War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0225 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

Search Civil War Official Records

field the enemy has no idea for the present of advancing upon Lewisburg. Tyler is at Summersville with a force not much, if at all, exceeding 2,000 men. He has, it is said, six pieces of brass field artillery. Cox is at the mouth of Gauley with a force, probably, of near 5,000 men. He is fortifying his position there, and is well supplied with artillery, it is said. There is a good turnpike road between these two commands a distance of thirty miles, along which they are keeping up a brisk intercourse. Twenty-seven wagons laden with supplies were sent last Friday from Gauley to Summersville. I think this force of the enemy can be driven from the Kanawha Valley with a little addition to the strength already within reach if it were systemized. In reply to an inquiry made by me of General Wise I received from him the inclosed reply,* which shows his command to be in a very disorganized condition. As promptness is so essential now, I issued to General Wise the inclosed order,+ which I hope will meet with your approval. I am in bitter need of arms for my cavalry. Is it possible for you to supply us with any? I had written this much when I received your dispatch of the 8th, and to which I will say a few words in reply. I found the whole country in a panic at the retreat of General Wise's people, and I determined to move westward far enough to give some feeling of security to them. This I think is accomplished. I went myself Saturday as far as Meadow Bluff, where I met with many people and hear from them the information already detailed. I am now petty confident the enemy intend for the present only to hold, if they can, the country which they now occupy. Their line of occupation is a pretty good one-from Gauley to Summersville and northeast toward Rosecrans. They have good roads, whilst eastward of them there is an extremely barren and rugged country, through which and advancing foe could be greatly annoyed. Cox has certainly conciliated to a very great extent the people of all the country heretofore occupied by our troops. He furnishes bacon, flour, coffee, and sugar at very low prices, and is opening trade by the river to Cincinnati. A strong force from the counties west of New River will be ready and eager to fall upon Cox's flank the moment we press hm in front, and if you contiunue your movements upon Rosecrans I think the northwest will be cleared of the enemy before October. A general movement upon them all along their lines will require more men on their part than they have or can raise to defend their positions. I do not think there is any necessity for regiments to be statined at Wytheville. Any force which Cox could detach and send in that direction would be cut to pieces before they could reach within fifty miles of any point on the railroad. It would take an extremely powerful force to make good that march, and 25,000 men could be concentrated to meet them at any point on the road before they could accomplish half the march form Kanawha Valley to the railroad. I hope we shall be able with the forces at command not only to occupy fully the enemy in Kanawha, but to dislodge him and turn our face toward the rear of the column now in your front. I am only waiting here for my remaining people to come up and for those heretofore sich with easles to join us. Half of our people have been suffering from this disease, which is still prevailing to a most distressing extent among all the more recent volunteers. General Chapman, I have understood, has disbanded the militia.

I am, sir very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.



* Not found.


+ See Floyd to Wise, August 9, p. 226.