Headquarters Virginia Forces,

Richmond, Va., April 30, 1861

Maj. F. M. Boykin, Jr., Virginia Volunteers, Weston, Va.:


You are desired to take measures to muster into the service of the State such volunteer companies as may offer their services for the protection of the northwestern portion of the State. Assume the command, take post at or near Grafton, unless some other point should offer greater facilities for the command of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the branch to Parkersburg. It is not the object to interrupt peaceful travel on the road or to offer annoyance to citizens pursuing their usual avocations; but to hold the road for the benefit of Maryland and Virginia, and to prevent its being used against them. You will therefore endeavor to obtain the co operation of the officers of the road, and afford them, on your part, every assistance in your power. You will also endeavor to give quiet and security to the inhabitants of the country.

Maj. A. Loring, at Wheeling, has been directed, with the volunteer companies under his command, to give protection to the road, near its terminus, at the Ohio River, and you will place yourself in communication with him, and co-operate with him, if necessary.

Please state whether a force at Pakersburg will be necessary, and what number of companies can be furnished in that vicinity. You are requested to report the number of companies you may muster into the service of the State, their arms, condition, &c., and your views as to the best means for the accomplishment of the object in view.

To enable you to supply any deficiency in arms in the companies, two hundred muskets, of the old pattern, flint-locks, will be forwarded by Colonel Jackson, the commanding officer at Harper’s Ferry, to your order, from whence you must take measure to receive them and convey them in safety to their destination, under guard, if necessary. I regret that no other arms are at present for issue.

Very respectfully, &c.,

R E Lee

Major-General, Commanding





Source: The War of the Rebellion, Series 1, Volume 2, pp. 791

Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2017 November 16