While at Christiansburg I sent an order to Colonels French and Jackson, then at the Narrows of New River, to move toward Christiansburg, via Blacksburg, and, if possible, unite their forces with mine; and i they found the enemy in Blacksburg to attack, and thereby accomplish what I proposed to accomplish by the first order. During this time Averell had been defeated by Morgan near Wytheville, and had escaped from him and come to Christiansburg to unite with the main body under Crook, thereby throwing their whole force in front of me. The movement of French and Jackson caused Crook to evacuate Blacksburg and move toward Newport and Salt Pond Mountain. I moved from Big Hill upon the enemy at Blacksburg by a country road, but found upon my arrival there, which was delayed several hours by the bad hours and swollen streams, that Crook had gone, and that Averell had passed from Christiansburg. French and Jackson met Crook near Newport, and were forced back toward Giles Court-House, and this enabled him to pass over to the Salt Pond. As soon as he passed on they moved in behind him and occupied the position at Gap Mountain, intercepting Averell's command, which soon came up and attacked their position. He was driven back, his command scattered in the mountains, but the bulk of it afterward crossed the mountains of Craig and into Monroe by a bridle path. I reached Gap Mountain with a small cavalry force about the close of the fight, and just in time to see Averell pass into the woods. I then rode up to our lines and over the ground the enemy occupied a few moments before. My infantry marched twenty-seven miles that day, and was halted a short distance from Blacksburg after the enemy had escaped. Heavy rains fell during our marches; the roads were bad streams much swollen. Colonel Jackson was ordered to follow the enemy into Monroe, and intercepted Averell again at Greenbrier River, capturing some prisoners, a few horses, and driving a portion of his command into the river. Colonel French moved into Monroe via the Narrows.
The staff officers of the department reported to me near Dublin, and have been faithful in the discharged of their duties.
I have endeavored to give a simple narrative of facts as they occurred. The reports of subordinate commanders are hereby submitted, with a tabular statement of our losses. We have to mourn the loss of many brave officers and men.
In conclusion, I can only state that the movement was a great failure on the part of the enemy, and that they have accomplished nothing commensurate with their preparations. Their entire force aggregated 9,000 men of all arms, and we never had 3,000 men in all.
I submit this report for the consideration of the Department, with the firm conviction that for the means employed no better results have been accomplished during the war.
The enemy lost 600 in killed and wounded at Cloyd's, and we have taken nearly 200 prisoners from them, and their loss in all will not fall short of 1,000 men. Our loss will be on the tabular statement.
I return to all the staff officers, and also those who volunteered for the emergency as aides, scouts, or vedettes, my thanks.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General.