the New and Gauley Rivers and to the great valley of the Kanawha. It is 15 miles to the of Lewisburg. The surrounding country abounds in supplies for the commissariat. Wood and coal may be supplied in abundance, and water enough for a large army, by making suitable improvements. With proper attention to drainage and with well constructed quartets the garrison would be healthy, while a great majority of the people are loyal and true to the Southern Confederacy. The occupation of this post in sufficient force will insure the safety of Lewisburg and the adjacent regions of fertile country and the communications leading thereto, while the enemy would be prevented from making inroads this side of Gauley River, being which there is far less loyalty, if sympathy with the North does not actually preponderate. Our forces were, under General Lee, necessarily compelled to fall back to this point by reason of the bad roads. No effective operation can be conduced from this point westward oft the reason just stated, transportation except by pack-mules being impossible; while the enemy's communications by land are better than pours, besides his facilities of water transportation.
An advance force of at least 1,500 men would be required to hold this point, in view of the present attitude and number of the enemy. Three or five thousand more should be within supporting distance, for whom a good position can be had a few miles east of this place. To provision 7,000 or 8,000 men in this vicinity would be very difficult in the present condition of the roads-to do so a few miles west of this, during the winter, well-night impossible. To make a successful advance towards the Kanawha Valley or Summersville with a sufficient force while the roads are in their present condition is out of the question. It is absolutely necessary to construct good road. The best material in this region for that purpose in plank. A steam saw-mill suitably locale would soon prepare material for putting our communications on a footing nearly equal to those of the enemy. The improvents contemplated would assist materially in establishing the wavering confidence of the community, and I venture to say would not cost as much as the teams, which must be worn our if they are not made. Besides, rapid and successful forward movements of our troops will then soon become possible, and the smuggle soon transferred from this region to the banks of the Ohio.
Hoping that this may meet your approbation, I am, very truly, your obedient servant,
J. LUCIUS DAVIS,
Colonel, Commanding at Meade Bluff.
HEADQUARTERS AQUIA DISTRICT,
Numbers 177. November 13, 1861.
I. Brigadier January Samuel G. French, having reported for duty in this district, will, in compliance with special orders from the War Department (Numbers 210), proceed to Evansport and relieve Brigadier General I. R. Trimble, in command of the batteries and defenses of that vicinity.
II. After having been relieved be General French, General I. R. Trimble will repaired to the station which has been assigned to him by the orders of the War Department.
By order of Major General T. H. Holmes:
D. H. MAURY,