: I am directed to say, in reply to your letter of the 12th* instant, that since the date of the order you refer to (General Orders, No. 18, of November 16, 1861), the regiments named therein have been ordered by the Secretary of War to re-enforce General Jackson in the Winchester Valley.

Yours, very respectfully, &c.,

R. H. CHILTON, Assistant Adjutant-General.

* Probably 13th, p. 993.

{p.998}

HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, December 16, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIR: Brigadier-General Hill, commanding at Leesburg, writes that the enemy are able to sweep the ground on our side of the Potomac for 2 miles from the water with their artillery. He cannot, therefore, contest the passage of the river. With another regiment of infantry and a sufficient body of cavalry he could occupy his position, and observe the long line of the Potomac, so as to prevent surprise. He thinks it possible that a regiment of infantry might be spared from Richmond. If so, I beg that it may be sent without delay.

Colonel Jenifer, who was here to-day, thinks that his regiment, now in Western Virginia, could be very useful in Loudoun, and that the horses would gain very much by being removed to that abundant country. His minute knowledge of the country and people makes his own services there almost indispensable. I earnestly request, therefore, that his regiment may join him as soon as possible.

I need not remind the Department of the injury that would result to us from permitting the enemy to establish himself in Leesburg, nor repeat that we are too weak here to re-enforce General Hill from this body of troops. If the two brigades announced to be en route to it in General Orders, No. 18, may be expected soon, I shall, on their arrival, be able to strengthen Brigadier-General Hill’s command sufficiently.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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DUMFRIES, VA., December 16, 1861.

R. M. SMITH, Esq.:

DEAR SIR: I was informed yesterday that our troops were destroying my houses on the river. There was a two-story, with attic, dwelling-house, with shed-rooms on the north side and a covered porch to both stories on the south side the length of the house. There were six rooms, besides two in the shed, a large, well-built kitchen, a servants’ house, a meat-house, a frame office, new, and a large stable. My tenant was removed from the property two months ago. I rode down to-day, and found every plank taken from the stable, the office removed, the kitchen and servants’ house all gone but the brick chimneys, the shed portion of the dwelling entirely gone, the window-sash and doors and the weather-boarding torn off and carried away, the fencing gone, and what I expected to be my future home a complete wreck. The enemy have not destroyed any man’s property on the Potomac so completely as the Georgia, Texas, and Captain Frobel’s company have destroyed mine. Is there no redress? Do we live under a military despotism? I found Captain Frobel at the Cockpit Point batteries, 2 miles off, erecting winter quarters out of my houses. Other portions were taken by the Eighteenth Georgia Regiment and Second Texas Regiment. My wife grieves over the vandalism, because it was her father’s, and the place where she was born. We have no courts of justice, or I would prosecute the ruffians. I am between the upper and nether millstones, robbed by the Yankees in Washington and by Southern troops here. I have paid taxes on this property to the State, and the courts of the State fail to give me any protection. The country around here is treated more like an enemy’s country than the homes of loyal citizens. What right has a {p.999} colonel or captain, without my leave, to take my property? I would not have had it destroyed for thrice its value. I shall never be able to rebuild, and the whole place will have to be deserted.

I should not trouble you, but I must give vent to my indignation. I give up all hope of saving any of my property except the soil, and I have a wife and seven children to provide with bread.

Yours, truly,

C. W. C. DUNNINGTON.

[Indorsement.]

ENQUIRER OFFICE, December 19, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN:

The foregoing is from as true a man and as faithful to the South as breathes. He is an exile from Washington for his principles, leaving and losing thereby the most of his property. The rest is going as he states. Please protect him, and oblige his friend and yours.

Very respectfully,

R. M. SMITH.

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LEESBURG, VA., December 16, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD:

SIR: Inclosed you will find General Stone’s reply* to my letter; the real object of my correspondence being to get in the following sentence: “I will hang these villains unless forbidden by my immediate superior, General [G. W.] Smith, at Gum Spring.” It is left to the consideration of the general commanding whether there ought not to be some support of this assertion.

I learn that the pickets at Dranesville fall back to Broad Run at night, and that successful foraging parties of the enemy constantly depredate around Dranesville. I have not destroyed the bridge over Broad Run, as Captain Alexander has discovered two good fords over that stream.

I returned last night from Point of Rocks. Private houses in that vicinity have been bombarded from the other side of the river; private carriages, with ladies in them, have been fired at, horses have been stolen, &c.

The remark made in my last letter was drawn out by my statement in regard to the inadequacy of our force to prevent surprise. If attacked on all sides, I thought we would lose less by a determined resistance than by a running and retreating fight. Would it not be well to let us have some guns of large caliber to cope with the enemy’s heavy artillery?

With great respect,

D. H. HILL, Brigadier-General P. A. C. S.

* Not found.

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HDQRS. FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Centreville, December 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. D. H. HILL, Commanding C. S. Forces in Loudoun County, Leesburg, Va.:

GENERAL: Your letter of this morning has been received and its contents {p.1000} communicated to the general commanding, who instructs as follows:

Let General Hill try and hang our own traitors for murder, robbery, and treason, but the Northern soldiers cannot be dealt with thus summarily. He must not make up his mind to victory or the extermination of his command but must be reminded of the instructions already furnished him. We are too far to be able to give him assistance after an attack is begun and too weak to send him re-enforcements whilst there is uncertainty as to the point of attack. By disposing of his heavy baggage, as already instructed, he can retreat in safety before a force too strong to be opposed successfully. I will write for an additional regiment from Richmond besides the cavalry regiment of Colonel Jenifer but with little hope of success.

Marauders should receive no quarter; that would prevent any trouble or difficulty.

I concur fully with these views and in these instructions of General Johnston.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General Commanding.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 16, 1861.

Brig. Gen. JOHN B. FLOYD, Dublin Depot, Va.:

SIR: It is not believed to be at all necessary that your brigade should establish itself in winter quarters while the enemy are pressing in superior force on the columns of General Lee in South Carolina and General Johnston in Kentucky. For this reason it is that the Department has ordered Anderson’s [Donelson’s] brigade and Starke’s regiment (originally intended to re-enforce your command) to South Carolina, and has also directed that the Twentieth Mississippi, the Thirteenth Georgia, Phillips’ Legion, and Waddill’s battalion should be detached from your command and sent to join General Lee. Your remaining force consists of the Twenty-second, Thirty-sixth, Forty-fifth, Fiftieth, and Fifty-first Virginia, of the Eighth Virginia Cavalry, and of three batteries.

It is deemed necessary for the protection of the inhabitants of Greenbrier and Monroe Counties from the incursions of marauders, and to prevent any panic among them, that one regiment of troops accustomed to the rigors of the winter climate among the mountains should be stationed at or near Lewisburg. With this view you are requested to detach one of your regiments (selecting an officer of vigilance, activity, and discretion as commander), to be sent to Lewisburg as soon as the troops are sufficiently rested, and furnished with the necessary equipment in the way of tents, clothing, &c., there to winter for the protection of the surrounding country. You will advise the Department of the colonel you have selected and the route by which he is to be sent and the date of his departure, that the necessary supplies may be furnished in time. The remainder of your brigade, as soon as fit for active duty, will be moved, under your command, to re-enforce General A. S. Johnston at Bowling Green, Ky., and it is desired by the Department that no further delay occur in making this movement than such as may be absolutely necessary to put your troops in proper condition for movement. If your horses require a longer period than the men to be ready to move, you can leave your cavalry and artillery, with orders to follow you.

When the season approaches for the renewal of the campaign in Western Virginia it is the intention of the Department to reorganize {p.1001} your command for service in that region, on such a footing and with such force as will enable you to take and keep possession of the whole of Southwestern Virginia.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHWEST, Staunton Va., December 17, 1861.

Col. E. JOHNSON, Commanding Forces on Monterey Line, Virginia:

COLONEL: General Orders, No. 17, from these headquarters,* as far as they are applicable to your command, are revoked. Instructions have been given to forward to you supplies, with those now on hand, sufficient for two months.

It is the intention to hold Alleghany Pass and the country in its vicinity, and you will please dispose of your command with a view thereto. Circumstances, however, may render it advisable to detach it for service with the forces now moving towards Winchester, and the general desires that you will keep it constantly and fully prepared for such an emergency.

...

I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

C. L. STEVENSON, Adjutant-General.

* Not found.

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CENTREVILLE, VA., December 19, 1861.

Hon. W. P. MILES:

MY DEAR SIR: As we are all greatly interested in the reorganization of the army now here, I do not hesitate to give you my views on the subject. The reorganization should be here and before the troops can get a leave of absence. Then they should be allowed a leave of absence of 30 days-one-third at a time. The bounty should be paid as they start off on leave. It would be better to reorganize the companies and regiments as they now are; that is, skeleton regiments and companies. When the companies go home I think it will be easy for them to fill up the ranks. The reorganization in companies and regiments as they now are I suppose would be best, as each company represents some particular section and each regiment some particular district.

