I ascertained that on the night of the 18th he encamped about 10 miles from Princeton, in a very strong position, having some seven regiments with him in retreat; in all from 5,000 to 7,000 men.
On the 19th I again sent forward on his line of retreat and ascertained that he had passed the Flat Top Mountains; had burned some of his caissons and gun-carriages, and had abandoned some of his wagons the preceding night. he was now 25 miles from Princeton. Nothing was now left to me but to return to the district whose interests are under my charge. I left a company of mounted men at Princeton, with orders to remain until General Heth could relieve them, and with the rest of my command I return to this point. I left 71 of the enemy's wounded in the hospital at Princeton too badly shot to be moved at all. His surgeons were left in attendance and a chaplain was permitted to be with them. I return a lift of 29 prisoners. The men themselves have been marched to Abingdon, where 3 others from the same army have been confined, whose names you have already.
My quartermaster has made a return of our captures, among which I may mention about 35 miles of telegraph wire, horses, mules, saddles, pack-saddles, medical instruments, medicines in panniers, tents, a few stores, 18 head of cattle, a number of wagons, and some excellent muskets and rifles. These last have been taken in charge by my ordnance officers, and will be issued to my command unless otherwise ordered.
Reviewing the whole movement, I have only to regret that Brigadier-General heth did not join me on the 17th and did not communicate to me his whereabouts during the day or night. All was accomplished that I anticipated from the movement except the capture of prisoners. The invasion has been signally repulsed and the enemy has been demoralized and broken; the country he threatened so imminently has been relieved. It is a triumph of strategy merely, without loss on our part.
My list of casualties will only exhibit 2 killed on the field; 2 seriously wounded, who will die, and some 10 or 12 wounded, but not dangerously. The enemy has lost largely, and, indeed, I should not be surprised if in killed and wounded his loss reached 400. One of his regiments scattered in the woods, threw away guns and uniforms, and its members are daily picked up by the country people.
Your obedient servant,
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding, &c., Richmond, Va.
CAMP AT TIFFANY'S, VA.
May 21, 1862.
GENERAL: I have to report the following articles captured from the enemy at Princeton, Va., on the 16th and 17th instant, viz: Twelve belltents, 2 wall-tents, and flies, 5 horses, 18 mules, 35 pack-saddles, 4 wagons, a lot of incomplete harness.
TH. F. FISHER,
Major and Chief Quartermaster, Army of East Kentucky.
Brigadier Ben. HUMPHREY MARSHALL, Commanding, &c.