War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0198 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE KANAWHA,

Princeton, May 16, 1862.

Colonel E. P. SCAMMON,

Commanding First Brigade:

SIR: Colonel Moor's men penetrated to Wolf Creek and had a skirmish, routing part of the enemy's cavalry. They have also to-day had a skirmish at crossing of Wytheville road with Cumberland Gap road; and on report of a considerable force near there I have just ordered him to leave half a regiment at French's and march with bulk of his force to the Wytheville road and hold it from any advance from that quarter. As soon as I learn fuller particulars I will give further orders, but do not apprehend amy change in former plans. If Moor should find a superior force I will let you know.

Keep in constant communication with the detachment at French's, and be prepared to act vigorously in amy manner circumstances may make necessary.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. D. COX,

Brigadier-General, commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE KANAWHA,

Princeton, May 16, 1862.

Colonel E. P. SCHAMMON,

Commanding First Brigade:

SIR: Colonel Moor's orders were only as stated to you in my former dispatch, but upon his hearing of a skirmish of some of the enemy with part of his detachment he ordered forward the larger part of his command, anticipating from rumor that he might have the whole of Humphrey Marshall's force to contend with. The arrangement suggested in my note to you of this p. m. will only continue till I can make preparation to return to the plan heretofore spoken of.

Some of Colonel Moor's men making a reconnaissance of the road from French's over the mountain fell upon an outpost of the enemy on Wolf Creek and captured several prisoners. From these (one of whom is a black man, who seemed to give honest and intelligible information) I get the following statement, which is corroborated by the drift of the statements of all, even when they try to deceive. They agree that the force before you is under command of General heth; that it numbers about 3,000 or 3,500 men, of which some 500 are cavalry. None of them have actually seen more than six cannon-two field pieces and four mountain howitzers. One of the large pieces is said to be planted on the opposite side of New River; the rest are on this side. They keep an outpost usually of two companies on Wolf Creek, where Colonel Moor's detachment had the skirmish with them. They say Humphrey Marshall was at Tazewell Court-House or thereabouts, and was expecting to march through Rocky Gap to attack the rear of our column by the Cumberland Gap road, and some of his cavalry had a skirmish with the large detachment of Colonel Moor's command near the cross-roads this morning. Marshall's force is put from 1,500 to 3,000. Many of the enemy are armed with smooth flint-lock muskets, &c. A skirmish is now going on with a few cavalry on the Wyoming road, supposed to be a part of the rebel cavalry who got past the road this morning.

This will show you that by quietly perfecting our arrangements we