War of the Rebellion: Serial 107 Page 0594 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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and we know of four others in like condition, and I know not how many slightly wounded. This is not a disaster, but a fight of a sort which crushes the rebellion. You speak of Company C as advancing beyond 'supporting distance." We heard the firing, and if the enemy had been stubborn should have been in good time to help drive him off. He reported here that our advance did in fact drive him off. If this is not supporting distance, parties cannot leave camp without violating an important rule. Lieutenant Botsford had retreated to within four miles of us. Upon the whole, I think the affair deserves commendation rather than censure, and I take blame to myself for writing to you a note under circumstances which precluded a full statement - such a statement as would have prevented such misapprehension as I think you are under.

Respectfully,

R. B. HAYES,

Lieutenant Colonel Twenty-third Regiment Ohio VOL. Infantry, commanding

[12.]

CAMP NO.5, Princeton, May 2, 1862.

Colonel E. P. SCAMMON:

SIR: Lieutenant-Colonel Paxton, with the cavalry, reached here by Giles orad about dark. He left the direct road to Princeton at Sapnishburg and took the Bluff road, which strikes the road from Giles to Princeton. We found it impolitic to send the cavalry to the Tazewell or Wytheville road, at least in time, and they went to the Giles road, hoping to catch the enemy retreating on that road. The enemy took the Wytheville road to Rocky Gap and escaped. The cavalry, on entering the Gilese road, found a great number of fresh tracks leading to Princeton. Hastening on they came suddenly on the Forty-fifth Virginia, coming to the relief of Princeton. As soon as the cavalry came in sight there was a skeddaddling of the chivalry for the hills, and a scattering of knapsacks very creditable to their capacity to appreciate danger. There was a good deal of hurried firing at long range, but nobody hurt on our side and perhaps none on the other. The regiment seemed to number 200 or 300. We suppose they will not bee seen again in our vicinity, but we shall be vigilant. This is a most capital point to assemble a brigade; the best camping for an army I have seen in Western Virginia. Stabling enough is left for all needful purposes, two or three fine dwellings for headquarters, and smaller houses in sufficient number for storage. The large buildings were nearly all burned, all the brick buildings included. Churches all gone and public buildings of all sorts. Meat, sheep, cattle, hogs in sufficient quantities to keep starvation from the door. If you will send salt we shall be able to live through the bad roads. Forage I know nothing of. There must be some. Our couriers were fired on at Blue Stone. They report Foley's gang is scattered along the road. There should be a strong force at Flat Top under an enterprising man like Colonel Jones. The country we passed over yesterday is the most dangerous I have seen; at least twelve miles of the twenty-two need skirmishing. If quartermasters are energetic there ought to be no scarcity here. The road can't get worse than it was yesterday, and our trains kept up to a fast moving column nearly all the way. The Twenty-third marched beautifully. A steady rain, thick, slippery mud, and twenty-two miles of traveling they did closed up well without grumbling, including wading Blue Stone waist deep.