War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0656 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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ber's battery; Major H. P. Jones to be major; Captain J. B. Brockenbrought to be major.

Battalion N.-Captain Hardaway's battery, Captain Johnson's battery, Captain Wooding's battery, Captain Lusk's battery; Captain D. G. McIntosh to be major; Captain W. T. Poague to be major.

Brown's Battalion.-Captain Poague's battery, Captain Smith's battery, Captain Dance's battery, Captain Watson's battery, Captain Hupp's battery, Captain Brooke's battery; Colonel J. T. Brown to be colonel; Captain R. A. Hardaway to be major.



Approved, and respectfully forwarded to the commanding general.




Richmond, Va., March 6, 1863.

Major General SAMUEL JONES,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: Captain [John H.] McNeill, a very brave and enterprising partisan officer, operating with General Jones in the Valley, has, after conference with General Imboden, applied for authority, with a force of some 600 men, consisting of his own and some companies to be detached from General Imboden's command, to make a dash on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, for the purpose of destroying the trestle-work thereon and the Cheat River Bridge. He is perfectly confident of his ability to accomplish the enterprise, and, from the representations made to me, I am inclined to think the enterprise very likely to prove successful. I have long thought the best mode of accomplishing it was by a sudden and unexpected dash of a small force rather than by the movement of a larger, which must necessarily be known, and probably induce preparations and defense.

I should at once have sanctioned the effort had not your conversation with me when you were last here induced apprehension that such action might interfere with more matured plans of yours, in your own appropriate sphere of command, for the accomplishment of the same object.

The scene of proposed action is strictly within your department, and, in view of that fact and the confidence referred to, I have deemed it more judicious that Captain McNeill should see and counsel with you before embarking on his enterprise.

Should you approve it, you will, to save time, please let General Imboden know directly of your sanction, and send him a copy of this letter, on receipt of which he will have no hesitation in placing the force required by Captain McNeill at his command, and facilitating, as far as possible, his operations. I should be pleased, also, to be informed of your views on the practicability of the scheme, either now or later.

With high esteem, most truly, yours,


Secretary of War.