I wish you to push forward your organization and preparations as rapidly as possible, and be in readiness, if possible, to join Imboden at Huttonsville with at least 300 men. As Imboden ranks you, you will act under his orders. I have directed him to communicate with you at the Warm Springs.
Keep me informed of the progress you make in organizing and arming.
If you have any difficulty in procuring the transportation at Staunton, telegraph Colonel Cole to let you have it temporarily, and I will return it or supply its place.
I wish you to regard this as strictly confidential.
Very respectfully and truly,
SPECIAL ORDERS, HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
No. 94. April 4, 1863.
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XI. Brigadier General R. E. Colston will report to Lieutenant-General Jackson, commander of corps, for assignment to the command of the brigade formerly commanded by Brigadier-General Taliaferro.
* * * * *
By command of General R. E. Lee:
[W. H. TAYLOR,]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, April 5, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I received to day your letter of the 1st instant.
I am gratified by your approval of my suggestion in regard to raising troops in Kentucky. It would certainly be better to raise them for general than for local service, but better to raise them for local service than not at all. In acting on the authority you have given me, I will instruct the officers whom I send on that service to use every proper means to induce men to come into the general service without any reservations; when that cannot be done, to give as wide a range as possible to the particular locality in which they shall engage to serve.
In view of the probable demand which you inform me may be made upon me for troops, I think it proper to inform you of an expedition I am now preparing, which will move a part of my troops to a greater distance from this line than they now are.
The expedition which you are [aware] was in contemplation to strike the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad at and near Cheat River Bridge should be aided and supported by a simultaneous movement on Beverly, and, if practicable, to or near Clarksburg. I have conferred with General Imboden fully on the subject. He has not the requisite force for such an expedition. I will send the Twenty-second [Virginia] Regiment, Colonel Patton's, and all of Colonel W. L. Jackson's new regiment that can be armed in time [two or three of his companies are already well armed and have seen service] to join the expedition. It is probable that I will add to Colonel Jackson's command a battalion of Jenkins' brigade, dismounted.
45 RR-VOL XXV, PT II