it takes time to move a heavy force." This looks like a combined move and correspondence with some other column.
I have a rumor that Theophilus T. Garrard, with a heavy force, is moving up the Poor Fork of Cumberland River. This may be the movement with which Colonel Garfield expects to combine his advance, and it portends a heavy and immediate assault upon Pound Gap, for it is but 37 miles from Piketon to Pound Gap, and the road from the Stone Gap, over which one travels to the Pound gap, and the orad from the stone Gap, over which one travels to the Poor Fork of Cumberland debouches into the road from Pound Gap to Gladesville directly at the Pound, 4 miles on this side of the Gap. Thus a move from Piketon on one side of the range and from Stone Gap on the other side of the range assails Pound Gap in front and rear. This can only be prevented by holding Stone Gap, and preventing a force from that direction from coming out of the valley of the Cumberland. It may be that Garrard is at Cumberland Ford only to press on Cumberland Gap. That is beyond the jurisdiction of my command, and I offer no suggestions about its defense, but I mention only that I hear that forces are playing in front of it. They become of interest to me because a lateral movement will precipitate them upon me. It is about 75 miles from the Pound to Cumberland Ford, and I hear of Olinger's Gap and Crank's Gap, between Stone Gap and Cumberland Gap, through either of which cavalry and infantry can pass. Mule trains will enable a force to move rapidly and to pass any of these gaps. So there are several passes between Pound Gap and Piketon.
You informed me that the Department could not re-enforce me at present. You are advised by me that Colonel Trigg and Colonel Moore have fallen back to Clinch River for supplies. You are advised that my battalion of mounted men has fallen off 55 miles from Pound Gap to obtain food and forage. I have now at Pound Gap Major Thompson, with 350 "special-service" men, and at the Pound Colonel Williams, with about 500 men fit for duty, and the enemy has from 5,000 to 6,000 within 37 miles of me, and he gives out that he means to take Pound Gap and then afterwards to come into Virginia.
You are now advised that there is not a soldier between Pound Gap and the Louisa Fork, or even to the mouth of the Gauley, and that large public interests which exists between those points is to-day solely relying for defense upon such of its inhabitants as reaming at their own homes.
I have no remarks to offer upon this condition of affairs, but I must observe that i have no force which can successfully resist or repel the masses which propose to concentrate, and how speedily I cannot tell, upon this frontier. I have no quartermaster to this brigade; I never have had one. My commissary of brigade is an old man sixty-four years of age, now six in bed, and has resigned at that, and I am in a country where there is nothing to eat, and where one cannot supply a force without the greatest energy and at the largest expense. In these circumstances what is to be done?
My advice is to send here at least 10,000 men, and to move instantly so as to destroy the force at Piketon, break up that column, and drive it into the Ohio River, so as to free your frontier and cripple the enemy before he cripples you. My advice is to do this swiftly, and you can then restore the regiments to their places at other points. My advice is, if nothing else can be done, that this force shall destroy everything within 20 miles of the Sand River and drive off all the people who are not our friends; that the sequestration law shall be put into active force against our enemies, and that our friends may be compelled to