HDQRS. DEPT. OF W. VA., Dublin, Va., May 13, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON, Secretary of War:
SIR: I send with this a copy of a letter from Brigadier-General Imboden.* It was directed to Brigadier-General Jenkins, who, he had heard, was moving on Parkersburg. You are aware that Jenkins was not sent to the northwest. General Imboden neglected to say where he was when he last wrote, but the letter indicate that he was near Clarksburg. You will see that he reports very serious damage done to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and Northwestern Virginia Railroad by himself and Brigadier General W. E. Jones, and that a large number of valuable horses and cattle have been sent to the rear. I hope they will arrive safely. I regret to find that the Chear River bridge and viaduct had not been destroyed up to the 2nd instant. With that exception, the success of the expedition has been most gratifying.
After replying to your telegram yesterday, I communicated by telegraph with Major-General [S. B.] Buckner, who, I was informed, had assumed command at Knoxville. He represents [Brigadier-General Humphrey] Marshall's command as in such condition that it cannot be relied on for any service at present, and seems to agree with me that, under the circumstances, it would be imprudent to move my troops from Glade Spring and the salt-works.
The information on which Major-General [George] Maney telegraphed you of the immediate danger of the invasion of East Tennessee was to the 6th instant, and to the effect that the enemy was concentrating in large force at Somerset, Ky. When General Burnside ordered the concentration, he probably had not heard the result of the recent battles in the vicinity of Fredericksburg. I have some hope that Hooker's defeat, and the excitement likely to be caused by the enforcement of the conscription, will deter the United States Government from sending Burnside's army so far into our country as East Tennessee. In your telegram of yesterday you ask if I can send re-enforcements or go myself to the rescue in East Tennessee. I did not understand you to ask if I could go myself without my troops. If that was your meaning, please inform me.
I would have preferred answering your telegram of yesterday in cipher, as I do not think it prudent to pass such information in the usual way over the wires; but I am not provided with the cipher in use at the War Department. On the 29th ultimo I wrote to General Cooper, suggesting that he furnish me the cipher in use at his office. As he has not answered my letter, I infer that he does not think proper to send the cipher. If it becomes necessary for me to make any communications to you, or you to me, which it is not thought safe to send over the wires, it can only be done by letter. This may cause some delay and inconvenience.
With great respect and esteem, your obedient servant,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF WESTERN VA., Dublin, Va., May 23, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjt. and Insp. General, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:
GENERAL: During my absence from this place on a visit to Lewisburg, a telegram was received from you, dated the 18th instant, addressed to
*See Imboden's report of May 3, Part I, p.98.