War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0811 Chapter XXIV. ACTION AT LEWISBURG, W. VA.

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[Sub-inclosure.]

DUBLIN, May 20, 1862-8 p. m.

Major-General LORING,

Commanding Department:

GENERAL: Knowing General Heth's movement I hasten to give you the following facts just to hand:

The telegraphic operator, with his papers, at Jackson River was captured by the enemy. Among the undestroyed dispatches was one ordering two of Jackson's regiments and Ashby's cavalry to the rear of the enemy at Covington. As soon as captured the enemy fell back to Lewisburg. At the latter post he has been strongly re-enforced within the last thirty-six hours.

If Heth makes the contemplated move he may easily be seriously threatened and annoyed by a superior force on his left.

The enemy burnt the first railroad bridge between Jackson River Depot.

General Cox's headquarters are at Lewisburg. The operator was making his was off with his instruments, &c., when he was captured.

I think this information is entirely reliable.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. H. WERTH,

Lieutenant-Colonel, C. S. Army.

SALT SULPHUR SPRINGS,

May 21, 1862.

Major General W. W. LORING:

GENERAL: Yours of 21st instant, with inclosure, to hand. I am at this point with my force, 24 miles from Lewisburg.

I think I have pretty accurately ascertained that the force of the enemy does not exceed three regiments of infantry, 300 or 400 cavalry, with six or eight pieces of artillery.

I am endeavoring to place myself in communication with the forces under General johnson, supposed to be advancing toward Covington, and if compelled to fall back I will do so in the direction of Bonsack's and Salem, covering those point.

I hope to learn something form General Johnson's force early to morrow, 22nd instant. I will communicate with you by every opportunity daily, if possible.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

H. HETH,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure Numbers 2.]

HEADQUARTERS, ETC.,

Fincastle, May 25, 1862.

Brigadier General HENRY HETH,

Commanding Brigade:

GENERAL: I am just now in receipt of a telegram informing me that you are falling back to The Narrows.

Will not this movement leave the entire country exposed to the enemy? Retiring will give them an impetus which may induce them to move upon the railroad at once, and if you go back to The Narrows