not exceed 3,000; are posted at Cheat, Huttonsville, Beverly, Crouch's, and in the valley. This is the latest and most reliable intelligence from that country. As to the plan of operations for the ensuing campaign, it is evident what with my present force little can be done save hold the enemy in check, and scarcely that, if he advances with a very superior force. The road via Huntersville and into the turnpike in rear is familiar to you. In order to check the advance of the enemy in that direction a larger force should be stationed at Huntersville or some point in that line.
The enemy might gain my rear via Romney, Moorefield, and Franklin to Monterey by a road practicable for artillery. Three thousand of the enemy advanced as far as Moorefield this winter from General Lander's forces. The enemy also advanced upon Huntersville in January, destroying a portion of the stores at that place. I hardly deem it probable that the enemy will attempt to force a passage to Staunton by this point (top Allegheny.) There is a road by Grenbrier from Cheat Mountain, or from Greenbrier (Camp Barton) by which they might reach Huntersville, but this road at this time is very had, and will remain so, like most of the roads in this country, for some time to come. I have been informed that the enemy have had great difficulty in getting supplies to Cheat Mountain and its dependencies in consequence of the condition of the roads on that side; hence I think he will not attempt an advance in that direction during the early spring.
The enemy, it is reported, speak of advancing on Staunton in this direction from Gauley and by Winchester; also of sending a force by Huntersville. I know not what reliance to place on these reports, but their present numbers do not indicate any such intention. There is but one point beyond this toward Staunton which I regard as defensible-Shenandoah Mountain, 26 miles from Staunton and about 19 from Monterey. This is a strong position, but I am not sufficiently acquainted with the position to speak positively as to the facilities of water, &c., for a military encampment; but I believe there is water, &c., in abundance.
I deem it probable that the enemy have thrown more of their forces from Northwestern Virginia to Winchester and expect to make us evacuate this position by advancing in that direction.
I submit these views with much diffidence, feeling confident that your superior judgement will enable you at a glance to see and decide upon what is most expedient and proper.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE NORTHWEST,
Camp Allegheny, Va., March 18, 1862.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding, P. A. C. S., Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: Having no printed forms for department and brigade returns, though requisitions have been made for the same, I have the honor to make the following statement of the forces under command of Brigadier General Edward Johnson, P. A. C. S.:
Present for duty, 175 commissioned officers; 2,250 enlisted men; aggregate 2,245. Present sick, 9 commissioned officers; 350 enlisted men. Aggregate present, 2,784. Absent sick and on leave, 90 commis-