near Mannington. It was supposed that these men would be followed by other as soon as the house-cars which contained them could be returned to the Ohio River. In this state of things I inquired of General Johnston, by telegraph (the Grafton end of which only was under the control of our friends, so far as I know if he could re-enforce me. For reply, I was informed that no men could be sent from his command at Harper's Ferry.
On the 28th, learning from the most reliable persons that the invading force had reached Fairmont, twenty miles northwest of Grafton, and thinking that the latter point, from its to topography and the character of its population (a good part of which would have united with our enemies upon their appearance) was not an eligible one for us, and considering our very inadequate supply of provisions and ammunition, particularly caps, and that our number of infantry was small (not more than about five hundred and fifty), and the want of any sort of training or military discipline among our men, being informed that other bodies of men besides those first spoken of had passed the burned bridges by means of temporary repairs of them, and approached Fairmont, I concluded to remove the State arms and stores to Philippi, about fifteen miles in our rear, there establish a depot, in a friendly country, to concentrate such volunteers as were on the way or could be easily and speedily attracted to that point, and there to organize and strengthen my command. I met on the way an unarmed company of volunteers from Upshur, and at Philippi I was joined by a well-armed company of horse from Rockbridge. I have been compelled to send home, for want of arms to supply them with, a company of horse from Pocahontast, and to dismiss to their homes for a short time a like company raised in Barbour.
As soon as I can organize my command, which I hope to do soon, I will return to some more eligible point in the neighborhood of Grafton which willed able me to command both railroads, and in the mean time I hope to be able more effectually to cut off the railroad communications east and west of that place. The railroad is unquestionably used by the company against us, and I may be obliged, for the safety, of the command at Harper's Ferry, to make further destruction of it.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. A. PORTERFIELD,
Colonel of Volunteers.
Colonel R. S. GARNETT.
MAY 27 -29, 1861- Expedition to and occupation of Newport News, Va.
Reports of Major General B. F. Butler, U. S. Army, commanding Department of Virginia.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF VIRGINIA,
May 27, 1861.
SIR: The expedition (of which I gave you information in my former dispatch) to Newport News got off in fine style this morning about 7 o'clock. I have added to the expedition the Eighth New York Regiment, 780 strong, which came here on board the Empire City on Sunday afternoon, and they proceeded without debarking. I also added two 6-pounder and two 12-pounder guns, with a detachment of twenty-five men from Colonel Dimick's command, who are intended to act as drill-masters to the volunteers in the exercise of the guns. My purpose is to intrench