War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0792 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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Camp on the Sewell, Virginia, August 18, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I learn that your Third Regiment is some distance, probably 12 or 15 miles, in your rear. If this be so, you will please hurry them, as we shall in all probability have need of them to-morrow. I have fallen back to this point from Tyree's on account of the advantage of position which it offers for making a stand. I hope to have to-day minute and accurate information of the movements and numbers of the enemy. For this purpose I have sent out large scouting parties.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Forces in Kanawha Valley.


August 18, 1861.

General R. E. LEE, Commanding, & c.:

SIR: In yours of the 14th instant you say to me:

As regards the command of your brigade, the military propriety of communicating through you all orders for its movements is so apparent that I think no orders on the subject necessary.

I regret to say that orders on the subject have become necessary by the action of General Floyd, which my letter to you anticipated. You will please understand, sir, that when I marched to the White Sulphur I left my whole cavalry force, some 450, in the rear of Meadow Bluff, to guard and scout against the enemy, checking their advance. General Floyd, with about 1,200 men, passed on to Meadow Bluff, and became interposed between my post at the White Sulphur and my cavalry advanced on this road. Passing Meadow Bluff, he addressed the following very proper note of command to Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan, of my Legion:


Camp six miles west of Meadow Bluff, Virginia, August 15, 1861.

ST. GEORGE CROGHAN, Lieutenant-Colonel, First Cavalry:

DEAR SIR: Your note of this evening, by messenger from Meadow Bluff, has just been handed me. In reply I send your orders for the movement of your own troops and all others belonging to the Wise Legion that may be at and in the vicinity of Meadow Bluff. These orders will be conveyed to you after this through General Wise. At present the position of the enemy will not justify the los of an hour in the movement of troops at the Bluff. I have reliable information that the enemy are rapidly advancing and are very near here. You will therefore see the urgent necessity for an early movement of the troops at and near Meadow Bluff in the morning. I shall move from this point to-morrow morning at 5 o'clock. I shall send the companies of infantry to-night to the relief of Colonel Davis.

Very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Previous to this I had issued an order to my command that all orders to them from General Floyd and all reports to them form him must pass through me. Yet no objection could reasonably be made under the supposed, but usual, necessity of the case and the position of commands to the above to Lieutenant-Colonel Croghan.

Again ont he 16th I was on my march with my First and Second.