reasonably safe. I would place two regiments in the existing intrenchments at Fayetteville, one on the Lewisburg road a little above the Gauley Bridge, and one in reserve at Gauley Bridg. These, with cavalry and artillery, would make about 3,000 men. The balance of my command would be about eight infantry regiments, three squadrons of cavalry, and two batteries of artillery, numbering very nearly 6,000 for duty. With the force here my shortest route would be to cross New River near the mouth of Blue Stone, join the force at Lewisburg, and then move forward together. The whole distance is about 170 miles, and, including river crossing, would make eleven or twelve days' march. The only force of the enemy in the way which I know of is Heth's old force, some 3,000, near Monroe Court-House. These would probably run toward Christiansburg on our approach. After leaving Lewisburg our communication with Gauley Bridge would be entirely broken, and we should have to rely on meeting supplies at the end of the march. We could take train enough to carry stores, diving our own cattle. The permanent safety of this valley with the force above stated would, of course, depend upon the advance on other line. If great delay should occur on the other line, the enemy would probably make an effort to drive such a garrison out.
J. D. COX,
FREDERICKSBURG, VA., July 10, 1862-12 noon.
Colonel E. SCHRIVER,
Chief of Staff:
Reports are current in Fredericksburg this morning that the Confederate troops, under Stonewall Jackson, are advancing in this direction. It is said they intend coming by Gordonsville and Orange Court-House. I have no confirmation yet of this report from my scouts or patrols, but it is fully credited by the leading secessionists in Fredericksburg. A citizen, who left Richmond Sunday, says that he saw Generals McCall and Reynold last Friday; that they were well, in good spirits, and kindly treated, and that they wished their families to be so informed. I have sent a spy to Gordonsville, and shall dispatch a heavy cavalry patrol up the plank road this afternoon.
FLAT TOP MOUNTAIN, W. VA., July 10, 1862.
Colonel GEORGE D. RUGGLES,
In addition to my dispatch of yesterday I would say that this position is perhaps the best strategic one in this valley, since, by the nature of the country, it covers more perfectly all in rear. If the troops can be obtained, three new regiments, with three of mine, could hold this position and Meadow Bluff, on the Lewisburg road, with the country behind. This would liberate nine of my regiments. I could concentrate these toward Lewisburg, driving the enemy beyond Peter's Mountain in doing so. At Lewisburg I could draw such supplies from Gualey Bridge as would be needed for a long march. The demonstrations on the roads would tend to mislead as to our ultimate movement.