river on the 22nd instant. It is desirable that the troops at Fayetteville should not be allowed to go down and interfere with his proposed operations. You will, therefore, on receipt of this, make your preparations to move forward your brigade to Fayetteville for the purpose of engaging the attention of the enemy. The two Captains Thurmond [W. D. and P. J. Thurmond] will be directed to join you with their companies at or near Raleigh Court-House, and report to you for duty.
If the roads are in condition to admit of it, take a section of artillery with you. I have directed the chief commissary to place a sufficient supply of hard bread and bacon at the Narrows for the use of your command on the expedition.
I desire to impress upon you, colonel, that it is not my desire that you should engage the enemy in battle at Fayette Court-House for the purpose of gaining possession of that point. The object is simply to engage the attention of the enemy, and prevent him from going to the Lower Kanawha, to interfere with Jenkins. If, however, the enemy's forces at Fayetteville and points in the Kanawha Valley are no larger than is reported to me, it may happen that when the commander at Fayette Court-House hears that Jenkins is in his rear, and finds your brigade in his front, he will attempt to fall back to Charleston. In that event you will be in position to harass and cut up his troops and capture a part of his supplies. If such an opportunity offers, you will, of course, avail yourself of it to the fullest extent.
You should be in position to drive in the enemy's pickets in front of Fayetteville at daylight on the morning of the 23rd instant.
I directed Captain William [D.] Thurmond to reconnoiter with his company the enemy at Fayetteville, and give me the most accurate information he could obtain of their number and condition. He should have communicated the information to me before this time. As soon as I obtain the information, I will communicate it to you.
If, contrary to my expections, the enemy is strong enough to drive you back, Brigadier-Generals Echols and Williams will be in readiness to aid you.
I rely, colonel, on your coolness and good judgment so to conduct your expedition as not to expose your brigade unnecessarily, whilst you contribute to the success of Jenkins' movements, and, if opportunity offers, to punish the enemy.
The Thurmonds' companies are under the orders of Brigadier-General Echols. I have directed him to communicate with you, and direct them to join you at any time may specify. Communicate with Echols on the subject.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, March 12, 1863.
Commanding, &c., Narrows, New River:
GENERAL: I have directed Colonel McCausland to move forward and engage the enemy's attention at Fayetteville, to prevent him from going to the Lower Kanawha to interfere with the Jenkins' operations in that quarter, or, if the enemy should attempt to fall back, to avail himself of the opportunity to harass and cut up his troops and capture his