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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 838 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

of Colonel McCausland, does not exceed 1,600 men. My own scouts returned yesterday with the information, which may be relied on, that there are 1,000 of the enemy at the mouth of Twenty Mile Creek. This would seem to indicate a junction of the forces under Cox with those marching from Sutton. It is highly important that this should be prevented if possible. For me to effect this, it is necessary that I should be strengthened by all the re-enforcements that can be sent me. You will then return me without delay the regiment of Colonel Tompkins, and at the same time send me one of your own regiments. With the remainder of your forces you can maintain your position. Should you, however, need any addition to your force, you can draw re-enforcements from the command of General Chapman.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN B. FLOYD,

Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.

[Indorsement.]

MEMORANDUM.-A verbal message was delivered along with the second dispatch (Numbers 35) at 2.15 a. m. by J. A. Totten, provost-marshal, as follows: "The enemy are in Webster, about 2,500 strong. Their object seems to be to unite with the column advancing from Braxton. General Floyd wishes to know at what point he can find the re-enforcements he sends for and at what hour he may expect them." Requires immediate return of the messenger. Messenger further reports that at 5 o'clock 4,000 or 5,000 were at the foot of Powell's Mountain, on this side. At the time of messenger's leaving (about 2 at night) they were 4 or 5 miles distant above Summersville; 2,500 were in Webster, about 50 miles distant, advancing.

CAMP NEAR HAWK'S NEST,

September 9, 1861-4 p. m.

General JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:

SIR: In obedience to your orders of yesterday, received at 8.30 o'clock a. m. to-day (though dated September 9, 1861, 1 o'clock a. m.), I have passed them to Colonel Tompkins, and he is on his march to join you at Carnifix Farry. As to sending you one of the regiments of the Legion, I find it impossible to do so without endangering the safety of my command. I am now in front of the enemy, numbering from 2,000 to 3,000 men, and have three regiments, reduced by two companies from each left at Dogwood Gap, necessarily required there, and by measles, to not more than 300 effective men each, and to a corps of artillery, numbering about 150, making in all 1,050 efficient forces, without a breastwork. It is very hazardous to remain where I am within this force, and if one-third of it be called to re-enforce you at Carnifix, I shall have to fall back again to Dogwood Gap, lose all I gained by driving the enemy to Big Creek, and beyond all quick intelligence and easy communication with Generals Chapman and Beckley by Miller's Ferry, and all the advantages of a first-class mill to grind the meal and flour for my men, where both are difficult and costly to be obtained. There is not half force enough now for the defense of this road, and if one-third be taken away, the whole had better be retired. I cannot maintain my position with the remainder of my force, much less annoy the enemy, as you have instructed men. I now need re-enforcement, and cannot draw a man from the command of General Chapman, for he now is calling urgently for


Page 838 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 5, Part 1 (West Virginia)
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