War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0159 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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Ewell's combined forces at McDowell. A sharp action this morning. Our forces ordered to retire on me. Blenker's division coming up. General Shields' division ordered to General McDowell. Banks retiring upon Strasburg. This all results from Yorktown evacuation. You must be vigilant and prompt.

J. C. FREMONT,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS PROVISIONAL BRIGADE,

May 9, 1862-9 p. m.

Captain G. M. BASCOM,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Raleigh:

Three dispatches of 8th and 9th received at 8.45 this evening. We march at 7 to-morrow morning. Will do my best. If there be any considerable force in front will fight them. Reports from Hayes to-day express some apprehensions, but we will try them unless they multiply very fast, i. e., we will try at all hazards.

I think it may be true that great efforts are being made to oppose us, but perhaps the force is exaggerated. I ordered Gilmore's cavalry to go Camp Piatt, as directed. Lieutenant-Colonel Hayes detained them temporarily on account of urgent necessity. I have repeated the order.

I have orders here for the Twelfth Regiment to follow us without delay to Giles Court-House, leaving one company at this place.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. P. SCAMMON,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

SUMMERVILLE, W. VA.,

May 9, 1862.

Captain G. M. BASCOM,

Ass. Adjt. General, U. S. Army, Raleigh Court-House:

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of an expedition to the mouth of Birch River and Webster County:

Having learned that some 300 of the Moccasin Rangers had gone from the vicinity of Lewisburg to Webster County, and that some 200 of these had gone down Birch River for the purpose of attacking Sutton or making a foray into Clay or neighboring counties, I left this post on the morning of the 4th instant with five companies of this regiment for Birch River, taking the two Sutton prisoners with us. Previous to my leaving this post, however, I dispatched two companies to a crossing on Gauley River, near Addison, and another company on the Coal Knob road, thereby entirely cutting off their retreat. I camped first night on Birch River; learned there from Sutton that these 200 men had gone in the direction of Arnoldsburg, Calhoun County, and that the troops from Sutton and Arnoldsburg were after them and expected to prevent their farther advance, and wished my co-operation. So on the morning of the 5th I started with four companies to the mouth on Birch, sending Major Andrews and one company to Sutton with the prisoners. I learned on my arrival at the mouth of Birch that the troops from Arnoldsburg had taken one road and the rebels another, passing each other, the rebels getting between them and Arnoldsburg.