War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0804 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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measles. I sent Captain Corns' cavalry yesterday and Captain Beckett's to-day and left three pieces of artillery for you, thinking Colonel Tompkins would bring you two pieces besides. The loss of your ferry-boat and 4 men was dispatched to me last night by Quartermaster Dunn, very properly, to obtain nails and plank to construct a new and better boat. This was promptly attended to, and the apprehension it caused was doubtless the foundation of the report you name. I do not think these reports will damage your command (if the enemy do not), but I will endeavor to guard you, sir, from both to the utmost of my power. I respectfully submit that an attack from Cotton Hill would have a strong effect upon the enemy. If you will order it, sir, I will try to make it effectual, if artillery can be taken over New River and up its cliffs.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,




August 24, 1961. (Received August 25-2.30 a. m.)

General HENRY A. WISE:

SIR: I have this evening received information that 500 of the enemy are encamped within 5 miles of this place. This is probably the advance guard of their entire force, who may make an attack upon me to-morrow. To meet this contingency you will send down to the river at once, upon receiving this, one of your regiments-the strongest. The boat will be ready for their conveyance across the river by daylight to-morrow morning. Should subsequent developments prove that no attack upon me is intended, your regiment will be sent back to you. You will also please send me your iron howitzer.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.

P. S.-You will please issue forty rounds of cartridges to the men and one hundred for the howitzer.

DOGWOOD GAP CAMP, August 24, 1861.

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

SIR: I received your last dispatch this morning, and I confess with a heavy heart. The general instruction is that my command is independent in its organization, and cannot be detached, yet General Floyd may divide and detail it in part, subject to his direct order, in any proportion of force, so as to deprive me of all opportunity to organize and protect it, and to command the respect from it which I must have, in order to make it efficient or to be myself of any use in the service. To be plain, sir, I am compelled to inform you expressly that every order I have received from General Floyd indicates a purpose to merge my command in his own and to destroy the distinct organization of my Legion. We are now brought into a critical position by the vacillation of orders and confusion of command.

Two days ago I was ordered to proceed down this turnpike to meet the enemy. Everything was put in motion, and the commands were united at the foot of Gauley Mountain, where the foe was found in force. We arrived on the evening of the 21st. That night General