colonel to report his arrival there to Colonel McCausland, by courier, and ask him for instructions. He will be temporarily under the command of Colonel McCausland, and will obey him accordingly.
The regiment will take no tents, and only such cooking utensils as are indispensable. The men must carry three days' rations in haversacks and 40 rounds of ammunition in the cartridge-boxes. Seven days' rations will be sent with them in wagons.
Captain [R. L.] Poor and Lieutenant [W. T.] Hart, engineers, report that there are two ferry-boats at Pack's Ferry in working order. If they should be found out of order, so as not to be of use, &c., call on General Echols for a ferry-boat from the Narrows.
Inform the colonel of the Forty-fifth Regiment that Colonel McCauslad will be between his (Browne's) command and Fayetteville on [William H.] Browne's arrival at Raleigh Court-House.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, March 18, 1863.
Brigadier General J. D. IMBODEN,
Commanding, &c., Staunton:
GENERAL: I received yesterday your letter of the 14th instant and the papers accompanying it.
The proposed plan of operations on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad seems practicable, and, if carried out with energy and dash, there are good grounds for hoping that it may be brilliantly successful. To work successfully at the destruction of the railroad bridge and trestle-work (iron) over and rear Cheat River, the road should be obstructed to the west as well as east of Cheat River.
You speak in your letter to General Lee of the destruction of the bridge and trestle-work, which you say are of wood, "at Rowlesburg." No such place is laid down on any map that I have; but I presume from the connection in which you mention it, that they are to the west of and near Cheat River Bridge. If so, and they are destroyed, as well as the other bridges you mentioned, the cavalry force, aided by my engineer and his men, will have a fair opportunity of working to destroy the extensive Cheat River bridge and trestle, provided you can whip or even fully engage the attention of the enemy at Beverly and Buckhanon.
The day before I received your letter, I received one from General Lee, mentioning confidentially your expedition, and asking if I could contribute two infantry regiments for the expedition. I replied, suggesting to him that he could take two regiments which had been ordered back to this department, but had not started from Eastern Virginia, and let you have the two your particularly desire-the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first. I hope the arrangement I suggested will be made, and you procure the requisite force to carry out the plan as proposed.
I regret very much that I was not sooner informed of the proposed plan, as I would then have deferred an expedition (a small one) which I have started to the Kanawha. It would thus have served to fix the attention of the enemy in the Kanawha Valley whilst you would be carrying out your plan.
If you start on the expedition, I will, I think, be able to engage the enemy's attention in the Kanawha Valley long enough to prevent him