for duty was a little larger than when the enemy was beaten, the number of generals had been more than proportionately increased, and the only supposition presented was than a further and great augmentation of generals was necessary. To assume that eight regiments are enough for a major-general's command, without regard being had to the number of men in a regiment, you must have resorted to some other reason than strongest urged in our conversation. The ready of recruiting the ranks which you propose when regiments are reduced is more easily proposed than applied to the twelve-months' volunteers who compose the greater portion of your army.
The recent victory at Leesburg must have a powerful effect, but can hardly change the enemy's plan, though it may postpone its execution. We have reports of the embarkation of a large force at Fortress Monroe.
General Magruder expects an immediate attack a Yourktown. There is reason to believe a descent will be made on the coast of North Carolina, and I am looking all round to see where the 3,000 troops we have here shall be first and most needed. On, that we had plenty of arms and a short time to raise the men to use them!
Very truly, your friend,
CHARLESTOWN, JEFFERSON COUNTY, VIRGINIA,
October 24, 1861.
Honorable R. M. T. HUNTER, Secretary of State:
DEAR SIR: In consequence of my absence from home it was only last night that I had the honor to receive your letter, and I exceedingly regret that there is a misconception of our wishes at the War Department in reference to Lieutenant-colonel Ashby's promotion. Our main object in asking that he be advanced to full colonelcy is that we may thereby be enabled to organize under him an additional force of several hundred young men who are anxious to be attached to his command, but will not volunteer under another colonel. If they organize under Lieutenant-Colonel Ashby now they will constitute a portion of Colonel McDonald's command, and although Lieutenant-Colonel Ashby is at present detached from McDonald's regiment he is under his orders, and the young men I speak of wish to be assured that Ashby alone shall command their regiment.
The condition of our border is becoming more alarming every day. No night passes without some infamous outrage upon our loyal citizens. Ashby's force is too small to prevent these things, but if the be made a colonel, and those he has with him now be re-enforced by the volunteers ready to rally to his regiment, I promise you that a better state of things will exist up here. I am reluctant to make suggestions to those who are so much better quantified to conduct affairs, but I trust it will not be deed presumptuous in me to say that it would also be well to make Ashby provost-marshal for the river counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan. These counties are infested with traitors. They cannot be controlled or guarded against unless some one be invested with authority now, and are in daily communication with the enemy, as we have reason to believe. The enemy along the canal has been re-enforced, and yesterday I noticed them busy building a raft or boat at Dam Numbers 4, and also that coal continues to be sent down the canal.
I have just written a letter to the Secretary of War, and hope that.