CRAB RUN, December 18, 1863 - 4.30 p. m.
[General J. D. IMBODEN:]
GENERAL: After undergoing a severe storm I have succeeded in finding the lion in his den. I find them in Crab Bottom, encamped on Esquire William Heavner's farm, water-bound, and they are to leave in the morning, and will move in the diection of Petersburg, down South Branch or down Seneca, but I am informed that that route is impracticable. The same Yankees that were at McDowell, and train. One thousand is their number all told. I find them in a helpless situation, and ready to surrender without an effort. I hope, general, you will make a forward move at once, and let us capture the last one before they get to Petersburg. Averell is entirely out of reach of them. General, if you send forward all mounted men with a couple of pieces of artillery-or it makes no material difference about the cannon at all-you can move over to McDowell and down the Thorn: or could you not intercept them by the way of North River Road Gap? I think by the way of McDowell would be the best. I will move to-night down the Thorn and will blockade the road above McCoy's Mill, and intend to intercept them by firning on their advance. I will make a heavy effort to check them, so that you can come up in time to accomplish a capture. I have twenty-five good, effective men with me, only. If you come, let me know as soon as possible. Your courier will find something of me at Esquire Benjamin Hiner's; also, I will send information back where to find me. General, do come. I have been undergoing many hardships to distinguish our little Imdoben command, and for the good of our country and her cause.
John T. BYRD,
Lieutenant, Commanding Scout.
JACKSON'S RIVER, December 19, 1863.
The enemy by some unexpected route are now between me and the Island Ford bridge, toward Covington. If my orders have been carried out the bridge is destroyed, and they must try to cut through this way by McGraw's Gap; if not, then look out at Gatewood's.
WM. L. JACKSON.
DECEMBER 19, 1863.
General FITZ. LEE,
On road from Lexington toward Covington:
Last accounts from Averell he was twenty miles from Salem, on road to Sweet Springs, detained by Craig's Creek. It is not necessary now to go by Buchanan. Act according to instructions sent previous to dispatch by McCown, and you must act for yourself according to your information, communicating with Jackson at Clifton Forge and Echols at Sweet Springs.
J. A. EARLY,