HEADQUARTERS NORTHWESTERN VIRGINIA,
Laurel Hill, Va., June 20, 1861.
Brigadier General S. COOPER,
Adjt. and Insp. General C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: I wrote to you yesterday from Beverly in relation to two additional companies of cavalry, but I am constrained to recur to the subject again to-day, to urge upon you the necessity of great dispatch in forwarding them to me. During the last two days the enemy have evinced great activity and boldness in pushing their scouts to within two or three miles of my position, on the approaches to it, and it has quite worn down my small cavalry force (two companies at this point) in watching and checking their movements. The force is too small to enable me to push heavy scouts as far to the front as I desire. My scouts have had one or two partial rencounters with those of the enemy, in which have captured one of their men and two horses, and have killed one man and wounded others; but the service is too hard on the men and horses. The enemy are reported to be six thousand strong in Philippi, and about four thousand strong in Grafton, with six pieces of artillery (two rifled) at the former place; but these numbers vary very much. I do not think that they have more than seven thousand at Grafton and Philippi together. As I must keep one or two pieces of artillery in each of the passes now held by me, I hope it may not be deemed unreasonable if I ask two additional pieces. Could I get rifled pieces? Lieutenant-Colonel Pegram's regiment will reach me to-morrow. Colonel Ramsey's regiment of Georgia volunteers is two days behind Colonel Pegram.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. GARNETT,
Yorktown, Va., June 20, 1861.
Colonel GEORGE DEAS, Adjutant-General Virginia Forces:
SIR: Having learned from the vedettes stationed on the Wawrick road yesterday morning at 7 o'clock that a large body of the enemy was seen by himself and others on that road as high up as Lee's store, nearly equidistant with our troops, after deducting the distance from that place to our position, and learning from Captain Levy, Louisiana volunteers, whom I had sent in the night before with a flag to General Butler, that there was every indication of an expedition of some magnitude being on foot, I determined to march without delay to this post, and, if the enemy had preceded me, to attack him in his rear. With this view, I sent a dispatch, by night express, to Colonel Hill, commanding at Yorktown, directing him to place one of his regiments about two miles in front of his works, and the junction of the York and Wawrick roads, by which the enemy, if he arrived before Yorktown before we did, would be obliged to pass. I intended to attack him there, but, having sent fresh vedettes to Wawrick Court-House and Lee's store, I found that a strong party of the enemy had marched out early in the morning to procure horses, mules, &c. The embarrassment of operating on the Peninsula, with a weak force before a strong one is that, if you want to verify a report of a vedette, your force is cut, off, and the important point to be defended at all hazards is in danger. This marching