War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0528 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV .

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The question of throwing troops into Richmond is contingent upon reverses in the West and Southeast. The immediate necessity for such a movement is not anticipated.

Very respectfully,

JEFFERSON DAVIS.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Headquarters Army of the Potomac.

No. 5. Reports of Brigadier General W. H. C. Whiting, C. S. Army, with congratulatory order from General T. H. Holmes.

HEADQUARTERS, CAMP BARTOW, VA.,

March 22, 1862.

SIR: In obedience to the orders of the President, conveyed through you to Major-General Holmes, on account of certain unofficial reports which had reached his excellency about the destruction of tents, ammunition, public property, &c., in my division, I have made a detailed report to Major-General Holmes.

I trust that it will completely satisfy his excellency that I have been maliciously slandered. Something is due to me, and I most respectfully demand from the justice of the President the source of his information. I also respectfully request that my report may be referred, in extensor, to General J. E. Johnston, under whose orders I acted entirely. I also respectfully request to be informed whether my division alone is the subject of such reports. If it is taken as the exemplar in this matter, in justice to the officers and men I may say, without offense, that the country and the cause reason to congratulate itself on the army.

Very respectfully,

W. H. C. WHITING,

Brigadier-General.

Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.

HEADQUARTERS, CAMP BARTOW, VA.,

March 21, 1862.

GENERAL: I have received from you to-day the following copy of a letter addressed to you by the Secretary of War:

WAR DEPARTMENT,

Richmond, Va., March 20, 1862.

GENERAL: The President requests that I should inform you that unofficial reports have reached him of great destruction of property-burning tents, destruction of ammunition, &c.-in the division commanded by General Whiting in the recent retrograde movement of the army, and he desires that you will require of General Whiting a detailed report on the subject.

I am, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Acting Secretary of War.

I submit, accordingly, the following report upon the subject of these unofficial imputations:

The distribution of my division for the defense of the Occoquan and support of the Evansport battery (the right of General Johnston's position)