On the 29th of April, six days after he took command of the forces of Virginia
, General Lee
sent Lieut.-Col. John McCausland
, a native of the Kanawha valley
and a graduate of the Virginia military institute, to muster into the service of the State
ten companies of volunteers from the Kanawha
region, take command of these, and direct military operations for strictly defensive purposes.
On May 3d, Col. C. Q. Tompkins
, a West Point graduate and former officer in the United States army, having his home in the Kanawha valley
, was appointed colonel of volunteers in the Virginia
service and directed to take command of the forces in the Kanawha
region and carry out the orders already given to McCausland
reported from Charleston
, May 23d, that he found some 350 men, in five companies, at Buffalo
; that within two or three weeks he could probably raise fifteen or sixteen companies, but that the country was destitute of fabric suitable for uniforms.
, covering the front on the Ohio river
, reported Federal troops concentrating at and about Gallipolis, Ohio
, on the 26th, and Tompkins
, hastening to Charleston
from his post at Kanawha Falls
, sent McCausland
as a special messenger to Governor Letcher
to inform him of the disaffection of the population of the Kanawha
region, of the difficulty of procuring reliable troops, and the imminent danger of invasion.
After sending this dispatch on the 28th, Tompkins
issued a spirited appeal, calling the ‘men of Virginia
—men of Kanawha
, to arms.’
On the 23d of April, ex-Gov. Henry A. Wise
tendered his services to Virginia
Subsequently he was appointed brigadier-general and given authority to raise a force to be called ‘Wise
While engaged in organizing this body, he was, on the 6th of June, ordered to take the force he had in hand and proceed, as speedily as possible, to the valley of the Kanawha
and rally the people to resist the invading army reported to be already on the march.
He was informed that he must rely upon the people for a supply of arms from those in their own hands, and upon their valor and knowledge of the country as a substitute for organization and discipline.
's popularity in western Virginia
was very great, and it was supposed that his appearance in command on the Kanawha
line would stem the tide of opposition to State