PRINCETON, May 14, 1862.
Colonel ALBERT TRACY,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Franklin, Va.:
Reached here last night. Moor's brigade bivouacked 5 miles behind. Shall have both brigades concentrate to-morrow night at Scammon's position, 18 miles in front. Expect Crook's brigade to reach Lewisburg to-day or to-morrow. Scammon's advance destroyed the captured stores at Pearisburg when they retired. This has put his command on short rations but they have not suffered, and fresh supplies will reach them before they are quite out.
Telegraph is 16 miles behind, coming on 8 miles a day; our scant transportation has delayed the wire.
Have heard nothing from you for three days.
J. D. COX,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE KANAWHA,
Princeton, May 14, 1862.
Colonel E. P. SCAMMON,
Commanding First Brigade:
SIR: Your messenger this morning brought me no report from you as to the position of affairs with you. I fear he lost some dispatch, as his budget contained only reports, &c., for the Adjutant-General's Office.
It will take two or three days to get forward supplies and needed additional ammunition. If, however, there is a probability of the time being more important than anything else, I will make arrangements for an immediate test of the rebel strength in the Narrows. I wish your opinion on this subject.
Please inform me also whether you have boats at Shoemaker's Ferry, or any equally available crossing, by which we could pass over some long-range guns, with suitable support, to reach the rebel position in the Narrows from the road opposite, which, as I am informed, runs higher on the hill-side and commands the road on this side the river. You have not yet given me the result of your inquiry as to a road over East River Mountain turning the position on the (our) right. I had some thought of sending the Second Brigade through by the Wytheville turnpike by way of Rocky Gap, but am averse to dividing the force, especially as the communication between the detachment would be very difficult pending the combined movement. If matters are not likely to become less favorable by delay I regard it quite important to spend a day or two in bringing up the telegraph, getting direct communication with department headquarters, from which I have not heard for several day, [and] with Colonel Crook in hurrying forward ammunition and supplies, and organizing the new transportation, which is beginning to come up the river in very small quantities. In regard to these things and for a full report of your present knowledge of the enemy let me hear from you to-night if possible.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. COX,