Second Virginia. If so they will meet with no opposition worth naming. It is about certain that the enemy had but one cannon at the Narrows. All I give you is rumor or the nature of rumor, except the conduct and disposition of the new militia. I have that from their own lips. An active command can push to the railroad, taking coffee, salt, and sugar, and subsist itself long enough to get the railroad from Newberne 100 miles west. I speak of the future in the way of suggestion, that your thoughts may turn toward planning enterprises before the scare subsides. The rations I speak of because we ought to have a large supply of some things, counting upon the country for the others. Colonel Little will send us reports perfectly reliable as to the Narrows to-morrow. I hear a report that the enemy, the Forty-fifth, did not stop at Giles but kept on toward Newberne. I give these reports as showing the drift of feeling in this country and hints at truth rather than truth itself.
I have now reliable information of the enemy. I think it differs in many respects from rumors mentioned in the foregoing. The Forty-fifth Regiment during Friday and Saturday straggled back to its camp at the mouth of Wolf Creek, a short distance above the Narrows. About four-fifths of the force got back foot sore, without hats, coats, or knapsacks, and arms in many cases. In the course of Friday and Saturday a considerable part, perhaps half, of the cavalry we drove from here reached the same point, mouth of Wolf Creek, having passed through Rocky Gap and thence taken the Wolf Creek and Tazewell road easterly. On Saturday evening they were preparing to leave camp, the Forty-fifth to go to Rocky Gap, wither they had jsut been ordered, and the cavalry and the few militia were to go with them as far as Dublin or go west to the salt-works in Washington and Wythe Counties. They all expected to be gone from Wolf Creek and the Narrow during Sunday. There would be no fighting the Yankees this side of Dublin, poissibly at Dublin a fight. The militia of Wythe, Grayson, and Carroll, 700 strong, are the force at Wytherville. At Abingdon 1,000 Floyd's men. In Russell County Humphrey Marshall is still reported with 3,000 men, badly armed and worse disciplined. The great salt-works (King's) work 400, ten furnaces, and turn out 1,700 bushels every twenty-four hours. No armed force there. All this from contrabands and substantially correct. Later.- Seven more contrabands just in. They report that on Sunday the Forty-fifth and other forces, except about thirty guards of baggage, left the vicinity of the Narrows, arriving at Giles Court-House Sunday afternoon on the way to Dublin Depot; that from there they expected to go west to Abingdon. The contrabands passed the Narrows; only a small guard was there with a few tents and wagons. No cannon were left there. I do not doubt the general truthfulness of the story. It confirms the former. The inclosed letters* perhaps contain something that ought to be known to General Fremont; if so you can extract a fact or two to telegraph. They were got from the last mail sent here by the rebels. The carrier stopped seven miles south of here, and the mail picked up there. I wish to send three companeis or so to the Narrows immediately to see if we can catch the guard and baggage left behind. If you approve send me word back immediately and I will start the expedition in the morning.
R. B. HAYES,
Lieutenant Colonel Twenty-third Regiment Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Commanding