Virginia by my commissary for the subsistence in part of my own troops, I cannot, with a clear conscience, withhold from your army anything it absolutely needs, and which it is in my power to give; you may, therefore, have the cattle. There are only 1,140 remaining now, and I will have them turned over to any one you may designate; but, general, they are in no condition now to be butchered. They are now on fine grass in Greenbrier, and, if allowed to remain there until October, will probably be nearly double in weight what they are now. It would be a great waste to butcher them now. They are yours, however, to be disposed of as you think proper.
So with the transportation that Imboden's expedition captured and brought out. I shall be obliged to let you have it, or rather that part of it which I thought fully belonged to this department. Indeed, I did not know that any of it would go to your army proper, but supposed Imboden would keep it all and it was [no] more than be needed.
I hope you will be able to send the Fiftieth [Virginia] Regiment back to me soon. My command is smaller, I think, than you imagine, and whilst there is no decided indication that the enemy in my front contemplate an advance soon, it is impossible to tell when they may do so, their facilities for suddenly re-enforcing their troops in the Kanawha Valley are so great. In the meantime there are very decided indications that Burnside is moving on East Tennessee, and if he does, General Buckner will except me to aid him, and I can do so only to a very limited extent.
I send with this a copy of a letter from Lieutenant Colonel W. P. Thompson,* of the Nineteenth Virginia Cavalry. It gives information which I think it desirable you should have, especially as Brigadier-General Imboden acts directly under your orders. I have only the Nineteenth Virginia Cavalry, a new regiment recently organized in Pocahontas County, near Huntersville. I have no other troops nearer that line than Meadow Bluff.
Will you please inform me where Jenkins' cavalry is, and where it is intended to operate? I desire to send to him an artillery company which I organized for his brigade. The guns for the company were ordered to be sent from Richmond to Staunton. I understand that Jenkins' cavalry is only temporarily detached from my command.
I am much obliged for your kind wishes for my success in the summer campaign. In the present reduced condition of my command, the most that I can expect is to guard securely all the country I now occupy.
With great respect and esteem, general, your obedient servant,