War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0902 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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in the field of operations next spring, when we may be in condition to contest the possession of Northwestern Virginia with the enemy.

These and other reasons satisfy me that it would be desirable for myself and troops to winter in the Kanawha Valley, if it is possible to subsist them there in a perfectly safe place. Such a position, I think, is to be found near Logan Court-House, at the first fork of the turnpike road. Those who know the topography of the country from the map alone cannot perceive without explanation it complete security. If the enemy have 15,000 troops so near to that place as Charleston, what, they will ask, is to prevent them from marching over there after communications have been cut off with Eastern Virginia by the weather, breaking up my winter quarters, and perhaps capturing my whole command. I answer, the maps do not show that between Charlestown and Logan Court-House there are tow immense chains of mountains, and that the passes through those mountains are among the most easily-defended localities on the continent. It is ground with which I am perfectly familiar, and with the troops now under me I can safely guarantee my defense against twice the force which the enemy can be any contrivance bring against me.

The question of security may be laid aside. It remains to consider the more difficult matte of supplies at a point so remote from the center of the State. Ammunition and the small commissary stores, such as candles, sugar, coffee, and clothing, would be brought by the Virginia and Tennessee road to a station within 130 miles of my camp. The roads from that point to Logan are of course bad, but I can have them soon put in sufficient repair for my purposes. Forage in sufficient quantities for all my cattle I do not hope to obtain around my proposed camp, and therefore, after establishing myself, I should send away all the horses and mules that I do not absolutely need to Tazewell, where their wants can be fully met. It rests to ascertain whether I can get enough meat and meal in the country for my men. I think I can, but I cannot say so with perfect assurance till I have myself examined the present resources of those counties; but the advantages to be gained by establishing my quarters in that region are so great, that I am determined, unless prevented by your orders, to make the experiment. My plan at present is to try for some weeks what I can do against the enemy's army. Then I will go to Logan, hut my troops, stockade my camp, fortify the approaches, repair the roads, and ascertain the capability of the country to support my army. If it is sufficient to carry us through the winter without suffering at all, I shall remain till the springs, unless I should see a good chance for a blow during the winter; but if the country has been too much exhausted by the war and the enemy, I will at least stay there till the end of November, up to which time there can be no difficulty, and then march my men up to the Lynchburg and Tennessee road.

These are my own plans. I wait with anxiety the answer of the Department confirming or altering my views, and will obey with alacrity any instructions it may send; but if the Department would double my force here I can assure them that it is possible to effect great result in this region. If my Government would raise my command without delay to 10,000 men, which it might do in ten days if immediate orders were given, I would seize a point on the Ohio and hold it through the winter in spite of every effort to dislodge me.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,.


Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of Kanawha. .