efficient corps-all Virginians. I hope to obtain a second battalion of mounted rifles; but that is not done yet. If the battalion at Pound Gap could be furnished with horses I make little doubt they will raise now to the Second Battalion a company or more, and would go in for the war rather than to be subject to the militia call.
If such an arrangement cannot be made with your approbation I will keep Captains Witcher and Stratton as an independent squadron of mounted rifles, for it does not suit to mix soldiers from different States in the same corps of volunteers.
The promotion of Major Bradley leaves the office of assistant adjutant-general vacant. I request you to commission my brother, Mr. Charles E. Marshall, whom I formerly nominated unsuccessfully as brigade quartermaster. His health is delicate, but still be desires to take the field, and I have great confidence in his capacity, and will soon [be able] to master all the duties of the position. Captain Shawhan received only yesterday his commission as major of the First Cavalry under the reorganization of the mounted force. His company of cavalry is the only cavalry I have. He will, I presume, return the commission under the circumstances, but I wish you to authorize me to request his acceptance of it, and so leave me a chance to assign to him troops, instead of having him assigned to men unwilling to elect him to office. I value him high; he served under me in Mexico, and I saw him borne from the field at Buena Vista badly wounded. I know he is gallant, and I would have appointed him to command my cavalry force had I the disposition of the matter. As I presume you will not recall the commission, I hope you will in a note to me request him to retain the rank. I can speedily make the actual command equal to the rank.
The condition of the regiments and corps composing this command suggests to me to ask for the appointment of an inspector-general, with the rank of captain. I very much want such an officer, and as this is a separate command and is now likely to be spread over a mixed force of militia as well as volunteers, I request the appointment of John M. Stansfer (who is now with me, and whom I can vouch for as a competent soldier and cultivated gentleman) to the post indicated.
Observing that the Governor of Virginia, under the late call of the President, has ordered the militia of the sixteen western counties to hold itself in readiness to obey the orders of General Heth or myself, and presuming that this order issued in conformity to an understanding with the Secretary of War, am I to presume also that General Heth and I are to command within the range of those counties? If not, should not some limit be established upon which our respective responsibility will be calculated? If the Department looks to me to guard the passages to the lead mines of Wythe and the salt-works in Smith, the roads leading in from the Sandy, I respectfully submit to the Secretary that I should be much disembarrassed by knowing the exact views and expectations of the Government, as also to have an answer to a question frequently propounded by me, whether I have authority in my own judgment of the necessity of the case to call out the militia, and, if so, for what time, or does it require an express authority from the Department of War?
I shall take immediate steps to ascertain the number and arms of the militia in the ten western counties. I am under the impression they will turn out (or can do so) about 5,000 men. I will cause them to be put in order immediately.
The enemy is still at Piketon in force, but the late floods in this re-