LWEISBURG, July 18, 1861.
His Excellency J. DAVIS:
DEAR SIR: Since the retreat of our troops from Laurel Hill under General Garnett much excitement prevails here among the people. Many fear that unless checked the Federal troops will march down the valley of Greenbrier River, pursuing the Huttonsville and Marlin's Bottom road, and so on to this place, with the view of arresting the supplies of men and munitions destined for General Wise. We are very destitute of the means of defense. We have no arms except the rifles in the hands of our citizens, and very little ammunition. Many of the guns which our people had have been taken by others into the army. A large majority of our young men have volunteered and have gone into the service, leaving us defenseless in a great degree. We have just received the inclosed letter in pencil from Doctor Syme, one of our old and respectable citizens, which we commend to your consideration. We ask, Can nothing be done for our security and relief? You are no doubt fully advised of the condition of General Garnett's army. He seems to have retreated from Laurel Hill into Pendleton County, and probably has reached Monterey, in Highland County, where we understand a large force has assembled. But the Federal troops may not see proper to attack them. The may prefer passing the Cheat Mountain unmolested along the aforesaid road and come in contact with the line of transportation to General Wise. Our people are much excited, and whether we are in any real danger or not, our people lack a sense of security. It is impossible to defend ourselves without men, guns, and ammunition.
With grat respect, we are, sir, your obedient servants,
Messrs. MATHEWS and PRICE:
GENTLEMEN: I know no two gentlemen who have the same right to speak for and in behalf of the people of Greenbrier as yourselves. Alexander is willing to be the bearer to letters which you will write. He knows my views, as we have conversed freely. Really, I think you ought not to hesitate to communicate with the authorities, State and Federal, and make known our condition and wishers. The interests of the east as well as our own require that the enemy should not be allowed a foothold here. Do write and let him go, but do not suffer his going to arrest such other steps as may be thought necessary.
W. H. SYME.
Should you wish it, use name as indorsing anything you recommend.
POCAHONTAS COURT-HOUSE, July 18, 1861.
General H. R. JACKSON:
Permit me to suggest that at least 1,000 men, with the Bath Cavalry, ought to be stationed immediately on the Elk Mountain or the Huttonsville and Hunterville turnpike; otherwise you leave this whole country