by telegraph how many you can arm, and I will send them at once. News from Europe to-day assures us of a very early recognition of our independence and of the breaking of the blockade.
Your obedient servant,
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War.
HEADQUARTERS VIRGINIA MILITIA,
Winchester, October 27, 1861.
General S. COOPER, Adjutant-General:
The enemy has driven Colonel McDonald's forces from their positions near New Creek and Romney. Many of them are on their retreat to Winchester. Major Funsten is at Blue's Hotel, hurt by a fall. He writes that it may be a general advance on Winchester.
J. H. CARSON,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA,
Camp Dickerson, October 27, 1861.
His Excellency the SECRETARY OF WAR:
SIR: The re-enforcements which have been, as I am officially informed, ordered to this command, have not, with the exception of Waddill's battalion of 300, made their appearance or been heard of; and owing to the inevitable hardship and exposures of active operations so late in the season, my force is daily diminished. I have not, it is almost unnecessary to say, attempted on an addition to my strength, which I now begin to despair of receiving. I am at present busy in harassing and annoying the enemy in front of Cotton Hill, with the hope that he may be provoked to come and fight me in my position. Should he do so, I have no doubt of the result.
On the 24th of the mouth, after reconnoitering in person the river to Loop Creek, one of its tributaries, I dispatched Colonel Clarkson, with 160 cavalry, farther down, into the counties of Putnam and Fayette, to neighborhoods known to be strongly disaffected, and in which polls had been opened for the first election of the counterfeit State of Kanawha. The expedition was highly successful; the election was broken up; the Unionists fired on the some of them killed, and 40 prisoners, notorious for their hatred of the Confederacy and their robberies and cruelties to their secessionist neighbors, brought prisoners to my camp. Colonel Clarkson reconnoitered the Kanawha River for many miles, discovering several posts of the enemy, and firing into a steamboat laden with supplies on its way up to their camp. The pilot and other persons on it were killed or wounded and the boat visibly damaged, but for want of means to board we were unable to capture it.
I am now preparing batteries on the mountain side which will command the road along the river to the enemy's camp, by which they receive their supplies after they leave the steamboat. I hope to open fire to-morrow morning, and think that they will cause such serious incon-.