The success of this effort will depend in a great measure, I think, upon the way in which it is started. But one of the brigades of my division belongs permanently to my command-D. R. Jones’ brigade, now commanded by Colonel Jenkins. I propose to start the thing with this brigade, and think that I may be able to get nearly every man of it if it can be done as I propose, viz, make Jenkins a brigadier, and let the troops understand that it is to be his brigade, and that they are to be allowed the privileges heretofore suggested. If we are as successful with this brigade as I hope we may be, I believe that every other regiment in the army will follow handsomely. Besides being much liked by his men, Colonel Jenkins is one of the finest officers of this army. I think him as well worthy and deserving of the position of brigadier as any officer of my acquaintance.

{p.1002}

You must not suppose that I mean to intimate that Jones is wanting in character or ability as an officer. He is a very dear friend of mine, and wanting in nothing as a gentleman or a soldier; but he has gone to Richmond to seek an exchange of brigades. This is known in his old command, and he could not now satisfy the command so completely as could Jenkins. If he is still in Richmond I would like you to consult him on this subject, and show him this letter, if you deem it at all advisable. I am satisfied that he will unite with me in my recommendation of Jenkins.

With high respect and esteem, I am, very sincerely, yours,

JAMES LONGSTREET, Major-General, C. S. Army.

[Indorsement.]

If the plan of reorganization proposed above can be carried into effect it certainly meets with my unqualified approval, as well as the promotion of Colonel Jenkins, who has already been warmly recommended by me as a brigadier-general.

Yours, truly,

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General, C. S. Army.

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CAMP WIGFALL, December 20, 1861.

General WHITING:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I will be over to see you as soon as possible, perhaps this afternoon. Does General Johnston include Wolf Run Shoals as in my lines? This ford is too far from me to enable me to guard it with my present force, but I have always advised that artillery and infantry should be stationed there. If I am to guard this ford I would suggest that you send the battery of Captain Bachman there, and let me ask for a supporting force of infantry. The brigade which is at Davis’ Ford could easily defend Wolf Run, and it would be well for a portion of that command to be on this side of the river at Davis’ Ford; they can only operate by supporting the lines at Union Mills or starve down here. But the fact is, I do not think the enemy will come anywhere, and we ought to beat up his quarters.

I send you a report of our skirmish day before yesterday. It was entirely successful, as far as driving back the cavalry of the enemy was concerned, but owing to the fact of our infantry not having attained its proper position when the fight began,we failed in cutting off the detachment as I hoped to do. I should like to try these fellows again in some force, and if you will allow it, I feel sure that I can bag a large party. Yesterday they came to the church with 900 infantry, 100 cavalry, and two guns. I have arranged my ferry here so that I can carry over a large force in a few minutes, while my guns can protect the crossing. If we were to send over some infantry, a few guns, and a large force of cavalry, we could stampede the whole camp over there. My cavalry went 3 miles beyond the church and drove in some pickets. There is no chance for a fight here, so we will have to look up one.

I am yours, very respectfully and truly,

WADE HAMPTON.

{p.1003}

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HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Winchester, Va., December 21, 1861.

Major THOMAS G. RHETT, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Department of Northern Virginia:

MAJOR: Part of the Army of the Northwest has arrived here and more of it will be here early next week. I expect Brigadier-General Loring here on next Tuesday, and I would respectfully recommend that he be continued in the command of such forces as he has brought into this district, and that they be designated as the First Division of the Army of the Valley. Please let me know the decision of the commanding general as to what shall constitute General Loring’s command and what shall be its designation.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. JACKSON, Major-General, Commanding Valley District.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 23, 1861.

Brig. Gen. W. W. LORING, Staunton:

SIR: Your letters of the 13th instant and l7th instant* have been received, and the measures taken by you in disposing and moving your forces meet the entire approval of the Department.

You will use your own discretion as to the proper force to be left under command of Col. (now Brig. Gen.) E. Johnson, and of the length of time it will be proper to hold the pass which the enemy has made so disastrous an effort to force.

I inclose you a letter for Brigadier-General Johnson,** knowing that it cannot but be agreeable to you to be made the channel of communication of the President’s approval conveyed to meritorious and gallant soldiers under your command.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* Not found.

** See p. 464.

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RICHMOND, December 23, 1861.

General G. T. BEAUREGARD, Centreville, Va.:

I am afraid, with all my efforts, I shall not succeed in obtaining a light battery in exchange for Calhoun’s battery. There are three batteries here, but neither of them complete, either in men or pieces. I am still endeavoring to complete one of them, and if I succeed will send it.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Winchester, December 23, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army:

GENERAL: I respectfully request that such of Brig. Gen. W. W. Loring’s forces as are on and near the Alleghany Mountains be ordered to {p.1004} march forthwith to Moorefield, Hardy County, with a view to forming a junction with the troops now at and near this point. If it is the design of the Government to commence offensive operations against Romney soon, the troops asked for should move to my aid at once. Recent intelligence from Romney gives reason to believe that the force of the enemy in Hampshire County is about 10,000, and that re-enforcements are continuing to arrive.

I regret to say that the occupation of Hampshire by the enemy is exercising a demoralizing influence upon our people, who are gradually yielding to outward pressure and taking the oath of allegiance to the United States. There are noble spirits in and about Romney who have given up their earthly all, and are now for our cause and institutions exiles from their homes. I have endeavored to cheer them, and to deter those who remained behind from taking the oath of allegiance to the enemy by holding out to them the prospect of a speedy deliverance, but this, I fear, will prove a delusion, unless the asked-for forces or their equivalent come soon.

I fear that the forces that were recently defeated on the Alleghany will be in Romney before Colonel Johnson leaves his position.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, P. A. C. S., Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Winchester, Va., December 24, 1861.

Maj. THOMAS G. RHETT, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Department of Northern Virginia:

MAJOR: I have good reason to believe that the enemy in Hampshire are nearly 10,000 strong, and that he continues to receive re-enforcements.

As yet General Loring has not arrived, and as he has not reported to me the strength of his command I am unable to give it, except by estimate based upon the number of his regiments. According to this estimate I suppose my entire volunteer command, exclusive of McDonald’s cavalry, will, after General Loring’s regiments, now en route for this place, arrive, amount to 7,500. Ent it must be borne in mind that the accessions from the Army of the Northwest are not well drilled, having passed the present campaign in the mountains, where the opportunities for drilling were very limited.

As I have reason to believe that the enemy has been re-enforced more rapidly than I have been, and as additional re-enforcements are expected, and they already outnumber me, I would respectfully urge upon the commanding general of the department the importance of sending me at once 5,000 good infantry and the First Virginia Cavalry, or its equivalent, and also a battery of four guns. These forces asked for can be immediately returned to their present stations after the Federal forces shall have been captured or driven out of Hampshire County. It may be thought that I am applying for too many troops; but it is a miserable policy to merely base the estimate for troops on one side for future operations upon the enemy’s present strength when he is continually receiving re enforcements.

It appears to me that General Kelley’s true policy would be not to march direct from Romney upon this place, but to move first to Martinsburg, form a junction with General Banks, and then, with their united {p.1005} strength, move on Winchester over a road that presents no very strong defensive positions.

If this place is to be held by us, our true policy, in my opinion, is to attack the enemy in his present position before he receives additional re-enforcements, and especially never to permit a junction of their forces at or near Martinsburg.

There is reason to believe that the recent break in Dam No. 5 will destroy any vestiges of hope that might have been entertained of supplying Washington with Cumberland coal by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and consequently their only prospect of procuring that coal must be the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and for this purpose near 25 miles of track west of Harper’s Ferry must first be relaid, and this can be done under a much smaller protecting force stationed at Winchester than would be required if distributed along the railroad, and consequently I must anticipate an attempted occupation of this place by the enemy. My present force of 7,500 volunteers, 2,234 militia, and 664 (McDonald’s) cavalry is insufficient for defending my position.

General Loring has arrived. He states that the Secretary of War left it optional with him whether to bring his troops from the Monterey line or not, and he has decided not to bring any more of these troops here.

I have given the subject much thought, and as the enemy appears to be continually receiving accessions,and as I may receive no more, it appears to me that my best plan is to attack him at the earliest practicable moment, and accordingly, as soon as the inspection of General Loring’s forces shall be finished and the necessary munitions of war procured, I expect to march on the enemy, unless I receive orders to the contrary.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, Commanding Valley District.

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HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Winchester, Va., December 24, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

GENERAL: In reply to your letter of December 21 I have to state that on inquiry I learn from General Loring that there is no company of Colonel Moore’s regiment in Colonel Gilham’s regiment.

