opposing armies. If my transportation reaches me to-day I will go forward at once, if not otherwise ordered. There are a large number
of unarmed and totally undrilled conscripts arriving here. What shall be done with them? They would be an incumbrance to the army.
J. G. WALKER,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF SOUTHWESTERN VIRGINIA,
The Narrows, W. Va., September 1, 1862.
(Received September 5, 1862.)
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: Before I received your telegram dated the 29th ultimo, upon the information of my scout, I had determined upon an offensive movement against the enemy in the Kanawha. It has been delayed only to accumulate forage and transportation enough to take me over the sterile district of 100 miles between me and the enemy. This has been a herculean task, but to its accomplishment I have ben tall my energies, and expect to move on Friday or Saturday next. It will be my policy when I move to endeavor to reach the Kanawha without stoppage; experience in our armies paused in menacing proximity to the enemy for want of forage an transportation, though at the time they were weak enough to be overcome by us, yet they improved our delay by re-enforcing from the convenient population of the northwest, and in three or four weeks afterward took the offensive successfully against us. I await with interest the full development of your plans for my future march to the valley through Northwest Virginia and co-operation with the army in that region. The intervening distance of 300 or 400 miles is so rugged as to make such a march one of great difficulty.
I observe with great satisfaction the evidence of increasing loyalty from the people of West Virginia, who are now coming into my army daily. I am very sanguine that when I get into that region the accessions to my army will be large, and to arm these men I earnestly request small-arms and accouterments for the same. I will so far anticipate your action on this subject as to receive corps to be armed in this way. There can be, I think, no occasion where the earls of the Government can be put to better use. I also desire to be authorized to appoint officers to command the regiments which I may get in West Virginia in anticipation of your appointment, so that the new troops may be made effective at once.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
FORKS OF WATERS, HIGHLAND COUNTY, W. VA.,
September 1, 1862.
DEAR RUSSELL: Having an hour's leisure to-day I will employ it in writing to you, knowing the interest you feel in north western affairs. I am getting along finely with my corps. I have six first-rate comma-