soldiers out of about six hundred and fifty militia. There are not men sufficient left to raise our troops or save our harvests. We have urged our governor time after time, again to grant us arms, ammunition, and men. Our wants are this hour still further than ever from being supplied. Last night at 11 o'clock we started a special messenger to the governor or yourself, which is the fourth time we have done so. The enemy still advancing, our danger increasing, our arms and men nearly all gone from the county, no ammunition nor hopes of getting any in time, to stay the enemy, we have done all that we can do up to this hour. Will you help us? Can you help us in time? One short weeks, and I fear it will be too late. Many of our best families have their carriages in readiness to move; many more are having their wagons prepared. All that I fear will soon on the move. Then woe to those who are left. Nothing but destruction awaits our houses and barns. Our waving fields of grain and grass, our thousands of cattle, they will soon possess. On my own grass I have from one hundred and fifty to two hundred head of good beef cattle. I have no hope of anything being saved unless you can send on a large force at once.
It seems there has been no one capable of managing the business out northwest. They have suffered themselves to be routed and robbed of everything, or nearly so, and stripped of ammunition and clothes. Provisions still be had in the Randolph Valley if the enemy were removed. One of our officers told me on yesterday that there was no question but an army of twenty-five thousand men could provisioned for a considerable length of time our there. Many large farmers would willingly give all they have. The coming harvest is promising, and will soon be ripe.
Our enemies declare they are determined to take Pocahontas and Greenbrier. This our officers told me this morning, and this will take them to the top of the Allenghany Mountains.
I have now, Mr. President, in a homely manner, tried to tell you a few stubborn facts, and it does seem to me that our case is a hard one. I have three sons in the Army. Two of them came home from the West for this purpose. I have spent all my time for more than a month past trying to aid, and took one strip to Richmond, and now I am done writing. I will take my rifle, shot-gun, pistol, and cutlass, relying upon the God of battles, and go to meet the enemy.
Ask Colonel Paul McNeil, in Convention, if you doubt one assertion.
JOHN H. RUCKMAN.
HEADQUARTERS VIRGINIA FORCES,
Richmond, Va., June 11, 1861.
General B. HUGER, Commanding, &c., Norfolk, Va.:
GENERAL: The preparations which are understood to be making at Old Point Comfort indicate an early movement of the U. S. troops. While so many points are threatened, it is difficult to say which may be attacked. Great vigilance and alacrity will, therefore, be required at every point, to prevent surprise. The first of the water defenses that will be reached in approaching Norfolk will be those at Sewell's Point and Craney Island. During my visit at Norfolk these points were in a weak condition and feebly garrisoned. I hope the defenses have