please be very careful in selecting its commandant, some such person as Colonel Kelley, who knows the country and its inhabitants, and who can exercise the proper moral influence. If everything is safe in the direction of Beverly, and you have occupied all the turnpike roads leading to Grafton, it will be well for you, in your discretion, to leave a regiment at Cumberland until it can be relieved by troops from General Patterson's division. If you do this, be careful to have the colonel commanding post an outguard at some bridge or tunnel in advance, with orders to destroy the track in the event of the approach of a superior force; and you must also be sure that the regiment has at its command ample means of transportation for its retreat; steam to be kept on the engines day and night. If you can secure this regiment against an attack in flank and rear, its orders must be to stand its ground and to telegraph to you for assistance. While I wish no rash advance or attack with such means as we now have at our command, I am still more anxious that we shall never yield one inch of ground.
I have to request that you will enforce the most strict discipline in your command, and require that the utmost regard be paid to the feelings and interests of the loyal inhabitants. Impress upon them the leading ideas of my proclamation, and do all you can to excite the Union feeling. I will endeavor to have officers of the U. S. Army sent to you to muster in all who may offer for three years' service. Should no such officers arrive you will cause some of your staff, now mustered into the service, to perform that duty. I will do my best to provide them with arms, &c. Do not wait for arms to arrive berore mustering them in. Committ them at once, and I will in some way manage to provide them. If traitors fall into your hands, deal summarily with them. In aggravated cases, bring them before a court-martial; in ordinary cases, either keep them under guard or send them to the Columbus penitentiary, as circumstances may render expedient. Before you occupy Cumberland inform me by telegraph and await my reply. It will be very desirable to raise some tow or more companies of mounted men among the loyal Virginians. Do so if possible for three months' service, subject to three years' service if so required by the War Department. Be very careful to keep the telegraph line constantly in operation behind you by both routes; also take care that you have loyal operators in your front, so that you can use the telegraph far in advance without the possibility of its being used to your disadvantage. As soon as possible after reaching Grafton, cause a careful inspection to be made of the regiments under your command, and report to me at once what supplies are necessary for their comfort and efficiency. I will do my best to supply their wants. Captain H. W. Benham, U. S. Corps of Engineers, is directed to report to you for duty. From this letter and our conversation last night I think, general, you will have a sufficiently clear idea of the state of the case and of my intentions. To your patriotism and energy I instruct their execution.
I am, general, very truly, yours,
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Department.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Cincinnatti, May 29, 1861.
Colonel B. F. KELLEY,
First Virginia Volunteers:
COLONEL: It has become necessary, for military as well as political reasons, to occupy Grafton for the present in considerable force. For