Series 1, Volume 51, part 2, p. 459-60
Headquarters Eighth Virginia Cavalry,
Mercer Court-House, February 3, 1862.
General S. Cooper,
Adjutant and Inspector General, Richmond, Va.:
General: I have just received the inclosed note from Lieutenant-Colonel Peters, of the Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment, and in reply to it I directed him to send four companies of his regiment to Salt Sulphur Springs to support Colonel Reynolds, if it was possible to do so. The distance from Peterstown, the headquarters of the Forty-fifth Regiment, to Salt Sulphur is twenty-eight miles, and the roads are so muddy and deep that four or five miles is a long day’s march for infantry. All is quiet in the vicinity of Raleigh Court-House, and the commanding officer at that post is daily expecting an attack from us. I have sent out a scout to endeavor to cut off some of the enemy’s scouts and foraging parties. I would also report that I have several disloyal citizens here as prisoners, and among them is one who has been doing a great deal of injury to the South. He had just returned from the enemy’s lines when he was taken prisoner by some of my men. Shall I retain these men here or send them to Richmond? If they are released they can do us much mischief. I have made several advances on Raleigh Court-House recently, but each time I was prevented from reaching there by the rising of the streams, and now the pace is too strongly fortified for my small force to capture it without cannon to operate with. There is no danger of the enemy advancing from that direction soon, as the streams and roads are in a horrid condition, rendering it impossible for a man even on horseback to travel at all.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. H. Jenifer,
Headquarters Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment,
February 2, 1862.
My Dear Sir: Your dispatch of this date just received. I received on yesterday a communication from Colonel Reynolds asking to be supported. He stated that the enemy had halted between the Sewells, and that if I could not come to his succor to come at least as far as the Salt Sulphur. I sent him word in reply that I was ordered to Pack’s Ferry, and to advise you of my movements; that in obedience to your order I had posted several companies at Peterstown, and would station others at Pack’s Ferry and Jumping Branch, for the protection of this line, and that consequently, with my regiment thus disposed of, I could not support him. Sewell Mountain is distant from Lewisburg near forty miles. It would be next to impossible for me to get wagons there within five or six days. I shall, therefore, not revoke my answer of yesterday to Colonel Reynolds, unless ordered to do so by you. I shall move from this point early to-morrow with five companies for Pack’s Ferry.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Wm. E. Peters
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: February 1862