Crook should be ordered to advance toward New River at the same time. You should, before starting, charge the destination of all your teams on the road between Gauley and Flat Top, ordering them to Lewisburg. Make my thanks to Colonel Crook for his gallant and successful fight of yesterday. I await full particulars with interest.
Numbers 9.] FLAT TOP, May 24, 1862.
(Received 12 midnight.)
Colonel ALBERT TRACY:
The rebels in their retreat burned Greenbrier bridge. Crook cannot advance far beyond Lewisburg till the new trains are ready to help him with supplies. The same cause operates here. Steady rain for the past twenty-four hours puts our supplies behind, and my hope that we might get some ahead is disappointed for the present.
The news from the front is not very consistent. Loring is now reported chief in command, having arrived two days ago. Numbers are reported as before-Heth 4,000, the rest 9,000 or 10,000. I allow for exaggeration, but no doubt it is a very much larger force than ours. Does the general commanding get any encouragement as to re-enforcements for us?
J. D. COX,
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF KANAWHA,
Flat Top, May 24, 1862.
The general commanding the district takes great satisfaction in announcing to the division the signal success of the Third Provisional Brigade, Colonel George Crook commanding.
They were attacked on yesterday morning by General Heth, of the rebel forces, with 3,000 men, whom, after a vigorous contest, they completely routed, capturing four cannon, 200 stand of arms, and 100 prisoners. The Third Brigade has covered itself with glory.
By command of Brigadier General J. D. Cox:
G. M. BASCOM,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
May 25, 1862.
Secretary CHASE, Fredericksburg, Va.:
It now appears that Banks got safety into Winchester last night and is this morning retreating on Harper's Ferry. This justifies the inference that he is pressed by numbers superior to his own. I think it not improbable that Ewell, Jackson and Johnson are pouring through the gap they made day before yesterday at Front Royal, making a dash northward. It will be a very valuable and very honorable service for General McDowell to cut them off. I hope he will put all possible energy and speed into the effort.