War of the Rebellion: Serial 015 Page 0812 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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there will be no one to stop them. Can you not get supplies so as to enable you to halt at some point to protect the approaches to the railroad in the direction of Bonsack's and Salem, as well as, if necessary, to move upon The Narrows.

Try and effect the protection of the railroad. I have no information of any enemy approaching The Narrows, and until that there is no immediate necessity of going there.

In your note in reply to mine relative to the re-enforcement of the enemy at Lewisburg you informed me that, in case you did not deem it proper upon information to attack the enemy, you would take position so as to afford the protection desired. Cannot this be done now?

I shall be at Dublin Depot to-morrow.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major-General, Commanding.

Numbers 6. Report of Brigadier General Henry Heth, C. S. Army.


May 23, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to state that after the rout of Cox's army by the combined forces of General Johnson and my own I at once concluded to attack the force at Lewisburg, and was the more determined upon this course when I learned that the enemy had divided his force at Lewisburg and sent a portion of it in the direction of Covington.

This plan was communicated to you on assuming the command of the department; in fact, the movement had then already commenced.

I proceeded rapidly in the direction of Lewisburg. I had the most accurate information of the enemy's force in every respect. He numbered about 1,500 men (infantry)-two regiments-two mountain howitzers, and about 150 cavalry. The force I led against him numbered about 2,000 infantry, three batteries, and about 100 cavalry.

My chance of success was good, provided I could surprise the enemy and get into position. This I succeeded in doing far beyond my expectation. Most of his pickets were captured, and I attained without firing a shot that position in front of Lewisburg which I would have selected.

The enemy retired to a range of hill corresponding in height on the west side of the town.

As my regiments and batteries arrived they were deployed as follows:

Finney's battalion on the left, the Forty-fifth Regiment in the center, and the Twenty-second Virginia Regiment on the right; Lieutenant-Colonel Cook's battalion of dismounted men, Eighth Virginia Cavalry, as the reserve.

While deploying and getting my batteries into position the enemy, evidently in order to cover the retreat of his wagons, threw forward his smallest regiment, sending one-half to the right and the other to the left of the main approach to the town.

I advanced to meet him. I directed Lieutenant-Colonel Finney, commanding battalion, to occupy a small body of oak timber. In doing this Colonel Finney had to cross a wheat field. The enemy, number-