It has also been observed that the published reports of casualties are in some instance accompanied by a statement of the number of men taken into action. The commanding general deems it unnecessary to do more than direct the attention of officers to the impropriety of thus furnishing the enemy with the means of computing our strength, in order to insure the immediate suppression of this pernicious and useless custom.
By command of General Lee:
W. H. TAYLOR,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, May 14, 1863.
Brigadier General J. D. IMBODEN:
GENERAL: I have just now received Major [J. R.] Claiborne's letter of the 13th, yesterday, from Lewisburg, informing me that he left you and your command at Bulltown on the 9th instant; that General W. E. Jons had left Weston to destroy the railroad between Clarksburg and Parkersburg; that, after having accomplished that work, you and Jones had left Weston to destroy the railroad between Clarskburg and Parkersburg; that, after having accomplished that work, you and Jones would unite at Summerville, and that then you would be ready to move on Charleston or any other point I might designate.
He says further that you are without commissary stores, except beef, on which alone your men are subsisting. I have directed Brigadier-General Echols to send from Lewisburg to Summerville a supply of flour for you, and all the small ammunition he can send, and to move forward with a regiment and battalion (or two battalions) of infantry, a section of artillery, and company of cavalry to Summerville, to support you and relieve you of your surplus cattle trains or other property you may desire to send to the rear.
I have also ordered Colonel McCausland to move from Princeton to Fayetteville with about 1,200 infantry, a battery, and company of cavalry, to threaten Fayetteville, and be in readiness to profit by any detachment the enemy may make from that point to oppose you, and, if practicable, to co-operate with you.
If you and W. E. Jones unite at Summerville, or if you along reach that point and your men are in condition to continue the expedition, I wish you to move from Summerville, strike the Kanawha River at or near Montgomery's Ferry, avoiding the enemy's defensive works near Gauley Bridge, clear out the Kanawha Valley if you can (and since you have accomplished so much, I do not know well what you cannot accomplish) from Gauley Bridge to Charleston, then cross at or near Montgomery's Ferry, and appear in rear of Fayetteville. By that time McCausland ought to appear in front of same place, and, by co-operation, you and McCausland can take Fayetteville and perhaps capture the troops there. That would be a handsome ending of your brilliant expedition.
The latest and most reliable information I have of the enemy's force in the Kanawha is this:
Twelfth Ohio, 230 strong, at Fayetteville Court-House; Ninety-first Ohio, 650 strong, at Fayetteville Court-House; Forty-fifth Ohio, 500 strong, on Elk and Sissonsville; Twenty-third Ohio, 500 strong, at Charleston; Thirteenth Virginia [Union], 300 strong, at Hurricane and Coal River; Eighth Virginia [Union], 120 strong, at Winfield; Second Virginia Cavalry [Union], 700 strong. The cavalry generally distributed through the Valley.