in "light marching order." Suppose you give similar ones to be executed so far as your means of transportation will permit..
The troops on the Occoquan belong to your command..
The enemy is in force at Harper's Ferry, and also at Hancock and Frederick. Many wagons have been sent from Baltimore to Hagerstown. They will soon move upon Winchester, so threatening our left flank. Tell French to make his command, so far as he can, ready to join General Holmes at a moment's notice. I write him a note to that effect. His movements must correspond in time with yours. He will receive intimation from you..
Very truly, yours,.
J. E. JOHNSTON,.
Please inclose the accompanying note to Brigadier-General French..
Banks telegraphs new Cabinet; Benjamin, Secretary of State; Lee (R. E.), of War; General Randolph, Navy; Memminger, Treasury; H. V. Johnson, Attorney-General; Henry, Postmaster-General..
Centreville, February 28, 1862.
Mr. PRESIDENT: I regret to be unable to make a favorable report of the progress of our preparations to execute your plans. The want of an efficient staff and the wretched mismanagement of the railroad are the causes and our endeavoring to save as much as possible of the great amount of public property collected here..
General Hill reported to me to-day that the enemy is in force at Harper's Ferry, having crossed the Potomac on a pontoon bridge; they occupied Charlestown yesterday; I am not informed if in force. Should they move directly upon Winchester from that point as well as Hancock, our left would be so threatened as to compel the movement you have ordered without further delay..
General Whiting writes that it is impossible, with any means at our control, to remove the heavy guns. As I remarked to you, orally, the measure must be attended with great sacrifice of property, and perhaps much suffering..
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,.
J. E. JOHNSTON,.
RICHMOND, VA., February 28, 1862.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Commanding Department, &c.:
SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge yours of the 22nd, 23rd, and 25th, with inclosures. The last-named letter is without a signature. From these it appears that the enemy is concentrating in your front and pushing his reconnaissance closely and actively..
Your opinion that your position may be turned whenever the enemy shall choose to advance, and that he will be ready to take the field before yourself, so clearly indicate prompt effort to disencumber yourself of everything which would interfere with your rapid movement when necessary, and such thorough examination of the country in your rear..