offer itself, is a sufficient object to warrant the maintenance of all our available force in this region; for as i have just said, i do not suppose that this force can ever obtain a strength, relative to that of the enemy, which would warrant us in offering him battle wherever we could meet him. I have by no means relinquished or abated my hope of being able, on some favorable occasion, to get at the road. But this is a contingency. The only certain result we can calculate upon is that our presence here will necessarily occupy a considerable force of the enemy, and, to that extent, relieve other points of the State where they might be employed against us. It is not for me to determine what the value of this very negative result is, but I have deemed it my duty to state the case as it presented itself to my judgment. I can only say I shall watch vigilantly, and strike whenever and wherever I can see a reasonable hope of success.
Colonel Starke arrived yesterday, and I am gratified to learn that I am to have an addition to my force, and sufficient supplies to secure the health and efficiency of my command for the present. I am exhausting the country immediately around me of grain and other supplies, and the operation of supplying myself almost exclusively from Staunton is becoming a serious difficulty with me on account of the scarcity of transportation. The crops are backward in this region, and I shall not be able to draw from them earlier than the end of August.
I stated in my letter of the 1st instant that Colonel Heck's regiment had been ordered to take up a position on the Saint George road, and that he had been relieved by Lieutenant-Colonel Hansborough's battalion of five companies. This arrangement was countermanded in consequence of the appearance of the enemy in force at Buckhannon. Lieutenant-Colonel Hansborough took the positions on the Saint George road assigned to Lieutenant-Colonel Heck.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. GARNETT,
HEADQUARTERS OF THE FORCES,
Richmond, Va., July 11, 1861.
Brigadier General R. S. GARNETT,
Commanding, &c., Laurel Hill, Va.:
GENERAL: I received to-day your two letters of the 6th instant,* and have communicated their contents to the President. Your opinion as to the advantage of giving a more northerly direction to General Wise's column will be communicated to that officer,+ and it is hoped that he will find himself in a condition to conform to it, and that with your united columns you will be able to fall upon the enemy. I do not think it probable that the enemy will configure himself to that portion of the northwest country which he now holds, but, if he can drive you back, will endeavor to penetrate as far as Staunton. Your object will be to prevent him, if possible, and to restrict his limits within the narrowest range, which, although outnumbered, it is hoped by skill and boldness you will accomplish.
Your recommendation of the appointment of Mr. G. Thomas Getty a lieutenant in the C. S. Army will be complied with, and also the promotions of Capts. R. G. Cole and Julius A. De Lagnel. Should you feel embarrassed by the present rank of Captain G. Jackson you will please say so.
* Only one found.
+ Letter following.