Royal to ascertain the position of our own and of the enemy's troops. One brigade of General Banks is on its march from Martinsburg to this place. General Banks himself will be here to-day. The detachments of cavalry sent out from Smithfield yesterday made about 50 prisoners, and to-day we found here, 8 surgeons and 350 sick and wounded, belonging to General Banks' command.
Honorable E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War.
JUNE 8, 1862.-Skirmish at Muddy Creek, W. Va.
Report of Major John J. Hoffman, Second West Virginia Cavalry.
CAMP MEADOW BLUFF, W. VA.,
June 9, 1862.
COLONEL: In obedience to your order of the 8th I took with me Captains Powell, Dove, and Behan, of the Second Battalion Second Virginia Cavalry, and traveled in the direction of Alderson's ferry via Blue Sulphur.; When within about 2 1/2 miles from the ferry and 1 1/2 miles from the small village of Palestine I found a squad of 14 men, belonging to the Greenbrier and White's cavalry, dismounted and standing picket, under the command of First Lieutenant Hawver, of the Greenbrier cavalry. They retreated to the woods, and I pursued them through the woods and fields about 1 1/2 miles to Muddy Creek. Here 1 man (McClung) surrendered, and in crossing the creek we killed 2, who fell in the stream and floated down.
The creek was deep, the bottom covered with loose stone, and the current swift, and we were delayed some time in crossing.
After crossing we killed Lieutenant Harover, whose body we left in charge of one Baker (citizen), and captured 1 prisoner (Graves, from Lewisburg). We took two double-barreled shot-guns. The picket had left their horses across the river, at the ferry, with a guard. The river was too deep and rapid to ford, and having no boats we were unable to get at them.
There are no boats at this ferry, nor at any of the crossings above or below that I could hear of. I did not go to Haynes' Ferry, about 8 miles below, and a rough road. I learned that near Haynes' Ferry there was a road (very rough) leading on to Lick Creek, and from there across tot he Gauley road, near the top of Little Sewell. None of my command were hurt, and both officers and men are entitled to credit for the promptness and zeal with which they executed their orders. Two horses of Captain Powell's company died from fatigue. Four miles beyond Blue Sulphur there is a large quantity of hay, but no grain that I could find. From Blue Sulphur to the ferry the road, with the exception of a few slips, is tolerably good, and on this side the Springs there is a very large slip on the mountain side.
I could not hear of any Confederate troops this side of the river, and heard that General Heth's forces were still at the Salt Springs, beyond Union.
J. J. HOFFMAN,
Major Second Battalion Second Virginia Cavalry.
Colonel GEORGE CROOK, Commanding Brigade.