of some eight cannon is strongly intrenched, and that Wise is determined to make a strong stand there. If so, he certainly has a position it will be difficult to take or turn from this side. The Elk is not fordable for some distance up, and the ford neither good nor easily held by the advancing party. These reports have had an appearance of truth, which has made it seem necessary to be cautious, and I shall remain here a day or two till I can get my force well together, and my means of cavalry scout and reconnoiter to better advantage. Meanwhile I would suggest such a demonstration in the direction of the Gauley from your side, if possible, as would cut off retreat. I have made a respectable advance every day but one since leaving Camp Dennison, and think we have gone as fast as is prudent. I am sorry to have to report and accident by which two men were killed and another badly wounded. The half of the Kentucky regiment were marching on Sunday evening last to join Colonel Norton, who had moved in advance from Red House. They were out after night-fall, not starting till about 9 o'clock. As they marched, the captain of the rear guard, to correct some irregularity in marching, commanded 'steady," which the men mistook for "ready," when one of the guns in the rear going off by reason of the nervousness or carelessness of the man holding it, a portion of the company imagined they were attacked, and without waiting for orders fired in the direction of the shot. The above is the account given by the officers of the regiment. I should have said that I had send Colonel Norton in advance to reconnoiter for our next day's march, and learning that he was in the vicinity of a considerable force with a small bettery of artillery, I sent the re-enforcement after receiving the news. The difficulty of taking our artillery across the river has prevented me since last evening from making an attack, as the position is reported by Colonel Norton to be a very strong one naturally, being on a narrow hill difficult of access. I expect Colonel Woodruff to be in their rear before to-morrow, and will by that time have examined the ground and made arrangements for driving the enemy out.
Meanwhile, I remain, general, your obedient servant,
J. D. COX,
P. S. - I inclose a ticket torn from a musket-box found in the storehouse of a secessionist named Barber, who lived a little above this point. It may seem to prove where the arms of some of Wise's troops were got and how issued.
J. D. C.
HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Numbers 117. Washington, D. C., July 17, 1861.
Major A. J. Myer, signal officer, will report to Brigadier-General McDowell, coommanding Department of Northeastern Virginia, for duty.
By command of Lieutenant-General Scott:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTHEASTERN VIRGINAI, Numbers 21. Centerville, July 19, 1861.
Major W. F. Barry, Fifth Artillery, is announced as chief of artillery in this command. He will at once proceed to make a thorough inspection into the condition and wants of the various batteries, and will take