WINCHESTER, October 31, 1861.
Referring to my letter of the 28th instant you will perceive that personal considerations should restrain me from undertaking to give you a detailed account of the affair at Romney on the 26th instant. Duty, however, compels me to report the present condition of my command. the companies of Captains Jordan, Myers, and Harper have been ordered to post themselves at Cacapon Bridge, 23 miles east of Romney. The companies of Captains Bowen, Sheetz, and Shands have been ordered to post themselves at the Hanging Rock Pass, 16 miles east of Romney, on the Northwestern turnpike. This division of the mounted force of my command has been made owing to the impossibility of obtaining quarters for all of them at any one point.
The artillery sent me has been received, but neither ammunition nor harness accompanied it.
I have delayed in Winchester thus long in order that I might have the better opportunity of again supplying my command with the equipments, arms, ammunition, baggage, &c., now so much needed by them. I shall leave to-morrow for the Hanging Rock Pass above mentioned.
I herewith inclose you a copy of a letter receive by me from a reliable source, together with the indorsement upon it.*
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ANGUS W. McDONALD,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade, C. S. Army.
RICHMOND, October 31, 1861.
His Excellency the PRESIDENT OF THE CONFEDERATE STATES:
SIR: I take the liberty of calling your attention to the exposed condition of Hampshire, Hardy, and the neighboring counties of this State, and to submit in the concisest terms some suggestions relative to the subject. I beg to premise by reminding you that the counties referred to more or less subjected to the ravages of the enemy, are stocked with every variety of farming product, liable to be destroyed or taken at any moment, which promptness on our part may rescue and secure, and render available for our own purposes. We have, as you are aware, recent accounts, which lead to the apprehension that Romney is now occupied by the enemy in force, about 2,000 strong. If energetic steps are taken before they have time to intrench themselves, they can be easily dislodged and driven beyond the limits of the State. The force already organized under Colonel McDonald and the militia of Hampshire and Hardy, if at once concentrated and led by an active and resolute man, would be fully competent to effect this. Of the large number who have flocked to our standard from Maryland, said to reach from 8,000 to 10,000 men, if but 2,000 could be employed for the purpose they could unquestionable the Cumberland. Holding this point, and co-operating with the forces in the counties spoken of, they could meet the enemy at every point, and effectually protect that portion of Virginia.
The advantages of holding Cumberland, I would respectfully submit would be very important to the Southern cause. I beg very briefly to refer to some of them. Cumberland is now the eastern terminus of the
*Not found. .