The regiments now here from Western Virginia are: The Twenty-third Virginia, aggregate 517; Thirty-seventh Virginia, aggregate 846; first Georgia, aggregate 918 Third Arkansas, aggregate 756.

I do not know the names and strength of the other regiments ordered here. As soon as I learn them I will report to you.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Winchester, Va., December 24, 1861.

Maj. THOMAS G. RHETT, Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. Department of Northern Virginia:

MAJOR: Brig. Gen. W. W. Loring informs me that, in his opinion, the Secretary of War designs his command to continue to be known as {p.1006} the Army of the Northwest and that he should continue to be its immediate commander. This meets with my approbation, and I respectfully request that no action be taken upon my former application for him to command as a division such part of his forces as might be in this district.

I am, major, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, Commanding.

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DUBLIN, December 24, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army:

The troops are going off rapidly. Neither money nor supplies have come. Can’t they be sent after us? Many of our people are without a dollar and in great need.

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 203.}

HEADQUARTERS AQUIA DISTRICT, December 24, 1861.

I. Under instructions from the War Department, Col. John M. Brockenbrough, with the Fortieth Virginia Volunteers and Cooke’s battery, is hereby transferred from the Second Brigade, Aquia District, and will proceed to take post at such point in the Northern Neck as will be most convenient for its management, control, and defense.

He will assume command over all the forces in the Northern Neck and will act in concert with Col. George E. Pickett for the defense of the Rappahannock. He will confer with Maj. R. L. T. Beale, and afford him every possible aid in the discharge of his duties as provost-marshal.

...

By order of Maj. Gen. T. H. Holmes:

D. H. MAURY, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, December 25, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I respectfully transmit herewith for your information a copy of a letter to-day received from one of our friends in Washington, dated 23d instant, and an extract from another, also from a friend in Washington, dated 22d instant. The preceding part of the second letter is entirely personal.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

[Inclosures.]

MONDAY MORNING, December 23, 1861.

MY DEAR COLONEL: If any confidence whatever can be placed in anything that is said by those in high authority, an advance of the Federal (tory) Army of the Potomac will take place between this and {p.1007} the 5th of next month. Most likely it will take place this week. General Porter told a friend of mine on Saturday that an advance would in all probability be made this week. He also told him that General Burnside’s fleet was all in confusion and in a general state of derangement. It is important, however, that you watch both land and watery as it is more than likely that you will be attacked both by land and water. I would advise, under all the circumstances, that you prepare for an attack this week. All of their available force on this side of the river was sent across this morning. Johnson and Etheridge, of Tennessee, are doing all they can to get Yankee thieves into Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia, to burn bridges and mills, store-houses, machine-shops, &c. A large sum of money has been set apart by the Cabinet for that special work. Watch these devils. Keep a sharp lookout for bridge-burners, &c., in every direction. Look out for an advance this week. God be with you. Colonel Thompson has been arrested; letters found on the ducker; poor fellow.

CHARLES R. CABLES.

I inclose letter just received from our friend. Address me with great care hereafter.

CHARLES R. CABLES.

I send several papers. Things are working finely in England. God is with us and no mistake.

Extract.

... The visit lasted some time. In the course of it I learned that an advance of McClellan’s army is certainly anticipated within the next ten days, and that they wished to get rid of me on account of my daring activity. These were the words. Now, what shall I do? They may be obliged to release me here unconditionally, if at all, but it may be a long time. If I can hurt them by being kept, I will submit cheerfully, because my life belongs to our cause. Tell me what you think. I sent a letter to you by dear Canard, and you had best answer this in the same way.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, December 25, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:

SIR: I respectfully transmit herewith, for the consideration of the War Department, two letters just received from Major-General Jackson.*

It is needless for me to attempt to impress upon the Administration the importance of preventing the reconstruction of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in Virginia, which has been increased by the breaking of Dam No. 5, above Williamsport. No one understands this subject better than the President himself.

It is of the utmost importance to us to hold the valley of the Shenandoah, but of greater consequence to hold this point. I cannot, therefore, detach 5,000 men from this army to the Valley District. We are but 15 or 18 miles from the enemy, and almost four times as far from Major-General Jackson. If it is possible to add to the forces under {p.1008} Major-General Jackson, I respectfully urge that it may be done. A re-enforcement of 3,000 or 4,000 men would, if it joined to him promptly, make the force under his command strong enough to attack the enemy with confidence.

The enemy’s troops beyond the Alleghany lately are supposed to be now with General Kelley. Our own, who lately confronted General Kelley’s, might therefore be put under General Jackson, to oppose the same enemies on this side of the Alleghany. The operation proposed by General Jackson will require but a week or two. Troops who are merely in observation might therefore re-enforce him, and after the service he proposes return to their present stations.

If there is a probability of a junction of the troops of Kelley and Banks, General Jackson’s plan of attacking the former soon is undoubtedly most judicious. If it is possible to re-enforce him for such an object, I hope that it will be done.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

* No inclosures found with original. Reference is probably to Jackson to Rhett, and to Johnston, December 24, pp. 1004, 1005.

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CENTREVILLE, December 26, 1861.

General D. H. HILL, Commanding at Leesburg:

MY DEAR FRIEND: Yours of the 23d* was received yesterday.

In regard to the affair at Dranesville, without being an important disaster, it was quite a serious check and rather unfortunate for us. The reports in the papers on our side are substantially correct, I believe. The Yankees, I think, must have understated their loss. We had 43 killed, 143 wounded, and 8 missing. Our troops behaved well; retired in good order by command, and are anxious to try it again.

Your present position is one of great importance and heavy responsibility. I am satisfied that General Johnston and General Beauregard considered themselves and this army fortunate in having the benefit of your services on our extreme left.

In the contemplated rearrangement of brigades it is intended to give you the North Carolina regiments. In the mean time I would say, “Do the work before you”; it is difficult and important; bide your time; all will be right.

We have rumors of an intended advance of the enemy within a few days; keep a bright eye out. I am not altogether well for a few days past, but will be better, I hope, in a day or two.

Write as often as you can. I am always delighted to hear from you. There were no letters here for you when I received your first note.

Yours, as ever,

G. W. SMITH.

* Not found.

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WINCHESTER, VA., December 26, 1861.

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

DEAR SIR: I had an interview this morning with General T. J. Jackson, and learned that most of the troops of the enemy who were at the fight on Alleghany Mountain a few days since were now at Romney, and that he was very desirous that the forces on the Alleghany, under {p.1009} the command of Colonel Johnson, should be immediately sent direct to Moorefield, so as to form a junction with his troops when desired. The enemy is doing a great deal of mischief in Hampshire County, and should be driven out as soon as possible, or captured, if convenient.

Jackson mentioned that he had written a letter directed to the Adjutant-General, requesting these troops on the Alleghany to be sent to Moorefield on the 23d instant, in which his wishes are fully set out.

Having called frequently at your department on business, and observed with pleasure your promptness in attending to all calls, I, with the approbation of General Jackson, write to you to request that you will look at General Jackson’s letter of the 23d, and, if advisable, adopt his recommendations. Here at Romney the enemy is concentrating all his forces from Western Virginia, leaving, as I am informed, very few troops on Cheat Mountain. Let us without delay meet them with our western forces.

I hope the deep interest I feel in this matter will be sufficient apology for my writing this letter.

With much respect, I am, yours, &c.,

T. S. HAYMOND.

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RICHMOND, VA., December 26, 1861.

General JOHN B. FLOYD, Dublin Station, Va.:

Capt. R. G. Banks, quartermaster, left here yesterday with funds to pay off your command.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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ABINGDON, VA December 27, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. Army:

DEAR SIR: I stopped a train to start the regiment of cavalry, which will leave the moment transportation can be gotten. I find a regiment of Virginia volunteers (the Fifty-sixth, Colonel Stuart) encamped near here, under orders, as I hear, for Pound Gap, awaiting transportation, which is slow and difficult to procure. It occurred to me that if the condition of things as represented here was known to the Department the Secretary might order this regiment probably to Bowling Green. If General Marshall is at Paintville, near Prestonburg, Ky., with his command, no force of any consequence can march upon Pound Gap without leaving General Marshall in its rear. A small force holding the gap would be amply sufficient against any band of marauders likely to advance in that direction. This regiment would be a good and efficient one, I judge, for service at Bowling Green. My command is moving well on, and with all possible speed we will be with General Johnston.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD, Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.

[Indorsement.]

DECEMBER 30, 1861.

Respectfully submitted to Secretary of War. Colonel Deas left here this morning for Abingdon, to inspect and hasten forward this regiment {p.1010} (Fifty-sixth Virginia) and that of Colonel Moore to General Marshall’s command, whither they were ordered some time since.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, December 27, 1861.

