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Re: William & Mary College
In Response To: William & Mary College ()

Here are two letters from the Official Records re Professor Snead.

George Martin

WILLIAMSBURG, VA., May 16, 1861.

Maj. Gen. R. E. LEE, Commanding Virginia Forces:

SIR: A reply to your communication of the 14th instant, as well as to the reference to me of Colonel Mallory's letter of the 13th, directed to Governor Letcher, is contained in the following statement:

Immediately on my return here, learning that Yorktown had been threatened by a U.S. steamer, and that a creek, a short distance below, had been entered by a barge, filled with men, with as little delay as practicable I sent the Irwin Guard, to protect, to the extent their strength would allow, the citizens of the town and county near; and, on the same day, went there myself. After careful inquiry, I came to the conclusion that no landing was contemplated or had been, and that the alarm was groundless.

From Yorktown I went to Hampton, for the purpose of calling into service the volunteer force in the vicinity. On the road I was informed of the demonstrations (alluded to in the letter of Colonel Mallory) by the garrison of Fort Monroe, and, in consequence, determined to see Colonel Dimick, at present commandant of the fort, and ascertain, if possible, the cause of the encroachment. On the 14th (Thursday) I requested and obtained an interview with him. He informed me that in taking possession of the spring west of Mill Creek he had no other object than to get water for his garrison, and that unless the safety (health) of his troops required an expansion of the area within the Government limits, for encampments, &c., he had no idea, under existing circumstances, of an aggressive movement. He frankly told me at the same time that he did not know in how short or long a time these circumstances might be changed. He laughed at the idea of violence being contemplated towards Hampton. He expressed great regret at the present state of things, and was kind and conciliatory. We agreed it would be better for the guards not to approach too close together. Accordingly I gave orders to the guards from Hampton not to go within half a mile of the fort. Judging from the means of information within my reach, and from what I saw and heard near the fort (I was not admitted beyond a point near the gate, on the outside), I have no hesitation in asserting that no mules or horses have been landed there in any numbers, and that the force is not sufficient, in any respect, to warrant the supposition of an invasion from that quarter. I shall endeavor to keep you informed of any important changes in the state of things around Fort Monroe.

While in Hampton I directed the formation of a camp of instruction and observation, within about three miles of the town, to be commanded by Major Cary. This camp will be the rendezvous of five companies, numbering about three hundred and twenty men. It is as well to say that this camp will not cost the State anything, the material being furnished by the county. The same is true of the camp near Williamsburg. Major Cary is instructed to maintain a system of patrols, and to keep pickets at the most important points and landings, also, to obstruct the roads, as far as is compatible with their use by the neighborhood.

In addition to the five companies, there are seven foot and one horse company (about 500 men) ready, or very nearly so, to be mustered into service. Of these 820 volunteers not more than 300 are armed, and of the 300, at least 150 have only flint-lock muskets. There ought to be four hundred percussion-lock muskets sent at once. As yet I have received but two hundred and fifty flint-lock guns, and a part of them cannot be used, being imperfect.

No further orders have been received by me respecting the militia. Colonel Mallory wishes to know who has the control of his regiment. The question as to my power to call them out ought to be settled. The post at Yorktown, I infer, is not under my jurisdiction. I shall, with pleasure, afford to the officer in command there all the aid I can. Are the approaches below Yorktown to be under the supervision of Major Montague, also?

As the quartermaster for this district has declined, allow me to remind you of Mr. Saunders, better qualified than any one else I know.
The adjunct professor of mathematics at William and Mary College has, for several weeks, been engaged in examining and surveying the county here for the defense, and it would be proper to give him an appointment in the civil engineering department of the State. The name of the gentleman is Stead.

A half a dozen cadets could be most usefully employed in the camp of instruction here, and I respectfully ask that this number be sent.

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,

Active Virginia Volunteers.
ORSer1, V2, pp. -854


CHARLESTON, W. VA., July 19, 1861.

