John B. Floyd
, an old United States
officer, was specially charged with the protection of the railroad.
was instructed to rally the people of western Virginia
, and rely upon the people of that section not only for supplies but for arms.
In case the enemy should largely outnumber the forces he could gather and equip, with such resources, he was to fall back to the mountain passes.
The Confederate government then had more formidable attacks to oppose.
advancing from Maryland
was threatening Johnston
's army in the Shenandoah valley, McDowell
was advancing upon Manassas
, and a large force was needed for the defense of Norfolk
and the James river
was writing that he must retreat from Harper's Ferry
, having but forty rounds of ammunition, the government was forced to rely upon the ability of the West Virginians to defend themselves, and that failing, upon the mountains as a line of defense.
left Col. J. L. Davis
for the organization of Wise
's legion from Virginia
and North Carolina volunteers, and proceeded to Lewisburg
and thence to Charleston
As early as April 29th Lieut.--Col. John McCausland
had been authorized to muster into the State
service as many as ten volunteer companies, and direct the military operations of that part of the State
He was told that two companies in Kanawha county
, Captain Patton
's ‘Kanawha Rifles,’ Capt. T. B. Swann
's company and two in Putnam
, Captain Beckett
's and Capt. W. E. Fife
's (Buffalo Guards), would doubtless offer their services, and that 500 muskets of the old pattern would be sent and four field pieces.
On May 3d a commission as colonel was sent to C. Q. Tompkins
, of Charleston
, and he was directed to take command of the troops raised in the valley.
The latter officer sent Colonel McCausland
, May 30th, to confer with Governor Letcher
on the situation.
It was difficult to procure reliable soldiers in large numbers, with perhaps