Mr. Macfarland had the honor to call at the office of Hon. Mr. Benjamin to submit to him the inclosed letter from Mr. Price, a leading citizen of Greenbrier. From information from other sources there is no doubt the people of the country are apprehensive of another inroad, which is inevitable except it be prevented.

Mr. Macfarland will be obliged to Hon. Mr. Benjamin to be enabled to say to Mr. Price that due provision is made for the defense of the country.

[Inclosure.]

LEWISBURG, December 21, 1861.

WM. H. MACFARLAND, Esq.:

MY DEAR SIR: When I was in Richmond I called on the Secretary of War, and remonstrated against the withdrawal of all the troops from the Greenbrier country. The Secretary regarded the idea of an invasion by the Federal Army during the winter as absurd, upon the ground that it could not travel here on account of the badness of the roads, nor subsist if even it could reach here. He, however, said that he would “leave” or “send” here-I do not know which word he used-a sufficient mounted force to keep off raids if attempted by a force of from 20 to 100 persons. When I returned home I found the troops all leaving, and they finally all went away, not leaving a single man. You may under this state of circumstances imagine our intense concern-an army of several thousand at Gauley Bridge and 1,000 at Nicholas Court-House able and ready to approach us, without the means on our part of the slightest resistance. The Secretary had failed to “leave” or “send” a single man here, there by making the impression upon the minds of many of our people that we were intentionally given up to the tender mercies of the enemy, but wherefore no one could tell.

On Tuesday evening last the enemy accordingly made his appearance in our county on your farm in force, varying, from information, from 150 to 300 strong. The first account we had of him was that Mr. Valk’s house had been surrounded during the night and the inmates captured, not, however, including Mr. Valk or his family. He was, and I believe they were, away. Next, that they had encamped on your farm, and were still there committing depredations. A remnant of a cavalry company from Henrico, commanded by Captain Magruder, numbering about 30, which had recently passed on east, was sent for, and overtaken at or near the White Sulphur Springs. It returned here on Wednesday night, and Captain Morris’ company of infantry, numbering about the same, also came back. On Thursday morning they, with such other volunteers as could be hastily collected and were willing to go, started in pursuit of the enemy. They found he had left your farm about the time the troops left Lewisburg on his way back to Nicholas. Some of the mounted men pursued him and overtook him, but for the want of an adequate force or something else he escaped them. It grieves me to think of it.

{p.1011}

One hundred of your best sheep, your two-year-old cattle, oxen, horses, and mules, including your fine young stud-horse, were carried off. Other property, from perhaps Crallis Valk and Andrew Burns, was also taken, amounting in all to several thousand dollars’ worth. Your house and furniture I understand were not injured, nor were your slaves taken away, because I understand one of then said they declined to go. Where the next raid is to be committed I cannot tell. The success of this one will inspire others.

Why is the whole of Western Virginia to be given up? Is Virginia too large in this scale of States? Is there any real desire to have Virginia dissevered and the west given over to the Federals? I am pained to think of the treatment which we have received. A small force would have prevented this humiliating result, but now the bloodhounds having fleshed their fangs it will take an army to prevent the recurrence of a like event. We must move away from our homes and give up all we possess, or be subject to the invasions and insults of these robbers.

Very truly and respectfully, yours, &c.,

SAML. PRICE.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 27, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Comdg. Department of Northern Virginia, Centreville, Va.:

SIR: I am informed by a letter from S. T. Stewart, agent Confederate States, Thoroughfare, Va.,to Major Blair, Confederate States, forwarded to the Commissary General, that, it is reported by J. H. Myers, agent of the commissary department for the valley, that parties near Mount Jackson and Strasburg are refusing to sell the grain, &c., necessary for the subsistence of the Government cattle and hogs purchased for the supply of the Army, except at exorbitant prices. This state of things should not be tolerated. Our Army must be fed. The supplies necessary for this purpose must be had, and those who refuse to sell them to the Government at fair and reasonable rates cannot be regarded as true friends of our cause. You are, therefore, requested to issue orders requiring the impressment of such supplies, wherever the owners refuse to dispose of them at fair market value in Confederate money. It is hoped, however, that the knowledge that such orders have been issued will prevent the necessity of executing them, otherwise the exigencies of our Army demand that they be promptly enforced.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 27, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department Northern Virginia:

SIR: The Adjutant-General has, in conformity with the request of General W. H. C. Whiting, placed his letter of the 19th instant* before the President, and I am instructed by him to make reply as follows:

The President has read with grave displeasure the very insubordinate letter of General Whiting, in which he indulges in presumptuous censure {p.1012} of the orders of his commander-in-chief and tenders unasked advice to his superiors in command. The President does not desire to force on Brigadier-General Whiting the command of the brigade which had been assigned to him and which it was supposed he would feel honored in accepting, and you are requested to issue an order relieving Brigadier-General Whiting of the command of a brigade of five Mississippi regiments as assigned to him by General Orders, Nos. 15 and 18, issued from this Department.

As there is no other brigade in the Army of the Potomac not already provided with a commander under the general orders of the Department, the services of Brigadier-General Whiting will no longer be needed for the command of troops. The President therefore further requests that Maj. W. H. C. Whiting, of the Engineer Corps of the Confederate States, be directed by your order to report for duty as engineer to Major-General Jackson, of the Valley District, where the services of this able engineer will be very useful to the Army.

In conclusion, the President requests me to say that he trusts you will hereafter decline to forward to him communications of your subordinates having so obvious a tendency to excite a mutinous and disorganizing spirit in the Army.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

* Not found.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, December 27, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department of Northern Virginia:

SIR: The President has received several communications from officers of regiments on your extreme right (including the Eleventh Mississippi Regiment), from which it seems that they anticipate being disturbed in their winter quarters by the effect of the General Orders, Nos. 15 and 18. The President desires me to say to you that he has not required and does not expect those troops to be disturbed in their winter quarters; he simply renews his oft-repeated request that the three regiments of Mississippians that were at Leesburg prior to General Griffith’s arrival there be sent to join the two hitherto under General Whiting. These five regiments being assigned to General Van Dorn’s division on the right, he knows no reason why they should not remain at the present headquarters of General Whiting’s brigade, without disturbing the winter quarters of any of the regiments now under General Whiting. If the winter quarters of any of the troops are disturbed, the President must regret this unfortunate result, not of his orders, but of the unusual delay which has supervened in their execution and which he could not have anticipated.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS, Evansport, December 30, 1861.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: Since the withdrawal of Colonel Fagan’s First Arkansas Regiment and the Fourteenth Alabama Regiment, Colonel Judge, from my {p.1013} brigade, I am left here with the following troops as a repelling force near the batteries:

Twenty-second North Carolina Regiment: To-day, privates present for duty, including a company in the battery, 471.

Thirty-fifth Georgia Regiment: To-day, privates present for duty, 259.

Arkansas battalion: To-day, privates present for duty, 42.

This is the infantry force here to do the labor on the batteries and to furnish the guard at night, which should be half a regiment.

To guard the river between the Chopawamsic and Aquia Creek I have one fine regiment, the Second Tennessee (and a very weak one), the Forty-seventh Virginia, one battery of artillery, and one company of cavalry.

Two regiments, as stated, are withdrawn from my force here at hand in rear of the batteries, and I beg that other regiments be sent to me here to replace them. I ask it for this reason: The batteries as yet are entirely open in rear, except a weak picket-fence around part of No. 1 Battery, and in front, an extent of a mile between the Quantico and the Chopawamsic, there is no obstacle, natural or artificial, that can obstruct a landing except the guards. An enemy landing here or near here would rush immediately to the accomplishment of his object-the capture of the guns-and must be met instantly. Hence the force must be at hand. Landing at any other point, no such immediate object to accomplish, he would wait an attack, and it would be but the gradual meeting of opposite forces. My situation is different, requiring an immediate repelling force to act instantly.

You will further perceive that for the labor to be performed in strengthening the works by shelters and ditches, and the large guards at night required on the river front, the force is inadequate, and, considering the constant annoyance day and night from the enemy, no troops in this Confederacy are as unpleasantly situated.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

S. G. FRENCH, Brigadier-General, Commanding.

P. S.-Night before last a steamer shelled the Cockpit battery; also this morning before daylight, this forenoon, and again this evening, assuming a position that the guns mounted could not reach him, and which point is to be defended by the Tredegar gun, just arrived.

[Indorsements.]

HEADQUARTERS, Brooke’s Station, December 31, 1861.

General JOHNSTON, Commanding Department:

The Fourteenth Alabama Regiment, ordered to Richmond by the War Department from Evansport, belonged to General Whiting’s command, and I have requested him to replace it with another. If he cannot do so conveniently, General French should recall one of the regiments under his command from the south of the Chopawamsic, one being ample for the service there. If the enemy should appear at any point below Aquia, every soldier in this vicinity would be required to prevent his landing.

