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 and 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,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, August 28, 1861.
Brigadier General 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 2nd of July, 1861, to take post at Winchester.
If 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.