War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0866 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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reported loss in the battle with Floyd be correct. This force would be too strong for our generals, even if they acted in harmony and concert, which I am very sorry to say I fear they do not from the reports current in the country. Indeed, I have been requested by a gentleman of high standing to write to you upon this subject; but as I know personally nothing of the facts,a nd am so loath to conclude that two gentlemen so distinguished could permit private feelings of any character to interfere with the discharge of duties so vitally important as those now devolving upon them, I even allude to the matter with extreme reluctance. Inasmuch, however, as the matter is one commonly talked of here, I have concluded to refer to it, confident that a gentleman of your administrative talent and general acquaintance with mankind will know best what weight to attach to it, and whether or not it calls for action on your part. A report has just reached me (3 p. m.) that General is now at Frazier's, 26 miles west of this, and that he has sent for all to join him who can, as he expects an attack from the enemy. Since beginning my letter I learn that General Floyd is to-day at Meadow Bluff. I also learn that a dispatch has been forwarded to Richmond.

I have thus, my dear sir, given you briefly the circumstances which cause us much solicitude. I really fear that our county and town are in great danger of falling into the hands of the enemy, and such and event would indeed be deplorable, not only to our loyal citizens, but to our cause. I hope you will do something for us, and that speedily.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. H. SYME.

P. S.-Messrs. Price and Mathews some months since, at my instance, addressed you, inclosing a note in pencil from myself. I refer to this fact that you may form some idea of myself, &c.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

ADJT. AND INSP. General 'S OFFICE,

Numbers 157.

Richmond, Va., September 19, 1861.

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6. Major General Gustavus W. Smith, Provisional Army, will proceed to manassas, Va., and report for duty to General J. E. Johnston, commanding the Army of the Potomac.

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By command of the Secretary of War:

JNO. WITHERS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

RICHMOND, September 20, 1861.

General T. H. HOLMES, Aquia Creek:

GENERAL: In the present condition of Maryland the Government feels a deep solicitude in behalf on the unfortunate citizens who are cut off from all hope of escaping from the tyranny exercised over them. I do not desire to make any special order in relation to the mode of securing you against the abuse of such facilities as can be afforded for crossing the Potomac, but it is necessary that some means of passage for our friends be keep open if at all possible. It occurs to me that you might place some one or more confidential officers in command of the.