know that you have under your command so large a number of troops. Your operations in every particular meet with my approval. They have been prompt, judicious, and furnish the confident expectation that the militia under your command will prove themselves entirely adequate to the work before them. I have received information, whichis reliable, that a considerable force of the enemy have collected in Sutton. Whether it be their plan to attempt to re-enforce Cox at Gauley Bridge or to unite with him in advance upon me from that point I have not been able to ascertain. I shall watch their movements with all vigilance and shape my action somewhat accordingly. However this may be, your can render most essential service by pushing your forces on to Charleston and by embarrassing, checking, and estroying, if you can, the navigation of the Kanawha, thus holding Cox in his present position at Gauley or there abouts, or drawn off to Charleston. To effect this you should have some artillery. This is at present not within my powerto furnish you. The pieces which I have belong to the legion of General Wise, with two exceptions. I have, however, been officially informed that two batteries have been sent and are at this time probably at the White Sulphur. When they join me I shall, if it be possible, supply the deficiency which you so much feel and which I know stands in the way of the successful consummation of your plans. In the meantime I shall communicate with General Wise on the subject and if he can spare one or two pieces they shall be sent you.
Your obedient servant,
JOHN B. FLOYD,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Army of the Kanawha.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE KANAWHA,
September 3, 1861.
To all whom it may concern:
Having learned that my advance into this portion of the State has been made the ground by certain citizens for abandoning their homes, and of alarm to others. I fell it due to myself, to the cause which I represent, and to them to make the following statements: I have come among the people of my native west in vindication of the political supremacy of the State, of her right to govern her people in her own way as determined by her own constituted authorities. It is a fundamental principle of all free governments that liberty of thought and of opinion should be respected. Nowhere is this principle more fully recognized and more sacredly regarded than in this State, and no one is less inclined to depart from it in the present state of political troubles than I am. But the distinction must be drawn between the entertainment of an opinion and its expression in act. The former is in itself harmless; the latter may be criminal, and must be dealt with according to its character. These plain facts, when applied to public sentiment in this portion of the State, lead to the following conclusions, by which I intend to be governed in my official actiontoward my fellow citizens in the State with whom I may be brought in contact: No man shall be held responsible for having cast a Union vote, but inasmuch as the people of Virginia have, by an unprecedentedly large majority, decided in favor of the Confederacy, it behooves every good citizen to yield obedience to their decision. Our enemies are upon our soil. If there be any citizen of the State so unpatriotic as to think with them, he shall not be disturbed in his opinion so long as he may not give