CAMP CHASE, Paw Paw, Va., March 2, 1862.
General Lander is very ill. It is the opinion of Brigade Surgeons Bryant and Robinson, his attendant physicians, that he is unfit to lead an army in the field to-day; that he may be unfit to do so for many days. By his command I ordered General Tyler's brigade of five regiments to advance and hold Bloomery Gap by a road leading up grade four miles from here, and crossing Great Cacapon by a bridge laid on wagons seven miles from here, and Colonel Mason, chief of artillery, to move with his support of two regiments; Tyler's train, with eight companies of cavalry, to Bloomery Ga by the grade crossing the ford near Bloomery and report to General Tyler. They started at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon, and at 11 last night, when, from the report of the physicians, I was assured that General Lander could not move with the main body to-day, I ordered a halt. This order found General Tyler at the wagon bridge, Colonel Mason ten miles from this on the Paw Paw grade. The acvance moved with tents and knapsacks. They had rubber shirts, three days' subsistence in haversacks and ten on wagons, 100 rounds of ammunition to the infantry, 200 to the artillery. The main boyd was to have moved to-day in the same way. I can carry out General Lander's plan of moving on Martisburg, and from reconnaissances, spies, and deserters am satisfied we shall meet no enemy worth notice, nor an advance from Winchester; but there is no one here capable of filling in any respect Lander's place, and I have read your two dispatches of yesterday, and would respectfully ask whether Lander's proposed plan is to be carried out or whether the movement is to be by railroad, for which we have sufficient transportation. Lander has so much determination and energy that he may rise from his sick be dto-day and take command, but I feel it my duty to lay these facts before you and abide the conseuqences.
S. F. BARSTOW,
Paw Paw, Va., March 2, 1862.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your telegram.* Doctor Suckley will keep you informed of General Lander's condition. I have ordered back Tyler's and Mason's brigades and they will be in camp in two hours. Sleepy Creek bridge and Cherry Run [bridge] will not be finished before Tuesday night. We then can run to Back Creek bridge, three miles from Hedgesville. We shall have railroad transportation for 5,000 men every twenty-four hours, with tents and artillery. Every available car is ordered from the west and ten additional engines. The surgeons give me little hope of Lander's recovery. The next in command wants energy. I will telegraph the exact position and number of troops protecting the railroad and its bridges.
S. F. BARSTOW,
*See VOL. V, p. 732.
35 R R-VOL LI, PT I