Rightor's) the post of honor, in order that they may have every opportunity to avenge the death of their late gallant commander.
Inform me constantly of your proceedings, and should you desire re-enforcements, General Hill has orders to send them. Should you find yourself at any time at Bethel, strengthen the fortifications by a free use of the spade and ax, clearing out the woods to the left and rear of that position, and particularly strengthening the work to the extreme right and point of the ravine, making traverses also near and parallel to the intrenched lines, to prevent the men from being taken in reverse. Also strengthen the works at Young's and Harrod's Mills, and at Young's farm, if you have leisure. At Young's Mills be careful of the road leading down to the ravine, nearly opposite the saw-mill, and station a gun on our side to command it. Before every fight, if you have time, pack your wagons and get them out of the way of the infantry and artillery.
I have heard that the enemy is in force in the woods and ravine just above Captain Smith's house, on the James River. I heard since that it was not so. Direct the commanding officer who may have charge of the column on the Warwick road to examine it well before approaching it, and have every piece of woods carefully examined before passing over the roads leading through it.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER,
HEADQUARTERS SIXTH [N. C.] REGIMENT,
At Huntersville, Va., July 22, 1861-1 p. m.
General JACKSON, Commanding at Monterey, Va.:
DEAR GENERAL: We have reached this place, but can make no celation to proceed farther to-day, as the rain has been incessant from the time we struck our tents this morning. Our horse failed so much that it may be night before all our wagons arrive. In the mean time such companies as have not their wagons up take shelter in the public houses of the town. Our forward movement must depend in a great measure on the ability of our horses to transport baggage. The men, too, suffer greatly from coughs and colds. Our sick embarrass us much, in the absence of ambulances, that might have been used for their help, until applied to their legitimate use.
Mr. Skeen, the intelligent and patriotic citizen to whom you referred me, has aided me very much; and, moreover, has promised to make me a correct map of our route and the adjoining country. He, with others, urge the policy of occupying what is called Middle Mountain, fifteen miles in advance of Elk Mountain. Without doing this, a large number of men, loyal to our cause, as well as much property, will be at the mercy of the enemy. Middle Mountain is a branch of the Cheat, and, as far as my information extends, is to be approached by only one road, the one that we may defend. The Bath Cavalry will scout, before to-morrow, as far as the farther base of Elk Mountain.
We shall probably soon feel the want of artillery, and respectfully urge you to send it on as soon as practicable; also an engineer, as you proposed. Our depot is not yet determined on; as soon as it is, I shall have the honor of again communicating with you.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
P. S.-I had written the above before the arrival of Major Byrd, who handed me your letter. Mr. Skeen expressed decidedly the opinion