HEADQUARTERS MOUNTAIN DEPARTMENT,
Franklin, Va., May 15, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
General Kelley, commanding the Railroad District, reports from Spencer, Roane County, that he was attacked in a narrow pass at Reedy Creek day before yesterday by guerrillas, who fired upon him from the mountain-top. His men dismounted and charged up the mountain, but were unable to kill amy of the rebels. General Kelley suffered no loss. He is perfectly satisfied that there is no force in this country but refugees.
Lieutenant-colonel Harris, commanding the District of Cheat Mountain, reports everything quiet in his command. From Eastern Kentucky I have reports, which seem reliable, of arrogant and threatening conduct on the part of the secessionists, secret meetings, drilling, and preparations for a general outbreak at the same time with an inroad by forces under Humphrey Marshall. Large and small parties of recruits are reported passing through to the Virginia line. I have directed Colonel Lightburn, commanding at Charleston, and Colonel Cranor, commanding at Piketon, to co-operate in ridding the country of guerrillas. The small force under these officers is, however, insufficient to protect the country against any attack, and I cannot re-enforce Colonel Cranor without danger to other parts of the department, now threatened along its entire line. I would again suggest the importance of placing in that portion of the State a body of troops sufficiently large to repel any invasion and relieve the apprehensions of the loyal inhabitants.
J. C. FREMONT,
FRANKLIN, May 15, 1862.
Colonel ALBERT TRACY,
Weather rainy. Trying to hurry up supplies and ammunition. Moor's brigade is at junction of Pearisburg road with road running up East River. I stopped them there, as they can easily support Scammon or watch the Wytheville pike, going through Rocky Gap. Crook's brigade is at Lewisburg, and warned to watch sharply in all directions.
Our supply of artillery ammunition is small, and I get no response to requisition made by ordnance sergeant.
The enemy's force is variously reported from 6,000 upward.
Before making any decisive movement I wish to get up some supplies and ammunition and learn the country a little better. The enemy's position is in the Narrows and hard to reach from this side, though Scammon reports it a poor position to hold against a force coming the other way, on account of the formation of the mountains. I was disappointed in his abandoning it, however.
J. D. COX,
13 R R-VOL XII, PT III