Respectfully forwarded.

TH. H. HOLMES, Major-General.

{p.1014}

HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, January 2, 1862.

Respectfully forwarded. The removal of the Arkansas regiment from Evansport to replace one sent into the Northern Neck was, I understood from Major-General Holmes, made under the instructions of the War Department, and therefore beyond my control. I respectfully recommend that those regiments return to their former positions. The force near Evansport and Dumfries is now far too weak.

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

–––

HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, December 30, 1861.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I respectfully ask your attention to an article in the Richmond Dispatch of this morning, by “Bohemian.” [Copy following.]

The information it contains would be very valuable to the enemy, such as he would pay for liberally. I cannot suppose it innocently published. The author’s name is Shepardson or Shepherdson, styled Doctor. I respectfully suggest his arrest. He is now in Richmond. I ascertained this fact by attempting yesterday to have him found, on account of a previous letter in the same paper. Could not the editor of the paper be included in the accusation?

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

–––

MANASSAS, December 27.

To-day our whole army is engaged in building log houses for winter quarters or in moving to sites already selected. Several brigades will remain where they now are, near the fortifications in Centreville, and the remainder will fall back a mile or two upon Bull Run. General Kirby Smith’s brigade is at Camp Wigfall, to the right of the Orange and Alexandria road, near the run. Near by the whole of Van Dorn’s division are making themselves comfortable in their little cottages, which rise rapidly day by day under diligent hands of the soldiers. A few brigades are scattered down towards the Occoquan, where wood and water is plenty, the farthest being by Davis’ Ford. The artillery, with the exception of Walton’s battalion, has already been located between Cub Run and Stone Bridge. The cavalry has fallen back a little and they are now building stables and houses near Centreville.

General Stuart will remain in the advance. It is probable that General Johnston will occupy the Lewis House, on the battle-field, and General Beauregard Wier’s, his old headquarters. Before the 18th and 21st Longstreet’s division will, if I am correctly informed, occupy the advanced position, and will remain near where it is at present.

The artillerists detailed to man the guns in the battery will also remain by the fortifications. In case of an attack by the Yankees it will take about two hours to get the main strength of the army across Bull Run. Information of an approach would be given at least two hours before an enemy could come up, and in that time we could be well prepared to resist any force that can be brought up.

That is about the situation of affairs for the winter, and it remains to be seen whether our men are to have an opportunity of a brush with {p.1015} the Yankees or whether they will be allowed to enjoy their new houses in quietness. When I say all are ready for an attack, I express but feebly the feeling which pervades the army.

...

BOHEMIAN.

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Abstract from return of the Department of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston, C. 8. Army, for the month of December, 1861.

Commands.Present for duty.Effective total.Aggregate present.Aggregate present and absent.Pieces of artillery.
Infantry.Cavalry.Artillery.
Officers.Men.Officers.Men.Officers.Men.
Potomac District
First Corps1,12316,55433584631,279*19,55324,91431,155
Second Corps88212,8151123327568**14,54318,30122,13238
Reserve Division4166,42871707,1638,27810,13912
Cavalry Brigade1852,2002,4303,0063,703
Artillery Corps30540574666828
Total Potomac District2,42135,7952293,0171272,55744,56355,16568,04750
Aquia District4005,41831400234396,5978,24410,95030
Valley District7469,236405712242410,95212,92219,95329
Grand total3,56750,4513003,9881723,42062,11276,33198,950109

Notes from original return:

* Effective total (2,770) near Leesburg, under Brigadier-General Hill, to be deducted.

** Effective total (7,601) near Dumfries, to be deducted.

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HEADQUARTERS, Centreville, January 1, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I had the honor to receive this morning your letter of the 27th ultimo, conveying the President’s orders in relation to Brigadier-General Whiting.

I beg to be allowed to intercede in this case, partly because this officer’s services as brigadier-general are very important to this army, and partly because I also share the wrong. I am confident that he has in his heart neither insubordination nor disrespect. Had I returned the letter to him, pointing out the objectionable language in it, it would, I doubt not, have been promptly corrected. I regret very much that in my carelessness it was not done. No one is less disposed than I to be instrumental in putting before the President a paper offensive in its character.

Brigadier-General Whiting has a very important command-that of the troops near Evansport and on the Lower Occoquan; is a soldier of high ability; has studied his situation and circumstances; his removal now might be unfortunate should the enemy attack before his successor had equally qualified himself for that command. The only officers who can be intrusted with it are in command of divisions from which they cannot be taken. I therefore beg the President to pass over this matter.

Should the President adhere to his decision, I respectfully ask that his orders may be so far modified as to place this “able engineer” on duty in this department, instead of in one of its districts. Major

{p.1016}

Stevens has been unfit for duty for several months, and is not likely to recover soon. A skillful officer of that corps would be of great value to this army.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 1.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond January 1, 1862.

I. The following act of Congress, with regulations of the Secretary of War thereupon, are published for the information of the Army:

AN ACT providing for the granting of bounty and furloughs to privates and non-commissioned officers in the Provisional Army.

SECTION 1. The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That a bounty of fifty dollars be, and the same is hereby, granted to all privates, musicians, and non-commissioned officers in the Provisional Army who shall serve continuously for three years or for the war, to be paid at the following times, to wit: To all now in the service for twelve months, to be paid at the time of volunteering or enlisting for the next two ensuing years subsequent to the expiration of their present term of service. To all now in the service for three years or for the war, to be paid at the expiration of their first year’s service. To all who may hereafter volunteer or enlist for three years or for the war, to be paid at the time of entry into service.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That furloughs, not exceeding sixty days, with transportation home and back, shall be granted to all twelve-months’ men now in service who shall, prior to the expiration of their present term of service, volunteer or enlist for the next two ensuing years subsequent to the expiration of their present term of service, or for three years, or the war. Said furloughs to be issued at such times and in such numbers as the Secretary of War may deem most compatible with the public interest, the length of each furlough being regulated with reference to the distance of each volunteer from his home: Provided, That in lieu of a furlough the commutation value in money of the transportation hereinabove granted shall be paid to each private, musician, or non-commissioned officer who may elect to receive it at such time as the furlough itself would otherwise be granted.

SEC. 3. This act shall apply to all troops who have volunteered or enlisted for a term of twelve months or more in the service of any State, who are now in the service of the said State, and who may hereafter volunteer or enlist in the service of the Confederate States under the provisions of the present act.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That all troops revolunteering or re-enlisting shall, at the expiration of their present term of service, have the power to reorganize themselves into companies and elect their company officers; and said companies shall have the power to organize themselves into battalions or regiments and elect their field officers; and after the first election all vacancies shall be filled by promotion from the company, battalion, or regiment in which such vacancies may occur: Provided, That whenever a vacancy shall occur; whether by promotion or otherwise, in the lowest grade of commissioned officers of a company, said vacancy shall always be filled by election: And provided further, That in the case of troops which have been regularly enlisted into the service of any particular State prior to the formation of the Confederacy, and which have by such State been turned over to the Confederate Government, the officers shall not be elected, but appointed and promoted in the same manner and by the same authority as they have heretofore been appointed and promoted.

Approved December 11, 1861.

II. Captains or commanding officers of twelve-months’ men will, under direction of regimental and battalion commanders, make out duplicate muster rolls of their companies, noting opposite the name of each man desiring to renew his enlistment for two years from the expiration of his present term of service the following remark, “Enlistment extended for two years; bounty due, $50,” inserting the date of the remark.

As soon as the intention of each man is thus ascertained, report will be made to the commanding officer of the army in which the troops are serving. The commanding officer will thereupon cause his inspectorgenerals, {p.1017} or other officers assigned for that purpose, to verify the rolls, and muster into service for said additional term all that are fitted for service. One of the rolls thus verified, and certified by the inspecting officers, will be sent to the adjutant and inspector general. The other will be given to the company commander, from which to make out further muster rolls.

III. Whenever the number of men in a company who re-enlist shall suffice to form a new company according to the number required by law, the men thus re-enlisted shall have the right immediately to reorganize themselves into a company and elect their company officers, remaining attached to the regiment or battalion to which they belong until the expiration of the twelve months of the original enlistment.

IV. If the number of men re-enlisted in any company be insufficient to form a new company, their original organization will be preserved until within twenty days of the expiration of their term, at which date all the twelve-months’ men who have re-enlisted will proceed to organize themselves afresh into new companies and elect their company officers.

