War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0869 Chapter XIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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12 miles from General Floyd's, and we can reciprocally support each other against a divided enemy better than we, combined, can defend against him, combined, at Meadow Bluff. With General Floyd's co-operation here the enemy, combined, cannot turn our flanks. He can easily turn either flank at Meadow Bluff. But this is speculation. I know the country well and have scouted the enemy close. He is not yet combined on this turnpike between me and Gauley,a nd he is not on the Wilderness rod at all. he began to advance upon that road and retreated; and if he is to combine on either road, it will be on this turnpike, between me and Gauley. If that be the fact, it will be letter to meet him combined on our own part here. It is immeasurably a stronger position than that of Meadow Bluff. But this even aside, I tell you that he is not going to advance on lewisburg at all by either road against either position. His main object now is to preserve his bas line from Gauley to Huttonsville. He dreads you too much, sir, to advance on Lewisburg at all by either road against either position. His main object now is to preserve his bas line from Gauley ot Huttonsville. He dreads you too much, sir, to advance on Lewisburg, while your force is in position to advance on Summersville or to strike his rear from Huntersville. I concur in the imprudence of dividing out forces, but submit, most respectfully, that this is the far stronger position in which to combine, notwithstanding Meadow Bluff is said to command the Wilderness road. That position, I hold, commands nothing, by General Floyd's forces and mine, combined, against 7,000 of the enemy well commanded; and this commands all that can be commanded by our joint forces in the defense of Lewisburg. The two roads and the two positions had perhaps better be examined, I respectfully submit, before my judgment is condemned. But, sir, I am ready to join General Floyd wherever you command, and you do not say where. I will join him here or at Meadow Bluff. The enemy, while I am writing, has been firing on my pickets, as just reported, from the other side of Big Sewell. I chased him to-day a half mile beyond Keeny's, his reported position day before yesterday,a nd he is now feigning to advance as I retire to camp. I laugh him to scorn, and do not stop writing, as I know he wishes to retire more now hand I do. Just say, then, where we are to unite and "conquer or die together" against an enemy who dares not to advance upon the rear guard of a retreat, which has sullenly stopped, turned front, and defied all odds of attack. I have been consulted but twice, and then each time all concert was thwarted by every step of action taken in contradiction to my understanding of joint council. I have let that pass. I was obliged to, for want of relief, and turned all my wrath away form my superior upon the common enemy, whom I am now trying successfully to check, if not to drive back. I stop his artillery,and Meadow Bluff cannot stand it. I ask no consideration, no promises of any sort, to do my duty. I will delight to obey you, sir, even when rebuked. Where common justice has been done me, I trust I have never failed, and never will, to be generous, and I challenge contradiction of the honest, earnest claim for myself, that no man consults more the interest of the cause, according to his best ability an means, than I do. I am ready to do, suffer, and die for it, and I trust, sir, that I may cite you triumphantly as a chief witness of the trough and justice of that claim whenever and by whomsoever it may be assailed. Any imputation upon my motives or intentions in that respect by my superior would make me, perhaps, no longer a military subordinate of any man who breathes. I am sure you mean to cast no such imputation, whoever else may dare. I trust all will go well, most confidently, in your hands.

I am, with the highest respect and esteem, your obedient servant,