Jul. 6 Instructions to Brigadier General T. A. Morris

Buckhannon, Va., July 6, 1861.

Brig. Gen. T. A. MORRIS, Commanding at Philippi:

GENERAL: The major-general commanding directs that you advance from you or present position to-morrow morning, and take up a position within two miles of the enemy – near Elliott’s farm – in preference on the south side of Barker’s Mill Run, on the heights in rear of William Yeager’s house. It is deemed preferable to avoid the defile north of the Elliott house by crossing the river somewhere near the nineteen mile post from Beverly, and recrossing at the ford where the Middle Fork road crosses just at the position to be occupied by you.

Your train may remain at Philippi, under a sufficient escort, until you have occupied your new position. You will move prepared to force any opposition offered, and will at all hazards accomplish the object proposed. Occupy Belington by a strong advanced guard, and place a strong detachment to cover the paths leading from the rebel camp to the flank of your position. From this position push out strong infantry reconnaissances, to ascertain the exact position, condition, and movements of the enemy. Watch them closely day and night. Have everything ready to pursue them should they retreat, and follow them up closely in that event. Make extended reconnaissances, calculated to give the impression that the main attack is to be made by you, and use all efforts to retain them in their present position. Arrange your hour of starting from Philippi so that you will by an easy march reach the vicinity of Elliott’s within an hour or two after sunrise.

Let your advanced guard be of infantry, strong, and near the main column. Do not push out any advanced cavalry patrols. A strong advanced guard will move from here to-morrow morning to occupy the Middle Fork Bridge. By the next day the Roading Creek Bridge will be taken, and perhaps on the same day the town of Beverly will be occupied. The general is delayed by the non-arrival of supplies, but hopes to occupy Beverly on Tuesday, at latest – probably on Monday.

He asks you to do all in your power to hold the enemy in check in their position, and to include them to believe that you will make the main attack; object being to cut them off at Beverly.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Series I, Vol. II. With additions and corrections. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1902.