War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 0247 Chapter LXIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - CONFEDERATE.

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foe, and for independence of, and separation from, oppression, that the hope and solicitude is that similar auspices may still attend the efforts. It is, however, greatly to be feared that the forces under Generals Floyd and wise, diminished considerably by sickness and physical exhaustion, may be inadequate to the objects committed to them. They have marched west of this some forty to fifty miles, but the falling back of General Wise some weeks past has been availed of by the enemy to advance to and occupy the positions of strength afforded about the junction of the New and Gauley Rivers, commonly known as Gauley Bridge and Cliffs. The facility of invasion by the enemy beyond the Ohio afforded by the Kanawha River, nos swollen by frequent rains, is not, perhaps, duly impressed. This channel also enables them to transport easily to the head of navigation supplies, equipments, and munitions, and to what extent they have done so we are comparatively ignorant. Occasionally intellignece is obtained from their rear by some one leaving the Kanawha Valley, crossing out by Caol through Fayette and Raleigh, and bringing information to this place. We learn their force is larger than ours; that they have steam-boats above Charleston and over 200 wagons and tema. Does not this indicate a purpose, if not successfully resisted, to force a crossing over the intervening [sic]? Could our generals (Floyd, Wise, and Henningsen) have adequate re-enforcements of fresh troops to the extent of two or three regiments hastened up the Central Railroad, they could make certainty doubly sure in not only hoding their advanced position, but advancing and expelling the enemy, and perhaps capturing valuable munitions and provisions. If the enemy could be once sent over the Ohio I hardly think a reorganization would be effected for a return to the Kanawha. Of the vast column of Southern troops passing east over the Virginia and Tennessee RAilroad, could a regiment or two be dispatched from the most available point at or beyond Wytheville and pass through Tazewell, McDowell, Logan, and down either the Guyandotte or Coal Rivers, their approach would cause a perceptible retirement of all the enemy as far north as Petersburg. This is a demonstration that has seemed so efficient that many, very many, have been expecting it to be made, to the great consternation of the enemy. For if they did not retreat on such an approach in their rear, a capture of the whole, boats, wagons, teams, &c., might be the result. The whole country from the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad to the Kanawha Valley is sound and loyal to Virginia and to the South, and a large militia auxiliary on the way. It would prove so sad a disaster for this Central Western Virginia column to have to retire a second time and expose new territory, the Virginia Springs an dCentral Railroad, accessible to the enemy, that we hope it may be speedily guarded against. As I, a stranger, have unauthorizedly obtruded these thoughts upon your attention, I must justify the sincerity of purpose and conviction of judgment by reference to gentlemen who I have the honor to claim as acquaintances: William H. Macfarland, James Kaskie, esq., Jeremiah Morton, Honorable W. C. Rives, Honorable C. M. conrad, and the merchants and bankers of Richmond.

Most respectfully, yours,

THOMAS MATHEWS.

[5.]

RICHMOND August 22, 1861.

General J. E. JOHNSTON,

Manassas:

The President directs that Colonel W. W. Gordon's Twen-seventh Virginia Regiment be sent immediately, under Lieutenant Colonel John Echols, to