GENERAL: This will be handed to you by Maj. C. B. Duffield, who takes to you the official report of a fight with the enemy and six prisoners, including two colonels and one lieutenant colonel and two captains, and a member of the late Wheeling Convention, charged with treason. Major Duffield will personally give you details. This extraordinary war, in which the odds here are multiplied against us immensely by domestic enemies, requires absolutely an officer of high intelligence and responsibility to attend to prisoners. Rigid and harsh discipline of traitors in the Kanawha Valley and adjacent counties would fill all the jails of the trans-Alleghany. Dismissing all we can, from policy as well as necessity, still the cases are very numerous, and would require the greater portion of my time, which is all now hard pressed upon by the enemy's army. The traitors, their most efficient allies, spies, and soldiers, too, I have turned over to Major Duffield, who, since early after my arrival, has been examining them and applying the law to their cases. This he has been assiduously and laboriously doing, without any known mode of compensating him whatever. He is not of military education, and I therefore could not promise him a staff or line appointment, which might be detailed for this duty. Indeed, we require double the number of officers we have for military duty proper, and I therefore gave Mr. Duffield a special acting appointment, which he most devotedly accepted. I beg that you will authorize his appointment, fix his pay, and give him a proper rank on my staff. And there are two other descriptions of officers doing absolutely necessary service for whom there is no provision of pay--first, the engineers to locate the sites and plan the construction of works for defense, and the scientific explorers of mountains, gorges, rivers, passes, roads, &c. For the first I have employed Colonel Adler--a Hungarian--a man of consummate ability, science, and bravery, and for the last Prof. Thomas I. L. Snead, of William and Mary! and Lieut. J. B. Harvie, of the Provisional Army. The latter has commission in the Provisional Army and the former are treated as mere employes. They have two parties, Adler chief of both, one headed by Snead and the other by Harvie, performing very arduous and hazardous duties. I ask authority to allow them rank, pay, and forage for horses, with pay for a limited number of assistants, say six to each party. They had e strengthened us far more than all the militia called out. Another unpaid corps is that of drill officers, without whom we could not make a stand or a good run from the enemy. The companies elect their officers, the drill officers train them, and then stand off to see them paid and win honors, I hope, whilst they are fed only and transported. Lastly, Major Duffield will tell you how much we need artillery. Do send us two rifled sixes, two 12-pounder howitzers, and allow us four small 4-pounders, which Major Duffield can select at Gosport navy-yard. The enemy knocked over one of our little iron guns, as you will see, in the late fight. We now have in all eight pieces--three brass and five superior iron guns. The enemy's artillery (rifled cannon) outfired us, doing double our execution. Welch lost his life spiking our disabled gun, thinking, poor fellow, it was to fall into the hands of the enemy, and not surviving to joy in victory. Supply us more ammunition. The force I sent to attack the enemy returned yesterday evening, having chased him to his intrenchments at Pocotaligo Mouth. He is now there, about three thousand three hundred strong, awaiting re-enforcements. We are threatened by that number in the valley, by about one thousand five hundred from Ripley to Sissonville, and by forces from Weston, Glenville, and Sutton, via Summersville. If I go toward Point Pleasant they rush on Coal, on Two-Mile, and the Elk and Gauley, and if I move out of the valley in any direction with anything like an effective force, they rush in and take the valley, and if I stand still they move from all sides and shut me in. By all means, then, hasten on re-enforcements, arms, and ammunition.

To-day I send a flag of truce to obtain baggage of prisoners, at their request. Colonel Patton is doing as well as having done nobly well deserves. His arm I hope will not have to be amputated. We are throwing up breastworks and defenses at every pass, and mean never to be taken. Haste to prepare every means now shortens this report.

Most respectfully,

Brigadier-General. General

Adjutant and Inspector General.
ORSer1V2, pp. 288-290

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