your command at Bulltown on the 9th instant; that Brigadier General W. E. Jones had left Weston to destroy the railroad between Clarksburg and Parkersburg; that after having accomplished that work you and Jones would unite at Summerville, and that then you would be ready to move on Charleston or any other point I might designate. He says, further, that you are without commissary stores, except beef, on which alone your men are subsisting. I have directed Brigadier-General [John] Echols to send from Lewisburg to Summerville a supply of flour for you, and all the small ammunition he can send, and to move forward with a regiment and battalion (or two battalions) of infantry, a section of artillery, and company of cavalry to Summerville to support you and relieve you of your surplus cattle, trains, or other property you may desire to send to the rear. I have also ordered Colonel [John] McCausland to move from Princeton to Fayetteville with about 1,200 infantry, a battery, and company of cavalry, to threaten Fayetteville, and be in readiness to profit by any detachment the enemy may make from that point to oppose you, and, if practicable, to co-operate with you. If you and W. E. Jones unite at Summerville, or if you alone reach that point, and your men are in condition to continue the expedition, I wish you to move from Summerville; strike the Kanawha River at or near Montgomery's Ferry, avoiding the enemy's defensive works near Gauley Bridge; clear out the Kanawha Valley, if you can (and since you have accomplished so much, I do not know well what else you are capable of), from Gauley Bridge to Charleston; then cross at or near Montgomery's Ferry, and appear in rear of Fayetteville. By that time McCausland ought to appear in front of the same place, and by co-operation you and McCausland can take Fayetteville and probably capture the troops there. That would be a handsome winding up of your brilliant expedition.
The latest and most reliable information I have of the enemy's force in the Kanawha is this: Twelfth Ohio, 230 strong, and Ninety-first Ohio, 650 strong, at Fayetteville Court-House; Forty-fifth Ohio, 500 strong, on Elk [River] and at Sissonville; Twenty-third Ohio, 500 strong, at Charleston; Thirteenth [West] Virginia, 300 strong, at Hurricane and Coal River; Eighth [West] Virginia, 120 strong, at Winfield; Second [West] Virginia Cavalry, 700 strong, distributed generally through the Valley, [making a total of] 3,000. No troops at Gauley. Report was current in Kanawha on 22nd ultimo [that the enemy] was moving on Summerville. A small detachment of the Second [West] Virginia Cavalry and a battery of artillery were sent to Summerville. Since then, viz, on the 2nd instant, Lieutenant-Colonel [George M.] Edgar handsomely repulsed the Second [West] Virginia Cavalry at Lewisburg, and punished them severely. If the above estimate of the enemy's force in the Kanawha Valley is correct, and I believe it is, you ought to be able to clear it out easily.
Communicate with me fully and freely whenever and wherever you can. I have only time to congratulate you on your success so far, and to wish you a brilliant winding up of the expedition.
In haste, very respectfully, and truly, yours, &c.,
Brigadier General J. D. IMBODEN,
Summerville, W. Va.