BEVERLY, July 19, 1861.
Col. E. D. TOWNSEND:
Cox checked on the Kanawha. Has fought something between a victory and a defeat. A wounded colonel of ours taken prisoner, and a possibility of having lost two colonels and a lieutenant-colonel, who amused themselves by a reconnaissance beyond the pickets. have ordered him to remain where he it, and will start as soon as possible to cut Wise’s rear and relieve our credit. In Heaven’s name give me some general officers who understand their profession. I give orders and find some who cannot execute them unless I stand by them. Unless I command every picket and lead every column I cannot be sure of success. Give me such men as Marcy, Stevenson, Sacket, Lander, &c., and I will answer for it with my life that I meet with no disaster. Had my ordered been excused from beginning, our success would have been brief and final.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
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.