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[26] John B. Floyd, an old United States officer, was specially charged with the protection of the railroad. Wise 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. Patterson advancing from Maryland was threatening Johnston's army in the Shenandoah valley, McDowell before Washington was advancing upon Manassas, and a large force was needed for the defense of Norfolk and the James river. When Johnston 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. Wise left Col. J. L. Davis at Richmond 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 to Richmond, May 30th, to confer with Governor Letcher on the situation. It was difficult to procure reliable soldiers in large numbers, with perhaps

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Henry A. Wise (3)
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