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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 5, Part 1 (West Virginia)
Page 793 Chapter XIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

Regiments of infantry and corps of artillery, and on the evening of that day reached the eastern slope of Big Sewell, followed by my Third Regiment of Infantry (expected here to-day), nearly all of my Legion, leaving the State volunteer regiments to come on as early as Colonel Tompkins could refit them, showing every disposition to join General Floyd promptly, even before I was half prepared to do so with justice to worn and destitute troops. At Meadow Bluff, on the way, present with my forces, I received the following note myself, and Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, of the First Regiment of Infantry, received the one following that:


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA,
On the march, forty miles west of Lewisburg, Va., August 16, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I understand that an order has been issued by you, requiring the officers of your Legion to communicate with me through you. Such an order can result in nothing but the most serious embarrassment, as your headquarters are 40 miles from my position and that of some of your officers co-operating with me. You will see, therefore, the necessity of immediately revoking that order, if such a one has been issued.

I hope you will hurry up all your available forces to my support. I shall in all human probability stand in great need of them almost immediately. I learned from a source deemed worthy of full credit that a large force of the enemy have crossed Gauley and are advancing on this road. Two hundred of their wagons have been counted this side of Gauley. There is the utmost need for promptness and speed in sending your forces to our support.

I am, sir, & c.,

JOHN B. FLOYD,

Brigadier-General of Forces in the Valley of the Kanawha.

To Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson he says:


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA,
On the march, forty miles west of Lewisburg, Va., August 16, 1861.

Colonel RICHARDSON:

SIR: You are hereby ordered, immediately upon the receipt of this, to advance with all the force under your command to join me. Any orders whatever in any way conflicting with this I hereby revoke.

Respectfully, & c.,

JOHN B. FLOYD,

Brigadier-General, & c.

Neither myself nor Colonel Richardson has noticed either of these orders. Yesterday morning General Floyd ordered me to occupy this point, which I am doing until his further orders. He advanced 5 miles; has found no enemy, except some scouts, this side of Gauley, and is now, I am told, returning, his advance just arriving. We are here now together, he with about 1,200, and I soon with about 2,000 of my Legion, with this question of communicating orders unsettled. My officers of the Legion cannot be permitted to disregard my general orders nor to take orders directly from General Floyd, and I shall utterly disregard his attempted revocation of it. I lay the case before you in time to prevent collision. If it comes it shall not be my fault, but I will resist, by lawful and respectful means, all encroachments on my legitimate command and the respect which is due it. I will abide your orders, sir, and await your interposition. If General Floyd desires to attach the command of the State volunteers (two regiments) now under Colonel Tompkins to his brigade, I will gladly consent to it, under your orders. Let it be done immediately, and leave me the independent command of my Legion. I beg for this, and prefer to take orders from you. My men will fare better, and our cause will be better served. The enemy have not crossed Gauley at all in any considerable force,


Page 793 Chapter XIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 5, Part 1 (West Virginia)
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