I have no doubt now that Milroy's original purpose was to move secretly and rapidly to this point, seize Shenandoah Mountain, and, if he found the way open, make a dash upon Staunton and destroy the railroad and stores at that post. For ten days before he left Beverly, he had stopped all communication across Cheat Mountain in this direction. His movements as far as Highland were very rapid when he heard of our being in his rear. He then fell back precipitately. He arrested everybody as he came east, but discharged many citizens the day he fell back. He surprised and captured Captain [W. H.] Harness and 8 of his cavalry on Jackson's River. These, together with 12 or 15 citizens, are all the prisoners he took away. He burned some houses in Highland and plundered the people of all the horses and cattle he could find. In a day or two I will give you further intelligence in regard to him.
Apologizing again for the great length of this report and letter, I am, general, most sincerely and respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. IMBODEN,
Colonel, Commanding First Virginia Partisan Rangers.
Lieutenant General THOMAS J. JACKSON.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
November 26, 1862.
Lieutenant-General THOMAS J. JACKSON,
GENERAL: I have received and read with much interest the report of Colonel J. D. Imboden of his operations during the late expedition to Cheat River Bridge. I appreciate the extraordinary difficulties encountered by Colonel Imboden, and commend the energy and skill displayed by him in the management of his command. Although the principal object in view could not be accomplished, the undertaking was attended with valuable results. You will please communicate what I have said to Colonel Imboden, and inform him that it is my desire that he will not lose sight of this important enterprise, and that I hope on some future occasion his efforts will meet with the success they deserve.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Numbers 2. Report of Brigadier General Benjamin F. Kelley, U. S. Army, of the capture of Saint George, W. Va.
NOVEMBER --, 1862.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report to the general commanding the district, that, on the 9th instant, the rebel Colonel Imboden, with a force of about 300 infantry, made his appearance at Saint George, Tucker County., Va., garrisoned by a small detachment of my troops, consisting of Captain William Hall, Company F, Sixth Virginia Infantry, and 33 enlisted men.
The enemy appeared about 7 o'clock in the morning; sent in a flag of truce to Captain Hall, demanding an unconditional surrender of his command. Captain Hall requested ten minutes for consideration, and