Please keep me promptly informed of what is done or proposed to be done in this matter. Captain McNeill will send a special messenger to inform me when he is ready to start.
Very respectfully, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, March 8, 1863.
Major General J. B. FLOYD,
Commanding Virginia State Line, Saltville:
GENERAL: I propose in a few days to send about 500 or 600 cavalry-men, dismounted, under brigadier-General Jenkins, to the Lower Kanawha, to operate from Charleston to the mouth of the river, and perhaps farther. So far as I can learn, the enemy has no troops between those two points, but has a number of boats, wagons, and mules. I understand there are some few of the enemy's troops in the lower valley of the Sandy, who may interfere with Jenkins. I have understood from you that you have some troops in Logan County, Virginia. If so, it has occurred to me that they may be able to aid Jenkins by engaging the attention of the enemy at Louisa and Catlettsburg. If you can do so, I wish you would give the necessary orders and instructions to your troops for that purpose. I will inform you at what time Jenkins will reach his field of operations, in order that, if your men act, there may be the requisite co-operation between us.
I shall be glad to have from you any information you may be able to give me-the condition of the enemy on the Lower Sandy, Guyandotte, and Kanawha, and any other information you can give calculated to contribute to the success of the expedition I propose to send.
I am, very respectfully and truly, your obedient servant,
WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,
Richmond, Va., March 10, 1863.
Brigadier General W. E. JONES,
GENERAL: This will be handed to you by Captain J. H. McNeill, who has proved himself by past service a gallant and enterprising soldier. He has submitted to me, with the commendation of General Imboden, a plan of a gallant dash, with some 600 or 800 men, to accomplish the destruction of the trestle-work on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and the bridge over the Cheat River. These are objects of great importance, and their successful accomplishment has long engaged the attention and special interest of the President. Several efforts heretofore have been, from special causes, frustrated, but the practicability of the enterprise, especially by the sudden dash of a small force, is believed to be by no means doubtful. The plan of Captain McNeill meets the concurrence of the Department, and after consultation with General Samuel Jones, whose approval (as the enterprise was to be attempted in a district of his department) was desired, has secured his sanction. I hope, when explained to you by Captain McNeill, it will likewise have your approval and co-operation. You will be expected to afford a portion, at