to the adjutant-general of Virginia, also a copy of instructions from the Governor of Virginia, communicated by the adjutant-general, defining my duty as superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute. Under these instructions and suggestions, I now respectfully report to you for such orders as the emergencies of the approaching campaign may call forth. The Corps of Cadets numbers an aggregate of 280, of whom 250 may be relied upon for active duty, leaving 30 as necessary guard to the Institute and as disabled. The command is organized as a battalion of infantry of four companies, and is usually accompanied by a section of artillery. It is fully equipped, except in horses, and these are impressed in case of need. We have abundance of ammunition, tents, knapsacks, shovels, and picks, and will be prepared to march at a moment's notice. Brigadier-General Imboden is about constructing telegraphic communication between the Institute and Staunton. This he hopes to have in operation by the middle of May. In the mean time he will communicate with us by signals. Any orders or intelligence from Dublin Depot had better be forwarded to General Imboden, at Staunton, with instructions to be immediately [transmitted] to me.
I remain, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANCIS H. SMITH,
Brevet Major-General and Superintendent.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF WESTERN VIRGINIA,
Dublin, May 2, 1864.
Brigadier General JOHN ECHOLS,
Commanding First Brigade:
GENERAL: Wharton, with the Fifty-first [Virginia] and Thirtieth [Virginia] Battalion, in all, near 1,000 men, will occupy the Narrows to-morrow. McCausland will then remove remainder of his force to Princeton. I hope in a few days Jenkins will have a respectable mounted force in Monroe. I have two new large ferry-boats, which should be at the Narrows to-day, to be placed at Shanklin's Ferry, or such other point as may be best, in case it should be necessary to concentrate. I have just received your dispatch, embracing one from Captain Marshall, saying that the enemy have left Beverly, Buckhannon, and Weston, moving toward Grafton.
When you find that this is certainly true you might bring up Jackson (leaving scouts well toward Beverly), who, with Jenkins, could easily prevent a sudden raid through Monroe. Thurmond should be able to harass and detain a raiding party at the crossings of Greenbrier, and I hope you will be able to get due notice. If we are not threatened from direction of Beverly and Huntersville, one great ground of uneasiness is removed. The bread question still keeps me like a horse on a tread-mill. I will see you as soon as I can. Try to ascertain privately the prospects of subsistence and forage in front in case we contemplate a movement on Baltimore and Ohio Railroad or to Kanawha. Carr's company leaves to-morrow to join Edgar's battalion.
JNO. C. BRECKINRIDGE,