afterwards from the Sunday and Hopping roads, reporting they were fired upon, and I heard three volleys, apparently from the Hopping road. Our scouts killed 2 on the Sunday road, and Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan had two encounters on the turnpike; the first about one and a half miles beyond Piggot's, killing 2 and taking 2 prisoners of the enemy. The second was about 2 p. m., half mile this side of Hawk's Nest, at Hamilton's, losing 1 man of Captain Buchanan's company, and 3 wounded. The latter are in a wagon, sent back to a surgeon. A surgeon, if possible, should be sent to the cavalry in front. Colonel Croghan has been met by about 580 of the enemy at Hawk's Nest, and he was obliged to retire. He will report more in detail to you.
Having executed your special orders, I send him back to bring up the cavalry of my Legion in the rear. Several companies are there, refitting and recruiting men and horses exhausted and worn-out by excessive scouting. Several troops of your brigade are very much shattered, and I have ordered Colonel Croghan to take them to the rear to get horses and some grain. I will order the best of the cavalry to be detailed for an advance guard. I think the enemy will be in force to-night at Hawk's Nest, and we ought to have a strong artillery and infantry force at Dogwood Gap and upon the Sunday and Hopping roads. The advance should be made to-night.
HENRY A. WISE,
Valley Mountain, Va., August 21, 1861.
General HENRY A. WISE,
Commanding Wise's Legion, Camp, Sewell Mountain, Va.:
GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 18th instant, and, according to your request, have issued the accompanying special orders, of this date, placing the Twenty-second and Thirty-sixth Regiments of Virginia Volunteers subject to the assignment of the commanding general of the Army of the Kanawha, and confining your immediate command to that of the Wise Legion, as organized, by direction of the War Department..
It is proper, as well as necessary, for the commanding general to organize his troops in the field according to the exigencies of the service. It also becomes necessary to detach troops for special service from their appropriate brigades, and thus place them temporarily under other commanding officers. The rights of officers are not thereby violated, provided they are under their senior in rank, whose orders are always respected and obeyed in well-constituted armies. The necessities of war require the organization of the forces to be adapted to the service to be performed, and sometimes brigades and separate commands have to be remodeled accordingly. This must be done in accordance with the judgment of the commanding officer. The transmission of orders to troops through their immediate commanders is in accordance with usage and propriety. Still, there are occasions when this cannot be conformed to without detriment to the service. Obedience to all legal orders is nevertheless obligatory upon all officers and soldiers.
These remarks are not supposed to be necessary for your information, but to show why I have not considered orders on the subject necessary. Feeling assured of the patriotism and zeal of the officers and men composing the Army of the Kanawha, I have never apprehended any em