War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0182 Chapter LXIII. MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA.

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the proclamation of Major Harman calling upon the militia of Pocahontas and adjacent counties to rendezvous at Staunton. Have directed that they rendezvous at Huntersville; have sent them powder for their rifles; have ordered them to go at once against the enemy, to blockade the road from Huttonstille to Elk Mountain by felling trees before him, and to beset his flanks from the adjacent woods and fastnesses. I have also written to Major Harman to send one of the regiments at Staunton by the railroad and Millborough int the same direction, and shall make arrangements at Huntersville for their supplies. I think the general will perceive that in comparison with my resources I have undertaken a vast deal, and yet what else was to be done? I must either advance or retreat from this point. To advance may be dangerous; to retreat would be ruinous, since the whole country, thus apparently abandoned, would pm us to receive the enemy with open arms. I must be excused, therefore, for praying most earnestly that attention be turned in this direction; that re-enforcements of all kinds be forwarded at once; that some one more competent than I be placed in charge of these complicated operations; or that, if this cannot be, the necessary staff officers be sent to my assistance, since, without any exaggeration, a Part from the anxieties of my position, flesh and blood cannot long stand the mere detail imposed upon me.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.



Camp at Monterey, July 20, 1861.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: Since I finished my dispatch of this morning I have received information as to the positions of the enemy sufficiently reliable, in my judgment, to be communicated to headquarters for consideration. And first in reference to the number of troops at different points under the command of General McClellan. An analysis of these various reports would give him in Northwest Virginia at least 30,000, and perhaps 40,000, men. Looking to the danger besetting the right flank of our present position, I would refer to the copy of a letter herewith inclosed, adding that there can be no doubt of the fact that the vanguard or a scouting party of the enemy entered Petersburg soon after Colonel Ramsey left it. Four days ago a messenger from a reliable person brought intelligence to Colonel Ramsey that 3,000 of the enemy had descend from New Creek, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, to come up into the neighborhood of Greenland and to take the road to Petersburg. Greenland is about sixteen miles from Petersburg, on the Northwestern turnpike. Petersburg is thirty miles from Franklin and Franklin is twenty-four miles from this point. Colonel Jackson, of the Virginia volunteers, is under the impression that the enemy will attack us from that direction; Colonel Ramsey thinks otherwise, having destroyed, as he says, the bridges behind him, and thinking that the object of the enemy was simply to annoy his rear and to pick up straggles. It seems to me that prudence requires an eye to be kept open toward that point. Passing on to the column under the immediate command of General McClellan, its number is estimated variously as from 7,000 to 13,000. There can now be but little doubt that on the 18th instant 1,000 of these were engaged in fortifying the top of Cheat