Jul. 7 Report of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan (3rd)

Buckhannon, Va., July 7, 1861.

Newspaper reports say that my department is to be broken up. I hope the General will leave under my control both the operations on the Mississippi and in Western Virginia. If he cannot do so, the Indiana and Ohio troops are necessary to my success. With these means at my disposal. and such resources as I command in Virginia, if the Government will give me ten thousand arms for distribution in Eastern Tennessee I think I can break the backbone of Secession. Please instruct whether to move on Staunton or on to Wytheville. I thank the General for his commendation, and hope to deserve rather in the future than in the past. Please in the past. Please enforce the occupation of Cumberland and Piedmont. The condition of things in that vicinity renders it absolutely necessary to occupy both these points, and you will remember that my command does not extend that far. I cannot too strongly impress upon you the necessity of holding these points. The Pennsylvania State troops now in the vicinity of Cumberland will answer the purpose perfectly well.

Major-General, Commanding.


July 9, 1861

General MCCLELLAN, U. S. Army, Buckhannon:

Your telegrams of 7th received. The General concedes that you are the best judge of your means and the importance of the objects to be gained; but when you speak of extending your operations to Staunton, and even to Wytheville, he fears your line will be too long without intermediate supports. He wishes you to weigh well these points before deciding.



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.