Harman, quartermaster at Staunton, that within the five days five thousand troops, whom I suppose to be the militia of the adjoining county, will be upon the march to join me here. It is questionable whether so large a body of wholly undiscipline men, however zealous and patriotic they may be, will be able to compensate, by service in the field, for the disorganization they must occasion in the camp, and for the labor of arming, transporting, and supplying them. Supposing that the death of General Garnett, and the relief of his command from immediate danger in removing the necessity for their services, may prevent their assemblage and forward movement, and exceedingly loth to interference with any direction from the State authorities, I shall leave all communication with Major Harman upon this subject to the Commander-in-Chief.
Permit me again to reiterate that what we need upon this line is good engineers, artillery of a heavier caliber than we now have to meet such moving with the enemy, and mountain howitzers, which the character of this country would render eminently effective.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY R. JACKSON,
Colonel GEORGE DEAS, Assistant Adjutant-General.
P. S.- Since writing the above I have received a note from Colonel Ramsey, a copy of which, together with a copy of my response thereto, I have deemed it proper to inclose to you. You will perceive that he contemplated moving his command in the direction of Staunton. While I had previously dispatched a courier with such instructions as would prevent such a result, and who had not reached Colonel Ramsey at the date of his note, and while I have no doubt that his column will now be moved to this point, nevertheless I have not left authorized to withhold this information from the commanding general.
[Inclosure Numbers 1.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Camp near Huttonsville, Va., July 15, 1861.
To the Commanding OFFICER of Forces near Staunton, Va.:
SIR: I have to-day received orders from the Commander-in-Chief of the U. S. Army respecting the disposition to be made of the prisoners of war now in my hands. These orders are substantially that the non-commissioned officers and privates shall be permitted to return to their homes, provided they willingly subscribe an oath or affirmation bringing them not to bear arms or serve in any military capacity against the United States until released from this obligation according to the ordinary usages of war; the officers to be permitted to return to their homes upon giving a similar parole of honor. From this privilege are expected, however, such officers as may have recently left the United States service with the intention of taking arms against the United Sates. Such officers will for the present be sent to Fort McHenry, where they will, without doubt, be kindly treated.
There are at Beverly some thirty-three officers, five surgeons, and about six hundred non-commissioned officers and privates. There are others at Laurel Hill, &c., the numbers of whom I do not yet accurately know. With the wounded the number will probably amount to at least eight hundred men, besides officers.
It is my desire to arrange you for the return to their homes of