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,
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, VA., August 5, 1861.
General R. E. LEE, Commanding, & c.:
GENERAL: The copy of your letter to Colonel 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. Captain 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,
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 check 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.
* Some matters of detail omitted.