here will not be satisfied unless Floyd and his brigade are called into service at once. Look at the position. We are here exposed to attack from the Ohio frontier. The path-finder (Fremont) is specially assigned to our subjugation. We are probably more unanimous for the Confederacy and for Jeff. Davis than any other region. We have among us a man who before the war began did more than any other man to prepare the South (materially) for the coming contest. He went heartily, bravely, and energetically into the war. No man but Price, who had no military experience,has equaled him in achievement or ability. His courage, energy, and ability are unsurpassed except by our greatest generals. He has a local knowledge of the seat of war in Western Virginia beyond that of all other living men. Jo. Johnston alone approaches him in this respect among our prominent generals and for the same cause. Like him, he is familiar with the country from his childhood. By the by, in my opinion, a mountaineer chiefly, beyond all men except inspired military geniuses is qualified to conduct a war in mountains. I am persuaded that the men who have charge of our operations here are unfit for them. I mean Marshall and Heth.
They may be good soldiers and brave men. They don't know mountain warfare. I could expound matters on this theme, but I need not argue it to you. Floyd does understand this country, and knows how to defend it. Above all, the country believes in him and desires him to be intrusted with its defense. It will rally under him as it will rally under no other man who is likely to be sent here. Jo. Johnston or Beauregard could alone command the same confidence (or more).
The exigency is pressing. We can't wait for a Congressional inquiry. Congress has adjourned. The war will be decided before it meets again.
If Floyd's brigade is to operate in this war, if this region is to put forth its strength heartily, the Government must act promptly. There is but one sentiment here.
B. R. JOHNSTON.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
RICHMOND, May 10, 1862
WILLIAM BALLARD PRESTON:
DEAR SIR: Judge McComas, Judge Ward, Judge Camden, and myself were deputed by the citizens of Southwestern Virginia to make an effort in some form to get General Floyd restored to his command. We have a terrible state of things in the Southwest, arising from two causes: First, the suspension of Floyd from the command; secondly
the conduct of Jenifer, retreating in advance of his regiment from Mercer County. Our country was in a perfect panic when I left home last Thursday. Colonel Wharton, in whom every one has confidence, is in camp at Wytheville, reorganizing the forces of Floyd's old brigade with the new recruits, and is succeeding very well, provided he can get the arms, which he has partially succeeded in doing. He will have a force of 1,500 if he can procure the arms.
My dear, sir, I know the fact that the suspension of Floyed from his command has tended more than anything else that has occurred since the commencement of the war to demoralize the troops of Southwestern Virginia. His restoration will reunite them, and they will forthwith go to their work with a spirit and a fixed resolve to do their whole