Glades to the Back Fork of Elk River, extending along the mountain ridge till it crosses the range of Rich Mountains; thence north of Elk Water Run to the Huttonsville turnpike. It is reported to be traveled by wagons as far as the settlements in Stroud's Glades, and is then but a horse path till it reached Brady's gate on Elk Water Run. The portion along the mountain ridge admits of eacy passage. It strikes the Huttonsville turnpike just in front of the enemy's position on that road, and is about fifty-five miles in length from Summersville to that point and about the same distance to this camp. To reach this cammp you must take a path up the Dry Fork of Elk to Huttonsville turnpike in rear, or after passing Congress Mill take a path to the right leading to the Huttonsville turnpike about four miles in our front. The latter is the better route. My object in calling your attention to it is that it may be convenient for your messengers and scouts to communicate with this column in this way, and also to apprise you of a route accessible to your rear by the enemy in Tugart's Valley. He has within two days past moved a force, supposed to be a regiment, to near the head of Elk Water Run. A regiment of this command is observing it within striking distance. I find it impossible to obtain reliable information of the strength of the enemy in our front or that may be in reserve to his rear within supporting distance. Has any been received by you?
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA,
Camp Gauley, September 4, 1861.
Major General R. E. LEE:
SIR: I have been detained here for a week for the want of flour, otherwise our people would have been in the Kanawha Valley about twenty miles below the falls, where General Cox is posted. If I can accomplish this I think General Cox will be compelled to fall back from his present position and fight us on such groudn as we choose. I am looking anxiously for the three regiments and the artillery now coming on to join me; their presence is greatly needed, as my own regiments are reduced more than a third from sickness, whilst those of Colonels Tompkins and McCausland together number only 600 men. I had only about 1, 2000 men all told until joined by the regiments above spoken of, who reached me some days after I crossed the river and established myself here. My Third Regiment came up day before yesterday, and when the others reached me I hoped to have a sufficient number of men forikely to arise. I learn from scouts that the enemy is in possession of Suttonsville with three regiments of infantry and some horses. It is also reported that they have captured many and shot some of the country people for alleged charges upon which they were never tried. This has produced much alarm and indignation amongst the people. It is asserted by persons who were present at a public meeting called by the enemy, to which all the citizens were invited and termed a free day, that the colonels of regiments in public harangues declared that if the citizens did not stop firing upon their scouts they would turn loose their troops to plunder, murder all ages and sexes, and to lay waste the country with fire. Of these declarations I have no doubt. I send this dispatch through to you on the right bank of Gauley by an active, intelligent man, as an experiment,