RALEIGH COURT-HOUSE, VA., September 15, 1861.
Brigadier General Henry A. WISE,
Commanding Wise Legion:
GENERAL: I have returned to this point in obedience to your and General Floyd's concurrent orders, but I am sorry to say that the order to retreat via Pack's Ferry to Meadow Bluff has operated very disastrously as to my command, it having been greatly reduced in numbers from desertions, chiefly in the Fayette regiment, though not altogether. It has nearly been reduced one-half, and if I march from heretoward Pakc's Ferry I will have but a "corporal's guard." I am fearful nothign but extreme means will check the state of things, and I will be driven thereto, and desire your instructions in the matter. May I respectfully suggest to you, general, that while I can render little service to General Floyud and yourself by marching a small command, without tents or cartidge-boxes, to Meadow Bluff, yet, if permitted to rest my fatigued men, for they have been exhausted with constant and severe scouting under Captain Caskie andmy lamated adjutant, Captain Loughborough, for the whole four weeks we have been in the field, and to recruit my numbers, it will be best to leave me operate in these counties of Raleigh, Fayette, Boone, &c., while General Chapman's well-armed and equipped brigade of 1,600 men operates with yourself and General Floyd. Besides, general, Colonel J. Lucius Davis is now here with four companies of your cavalry, after striking a sudden and most effective blow upon the enemy onCoal River, and id desirous of the co-operation of my riflemen and sharpshooters in striking him at various points, Cotton Hill, Loop Creek, Miller's and Bowyer's Ferries, &c. I can thus render more service than in any other way. I beg, therefore, I may be permitted to remain here until I can refill my ranks and obtain tents and cartridge-boxes, as I intend sending an agent at once to Richmond to obtain them. I have most completely blocked the road from Montgomery's Ferry over Cotton Hill. By the way, the enemy shows very few tents at Gauley Bridge, and his position there could be taken by a sudden blow. His picket opposite Miller's Ferry fired on my scouts and picket yesterday afternoon across the river. I left Fayette Cour-House at 7 p. m. last evening, six or eight hours after General Chapman's forces left, in order to bring off all my provisions, stores, &c.
Very respectfully, general, your most obedient servant,
Brigadier General, Commanding Twenty-seventh Brigade, Colonel of Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTH CAROLINA,
Goldsborough, September 15, 1861.
His Excellency Henry T. CLARK,
Governor of North Carolina:
GOVERNOR: I cannot impress upon you too strongly the necessity of large additions to the forces in this department and that as speedily as possible. I much fear that this matter has been long neglected. I am satisfied that no less than five regiments, in addition to those already reported, will be found necessary. No reliance should be placed on the expectation of troops being sent back from Virginia, for I am told that none will be sent. I hope that immediate steps will be taken to raise the required troops. Surely, if it is made known that