Brigadier-General Williams is there with a large regiment of infantry, and two field batteries which I sent ought to be there by this time. They ought to keep back a cavalry raid. I have ordered 2,200 additional troops there.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, April 18, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. Army, Richmond:
GENERAL: I left for Huntersville on the 14th instant, to direct the movements of some troops I had ordered to join Brigadier-General Imboden in an expedition, via Beverly, to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and secure their junction and co-operation on the expedition. The next day [15th instant] I received at the Salt Sulphur Springs your telegram of the day before, and one of the same date from Brigadier General W. E. Jones.
The latter informs me that he had, in consequence of a reported movement of Hooker's cavalry into the Valley, countermanded the order for the movement of Imboden's troops. In consequence of the two telegrams, I ordered my troops which were at and near Huntersville to halt at that place and await further orders, and returned myself to this place.
Your telegram, after giving the information communicated to you by Brigadier General W. G. M. Davis of the reported condition of things in Eastern Kentucky in rear of Brigadier-General Marshall, directs me to move forward to support Marshall, if I can do so, waiting further orders.
I telegraphed you yesterday from the Narrows of New River that I would move as soon as transportation could be provided, but that I did not understand your order to mean that I should move all of my troops, and asked to be informed if I was in error in that supposition, but I have received no answer. I respectfully ask that you will inform me fully of the Secretary's wishes and expectations as to what I shall do. In the meantime I will move as many troops as I can with propriety, and with the means of transportation at my command. But I must say to you, general, that the withdrawal of troops from the front exposes the country, and especially that part of the railroad within my department.
I received a telegram to-day from Brigadier General A. E. Jackson, at Jonesborough, East Tennessee, that 2,500 of the enemy's cavalry were on Clinch River, about 25 miles from Moccasin Gap [he didn't say whether it was Big or Little Moccasin Gap], and were believed to be moving on to the salt-works. I have instructed Brigadier-General Williams, who commands at Saltville, and, if the enemy's cavalry is reported at only 2,500, I think Williams can keep them away from the salt-works. He has a large regiment of infantry, and will have this evening two field batteries, which ought to be able to hold the passes against cavalry until re-enforcements reach him. I have ordered 2,200 men, in addition, to the same place.
Brigadier-General Marshall is reported, with what truth I do not know, at Pound Gap.
I regret very much that anything occurred to make it necessary for Brigadier General W. E. Jones to countermand Imboden's orders. I had strong