Richmond, Va., July 24, 1861.
General H. A. WISE,
Commanding, &c., Kanawha Valley, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 17th has just been received and communicated to the President.* He is much gratified at your success, and particularly at the handsome repulse given to the enemy at Scarey Creek and his subsequent ejection to the Pocotaligo. You will have learned of the disastrous retreat of General Garnett's command, and the death of that gallant officer. It is reported that General McClellan occupied Cheat Mountain Pass, on the road to Monterey, and the Middle Mountain, on the road to Huntersville. Should he reach the latter point, the road is open to him to Lewisburg, to turn upon you or to seize at Millborough the Virginia Central Railroad. An effort is making to prevent his advance, and troops are being forwarded to occupy Elk Mountain, north of Huntersville, and the Alleghany Ridge, on the routes from Huttonsville to Staunton. General W. W. Loring has been ordered to the command of the Army of the Northwest, and it is hoped he will be able to check the advance of the enemy. A concentration of all the forces in that region may be necessary for that purpose, and it becomes necessary that you should look to the security of your rear. Keep your command concentrated, and be prepared to unite with general Loring or operate as circumstances on your line of communication may distate. You have been already written on this subject by the Adjutant and Inspector General of the Army. There is no objection to your increasing the strength of the Legion, but you will perceive that at this time re-enforcements cannot be sent to you from here, from the necessity of restricting strengthening the armies of the Potomac, which have won a glorious victory in front of Manassas. It was hoped that the good citizens of Kanawha Valley would by this time have rallied under your standard and given you the force you desired. The late proclamation of the governor, authorizing the mobilization of the militia of the State, a copy of which is inclosed, will, I trust, yet give you the troops you desire. Ammunition has been sent you. More will be forwarded. Arms cannot be forwarded except under an escort of troops and on requisitions. The inventory you refer to in your letter was not inclosed. The difficulties that surround you are fully appreciated, but great reliance is placed on your wisdom, energy, and valor. At this time there are no 12-pounder howitzers for issue. If any can be procured they will be forwarded, with a supply of ammunition.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
P. S.-A field battery of three iron 6-pounders and one 12-pounder howitzer, Captain Kirby, is almost ready to be sent to you, and will be forwarded with all dispatch.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE FORCES,
Norfolk, Va., July 24, 1861.
Major General R. E. LEE, Commanding:
GENERAL: I have gone on from day to day strengthening our defenses, and more effectually guarding all the shores from an attempt of the enemy to land, and will soon be well protected, and have no objec-
*See report of action at Scarey Creek, July 17, p. 288.