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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 2, Part 1 (First Manassas Campaign)
Page 290 Chapter IX. OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA.

in. By all means, then, hasten on re-enforcements, arms, and ammunition.

To-day I send a flag of truce to obtain baggage of prisoners, at their request. Colonel Patton is doing as well as having done nobly well deserves. His arm I hope will not have to be amputated. We are throwing up breastworks and defenses at every pass, and mean never to be taken. Haste to prepare every means now shortens this report.

Most respectfully,



General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.


Near Charleston, Va., July 17, 1861.

GENERAL: Yours of the 11th instant was received last evening. General Garnett was mistaken in his anticipations about the enemy not invading the Kanawha Valley and in his apprehension of my moving from Charleston direct upon Parkersburg. We are now on both sides [of] the Kanawha as high as the mouth of Coal River, front to front to the foe. He has about 1,600 approaching Coal, on the Guyandotte road; 3,000 coming up the Kanawha, with three steamers and several heavy pieces of artillery; 1,500, it is supposed, on each side, with his artillery on this side, and intending, I think to concentrate all his forces first against Coal, approaching and threatening the post at Two-Mile and at Elk Mouth by the valley road, and at the same time by the road from Ripley, to which place, and ten miles below, they have advanced forces from Ravenswood, Murraysville, and Letart Falls, and it may be from Parkersburg. At Coal I have posted 900 efficient men, under Lieutenant-Colonel Patton. At Two-Mile and Elk I have posted in all, efficient and inefficient forces-say 800 efficient-about 1,600, and at Gaualey Bridge, Summersville, and the Old Mill, on the Birch River, in all 1,000, with instructions to scout towards Suttonville, where the enemy are already in possession. I have anticipated General Garnett, you see, in this movement. I cannot re-enforce him, but he may me by the road leading form Huttonsville up Tygart's Valley road to Rackstone; up that fork to where it crosses the range of Rich Mountain; thence between Grassy Creek and Back Fork of Elk to where it crosses Elk; thence southwest to the head of Laurel Creek; thence to the head of Big Birch River, and down the same to the old mill near there, at the gorge of Birch Mountain, in my outpost from Summersville.

Now, if General Floyd can re-enforce Coal River and General Garnett can, in considerable number, re-enforce Birch and Elk, I will make a diversion that shall distract and defeat the enemy. My plan of defending the valley of the Kanawha is to hold its head and Coal and elk and Two-Mile and the head of summer navigation with, say 1,000, and to Ripley, California, the Forks of Elk, Arnoldsville, Sutton, Old Mill, and Summersville, say 3,000, requiring in all 7,000 men at least, if not 10,000, and you see we have but 3,500 in all, facing 6,000 at least on this and the other side of the Ohio. We have now 10 small pieces of artillery-6 iron, 3 brass, 1 made at Malden, private property. Our troops, raw, unequipped, not half armed and accoutered, unrented, out of reach of clothing, un officered, unorganized, yet they are prime personnel and fight well. I have tried them at Ripley, and yesterday my

Page 290 Chapter IX. OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 2, Part 1 (First Manassas Campaign)
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