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Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood
Undated
April 1862


Wheeling Intelligencer
April 10, 1862

Letter from Wheeling

General Fremont – Division of the Department – Difficulties of the Situation – General Rosecrans

{Correspondence of the New York Times.}

Department of the Mountains
Wheeling, Va., April 3, 1862

General Fremont is stopping at “The McLure House,” in this city. He is looking much better than when I last saw him, on his return from “The Hundred Days in Missouri.”

This Mountain Department is divided into sections. That under Gen. Cox is on the Kanawha; that of Milroy in the region of Cheat Mountain; that of Gen. Schenck about Cumberland’ that of Gen. Kelley is called the Railroad Division, as he has the care of the Western branches of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The latter is now here, a living refutation of the old adage, “The man who is in the battle slain, may never live to fight again.” He is, certainly, the best preserved specimen of a killed General that one may expect to find.

If any persons at a distance are inclined to impatience at any seeming lack of activity in this Department, certain things should be borne in mind. It is impossible they should always know, beforehand, how much depends upon the motion of certain circumlocution officers at the seat of Government – that, for instance, of the Adjutant-General of the United States Army.

Gen. Fremont is popularly supposed to be here with his staff, preparing to take the field; whereas, in fact, he has no staff officers here save one, a regular officer of the United States army. A few others, to be sure, are here, and are working without pay, not having as yet received their commissions; others still, whose commissions have been ordered to be made out by the President, prefer not to come until their commissions are received.

Besides this, the whole of Western Virginia is without railroads of telegraphs – is very difficult to get speedy information from so many distant points, and even the professedly Union men are singularly inclined to be shy in communicating what they know or believe. Gen. Fremont is very prompt to extend telegraphic communication wherever practicable, but much remains to be done by special messengers.

Gen. Rosecrans is here, but being relieved of his command, will probably be called East soon. Whatever his merits as an officer, he is no doubt popular among both citizens and soldiers, and his retention here would meet with general favor.

I hear on the street that there is some talk of Gen. Fremont’s headquarters being removed to Cincinnati. Whoever foundation there may be for this, it will doubtless not occur until that city, or possibly the State of Ohio is added to his Department. If the main object of Gen. Fremont’s command is simply to hold possession of the region at present occupied, his complement of troops is, no doubt sufficient. But if important aggressive movements are contemplated, he will need more troops and transportation, both of which Ohio could supply in any quantity. In fact, I hear complaints on every side, of the unfair manner in which Gen. Fremont has been started in his command here. Those who know the old Department of Western Virginia, are amazed that Buell should have removed Garfield, and his well-known fine body of men, just outside the Mountain Department, thus leaving them quite useless, and Fremont almost without available and moveable force.

I hear the new officers complaining that somebody is withdrawing nearly all the good officers of the “General Staff” who have been here and learned the Department routine.

Dr. Whitney, from Brooklyn, arrived here yesterday, and was this morning sent off to Clarksburgh, Harrison County, with a commission as First Assistant Surgeon. P.


Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: Undated: April 1862

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