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918 Series I Volume II- Serial 2 - First Manassas

Page 918 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.

restrict the advance of the enemy and securely maintain your own position.

On the day of my return to Richmond forty-two wagons were ordered to be sent you. Twelve were sent day before yesterday, twelve on yesterday, twelve more will be sent to-morrow, and the others as soon as possible.

As you are aware that it is probable, when, an effort is made to attack you, it will be both by land and water, I take this occasion of urging upon you the importance of pressing the construction of the batteries for water and land defense.

Yours, &c.,

R. E. LEE,

General, Commanding.


June 10, 1861.


DEAR SIR: Having the best interests of our country at heart, and having taken an active part in the welfare of this county from the first appearance of danger to the present hour, I feel confident you will hear me. While I have no doubt of the success of the South in casting off the Northern yoke ultimately, I must say that this is the last appeal from me, at least for the protection of this section-this county and Greenbrier-that I ever expect to make, and I very much fear that it is already too late for your to prevent our being overrun to some extent, perhaps totally. Our interests have no doubt been cared for, but there has been too little energy at work, and the view has been a short-sighted one. Three weeks since it would have been quite an easy matter to have taken possession of all Western Virginia, except Wheeling, and perhaps that also; but now it is very doubtful if twenty thousand of the best-armed men we have in the State will do it. The few troops we have had out there have had no other effect than to gather in a still stronger force of the enemy, and they are doing their best to carry off and destroy everything upon which a large army can subsist, having entire control of all the railroads and almost the whole country. If not driven back soon, we have no hope of anything being left to support our army now or hereafter, and you will find it next to impossible to take provisions for an effective force a distance of one hundred or one hundred and fifty miles, on common road wagons, from the Central Railroad. Two weeks since this thing was not half so gloomy. In less than two more we shall be overrun, unless there is a far greater force than we have any knowledge of being sent us. The enemy is now within a few hours' march of our county lines. We have no force at all beyond Huttonsville, and a great part of it far this side-some on the Parkersburg and some on the Marline Bottom roads. Our force all told is not more than from twelve hundred to two thousand. The last account we had from them was on the 7th. They were not more than half armed, and had not ammunition sufficient for more than one round to the man. I sent fifty miles to Covington, and only got seventy-five pounds of powder, but no lead. We have got some fifty pounds of old lead pipe, &c., which we sent on this morning, with powder. I wish I could tell your our situation.

Our county is loyal to the South; only thirteen votes against secession; population less than four thousand. We laid a war levy of $15,000. Have sent out four volunteers companies, and in all nearly five hundred

Page 918 OPERATIONS IN MD., PA., VA., AND W. VA. Chapter IX.