you are called upon to overcome armed opposition I know that your courage is equal to the task; but remember that your only foes are the armed traitors, and shorn mercy even to them when they are in your power, for many of them are misguided.
When under your protection, the loyal men of Western Virginia have been enabled to organize and arm, they can protect themselves, and you can then return to your homes with the proud satisfaction of having saved a gallant people from destruction. Geo. B. McClellan, Maj.-Gen. U. S. A., Commanding.
I, of course, sent copies to the President, with a letter explaining the necessity of my prompt action without waiting to consult with him. To this letter I never received any reply or acknowledgment; nor did the President, or any of his civil or military advisers, ever inform me whether they approved or disapproved the course I had taken.
I must give to the Washington functionaries at least this much credit — viz., that although they gave me no as