No troops at Gauley. Report was current in Kanawha [that the] Twenty-second [?] was moving on Summerville. A small detachment of the Second Virginia Cavalry [Union] and a battery of artillery was sent to Summerville. Since then, viz, on the 2nd instant, Lieutenant-Colonel [G. M.] Edgar handsomely repulsed the Second Virginia Cavalry [Union] at Lewisburg, and punished them severely.
If the above estimate of the enemy's force in the Kanawha Valley is correct, and I believe it is, you ought to be able to clear it out easily. Communicate with me fully and freely whenever and wherever you can. I have only time to add my congratulations on your success so far, and to wish you a brilliant ending up of the expedition.
In haste, very respectfully, &c.,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA, Dublin, May 14, 1863.
Brigadier General JOHN ECHOLS, Lewisburg:
GENERAL: Since receiving your letter of yesterday, I have received a letter from Major Claiborne, dated Lewisburg, yesterday. He left Imboden at Bulltown, Braxton County, Saturday night the 9th instant. Brigadier General W. E. Jones and left Weston to destroy the railroad from Clarksburg to Parkersburg. That done Jones and Imboden were to unite at Summerville. Imboden says he will then be ready to go to Charleston, or any other point I may direct.
I shall direct him, when he reaches Summerville, if his men are in condition to continue the expedition, to move and strike the Kanawha at or near Montgomery's Ferry, clear out the Kanawha Valley from Gauley to Charleston, if he can, and then cross over and take Fayetteville in rear. In the meantime I have ordered McCausland to move up and threaten Fayetteville in front, and co-operate with Imboden on this point, if practicable. I think it more than probable that when Scammon hears that Imboden and Jones are moving on Summerville, and from there to the Kanawha, and that McCausland is moving on Fayetteville, he will withdraw the troops from the latter place, and it will fall into McCausland's hands.
In the meantime Imboden's men are without rations, living entirely on beef. I wish you to push forward some flour to Summerville for him. Hurry the Forty-fifth [Virginia] to Lewisburg, and send it and Derrick's battalion (or Derrick's and Edgar's battalions), a section of artillery, and two companies of cavalry with the flour to Summerville, and to support, if necessary, Imboden and Jones, and aid in securing and bringing safely within our lines any cattle, horses, or other property that Imboden and Jones may have secured and brought as far as Summerville. Send forward at the same time all the ammunition for small-arms that can be spared from Lewisburg. My troops with Imboden, and, I presume, his also, will probably need ammunition.
The instructions I have given above are given on information which is not very accurate. Either Major [B. F.] Eakle or your aide neglected - and it was culpable negligence - to say when and where Major Eakle left Imboden. It would seem that Major Eakle parted with Imboden after Major Claiborne, but as he does not say when or where he parted from, him I am left to conjecture.
I wish you, general, to go with the troops that start from Lewisburg. Do all in your power to supply Imboden's wants in the way of rations