My object in asking this is to be able to ration Imboden's command in the event of its being obliged to fall back rapidly. Whilst I do not anticipate any such disaster, I desire to have rations at the most convenient point, to provide against unfortunate contingencies.
If you give the order I ask, please so inform me by telegraph.
Very respectfully, &c.,
[APRIL 22, 1863.-For Jones to Marshall, in relation to position of Marshall's forces, see Series I, Vol. XXIII, Part II, p.784.]
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, April 22, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: Your telegram of yesterday was received last night.
Brigadier-General Williams informs me, from Saltville, that an officer of Brigadier-General Marshall's command has arrived at that place, and reported Marshall safe on the Kentucky River, in Perry County. I had collected at Saltville about 3,000 men to move to Marshall's support, but shall not move them forward at present. I have written to Marshall, asking him to inform me of his position, condition, and plans, that I may give him such support as he may need and I can give. In the meantime I will keep about 2,000 men at and near Saltville.
The reported advance of 2,500 of the enemy's cavalry toward the salt-works seems to be without foundation. The report is said to have been started by a man named Menafee, who, having murdered a Captain Newberry, made his escape by representing himself as a courier carrying the information of the advance of the enemy to the nearest telegraph office, and thus obtained relays of horses.
The only derangements of the movement concerted with Brigadier-General Imboden, caused by your telegram of the 14th instant, was to delay the expedition five days, and the failure to engage the enemy's attention at Fayetteville whilst Imboden moved Clarksburg. I had ordered Colonel McCausland to move to Fayetteville with two regiments and a battalion, but countermanded the order on the receipt of General Cooper's telegram of the 14th instant. I do not think the failure of Colonel McCausland to move will have any material effect on Imboden's expedition. I have reason to believe the enemy at Fayetteville are anticipating a move on that place, and the commander in the Kanawha Valley will probably not think proper further to reduce his force by sending a part of it to so great a distance as Clarksburg or Buckhannon. Imboden informed me that he would move on the 20th instant. Indeed, so far as my own troops are concerned, your order of the 14th to support Marshall would have caused no delay of Imboden's move if I had not at the same time received a telegram from Brigadier General W. E. Jones, informing me that, in consequence of the reported advance of the enemy's cavalry into the Valley, he had countermanded the order for the movement of his troops on the expedition. Imboden should be at Huttonsville to-night and Beverly to-morrow.
I sent a commissary with the expedition with all the money I could spare, and instructions to purchase all the cattle and bacon he could, and, if his money gave out, to impress and give certified vouchers. If