War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0436 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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with some two or three pieces, stationed at the Narrows for the last month; in all not 1,000 men. Their position is strong, and I think it better to turn their position and make them evacuate. Heth's force will not fight.

GEORGE CROOK,

Colonel, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD PROVISIONAL BRIGADE,

Meadow Bluff, June 26, 1862.

Brigadier General JACOB D. COX,

Commanding Kanawha Division, Flat Top Mountain, W. Va.:

GENERAL: I regret exceedingly that my expedition to Salt Sulphur interfered with your plans, for I can assure you that I have never had any other idea than that of a most hearty co-operation with you, and it was in furtherance of your plans, as I supposed, that I made the expedition, in order that when your proposed move on the Narrows was made I would have no enemy in my rear. I did not know the day before I would make the move, but did it on information just received. I must say, however, that I was greatly surprised to receive such a communication in an unsealed envelope, with the flap of the envelope folded inside, showing that it was not inadvertence-a transaction that in all of my military experience I had never heard of before. Coming in this way its contents gained certain publicity, and as it contained certain reflections on my motives, justice to myself requires that an investigation of the whole affair, by proper authority, should be made. I shall reserve all particulars until the proper time.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEORGE CROOK,

Colonel, Commanding Brigade.

MANASSAS, June 27, 1862.

Major-General McDOWELL, Washington, D. C.:

The first two trains are nearly ready to start with a part of Shields' division. The remainder will load up as soon as the track is clear. Orders have been issued to Carroll's brigade to join Sturgis' command at Cloud's Mills, and the artillery, cavalry, and wagons of Shields' division will march to-morrow morning. I have telegraphed to Captain Ferguson what troops to expect, and to inform me what transportation there is for to-morrow, so as to know how many troops to send.

I am expecting shortly to hear from General Ferry, who has been ordered to move with the advance, and will give more particulars.

SAML. BRECK,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

GENERAL ORDERS,

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA,

Numbers 1.

Washington, June 27, 1862.

In accordance with instructions from His Excellency the President of the United States, the undersigned assumes command of the forces comprising the late departments of Major-Generals Fremont, Banks,