and a week of good weather will make them tolerably good, except at the extremities, where they have been constantly used during the winter.
On the Newbern and Wytheville roads my reports are as follows. At mouth of Blue Stone, 250 men; at 3 miles up Blue Stone, 200 men and one iron 6-pounder; both camps with breastworks and abatis. On Flat Top Mountain French's company of cavalry, and a few cavalry and infantry at Princeton. These are manifestly mere posts of observation and will make no serious resistance.
At Newbern it is supposed the forces in that vicinity, with such re-enforcements as can be spared from Lynchburg, will be concentrated with a view to hold the railroad. The road from Gauley Bridge to Raleigh is bad; from Raleigh to Gladesville pretty good; from Gladesville to Wytheville it is very rough, and broken in places by land slides and passes through very hard defiles, but from Gladesville, via Princeton and Pearisburg, to Newbern it is reported passable.
Humphrey Marshall is reported to have concentrated his troops at Moccasin Gap, northwest of Abingdon. I cannot learn his number, but suppose them to be about 2,000.
I greatly regretted to hear of General Garfield's removal from Eastern Kentucky. He is one of our best officers and was very desirous of serving under your command. I do not believe the rebels have 5,000 men under arms from Abingdon to Lewisburg. If the roads get once well settled I am confident the Lewisburg and Newbern routes can both be used by pretty heavy columns.
Both Gauley Bridge and Fayette Court-House are safe depots now for stores, and as the roads this side of those places are the worst, I suggest the accumulation of supplies there at an early day. Sibley tents are the only ones we have except a few common tents, and not over two-thirds of the command are supplied with any.
Not knowing who is your adjutant-general, I address you directly, and am most happy to report to you for orders.
J. D. COX,
Brigadier-General Commanding District of the Kanawha.
CHARLESTON, March 31, 1862.
Major General JOHN C. FREMONT,
Since writing my dispatch of this morning I have news from Colonel Scammon, commanding brigade at Fayette and Raleigh, that the rebels, 1,000 strong, had gathered at Flat Top Mountain and had carried off some Union men from that vicinity. They make headquarters at Princeton and unite for predatory movements in different directions. By General Rosecrans' consent I had determined to move Colonel Bolles' Second Virginia Cavalry to Raleigh Court-House as soon as the roads would permit forage to be hauled there, as there is none in that vicinity. I submit the matter to you, and will have a report from Colonel Scammon to-day as to the condition of the roads from Gauley out. Colonel Scammon is urgent for cavalry, but I have regarded small expeditions as of little value, preferring not to use the roads more than is necessary till they become settled.
J. D. COX,
Brigadier-General, Commanding District.