It is, I presume, impossible that either army can winter on the top or at the foot of Cheat Mountain. Jackson's force added to mine could hold the ride valleys of the South Branch and Patterson's Creek, and draw from them abundant supplies during the winter always have the power to prevent the use-safe use at least-by the enemy of their the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad or Chesapeake and Ohio Canal..
If my command is to winter here, it is time to provide quarters for them. In less than fifteen days inclement weather will compel us to strike out tents, if the cowardice of the enemy, now outnumbering us five times, will permit us so long to hold this post. Two-fifths of my regiment are now, by the requirements of the Department, in Berkeley and Jefferson. If I had a regiment of volunteers and three additional pieces of artillery my capt would be defended by them, whilst my mounted men could at any time strike some point on the railroad or canal, and prevent their available by the enemy.
I beg to be informed if I must prepare winter quarters at Romney.
I have the honor to be, respectfully, yours to command,
ANGUS W. McDONALD,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade, &c.
General S. COOPER.
Romney, Va., October 8, 1861.
GENERAL: On the night of the 23rd September last, about 11.30 o'clock, the intelligence was received by me that our picket, stationed 2 miles beyond the Mechanicsburg Pass, on the old road leading to Paddytown (now New Creek Station), had been fired upon and driven in by the advance guard of a large force of the enemy moving upon Romney. I at once sent an order to major Funsten, commanding that portion of the cavalry regiment under my command at this place, to detach the companies of Captains Sheetz, Bowen, Miller, and Harper to the Mechanicsburg Pass, with orders to occupy it and hole it against the approach of the enemy, and to order Captain Myers' company to the Hanging Rock Pass, to co-operate with Colonel E. H. McDonald, command ding the Seventy-seventh Regiment of Virginia Militia, in charge of this pass, in holding it against the enemy. At the same time Lieutenant Liongerger was directed to proceed to the Mechanicsburg Pass with the howitzer, under command of Major Funsten.
I learned upon return of my aide, Lieutenant Mcdonald, that my orders had been anticipated so far as the sending of Captain Myers with his company to the Hanging Rock Pass and Captain Sheetz to the Mechanicsburg Pass. Colonel Monroe, commanding the One hundred and fourteenth Regiment Virginia Militia, was ordered to march his regiment (then reported to be 140 to 150 strong, and encamped at Church Hill, 3 miles east of Romney, on the Northwestern turnpike road) to a point just east of Romney, and as a reserve, there to await further orders. Captain Jordan was ordered to deploy his company along the eastern base of the mountain in which are the above-named passed, so an to give timely should the enemy attempt the passage of the mountain between them. The rifled 6-pounder and the-pounder were not removed from camp, retaining them until subsequent events should demonstrate what position for them would be most advantageous. Captain Winfield and Shands' companies of cavalry were also