troops to march on Saturday morning, their baggage wagons leading. So much found remaining on Saturday, however, that the troops were kept until Sunday evening. The miserable performance of the railroad rendered this measure almost useless. A good deal of property, and regimental, was destroyed.
Smith's and Longstreet's divisions followed the Warrenton turnpike; Ewell's and Early's the railroad and a route through Brentsville. The first named is now near Culpeper Court-House. The two last have this morning completed the passage of the river here. Our pickets are on a line a little beyond Warrenton Junction.
A reserve depot was established at Culpeper Court-House, the stores in which I have ordered to be removed to Gordonsville. I will remain here to cover that operation unless otherwise ordered. The management of this railroad is so wretched that it may require a week or 10 days.
My post-office for the present is Culpeper Court-House, 10 miles off.
A. P. Mason, for whom I have asked a commission on my staff, is very useful to me. I hope that the commission can be given.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General.
No. 4. Letter from President Davis to General Johnston.
RICHMOND, March 15, 1862.
Your letter of 13th received this day,* being the first information of your retrograde movement. Have no report of your reconnaissance and can suggest nothing as to the position you should take, except it should be as far in advance as consistent with your safety .
JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Culpeper Court-House.
RICHMOND, VA., March 15, 1862.
GENERAL: I have received your letter of the 13th instant,* giving the first official account I have received of the retrograde movement of your army. Your letter would lead me to infer that others had been sent to apprize me of your plans and movements. If so, they have not reached me; and before the receipt of yours of the 13th I was as much in the dark as to your purposes, condition, and necessities as at the time of our conversation on the subject about a month since.
'Tis true I have many of alarming reports of great destruction of ammunition, camp equipage, and provisions, indicating precipitate retreat; but, having heard of no cause of such a sudden movement, I was at a loss to believe it. I have not the requisite topographical knowledge for the selection of your new position. I had intended that you should determine that question; and for this purpose a corps of engineers was furnished to make careful examination of the country to aid you in your decision.
* Not found, but see report No. 3., p.526.