New Creek to Green Spring. He can move the whole body by rail, and is at Cumberland one day and New Creek the nest. He has his headquarters in a car. I have been able to get direct intelligence from him almost every day by means of citizen spies. My object, until all my men are armed, has been to keep the enemy out of this part of the country. I have thus far been successful. There has not been a raid of any try. I have thus far been successful. There has not been a raid of any kind since I came here. I have tried to restore confidence among our people.
We have sent off Captain bond, the bandit leader of this county, and some four or five of his gang, to Staunton, having been fortunate enough to "bag" them. Most of these desperadoes will be captured, killed or driven off by us. In Pendleton and the eastern aport of Randolph I have restored order in the community; have broken up horse-thieving and plundering by arresting those engaged in it, and sending them to Staunton. One was killed who refused to surrender. he was a deserter from our army, had joined the Yankees, deserted them, and turned here-thief and robber. His name was Mallow, a great scoundrel.
General, I will get down my wagons to-day from Highland. i will at once move down east of Romney and attempt the destruction of the bridge over Little Cacapon River early next week. I will send my cavalry to Romney to threaten the road higher up. If you could send a brigade to Romney, we could take New Creek and Cumberland, beyond a doubt, in a few days, and demolish all their works and the railroad. I am not strong enough to do so myself. The Secretary of War has limited me to ten companies. I have six infantry and four mounted companies, numbering in the aggregate over 900 men-first-rate men. I have had to reject two fine companies within a week because of this restriction. One of them has gone to Floyd, the other left to go to Winchester, and try to get in the cavalry there.
I am afraid my agreement last June with Dr. Miller, of Lexington, was unfortunate. I don't know of a single company yet raised by him. He is a stranger to the people of the west, and has not been as successful as he expected. This is to be regretted. If my powers had been sufficiently ample, I could probably have had 2,000 men by this time. I shall have to reject another company in a day or two, now on its way to join me, as I learned last night. A very handsome force, say, 3,000 or 4,000 men, can be raised in these mountain counties, if the Government will give the command to some one well known in the west. With my command as a nucleus, and authority to enlist everybody, conscripts, deserters, and all, three regiments can be raised before winter. If the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first could be sent here I am perfectly certain their ranks can be filled before December 1-800 or 900 men each-provided they are to serve in the west. I wish the Government could be impressed with proper views in regard to the people and their circumstances out here. These mountains swarm with men, and good men, who will do good service if properly managed.
If possible, I will try and see you one night next week on this very important subject. The new of your glorious achievements has reanimated the whole country here.
Most truly, yours,
J. D. IMBODEN.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
September 29, 1862.
Respectfully forwarded to the honorable Secretary of War, for his