Jul. 15 Report of Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE OHIO,
Camp near Huttonsville, Va., July 15, 1861.

COLONEL: I have sent by Major Marcy a brief account of the operations which have resulted in the dispersion of the rebels in this portion of Western Virginia and driving them completely beyond the mountains. I am in constant expectation of hearing from General Cox that his efforts to drive the Wises out of the Kanawha Valley and occupy the Gauley Bridge have been crowned with success. Should there be any delay in that quarter, I will take a few regiments and move by Weston, Bulltown, Sutton, &c., on the Gauley Bridge, in order to bring the matter to a speedy conclusion.

As far as I can now learn the effect of our operations against the larger forces has been to cause the small guerrilla bands to disappear, and I think we shall have no great difficulty in securing the entire pacification of this region. I propose moving back to Beverly to-morrow with headquarters, the advance-guard brigade, Howe’s battery, and Barker’s cavalry. I will leave here for the present Schleich’s brigade, consisting of the Third Ohio, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Indiana, Loomis’ battery, and Bursdal’s cavalry, with instructions to place an advance guard in the mountain, and to patrol the road in advance frequently. At Beverly I will be in a position to move promptly to any quarter required. The rather annoying business of reorganizing the three months’ regiment is now to be gone through with. I have some fourteen of that character in my command. While this is being done, I will endeavor so to locate the three-years’ troops as to have camps of instruction, while the necessary defensive purposes are at the same time subserved.

To effect this, I would ask the attention of the General-in-Chief to the great necessity for the appointment of more general officers for the three-years’ service. But one brigadier-general has yet been appointed for Ohio, and none for Indiana. The appointment of J. J. Reynolds (formerly of the artillery, now brigadier-general in the Indiana State service) is much desired by the troops from that State, and I hope that he may receive the first appointment. I would be glad to have him here now to place him in command at this post. With the raw material which compose this army it would seem absolutely necessary that we should have general officers of military education.

I would beg leave to express the hope that a brigade of the old regular infantry and some companies of regular cavalry may be assigned to my command, if it is intended that I shall be engaged in further active operations. While engaged in reorganizing the three months’ regiments there is a great deal to be done in compelling the organization of the trains and various staff departments.

Major R. B. Marcy, who has been acting during this brief campaigns inspector-general of this army, is in full possession of my views, and can communicate them better orally than I can on paper. May I ask that the major for my benefit so much of his intentions as may be necessary to enable me to conform my preparations and movements to his views, it being my desire to act in strict accordance with the General wishes.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General, U. S. Army, Commanding Department.

Col. E. D. TOWNSEND,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., Hdqrs. of the Army, Washington, D.C.


Sources

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.