tached either to your command or mine. He seemed to be in some doubt as to which he would elect to serve with. He was then on his way to Saltville, and I sent a letter to General Williams, directing him to give the major such aid as he could in raising his battalion or regiment. I have heard nothing more of him until I received these papers from you, and a letter from General Williams.
I shall have to leave you and General Williams to settle the disputed title to the men in question as you best can. I am now on my way to Winchester, Va., having been ordered there by the War Department. I start to-morrow morning. I have received no order relieving me from the command of this department. Unless I receive some orders to the contrary between now and to-morrow morning, I shall direct my senior brigadier (Brigadier General John Echols) to command the department during my absence. Continue to send to this place any communications you may desire to send to the commander of this department. They will be forwarded to General Echols. He is now at Lewisburg. There is telegraphic communication from here to Union, Monroe County. From there dispatches can be sent by express to Lewisburg, 20 miles.
In haste, very respectfully and truly, your obedient servant,
FLAT TOP MOUNTAIN, Dublin, July 15, 1863.
Colonel [George S.] Patton did not reach me with his re-enforcements. The enemy succeeded in forcing the left of my position last night, and thereby forcing me to lose my artillery, &c., or evacuate. I chose the latter. I am here to-day, and will go to Princeton tomorrow.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, July 15, 1863.
Brigadier General JOHN ECHOLS,
Lewisburg, via Union:
The enemy in force compelled McCausland to evacuate Piney last night.
McCausland is falling back to Flat Top Mountain, perhaps to Princeton.
Patton is at Pack's Ferry, and will hold that point as long as practicable. Have the troops at Lewisburg in readiness to move at a moment's notice, and come yourself directly to Union, where you will be in telegraphic communication with this place, and give such directions as circumstances require.
I am now under orders for Winchester. If they are not countermanded, you will find at Union a telegraphic order turning over the command of the department to you. Do your scouts report any advance of the enemy in your front?