arming the new Virginia troops under your command: Five hundred and fifty furnished to Major Guarrant, of Christiansburg, for which Major Guarrant has an order (who is advised to report to yo with men and guns); 1,500 sent to General Chapman last summer and still in the hands of the militia, and 250 furnished Lieutenant King, ordnance officer of your command; making in all 2,385 muskets. Colonel Gorgas has been requested to fill your requisition for accouterments as far as practicable. Lieutenant King also takes with him two batteries of mountain howitzers, ammunition and all complete.
The men armed by the guns delivered to Major Guarrant are intended to fill up the Virginia companies, now in service in your command, to 100 each, in accordance with the directions from the Governor of Virginia, copies of which were forwarded you on yesterday for your information and guidance.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. TAYLOR,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF LEWISBURG,
Lewisburg, March 27, 1862.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Confederate States Forces:
GENERAL: Your letters of 22nd and 24th* instant duly received. Engineers have been at work examining the country in advance of this place for some time past, and i shall throw up earthworks at suitable points. i have given directions to the citizens that on the approach of the enemy all grain, hay, &c., that may be remaining in their possession, and which cannot be brought to the rear, be destroyed, and their stock be driven off. I will thus retard the enemy, and hope to keep him back. I shall leave nothing undone that I can do to bring about this end. The high water has, I am informed, swept the Kanawha River of grain and hay. There is no forage between this and Gauley. The enemy will be compelled to haul not only his subsistence stores, but both long and short forage, from below Gauley Bridge; this will be a serious undertaking, and increases in proportion as he increases his force. He will probably advance with not less than 4,000 men and not exceeding 6,000. The principal difficulty on this line will be obtaining forage. My supplies must all be hauled from Jackson's River.
On the other line I shall have no difficultly, the country being comparatively rich in grain of all kinds, and the New River can be navigated from Central Depot, Virginia and Tennessee Railroad, to the point at which I propose making my stand. The citizens of Mercer have expressed their willing es on the approach of the enemy to drive off their stock and destroy and the little grain and hay that may remain, thus compelling him to pass through a country entirely destitute of supplies of all kinds in order to reach my position.
Inclosed you will find requisition for ordnance and ordnance stores on Ordnance Officer of Virginia as directed in your letter.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
*That of 24th not found.