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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 155 Chapter XIV. ENGAGEMENT AT CARNIFIX FERRY, W. VA.

do this, for General Floyd's design-obvious to me-was to destroy my command,a nd not only transfer to himself the State volunteers and militia, but by constant detachments of my legion, to merge it also in his brigade, to be commanded by his field officers, and be torn to pieces by maladministration, and to sink me, the second in command, even below his majors and captains. Therefore it was that I obtained from General Lee the distinct law of our relations: That General Floyd could not discontinue my command of the Legion separately; that he could detach them only as the good of the service might demand; and that, whether detached or not, I was still in command of all the forces of the Legion.

On the 14th August also I informed General Lee that, though I did not credit the rumors about the approach of the enemy, I should move my entire available force at once to join General Floyd at Meadow Bluff; that I should counsel an advance to the western side of Little Sewell; that I should take eight pieces of artillery; that my howitzer was without ammunition; that in less than three days I could put forward 1,500 and in five days 2,500 men; that General Floyd had his own force, something less than 1,200, my whole cavalry (550),a nd a detachment of artillery with two 6-pounders-in all, say, 1,800 men; and that within three days his force should be increased to 3,500 or 4,000 men.

On the 15th I informed General lee that ammunition for my howitzer had arrived late on the 14th, and at 4 o'clock a. m. on the 15th I had moved a corps of artillery, with eight pieces, including a howitzer and three 6-pounders, with three companies of artillery under major Gibbes, and three regiments of infantry of my Legion, in all about 2,000 men, to join General Floyd at Meadow Bluff on the evening of that day. My corps of cavalry (550 strong) and 50 artillery, with two pieces belonging to the State volunteers, were already with him, and two companies of the State volunteer cavalry would join him by the morrow, making my re-enforcement about 2,600 men-more than double his own force-and making his whole force by the 16th about 3,800 men. This was enough to check the enemy until I could have the State volunteer regiments ready for marching orders. This will show whether I was prompt beyond promise in re-enforcing General Floyd. And I call attention to this entire letter of mine to General Lee of August 15 to justify the failure to send on two regiments of State volunteers, and my protest of a desire for a harmony of co-operation in every sense of cheerful as well as healthful service. But I informed General Lee distinctly that I could not in honor submit to have my brigade mutilated without his orders. I appealed to General Lee not only in behalf of myself, but in behalf of Colonel Tompkins, a soldier of sixteen years' standing in the Regular Army of the United States, for common justice..

I call attention ot the letter of General floyd of August 16 and my reply of August 17, in relation ot the propriety of the mode of issuing orders ot my command. These letters were written on the top of Big Sewell, on the 17th, 40 miles west of Lewisburg, where I had then already joined and re-enforced General Floyd. On August 17 General Floyd ordered me to occupy the camp vacated by him on the top of Big Sewell, and to remain there until further orders. Again, in his letter (Numbers 13.), he addressed me on the subject of the mode of issuing orders to my command. On the 19th August I replied to that communication, taking the position authorized by General Lee. On the 18th he notified me that he had fallen back from Tyree's to the camp on Sewell, and on the 19th he ordered me to take up the line of march at 7.30 o'clock on the morning of the 20th, and to proceed with all the forces under my


Page 155 Chapter XIV. ENGAGEMENT AT CARNIFIX FERRY, W. VA.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 5, Part 1 (West Virginia)
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