re-enforcements from me, and especially to mount artillery on Cotton Hill, and to defend Boone and Cabell Counties, and to penetrate the valley of the Lower Kanawha.
My cavalry, too, is of no use here, for the reason that forage cannot be obtained for more than two companies required for vedettes; and I have been compelled to send five troops, about 250 horse, to Coal River and the Loop for subsistence and better service than they can render here without half enough food.
I beg you, therefore, to relieve me from the order to send you one of my fragments of regiments, and I ask this the more unhesitatingly, because I am reliably informed you have a large re-enforcement advancing on the way to join, and I am sure that with it s aid you can maintain your strong and entrenched position against the odds likely to attack you. For these reasons I feel confident that you will justify me in awaiting further orders and the removal of the immediate pressure of the enemy.
Further, I beg you to order me to attract the enemy from Gauely Bridge, and from advancing against you thence, by promptly proceeding to penetrate the Kanawha Valley down Loop Creek or Coal River with my whole Legion. In this way I am sure, sir, I can re-enforce you without endangering my command; and this consideration alone makes me venture diffidently to ask for the order, without pretending to interfere with the plans of your own judgment.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY A. WISE,
CAMP NEAR HAWK'S NEST, VA.,
September 9, 1861-10 a. m.
General R. E. LEE, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: Again I am harassed with orders which I find it difficult, if not impracticable, to comply with. After attacking the enemy on the 3rd instant, he, as well as I, fell back a short distance to better positions. We are now about 3 miles apart, and he is re-enforced to the number of about 3,000 men. I am reduced in effective force to about 1,000 infantry and artillery. My cavalry is useless here among steep hills and for want of forage. In this state I called for re-enforcements from General Floyd. The day before yesterday he sent to me Colonel Tompkins' regiment of the State volunteers. This morning he announces the enemy approaching him from Sutton, as I expected, 6,000 strong, with the apprehensions of 1,000 from the opposite direction at Twenty Mile. This I do not credit; but he orders Colonel Tompkins immediately back, and also one of my regiments to be sent to him. I have issued the order to Colonel Tompkins, but must decline sending one of my regiments, or give up Miller's Ferry and Liken's Mill, and perhaps Dogwood Gap.
Again, some time ago my command had notice of a piece of ordnance forwarded for its service. I left an artillery officer (Captain Roemer) at White Sulphur, to take charge of three pieces there, and to forward on to that place the piece or pieces expected from Richmond. Now, it seems, General Floyd expected four pieces also and several coming to Jackson's River, and my officer, innocently supposing one of them to be the one intended for the Legion, took it to the White Sulphur. Thereupon General Floyd notifies me that he has sent an officer to arrest him, and calls upon me for the names of commissioned