War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0794 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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and have now entirely retired. I am ignorant of the recent movement. Three, or two, or one thousand men cannot be subsisted between Little Sewell and Gauley without great sacrifice. My regiments are reduced by measles 50 per cent. and the cavalry are ruined; nothing but hay, and no shoes.

With the highest respect,




August 19, 1861.

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I received last night yours of the 16th instant, in relation to the military propriety of transmitting from these headquarters, through you, orders touching your command. I have the honor to state that the military propriety of thus communicating orders affecting any part of the troops composing your Legion immediately under your command has never been questioned by me. I was informed that you had issued a general order to the officers of your command not to communicate information of any kind directly to me, but first through you only. This will necessarily result in requiring your officers to disobey the orders of your superior, should an occasion arise which in my opinion rendered it necessary for me to give an order directly or to demand a report to be made directly to me by any officer of your Legion. If such an order has been issued, you must see the necessity of its being immediately countermanded. Should troops be detached from your command, I am the judge of the propriety whether my orders should be transmitted through you or directly to the officer in command.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

BIG SEWELL, VIRGINIA, August 19, 1861.

Brigadier General JOHN B. FLOYD, Commanding, & c.:

SIR: I have received your note of this day, in reply to mine of the 16th instant, and regret that it disclosed some difference of understanding between us as to the relations of our respective commands, and some misapplication, I apprehend, of the military propriety even about which we agree. To make my views clear I will call to your mind the different forces which constituted my command when yours became united to it, and when, as senior in commission, you became superior. My command consisted, first, of my Legion; secondly, of the State volunteer force; and, thirdly, of the militia, under General Beckley, assigned by orders of the President and General Lee. The whole of that force is, and ever has been since assigned to me, "immediately under my command." I am informed of no order, from any authority whatever, detaching any of these forces from my immediate or other command. But without detaching Colonel Richardson from my command, and while I was marching to join you, you directed an order to him, purporting to revoke a general order of mine, of which you were incorrectly informed, and while I was present, leading him, in obedience to your orders, and was at the head of my column at the time..