Valley Mountain, August 14, 1861.
General JOHN B. FLOYD,
Commanding Army of Kanawha, Camp near Lewisburg, Va.:
GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 12th inclosing orders assuming command of the troops operating in Kanawha Valley, and a letter of General Wise's of the 8th as to the condition of his command. Your prompt advance will check the operations of the enemy and give time for General Wise's brigade to refit and join you, and will give courgad eto the people of the valley. I hope when all your forces are united you will be able to drive back the invaders. I am glad to hear that so large a force can be cnocentrated sosuth of the Kanawha to oppose any attempt against the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. From reports received from General Chapman and Colonel Beckley, I feared but little opposition could be brought against such a movement, and therefore endeavored to gather a force at Wytheville. I had written to General Chapman to endeavor to form volunteer companies from the militia called into service, agreeably to the tenor of the proclamation of the Governor of the 19th ultimo. I understand that he has received from Richmond 1,500 flint-fock muskets with which they can be armed. Colonel Beckely in June last was authorized to raise a volunteer regiment, in which I fear he has made but little progress. A copy of my letter to him of the 8th is inclosed. I desire you to organize into regiments such volunteer companies as can be formed, place them under such officers as are available until their regular field offciers can be appointed, and give them such directions as the service may require. Please report to me the progress made in their orgainiztion, their condition, and equipment; and also the names of all the field officers of your command, the regiments to which they are assigned, and deficiencies in their number, so that the latter may be supplied. I have not yet heard whether your third regiment has joined your brigade. With the force you may command south of the Kanawha a material diversion can be made on the enemy's right, and while threatening his center a successful attack might be made on his left. The movement on this line has drawn large re-enforcements from Summersville and Suttonsville, which will lighten your operations. The constant rains which have occurred the past fortnight have rendered the roads almost impassable, which has paralyzed operations in this quarter for the present. I have thourght it probable that the extension of the enemy's force was intended to influence the elections in favor of the Peirpoint government. They will the more easily be dispersed. I regret to inform you that I have not a single cavalry arm for distribution. I have requested some portable forges to be forwarded to your command from Richmond. A letter from GEneral Wise just received states that he is making good progress in organizing his command, and that the strength and condition of his troops are daily improving. He will join you as soon as possible and before he receives all his equipment, and give the most hearty and zealous co-operatin in repulsing the enemy. I believe it was the intention of the President that the separate organization of his legion or brigade should be maintained, and it is unnecessary to state that it will only be necessary for your orders regulating its movements to be communicated to him. The troops serving with his legion can be continued or detached as the service may require.
I have the honor to be, with high respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,