V. Whenever all the companies now forming a battalion or regiment shall have reorganized themselves into new companies, they shall have the right of reorganizing themselves at once into a new battalion or regiment, as the case may be, electing their field officers, as allowed by law. But if any one company of any battalion or regiment declines to reorganize itself; the present organization will remain until within twenty days of the expiration of the present term, at which time all re-enlisted companies will proceed immediately to organize themselves into new regiments and elect their field officers, as provided by law.

VI. All re-enlisted companies which may fail within the last twenty days of their present term to reorganize themselves into regiments or battalions will be considered as independent companies re-enlisted for the war, and will be organized into battalions or regiments by the President, and their field officers appointed by him in the same manner as is provided by law for all other independent companies.

VII. The furlough allowed by law, and directed to be regulated according to the distance of each volunteer from his home, is established as follows, viz: To each volunteer there will be allowed a furlough of full thirty days at home, to which will be added by the commanding officer of the army a number of days estimated to be sufficient to allow the volunteer to travel home and back. But in no case will the furlough exceed sixty days, even for those most distant from their homes.

VIII. Commanding officers are directed to commence as soon as possible granting the furloughs allowed as above in such numbers as may be deemed compatible with the safety of their commands, giving preference, as far as practicable, to the men in the order of their re-enlistment.

IX. The bounty of $50 will be paid to each man when he receives his furlough, at which time his transportation also will be furnished.

X. Each man entitled to furlough may receive instead thereof the commutation value of his transportation in addition to the bounty of $50 provided by law.*

By order of the Secretary of War:

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* This order inserted here because of correspondence resulting therefrom between General Johnston and the Richmond authorities. (See Johnston to Benjamin, January 18; Benjamin to Johnston, January 25; and Johnston to Benjamin, February 1; and to Cooper, February 3; Benjamin to Johnston, February 3; and General Johnston’s order of February 4, post.)

{p.1018}

HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Unger’s Store, Morgan County, Virginia, January 2, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department of Northern Virginia:

MY DEAR GENERAL: Yours of the 31st ultimo is at hand, and tends to confirm information previously received by me that an advance was to be made on Winchester by forces from Reynolds and Banks. I am taking a position such as to prevent their junction without giving me an opportunity of striking a blow at one of them previously, should circumstances justify it.

To-morrow I hope to recover Bath, and before leaving Morgan I desire to drive the enemy out of this county and destroy the railroad bridge which has been recently constructed across the Big Cacapon. Reynolds’ forces in and about Romney are estimated at about 18,000, but I think this is too large; yet I fear that it is true. At last advices General Banks’ headquarters were at Fredericktown, but he has had ample time to change them since.

Very truly, your friend,

T. J. JACKSON, [Major-General, Commanding Valley District.]

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HEADQUARTERS, Brooke’s Station, January 2, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:

GENERAL: The two regiments withdrawn from Evansport were Colonel Judge’s Fourteenth Alabama and Colonel Fagan’s First Arkansas, the latter some time ago, to replace Brockenbrough’s, sent to the Northern Neck. The Fourteenth Alabama belonged to General Whiting’s command, and I have requested him to send another to replace it. I would send one from here, but am fearful that Burnside’s expedition will land below here for the purpose of marching on Fredericksburg, when the five regiments that are in this neighborhood would scarcely be able to hold him in check until re-enforcements could arrive. In the mean time I do not think the batteries are in danger, as General French has four regiments at his disposal and Whiting in easy supporting distance.

I sincerely hope you will excuse the liberty I am about to take in asking you to issue at your earliest convenience the order relative to enlistments under the new law. The troops now are in good spirits and many disposed to re-enlist, but there is a system of electioneering going on, under the belief that any man who can raise a company by re-enlistments is authorized to do so, that will result in heart-burnings and discontent. This will be avoided if the plan of furnishing each company with rolls and re-enlistments on them to be confined to the company be carried out. In this way the officers and men going on furlough will know the number of men they require to complete their reorganization, and will exert themselves to bring back from their homes the number necessary to fill the places of those who refuse to re-enlist.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

TH. H. HOLMES, Major-General, Commanding District.

{p.1019}

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Memorandum for the War Department from notes received from Washington by Colonel Jordan yesterday.

(Received January 4, 1862.)

The first, dated December 28, according to which Kelley is to advance on Winchester, Stone and Banks on Leesburg, McClellan on Centreville, and Burnside’s flotilla to attack the batteries. This to occur this week, and an aide-de-camp of McClellan, and Fox, of the Navy Department, the authorities.

The second, dated December 30, states that the outside pressure will force McClellan forward either this or next week; supposes he is waiting for Burnside’s fleet.

The third, without date, is headed “From very high sources”: “Kelley advances on Romney; Burnside’s fleet against the batteries; Stone and Banks cross and advance on Leesburg. McClellan and all round Washington are to push on to Centreville. McClellan’s aide-de-camp said that if the general were well enough the move would be made next week, and simultaneous ones in Kentucky and Missouri. Puts the force about Washington at from 150,000 to 300,000. Fox said Fort Pulaski would be attacked by land and water in ten days. They will make an attempt to pass the Potomac batteries in force soon.”

The fourth is headed “Valuable information.” The Pensacola frigate, armed with the largest Dahlgren guns, is under orders to proceed down the Potomac, with other gunboats, to force the batteries on the Virginia side. The Burnside expedition at Annapolis is also about ready, and is believed to be under orders for the Potomac, to co-operate with the expedition from Alexandria and Washington via the Potomac and Pohick Church. Reynolds has superseded Kelley at Romney. Rosecrans is in Washington. McClellan to move upon Manassas and Reynolds upon Winchester simultaneously with the attack on the batteries. This dated 28th December.

The four papers are in different handwriting. I don’t know the writers.

Respectfully submitted.

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

[Inclosure.]

[Extract from National Intelligencer-date not known.]

General Burnside is awaiting the arrival of gunboats and transports at Annapolis. Sixteen transports, four schooners, and five floating batteries are already there. The naval rendezvous will be at Old Point Comfort, and it is said that Captain Goldsborough is assigned to the command.

Brig. Gen. J. J. Reynolds has been ordered to supersede General Kelley, and is expected to leave Indiana in a few days. The Thirteenth Indiana, Colonel Sullivan, and Fourteenth Indiana, Colonel Kimball, have gone forward to Romney from Cheat Mountain.

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HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Centreville, Va., January 4, 1862.

Brig. Gen. D. H. HILL, Commanding C. S. Forces in Loudoun County, Leesburg, Va.:

GENERAL: I send you herewith a telegram received this day from the War Department. It indicates a movement on the part of the enemy, to what point we are not yet informed, but probably to attack the {p.1020} batteries on the Potomac, which have so much inconvenienced him at Washington. The other movements of the enemy will probably be as supposed when you were here. If so, we still hope for a brilliant success, although so much inferior to him in numbers and equipments; but we will have to make up in rapidity of movement and concentration of forces for our inferiority in other respects.

It would be well to keep your command on the alert, and ready to move, if necessary, as already instructed. Ent if the works you are constructing could hold in check a large part of Banks’ command until you could return to their assistance, you might leave to defend them a part of your forces and the militia of Loudoun County. The guns you called for have been asked and promised, I am informed, but I am unable to state when you will get them.

Hoping that our efforts will again meet with success, I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

G. T. BEAUREGARD, General Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

RICHMOND, January 3, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON:

The following telegram is just received from Norfolk, Va.:

In Hampton Roads are fourteen steam gunboats; four steam ferry-boats, four guns each; three small tugs, one gun each; one large steam frigate; one large and one small sloop of war; four large barges, two with one gun each; eight large steam transports; twenty-six schooners, two brigs, and one bark. All the steamers have steam up.

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 5, 1862.

Major-General HOLMES, Aquia Creek, Virginia:

SIR: The Thirty-fifth Georgia Regiment is represented to me to be in almost as bad a condition as the Alabama regiment of Colonel Judge, which I was compelled to order here in order to give them a chance of recruiting their strength, after going through the usual camp diseases.

I cannot further weaken your command, but humanity requires that I should try some way to prevent suffering and mortality among these troops just called from a southern clime and weakened by disease. Without, therefore, wishing in any way to interfere with any of the details of your command, I beg you will try, as far as you possibly can, to relieve this regiment from exposure and picket duty till the men have well recovered from the effects of the measles and other camp maladies.

Yours, respectfully,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 5, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville, Va.:

SIR: Your letters of the 30th ultimo and 1st instant have been received.

1st. The President, to whom I submitted the latter, declines making any change in his former order relative to Major Whiting.

{p.1021}

2d. On the subject of the publication in the Richmond Dispatch of two articles signed “Bohemian,” I share your indignation at such an outrageous breach of duty of both the writer and publisher. I have anxiously sought for some means of punishing the offense, but the state of the law is such as to give no remedy for this wrong through the courts of justice, and I have appealed to the Military Committee of Congress for some legislation to protect the Army and the country against the great evils resulting from such publications. Judge Harris, the chairman of the committee, has promised to report a bill for the purpose.

