The last-mentioned battalion is now at Salem, and without arms, though it has been many months in the service. I will endeavor to procure the arms, and, if it can be prepared in time, will send it on the expedition. It is understood that General Lee will send to Imboden two skeleton regiments, the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first- Western Virginians- as I have ordered the Fiftieth Regiment, which is as large or larger than the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first combined, to General Lee, to supply the place for the two last-named regiments. The whole will be under the immediate command of Imboden, and will number at least 2,500 men. I have information, which I regard as reliable that the enemy has but about 400 men and a field battery at Beverly and within 8 miles of that place; about 800 at Buckhannon; 300 at and near Bulltown; one company at Phillippi; one at Weston, and very few [I am not informed how many] at Clarksburg and Grafton. If this information is correct, I have good reason to hope for good results from the expedition.
To occupy the attention of the enemy in the Kanawha Valley, I will move two regiments and perhaps a battalion to Fayetteville, with directions not to attack, but to be in position to profit by any move the enemy may make from that place. I will also send a battalion to replace the Twenty-second at Lewisburg temporarily, and a cavalry company which is there will scout near Nicholasville. As at present arranged, Imboden will move on the 15th and Colonel Patton on the 13th instant. The greater part of Colonel Jackson's men are near Huntersville, and will move in conjunction with Patton. I must add that General Jenkins, with 550 of his men, is now somewhere near the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers. I have not heard from Jenkins since he left Tazewell County, on the 17th ultimo. I am afraid the recent heavy falls of snow have retarded, perhaps frustrated, his expedition.
I have thus stated the changes I have ordered in the location of my troops in order that, if you disapprove of them, and wish me to keep my men more in hand and nearer this line of road, you may so order. You ought to receive this on the 7th instant, in time to give me any instructions in the case that you may think proper before the expedition moves.
With great respect, sir, your obedient servant,
Respectfully referred to the President for his information.
J. A. S. [SEDDON],
Secretary of War.
Received, read, and returned to Secretary of War April 15, 1863. It will be necessary to consider this in connection with affairs on the Big Sandy, with General Marshall's command, and the letter of General Johnston,* herewith referred for perusal.
J. D. [JEFFERSON DAVIS.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, April 5, 1863.
Brigadier General J. D. IMBODEN, Staunton, Va.:
GENERAL: The major-general commanding has it in contemplation to send [A. C.] Dunn's battalion, dismounted, to report to Colonel Jackson
*See Johnston to Davis, in Series I, Vol. XXIII, Part II, p.745.