Our brigade marched back to Callaghan's, intending to send our cavalry down by way of Sweet Springs to Buchanan to effect the original movement, but we were there met by a courier bearing an order from you to fall back to Gauley River. On our entrance into Lewisburg Colonel Crook received another dispatch, telling him to remain until further orders. Still another, ordering him down by Palestine road to re-enforce General Cox, which he proceeded to do at daybreak.
The move to Jackson's River Depot will undoubtedly cause much speculation among the rebels, and they would be for some time after receiving our exaggerated reports of our numbers, in great doubt as to our destination and object. I think in the movement toward Giles that I might be of great service by remaining, as a great portion of that country is personally known to me and I can command the services of persons resident. Shall I remain or shall I report to you?
General Helt is at or near Dublin with General Floyd, and the greater part of his forces are the militia from Alleghany and the neighboring counties, whom he has forced from their homes against their protests.
E. J. ALLEN.
Washington, May 19, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have received the telegraphic dispatch addressed to you by General Fremont in which he says that he is delayed for want of transportation, but that if you will sent him at once and without delay 200 wagons, with the necessary horses, he will make up for lack of troops by celerity of movement and will ask for no re-enforcements.
The army in the Department of Western Virginia was supplied last season with transportation at will. All the horses, mules, and wagons asked for were furnished it from the East or were authorized to purchase it West.
The wear and tear was great during the active operations, and when requisitions were made to supply more horses and mules this spring you directed the Quartermaster-General to wait until General Fremont took command before ordering or authorizing large expenditures.
The reports from Western Virginia, imperfect inasmuch as inexperienced officers fail to make them, show that in the quartermaster's department, independent of artillery and cavalry horses, there were in February 3,413 horses and 1,857 mules, part of which-1,000 horses and 175 mules-were not fit for service. This would make about 883 teams, of 4 horses and 6 mules each, fit for duty.
Since General Fremont assumed command the purchase of over 5,000 horses and mules, to put the cavalry, artillery, and transportation of this army into an efficient state, has been authorized on requisitions approved by him.
This makes a remount, by the best information in my possession, of one horse or mule to every five soldiers in Western Virginia, which it really seems to the Quartermaster-General ought to be sufficient to fill up all losses and re-establish the efficiency of the troops.
If desired, I can order 200 wagons to be purchased and sent within a few days to Western Virginia, and authorize the chief quartermaster of the department to purchase 800 more horses or 1,200 mules,