War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0918 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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tered the country below our two camps with that view, and I find it easy to do so with proper force. I have only to seize the river and roads between them and the Ohio, and the base of their operations is at once destroyed. They would be forced to come and fight me in the positions which I would choose, or retreat by their roads to clarksburg and the northwest, and abandon the whole of the Kanawha to the Confederates. This is the action which I propose to the War Department and to myself. Had I now in camp the whole force that has been allotted to me and Wise's Legion I would execute my idea without a day's delay, but with the troops already here I cannot think that it would be a prudent course in the face of an enemy so powerful. I hope that the War Department will give the necessary orders for the speedy arrival of re-enforcements. If I can assemble 10,000 men here I shall dislodge the enemy and win the whole Kanawha before the campaign is concluded.

Appended your excellency will please find a dispatch from General Lee, from which is will be seen that the road to Lewisburg will soon be left under the sole protection of Wise's Legion.* This is an addition reason for the immediate re-enforcements of my command at this point, for should the enemy attempt the advance on Lewisburg, while I have a sufficient army to cross the river I can always stop him un full career by cutting his communication and supplies.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,.


Commanding Army of the Kanawha.

RICHMOND, VA., October 24, 1861.

General G. W. SMITH:

MY DEAR GENERAL: I did not forget your request in relation to Lieutenant Randal. His case has been examined, and it appears that one case, of which he and many other might justly complain, does exist. It was an error, but how can it be remedied? More officers who ranked Lieutenant randal by former commission are in our service then could be appointed to the grade of captain, so that it is impossible to give him that grade and thus restore his relative position to Childs. The other cases are those of engineers, a corps not having lieutenants, and the members of which were selected for their special qualifications. Before the case was referred back to me he had concluded it by agreement with the Secretary of War, and I hope satisfactorily to him. You ask for his appointment as inspector-general. By reference to the law of organization you will see that no such office is provided for.

My meaning in relation to the revival of your ideas of the value of rank was that you should regard field officers' posts belonging to age or extraordinary merit, and that a soldier, instead of scouting the grape of brigadier-general, might consider it high enough to repay the labor of a life. Your recommendations indicated a disregard of the propriety of passing through the various steps, as they contemplated the long leaps known rather to militia then regular troops.

I will not argue further the question of the number of generals required for an army as small as yours was stated to be, and see no relation to the matter in the following sentence used by you: "Now, because our rank and file have been so much weakened by disease, it is not to be supposed that the reduced force can be more easily made to beat the enemy than when it was as its full, efficient strength." The whole force


*See Lee to Floyd, October 20, p. 908.