Today in History:

209 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas


good companies of infantry can drive off all their cavalry in this mountainous country.

I propose taking the really difficult and dangerous part of this work on my own hands. I will not ask you to do anything that I would not be willing to do myself. But let us understand each other. I can give you no more re-enforcements. I cannot consent to weaken any further the really active and important column which is to decide the fate of the campaign. If you cannot undertake the defence of Philippi with the force now under your control, I must find some one who will. I have ordered up Latham's company, all of Keys' cavalry that are fit to take the field, and the Sixth Ohio.

Do not ask for further re-enforcements. If you do, I shall take it as a request to be relieved from your command and to return to Indiana.

I have spoken plainly. I speak officially. The crisis is a grave one, and I must have generals under me who are willing to risk as much as I am, and to be consent to risk their lives and reputation with such means as I can give them. Let this be the last of it. Give me full details as to the information you obtained - not mere rumors, but facts - and leave it to my judgment to determine what force you need. I wish action now and determination.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 2.]

Buckhannon, Va., July 6, 1861.

Brigadier General T. A. MORRIS, Commanding at Philippi:

GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that you advance from you or present position to-morrow morning, and take up a position within two miles of the enemy - near Elliott's farm - in preference on the south side of Barker's Mill Run, on the heights in rear of William Yeager's house. It is deemed preferable to avoid the defile north of the Elliott house by crossing the river somewhere near the nineteen mile post from Beverly, and recrossing at the ford where the Middle Fork road crosses just at the position to be occupied by you.

Your train may remain at Philippi, under a sufficient escort, until you have occupied your new position. You will move prepared to force any opposition offered, and will at all hazards accomplish the object proposed. Occupy Belington by a strong advanced guard, and place a strong detachment to cover the paths leading from the rebel camp to the flank of your position. From this position push out strong infantry reconnaissances, to ascertain the exact position, condition, and movements of the enemy. Watch them closely day and night. Have everything ready to pursue them should they retreat, and follow them up closely in that event. Make extended reconnaissances, calculated to give the impression that the main attack is to be made by you, and use all efforts to retain them in their present position. Arrange your hour of starting from Philippi so that you will by an easy march reach the vicinity of Elliott's within an hour or two after sunrise.

Let your advanced guard be of infantry, strong, and near the main column. Do not push out any advanced cavalry patrols. A strong advanced guard will move from here to-morrow morning to occupy the Middle Fork Bridge. By the next day the Roading Creek Bridge will be taken, and perhaps on the same day the town of Beverly will be

14 R R - VOL II