Floyd's retreat from Cotton Hill — its occupation by the Yankees-- prisoners — an advance of the Federals Probable — the condition of Western Virginia, &c.
[Correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Lewisburg, Va., Nov. 23, 1861.
You are doubtless apprised, ere this, of the retreat of Gen. Floyd
from Cotton Hill
He came near being surrounded, and lost considerable baggage, including many of his tents.
After he had passed beyond the mouth of the not set for him, a report spread among the pursuing Yankees
that the rebel cavalry were about to get into their rear.
Thereupon they faced to the ‘"right about,"’ and began a precipitate retreat, throwing away their haversacks, knapsacks, and blankets, to facilitate their flight.
Here then was the indecorous anomaly of two hostile armies in full run from each other at the same instant.
I learn that the Yankees
have fallen back to Cotton Hill
, while Floyd
's main body is between Raleigh Court-House and Parg's Ferry.
For several days we have had rumors that the enemy were crossing Big Sewell, twenty-four miles west of this town, but this backs confirmation.
That they will advance into this county in a short time, and upon this place, should the weather remain open, admits of not a doubt, in my opinion.
There is every reason why they should; not one, why they should not. Should they attempt it in force at this time, we have not more than 700, the First and Second regiments of the Wise Legion
, west of Lewisburg
, to oppose them; at Greenbrier Bridge, three miles east, we have two Tennessee
regiments and the 60th Virginia, in all about 1,400 men, that might be moved to the assistance of the Legion, making in all 2,100 men against from 8,000 to 10,000 Yankees.
There is every probability, however, that the Tennessesans and 60th Virginia will be ordered away in a few days, leaving only 700 men between the enemy and the Jackson's River depot
Is such a state of things desirable?
is it politic?
is it not rather suicidal in the highest degree?
are pressing forward in the direction of the Southwestern
and Tennessee Railroad in over whelming force, and with that and the Central Railroad under their control they will have gained an immense advantage.
Cannot our Government be induced to act in regard to these important points before it be too late?
It is an easy matter to let the Yankees
into the country, out not so easy to get them cut. ‘"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"’ in this case, certain.
From the beginning of the war to the present hour they have steadily advanced into Western Virginia
; point after point has been abandoned, and county after county given up, and ‘"the cry is still they come!"’ Is there never to be an end of this falling back
Are the true and loyal citizens of Western Virginia
to be entirely and hopelessly handed over to the tender mercies of Ohio
It is idle to think of reconquering Western Virginia
with less than 50,000 effective
men; and the Government
had as well decide at once between sending as that force or abandoning the country altogether!
The failure of the campaign in Western Virginia
is attributable almost solely to the fact that we have never had one-third the troops actually required.
The citizens are greatly discouraged.
They feel that they have been neglected, and see no signs of a change for the better, and the consequence will be that when the Yankees
get in, thousands who have been active and self sacrificing in behalf of our cause will give up in despair and take the oath of allegiance to the Lincoln Government
, can you not do something for us, through the medium of your editorial column, before it is too late?