Thursday, May 19, 2011

May 14, 1861 (Tuesday): Arriving in Grafton

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                                                            GRATON, VA., May 14, 1861

            Adjustant-General Virginia Forces, Richmond:
COLONEL:  I have the honor to report that in compliance with orders of the 4th instant, which failed to reach me in time for earlier action, I arrived in Grafton at an early hour this morning. The officers directed to report to me are not present,; nor is ther any volunteer or other force here.  I will at once proceed to ascertain the whereabouts of Major Goff’s command, which I hope to find soon, and will then endeavor to unite with one or more companies, with which I will return and take position in or near this place.  On account of the sparseness of the population here, it will be difficult to get the various companies to act in concert.
……There is great disaffection in this and the adjoining counties, and opposition to the lawful action of the State authorities is certainly contemplated.
         Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
                                                            GEO. A. PORTERFIELD,
                                                            Colonel, Virginia Vounteers
P.S.-Please direct my letters to Fetterman, one mile distant from Grafton, and the only post-office in this county to which letters can be met with safety.

Just as the Union had to contend with Maryland divided between Unionists and Confederates, the Confederates had to contend with a divided Virginia.  Here Porterfield, an officer who served in the Western part of the state with no distinction, reports his arrival at Grafton, a key advanced position in the west of the state.

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