In this connection allow me to say that I think some of the mischief from this too-frequent offense arises from your own too lenient toleration of the presence of newspaper reporters within your lines. I will do all I can to help you, but the application of military regulations within the Army will be much more efficacious than any attempt at punishment by jury trial. I feel persuaded that this man Shepardson is a spy, and would be found guilty as such by a court-martial; and if lie is caught again within your camp I trust you will bring him to prompt trial as a spy. But if I arrest him here he will at once be liberated by habeas corpus, and I will be unable to secure his proper punishment. His offense is a military one and ought to be summarily repressed by a military trial.

I beg also to call your attention to a practice that is becoming too prevalent, of sending here prisoners arrested on suspicion of being disloyal. I have no means of enforcing their confinement, and am compelled to discharge them as fast as they come, or the judges would certainly do it by habeas corpus. But military commanders have the right to arrest and keep in confinement all dangerous or suspected persons prowling about their camps. It is, I know, a little troublesome to be burdened with this class of prisoners in camp, but I see nothing else that can be done with them. They come here without definite charges against them; without any proof or witnesses, and I am utterly powerless to hold them for you. I can only, therefore, urge upon you a stricter and less lenient application of military law as the sole resource I see for repressing this growing mischief.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

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HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Near Centreville, January 6, 1862.

Brig. Gen. D. H. HILL, Commanding C. S. Forces, Leesburg:

GENERAL: Your letter of this date has been received and communicated to the general commanding, whose instructions in the premises are the following:

You are not expected to hold the works under construction, unless all three of them shall, at the time of the emergency, be so far completed as to satisfy you that they are defensible for about a week with, say, one regiment of your forces and such local volunteer troops and militia as you can muster meanwhile. There must not be an attempt to hold the works on the eve of an assault or investment before they are in a tenable condition.

{p.1022}

An effort will be made to send an engineer to you, also a competent artillery officer.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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GENERAL ORDERS, No. 2.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, January 6, 1862.

I. The following act of Congress and regulations in reference thereto are published for the information of the Army:

AN ACT for the recruiting service of the Provisional Army of the Confederate States.

SECTION 1. The Congress of the Confederate States do enact, That the Secretary of War be, and he is hereby, authorized to adopt measures for recruiting and enlisting men for companies for service in the war or three years, which by the casualties of the service have been reduced by death and discharges.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of War be, and he is hereby, authorized to detail the company commissioned officers for the above duty, in such numbers and at such times as in his opinion will best comport with the public service. The officers thus appointed to enlist and-recruit for their respective companies.

Approved December 19, 1861.

II. Commanding officers of all war regiments, battalions, squadrons, and independent companies will detail for recruiting service, subject to approval of the commanding officer of the army with which they are serving, a subaltern and a non-commissioned officer or private from each war company below the minimum organization, with instructions to proceed to the neighborhood where his company was raised, and there enlist recruits to raise the company to the maximum organization.

III. Officers detailed for recruiting service will make requisitions on the Adjutant-General for recruiting funds, reporting the station to which they have been ordered, the company and regiment for which they have been directed to recruit, and post-town, county, and State to which letters for them should be addressed. A similar report should also be made to the Commissary and Quartermaster’s Departments, in order that the required instructions may issue to the proper officers of these departments to fill the requisitions necessary for such recruiting purposes.

IV. As soon as possible after the enlistment of a recruit, he shall be inspected by a commissioned surgeon of the Confederate States, and, if unfit for service, shall be rejected. In all cases this inspection shall take place before the recruit leaves the State in which he is enlisted.

V. A commutation for rations, at the rate of twenty-five cents per ration, shall be allowed to each recruit from the date of his enlistment until he is supplied regularly with subsistence by an officer of the Commissary Department.

VI. No clothing or commutation for clothing will be allowed a recruit until after inspection. As soon as possible after inspection and muster, the recruit will be supplied with clothing or commutation therefor by the nearest quartermaster, in accordance with regulations.

VII. The time allowed for recruiting will in no case extend beyond thirty days; at the expiration whereof the recruiting party with the enlisted men will proceed to join their company.

VIII. Officers in charge of recruiting parties will keep a strict account of the disbursements made by them-of moneys placed in their hands for {p.1023} the recruiting service, taking duplicate receipts for every item of expenditure. One set of these receipts will be retained by the officer for his security; the other set, with an account-current, will at the expiration of the recruiting term be transmitted to the Adjutant and Inspector General for final settlement at the Treasury. These vouchers and accounts-current, addressed to the Adjutant and Inspector General, will be marked on the upper right-hand corner of the envelope which covers them, “Recruiting service.”*

By command of the Secretary of War:

S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.

* Inserted here because of resulting correspondence between General Johnston and the Richmond authorities.

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WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A., Richmond, Va., January 7, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville, Va.:

SIR: A letter from Brigadier-General French, of the 30th ultimo, with indorsements of General Holmes and yourself, has been received and submitted to the President.

The withdrawal of the Arkansas regiment was not, as you suppose, “made under the instructions of this Department” to a request of General Holmes on the subject. He was authorized, by a reply of the 16th ultimo, to move a regiment of his command to the Northern Neck “as soon as, in his opinion, it could be done with safety to his command” The reduction of the force under General French, arising from the withdrawal of this regiment (as well as of Colonel Judge’s Alabama regiment, totally disabled by sickness), renders it necessary, in the opinion of the President, to strengthen that important position by a detail from your center, as there are no re-enforcements here that can be sent to Evansport. As soon as Colonel Judge’s regiment is recovered from its present deplorable condition it will be returned to you, and as commander of the Department of Northern Virginia you have, of course, the power to recall from the Northern Neck the regiment sent there, if in your opinion the safety of your command requires it.

The President has ordered Brigadier-General Wayne, from Georgia, to assume command of a brigade of Georgians; and as there are only thirteen Virginia regiments in your army, already provided with three Virginia brigadiers, he does not deem it now necessary to appoint another Virginia brigadier.

The delay in organizing your army under General Orders, Nos. 15 and 18, has embarrassed me in providing the brigadier-generals appropriate to its several brigades, in accordance with the act of Congress directing that they should be assigned as far as possible according to States, and I have to request of you a statement of your present organization, indicating the separate brigade commands with the designation of the regiments comprised in each, so as to guide the Executive in selecting any additional generals that may be requisite from the States entitled to such additional nominations.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War.

{p.1024}

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HEADQUARTERS FORTY-FIFTH VIRGINIA REGIMENT, Camp Thorn Spring, near Dublin Depot, January 7, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, G. S. A.:

SIR: As you were advised in a dispatch from this place a few days since, I sent two scouts, with instructions to proceed to Pack’s Ferry, where it was reported the enemy in some force were crossing. They have returned, and report that a few of the enemy had crossed at that point and proceeded some distance (probably 10 or 12 miles) on the road to Peterstown. They were, how ever, driven back by a number of the citizens of Giles and Monroe.

The information which will be communicated to your excellency through the letter which I have the honor to forward you is confirmed by reports of refugees from the county of Raleigh. The strength of the enemy at Fayetteville and Raleigh County is given by intelligent persons from that section at 3,000. The forward movement of the enemy to Raleigh Court-House in any force is very recent, and I feel confident that they have in contemplation an advance upon this road.

Deeming it proper to give you the above information, I have the honor to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM E. PETERS, Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment.

[Inclosures.]

DUBLIN, January 6, 1862.

Lieutenant-Colonel PETERS:

DEAR SIR: Inclosed I send you a letter I have just received from Lieut. Col. Joseph Caldwell, of Raleigh County, giving information of the movements of the enemy.

Respectfully,

WM. H. HOWE.

MERCER COURT-HOUSE, VA., January 3, 1862.

Mr. WM. H. HOWE:

DEAR SIR: I am a citizen of the county of Raleigh, residing near the Court-House, and have been driven from home with a good many other citizens of the county. Having just arrived here from that county, the citizens of this village think it proper that the fact of the invasion of that county by the Federal troops should be made known, so that the citizens of the counties between that place and the railroad may adopt some policy to repel their intended raid upon the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. Hence I am troubling you with this note, that the people may have time to organize for their own protection.

