My high acknowledgments are also due to each of my personal staff for the efficiency and gallantry on the field with which every duty was performed. To the brigade surgeon, Dr. Shumard, ever most watchful over n both the surgeons and the men for their health and safety, and my aide, Captain Atkinson, of rare ability and efficiency, and to Captain Stanage, acting assistant adjutant-general, of whose excellent conduct I had the pleasure to report at Carnifix, as also to Captain Mallory, the commissary, of whom my expectations in that action were fully borne out, and to the brigade quartermaster, Captain D. L. Smith, one of the most efficient in his department in the service, although detained by my order at the camp, the highest praise is due for his care and forethought, not only in forwarding constantly the amplest supplies of provisions, but having the tents which had been struck at our late position rapitched by the time of the return of the men from their toilsome and wearied march and amply provided with all the necessary comforts of the camp.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. W. BENHAM,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.
Major J. DARR, Jr., Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Camp, Gauley Mountain, November 6, 1861.
GENERAL: Inclosed you will find a sketch, marked, showing the west side of Kanawha from Fayette to Paint Creek, with such roads marked as we have information of. You will find smaller sketch, which shows the information we can collet about the country between Loop Creek and the Fayette road. A memoir inclosed explains this. You have received telegraphic orders to cross the Kanawha with effective force, and also, subsequently, to establish yourself solidly and comfortably over there, holding the mouth of Paint by small watch guard, and occupying Loop Creek up to a good point of the main branch, far enough above Taylor's to secure that thoroughly against a movements or regiment or two down from Kincaid's and then secure the road up the left-hand branch of Loop to the top of the ridge, so that we can use the passage at or near some point X 9 due[?]. Should also secure the heights above the creek by a line of pickets judiciously placed and carefully concealed.
It may become necessary to combine our forces and operate on the left-hand branch at the same time by way of Kincaid's, to cut off their rear, and your object will be to secure to us the use of these routes, at least to the points referred to. The advantages of this will be that should we be unable to cross in their rear above, thus we may still have a chance of operating on their rear in that direction. Whether we shall be able to cross the New River with chances of success will probably be determined when the examination that is going on shall be completed and report to me. I will then communicate to you any modifications deemed necessary inconsequence of the result of the reconnaissance.
I again repeat, make ample provision for the covering and subsistence of your troops in solid position and have convenient communication between your headquarters and the opposite shore and below. Have the road up Loop and above you on the Kanawha examined and repaired so as to make it passable, but avoid exciting observation. Admonish your field officers of the day to do all they can to perfect the