Then we find the Virginia Legislature giving to men the privilege of raising new companies, and the Secretary of War, following its example, gives to men the authority of organizing new battalions, squadrons, and companies by recruiting even from the old organizations. This entire absence of some definite and positive plan of action is very detrimental to our service.
We find worthless, intriguing, politicians, and those who have been defeated in company elections, taking advantage of all these conflicting bills and unsatisfactory constructions, writing to and visiting our camps for the purpose of disorganizing by inducing men to leave their old organizations and unite with them in forming new ones, using bribery a great deal of flash plausibility, and arguments which any worthless demagogue is capable of making. Can you not adopt some plan to put an end to this state of things and have us permanently organized at once? Sixty-four enlisted men is the number required by law before a company can be reorganized. The Virginia bill fills these companies to 100 each. Under the Virginia law a majority of the company being present an election can be held and the officers elect will be commissioned. Now, I propose that all companies, which will be increased to 100 each, shall be organized as soon as 51 men (a majority of 100) shall unite each, shall unite themselves into anyone company. This may not be strictly legal, but circumstances demand that the new organizations should take place immediately. Longer delay is very dangerous, and I offer these suggestions with the sincere hope that some immediate action will be taken to better our condition.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. BROCKENBROUGH,
Colonel, Fortieth Virginia Volunteers.
HEADQUARTERS AQUIA DISTRICT,
March 31, 1862.
The discrepancies in the laws or in their construction has caused much dissension, and in many cases serious injury, to the reorganization of the Army. This would be greatly ameliorated if all permissions to raise new companies were revoke, and no permission of the kind granted until the regiments now in service are reorganized and filled up.
Respectfully referred to the general commanding.
TH. H. HOLMES,
Richmond, Va., March 21, 1862.
Brigadier General EDWARD JOHNSON, Commanding, &c., Monterey, Va.:
GENERAL: Your letter of the 18th has been received. I regret to learn that the prospect of calling volunteers to your aid from the country in which you are operating is so unfavorable. It is important that you call out the militia, as authorized by the proclamation of the Governor, to fill up your companies of Virginia regiments to 100 each, concerning which you will receive instructions. I also desire that you send a competent officer to examine the Shenandoah Mountain, with a view of ascertaining its capacity for defense, accommodation of the
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