regiments of infantry, two batteries of artillery, six guns each, out of which five are mountain howitzers, and five companies of cavalry. My position is where the road from Raleigh Court-House to Princeton crosses the mountain. At meadow Bluff, Greenbrier County, on the road from Gauley Bridge to Lewisburg, Colonel Crook has three regiments of infantry, five companies of cavalry, and a six-gun battery. Between here and the Ohio, and extending from Summerville to Wyoming Court-House, I have scattered three other regiments of infantry and three companies of cavalry, guarding lines and keeping quiet the country. The regiments average about 650 men for duty.
The enemy in front is in command of General Loring. Near Monroe Court-House General Heth has three regiments of infantry, a six-gun battery, and some cavalry. The Narrows of New River are occupied by General Loring with three or four regiments of infantry, some cavalry, and from four to six cannon. The road from Princeton to Wytheville leading through the Rocky Gap is occupied by General Williams, with a force about as strong as that at the Narrows. A force reported at 4,000, lately Marshall's, is at Tazewell Court-House. Floyd is said to be at Wytheville with about 1,500 conscripts. Some other troops are scattered along the railroad. Loring is understood to be in command of the whole. The East River Mountains are impassable, except at the two defiles, which are each about 2 miles in length, crooked, with precipitous sides. I am now about as far advanced as my force warrants; my transportation being also inadequate to supply us on a longer line.
My expectation has been that the occupation of the railroad line by the columns in the Shenandoah Valley and in Tennessee would be the signal for our going to the railroad, which would be made a new base of operations.
Since the reverses in the Shenandoah Valley mu force has necessarily been one of occupation and observation chiefly, as the enemy can concentrate a superior force at any point behind the mountain barrier, which is menaced, besides having very great advantages of position by reason of the difficulty of the passes. The whole country is a terribly wild and broken one. I have been in command in the valley since we first entered it, a year ago, advancing gradually to this position.
I respectfully report for orders.
J. D. COX,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF VIRGINIA,
Washington, June 30, 1862.
I learned through General Wool that the enemy has driven our forces from Moorefield and is threatening New Creek and Cumberland. Let me know if this be true. I desire you to have brought forward to you command twenty days' rations, excluding all articles except sugar, coffee, flour, or hand bread, and double rations of salt. As soon as you have done this, and have issued the quartermaster stores and clothing necessary for your command to march, break up the depot at New Creek and forward all stores now there to this city. Bear in mind that you may get an order at any moment to march and you must be prepared to do so.
Keep me advised frequently of your progress and of any news of the enemy. I do not believe that there is any considerable force in the