War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0997 Chapter XIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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our service the condition of affairs on the opposite shore was very different from the present state of things, and there was a strong desire to enable our friends on the other side to cross an join us. Ample time has been given for that purpose, and you are authorized to use to the fullest extent your own discretion on the subject. Full facilities have been given, and it is no advantage to our service to continue the recruiting of Marylanders on the Lower Potomac.

The steamer was taken across to a creek within your command by my permission, given to Mr. Henry Stewart, who has been engaged in procuring some supplies for the Government; but all these permissions have been granted invariably with the understanding that they are subject to the discretion of the militia commanders. being responsible for the safety of your command and the police of that district of country, I do not desire at all to interfere with your discretion in enforcing such precautions about the crossing as may seem to your wise and prudent.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

WAR DEPARTMENT, C. S. A.,

Richmond, December 16, 1861.

Major General T. H. HOLMES,

Headquarters Aquia District, Fredericksburg, Va.:

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 12th instant in regard to the condition of the Northern Neck of Virginia, in which your propose also to send a regiment to that section. This Department entirely approves of your plan,a nd recommends its execution as soon as, in your opinion, it can be done with safety to your command.

I am, respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Secretary of War.

P. S.-One friends in Washington inform us that there will be a simultaneous attack at Mathias point, Winchester, and Centreville before the end of the week.

RICHMOND, December 16, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding, &c., Centreville, Va.:

GENERAL: I am directed to say, in reply to your letter of the 12th* instant, that since the date of the order you refer to (General Orders, Numbers 18, of November 16, 181), the regiments named therein have been ordered by the Secretary of War to re-enforce General Jackson in the Winchester Valley.

Your, very respectfully, &c.,

R. H. CHILTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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* Probably 13th, p. 993.

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