emy. Walker joined him at Meadow River, on his way back, and Walker reports hearing their drums at the turnpike, at Sunday road, and at Anderson's all this morning. Amick says there are none across Gauley, on the other side of Meadow River. I shall hold on here and fight the enemy, expecting them to attack me before sunrise this morning.
Please send forward any empty wagons which can be dispatched from Meadow Bluff.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY A. WISE,
Numbers 48.] HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA, Camp near Meadow Bluff, virginia, September 19, 1861.
General HENRY A. WISE:
SIR: I have been aware for several days of the advance of the enemy. Before I left the top of the Big Sewell Mountain I was well assured that his plan was to concentrate all his force at an eligible point (which I thought might possibly be Meadow Bluff) on the Turnpike road and to advance upon Lewisburg. I chose this position to meet him, because I believed it to be the most eligible. I regret exceedingly that you did not think proper to bring up my rear, as directed in my order of the 16th, gut on the contrary chose to advance in the direction from which I had come. Disastrous consequences, which may ensue from a divided force, may result from this, unless contracted by some prompt and decided movement. If you still have time, upon the receipt of this, to join my force and make a stand against the enemy at this point, I hope you will see the necessity of doing so at once. The country has a right, I think, to expect the strongest resistance which all the combined forces under my command can make to the advance of this powerful enemy, and I do not think this just expectation should be disappointed.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN B. FLOYD,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the Kanawha.
CAMP NEAR THE TOP OF BIG SEWELL, VIRGINIA, September 19, 1861-9.45 a. m.
Brigadier January JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, &c.:
SIR: There area two essential mistakes in your note of this day, just put into my hands. You say that you "regret exceedingly that I did not think proper to bring up your rear, as directed in your order of the 16th." I repeat that I dead think proper "to hold my command in readiness to bring up your rear" precisely in the language and sense of your order of the 16th. I justly interpreted your order of that date to mean that I was not to move immediately after your movement. You said in that order that you would move "at once.' and ordered me simply to hold myself in readiness to bring up your rear. That order I have obeyed in letter and in spirit better by remaining here than by moving "at once" after you. I could not move "at once" on the 16th, nor on the 17th, nor on the 18th.
Five of my wagons have been borrowed by your command and not returned, and a number of them had been sent eastward for supplies of.