of his men and a company of the Second Virginia Cavalry to make a reconnaissance. They drove in the enemy's pickets, crossed Walker's Creek, and went within a mile of the enemy's position. The whole force of the enemy was marched out and formed in order of battle. The apparent commander, with a sort of body guard of twenty or so, rode to Lieutenant Fordyce, drawing a revolver, when he was shot from his horse by Colonel Burgess. He was certainly an important officer. No one on our side hurt. The cavalry fell back when the enemy burned the bridge over Walker's Creek after our cavalry had turned back. This indicates to my mind that as yet the enemy is disposed to act on the defensive, but it is certain we ought to be promptly and heavily re-enforced. I do not doubt you have men on the way. We shall not be attacked, I think, in advance of their coming; if so, we shall be ready, but the stores and position are too valuable to be left in any degree exposed. With a large force we can get much more property. To-day while our scouting party of cavalry in the front about twenty of the enemy under an officer with a large glass was seen by Sergeant Abbott, and a scouting party examining the village from a very high mountain whose summint, two miles distant, overlooks the whole town.
Couriers have arrived bringing messages for the cavalry, but none for me. No word of any re-enforcement either. In any event the want of forces will prevent gathering all the provisions and forage out position here entitles us to have. Major Comply says a conversation with the family he boards in satisfies him that the enemy has three regiments at Walker's Creek. We shall be vigilant to-night and shall be astonished to-morrow if we do not hear of the battery at least moving to us before another of these moonlight nights has to be watched through.
R. B. HAYES,
Lieutenant Colonel Twenty-third Regiment Ohio VOL. Infantry, Commanding
HEADQUARTERS OF DIVISION, Numbers 50.
Near West Point, Va., May 9, 1862.
The division will be in readiness to move to 1 p. m. this day.
By order of Brigadier-General Franklin:
E. SPARROW PURDY,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
NEW MARKET, May 9, 1862.
(Received 1.30 p. m.)
Honorable E. M. STANTON:
The condition of things in unchanged. General Shields is making preparations to move. I send one of my brigades to-day to Columbia Bridge to relieve one of his.
N. P. BANKS,