After repeated visits by the enemy in small forces, and committing depredations wherever they went by stealing property (cattle, horses, &c.) and arresting citizens pursuing their usual avocations, forcing them to take the oath or taking them to Fayetteville and holding them in confinement, on last Monday, the 30th day of December last, our village was taken possession of by at least 1,000 Federal troops, arresting the citizens that were remaining and compelling them to take the oath, or holding them prisoners. They are robbing the citizens of all their property, grain, provender, &c., leaving the families of those that have had to flee from their persecutions entirely dependent and helpless. Holding a commission as lieutenant-colonel of the militia (the colonel being a prisoner in their hands), I have issued orders to call out the militia of Raleigh County to meet to-morrow in edge of this county, but the principal {p.1025} portion of the county being in possession of the Federals, the number to assemble is very small, but we will assist with all our power, in resisting any further advances of the enemy, hoping to have the aid of the counties interested with ourselves; and perhaps, if the facts were properly represented to our authorities, they would dispatch a regiment of volunteer forces to our assistance, for they openly avow that their destination is ultimately the railroad.

Asking pardon for troubling you (being a stranger), and hoping that you will use your influence in procuring aid, I am, very respectfully,

JOSEPH CALDWELL, Lieutenant-Colonel of the One hundred and eighty-fourth Regiment.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 5.}

ADJT. AND INSP. GEN.’S OFFICE, Richmond, January 7, 1862.

...

XIX. Brig. Gen. H. C. Wayne, Provisional Army, will forthwith proceed to Manassas, Va., and report for duty to General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding.

By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY BRIGADE, Camp Qui Vive, January 9, 1862.

[General HILL:]

DEAR GENERAL: I thank you for your favor received some time since, and I assure you I am very grateful to you for the suggestions it contained.

I was desirous of sending the whole of Radford’s regiment to Leesburg, but the commanding general was unwilling to spare so much cavalry. Colonel Radford, with two companies, to join the four already with you, are now en route, making your available cavalry amount to six companies. The picket now in sight of Dranesville is merely to notify me of any movement on Leesburg from that direction. I regret very much that you have lost the services of Colonel Jenifer, whose thorough acquaintance with the whole Potomac region must have made him invaluable as a cavalry commander.

I will require of Colonel Radford a monthly return of his regiment, and I hope you will concert with me some point of junction by pickets or patrols, so we can keep up a more rigid non-intercourse, as well as more direct communication with each other. A system of signals similar to those in use by the cavalry here is, I think, indispensable to safety from injury by friends as well as imposition by enemies. I hope to hear cheering news from Stonewall Jackson soon.

The Potomac Burnside fleet has not yet developed itself, but we are all anxiously expectant. McClellan’s illness delays its operations doubtless.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant and true friend,

J. E. B. STUART, Brigadier-General. {p.1026}

HEADQUARTERS, Lewisburg, Va., January 9, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General C. S. A.:

SIR: I have the honor to report that the Twenty-second Regiment Virginia, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson, arrived at the White Sulphur Springs yesterday. From sickness and other causes the regiment has been reduced to about 325 effective men. Its weakness invites attack.

The country towards the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad is left entirely open. At any time the enemy’s cavalry could move from Raleigh Court-House and do great damage. I would therefore urge upon the Department the necessity of sending a force to Peterstown (a strategic point), ready to move towards Union or the road leading from Raleigh Court-House to Virginia and Tennessee Railroad in case the enemy should threaten either point.

It may be some time before a sufficient force can be raised for “local defense,” and as I am threatened on all sides, I respectfully call the attention of the Department to our defenseless condition and the importance of guarding not only the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, but that of the Central Railroad and the depot of supplies at Jackson’s River.

Since my return I have raised one company of cavalry, which will be organized on the 11th. I will immediately place it on duty, guarding the roads leading to this place; other companies (of infantry and one of artillery) are in process of being formed.

In case of necessity I will force out the militia; those who are not for me are against me.

Capt. R. Caskie, Wise’s Legion, desires to join me with his company of cavalry. He has been operating in Mercer and Raleigh during the past summer, and he is well acquainted with the country. I hope you will gratify him, and order him to join me.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

A. W. REYNOLDS, Colonel, Commanding.

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HEADQUARTERS VALLEY DISTRICT, Morgan County, Virginia, January 10, 1862.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department of Northern Virginia:

GENERAL: In accordance with instructions received from you I submit the following report respecting the location of the troops of this district. The numbers are not strictly accurate:

At Winchester, 183 infantry; at Hanging Rock, on the Northwestern turnpike, distant from Winchester 28 miles, 650 infantry and 56 cavalry; at North River Mills, on Cacapon bridge, and Frankfort turnpike, distant from Winchester 20 miles, 50 cavalry; at Martinsburg, 100 infantry and 56 cavalry; at Shepherdstown, 60 cavalry; at Duffield’s Depot, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, midway between Charlestown and Shepherdstown, 100 infantry and 26 cavalry; at Moorefield, distant 57 miles from Winchester and 27 from Romney, 400 infantry; at this place, on the Hampshire and Berkeley turnpike, distant 24 miles from Winchester, 8,000 infantry and 375 cavalry.

Brigadier-General Meem left here this morning for Moorefield with 545 infantry, and Brigadier-General Carson left here this morning for {p.1027} Bath, a distance of 16 miles, in command of 200 infantry and 25 mounted militia. All the volunteers and regulars are stationed here.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON, Major-General, P. A. C. S., Commanding.

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SPECIAL ORDERS, No. 13.}

HDQRS. DEP’T OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, January 10, 1862.

...

IV. In accordance with instructions from the War Department, Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn is relieved from duty in this department, and will report to the Secretary of War, at Richmond, Va.

V. In accordance with instructions from the War Department, Brig. Gen. Sam. Jones is relieved from duty in this department, and will report to the Secretary of War, at Richmond, Va.

By command of General Johnston:

THOS. G. RHETT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, Near Centreville, January 12, 1862.

Brig. Gen. D. H. HILL, Commanding C. S. Forces, Leesburg:

GENERAL: Your letter of this date having been submitted to the general commanding, he approves your suggested application to the War Department for an increase of your force.

He regrets his inability to send you a suitable engineer, but has dispatched the best at his command. At least half a dozen competent engineers and as many each of topographical and ordnance officers should be with this army; but there is only one officer of engineers on duty with it.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS JORDAN, Assistant Adjutant-General.

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LEESBURG, VA., January 13, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: With the permission of the general commanding, I address you directly upon the subject of an increase of force at this point. You are aware that our force at Centreville is scarce a third as large as it ought to be; and yet that its rout would do more to demoralize our Confederacy than the subjugation of two States. In the weak condition of that army I cannot look for aid from that quarter. Their fortifications may prevent a direct attack, and it has been a favorite scheme of the enemy to turn them by a combined movement from Point of Rocks and Edwards Ferry via Leesburg. The rashness of Colonel Baker defeated a well-devised and well-arranged plan of general advance on the 21st October. The whole army here understand that immense masses of men had gathered then at these points to be thrown over here; the defeat and rout of the van discouraged and disheartened the main body, but the original plan has never been abandoned. In the last month the enemy has thrown up most formidable batteries to cover all the crossings.

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We have constructed one most excellent fort and have two others in process of construction. These, when finished, could be held by a single regiment, and Loudoun County, the richest in the State, would be safe. If this regiment was sent from Richmond my whole available force could move to Centreville on the decisive day.

The object of my communication, then, is to ask for at least one additional regiment, for guns to be placed in the batteries and for artillerists to work them. The guns I learn can be got, and if no artillerists can be spared, I could have men trained and drilled in the re-enforcing regiment.

As “the Army of the Potomac is the rebellion,” in the emphatic language of McClellan, I trust that I may be excused for troubling you on a matter materially connected with its efficiency.

With great respect,

D. H. HILL, Brigadier-General, P. A. C. S.

[Memorandum.]

Write General Hill that one unarmed regiment can be furnished, if desired, but we have no arms.

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Centreville, January 14, 1862.

Hon. J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War:

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 7th instant, and transmit herewith the statement required of the organization of the troops of the Potomac District, with partial ones of those of Aquia and the valley. These are incomplete, because the officers commanding those districts have not yet furnished the statements (similar) asked for by me some time since.

I regret to find from your last letter that the President is dissatisfied with the manner in which I have exercised the discretion with which he invested me as to the execution of Orders 15 and 18. I have assured him that there has been no time since those orders were given when I did not believe it to be utterly unsafe to attempt such reorganization, and no time when I was not, as now, anxious to carry out his wishes.

I have hitherto regarded these changes as impracticable because unsafe, and shall so regard them until the destination of the Burnside expedition is known.

Could the President see the condition of the country at this season, and that of our means of transportation, I am sure that he would regard these changes as physically impracticable now. The teams are all in constant employment, either to supply the troops with provision and fuel or themselves and the cavalry horses with food.

Since the supply in the neighborhood was exhausted the Quartermaster’s Department has been unable to furnish full forage. Hay and fodder are rarely to be had, consequently our horses are in wretched condition.

I have twice asked by telegraph for an officer to take General Whiting’s command, but have received no reply. No competent officer can be spared from any other part of this army.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. E. JOHNSTON, General.

{p.1029}

[Inclosure.]