The Secretary of War authorizes me to give this authority, and to call the troops into service as soon as they are made up. As soon as they are organized, you will call them into service, and from the date of your order they will be regarded as in the service of the Confederate States.
I earnestly desire that you shall so discharge the duty to which you are assigned as to conciliate and win over to our cause not actual volunteers only, but the mass of the people. To this end it will be indispensable to enforce discipline and prevent all marauding and destruction of property by your troops.
Very respectfully, general, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, April 11, 1863.
Brigadier General J. D. IMBODEN,
Commanding,&c., Shenandoah Mountain:
GENERAL: I have given all the orders necessary for the movements of the troops that are to join the expedition under your immediate command.
Captain Poor started with his engineers on the 8th instant, and I presume has reported to you before now. Colonel Patton will move on the 13th from Lewisburg, and Lieutenant Colonel A. C. Dunn from Salem tomorrow. The latter should have started to-day, but was delayed for arms. I have not heard from Colonel W. L. Jackson since I gave him the order to move, but, from my conversation with him, I have no doubt that he will be in readiness to join you with from 300 to 400 men. He is near you, and I presume you have been in communication with him, as I directed. Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn's order to report to Colonel Jackson is contingent on the election of the latter as colonel of the regiment he has organized, of which I presume there is no doubt. If he has not been, Lieutenant-Colonel Dunn is ordered to go on and report to you with his battalion at Huttonsville. He has been directed to move rapidly, and reach the latter place on the evening of the 18th instant. Colonel Dunn about 450, and Colonel Jackson about 400; making a total of about 1,500 men.
I understood from you that you expected to carry about 1,300 of your own men, and the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first Virginia Regiments, about 700, which would make your whole force for the expedition under your immediate command about 3,500. If the reports I have of the strength of the enemy in that quarter are correct, I have strong hope of your being able to accomplish all or nearly all that is proposed.
One of the most serious difficulties in your way and McNeill's to be apprehended is that the enemy, hearing of your movements, will send re-enforcements from the direction of Wheeling or Parkersburg, or both. To guard against that, you should, if you occupy Beverly, send all the cavalry you can spare, with the utmost dispatch, to strike the railroad-leading from those points. The map would indicate Grafton as the most suitable point, but I can hardly think the enemy has left that point so poorly guarded as to expose it to be captured by a small cavalry force. Some point farther west, Webster, for instance, from which both roads could be damaged, may offer better chances of success. That, however, you can determine from the information you receive and your knowledge of the country.