out water, food, or attention. These representations have been spread among the people, and served to chill the ardor which has filled our ranks with the best men of the land. If such things have occurred, surely others than the railroad companies must share the responsibility.
Your dispatch, I perceive, is dated at Centreville, and otherwise the news has reached me that you had retired from Fairfax Court-House. The enemy may attempt to achieve something before the meeting of Congress. In this view I had contemplated an entrenched line, which would compensate for our want of numbers, and would be glad to have your conclusions upon that point.
General Magruder is anticipating an attack at Yorktown. His force is less than I could wish, but we have little to give him, and suspect that, though it may become a real attack, it is only designed to be a feint to cover the advance, either by way of the upper or lower flank of your position.
With my best wishes for your welfare, and prayers for your success, I am, as ever, your friend,
HEADQUARTERS, SEWELL MOUNTAIN,
October 20, 1861.
General JOHN B. FLOYD,
Commanding Army of Kanawha:
GENERAL: It was been reported to me to-night that General Rosecrans was sending a strong detachment across New River to intercept you. I believe he is aware of you having crossed New River, but if the report I have just stated above is correct, it differs from the report brought me last night by Lieutenant Callison, of Captain Jones' company, Wise's Legion, just from Fayette Court-House. He was aware of no considerable force of the enemy being south of the Kanawha. Predatory excursions had been made across that river. Fayette Court-House was, in the opinion of the citizens, being threatened, but he was not aware of any force being sent towards your route. I consider it, however, sufficiently important to send a special courier to put you on your guard.
I must also inform you that General Loring has received dispatches to-night from Generals Jackson and Donelson confirmatory of several previous reports indicative of attacks on both their lines, and calling earnestly for aid. I have resisted these appeals for some time, and retained General Loring's command here, in the hope of uniting in an attack with your force from the left bank of the Kanawha on General Rosecrans, who still holds his main force on the Gauley. I do not think it proper to retain General Loring any longer, as General Donelson thinks himself unable to maintain his position, and I have not heard what time you expect to make your contemplated movement down the Kanawha.
I shall therefore direct General Loring to commence his return to his line of operations to-morrow, and shall also send the Wise Legion to Meadow Bluff. This latter movement is the more necessary in consequence of the exposed condition of the Wilderness road since the withdrawal of your cavalry from that route and the advance upon it of the enemy's scouts. It would be useless for it, in my opinion, to remain longer here, as it could accomplish no good purpose, and would be liable to be cut off..