War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0945 Chapter XIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.CONFEDERATE.

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Numbers 489.

Near Centreville, Va., November 9, 1861.

I. The Third Division of this Army Corps is dissolved. The Third Brigade will form part of the Second Division until otherwise ordered, and Brigadier General D. R. Jones will report to Major-General Longstreet for orders. The First Brigade is assigned to the First Division, and Brigadier-General Bonham will report to Major-General Van Dorn.

II. Brigadier General Richard Griffith is assigned to the command of the Mississippi regiments serving in Loudoun County, Virginia, and will without delay report to Brigadier-General Evans, who for the present will remain in command of all the Confederate troops in that country.

By command of General Beauregard:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

RICHMOND, VA., November 10, 1861.


SIR: When I addressed you in relation to your complaint, because of the letters written to you by Mr. Benjamin, Acting Secretary of war, it was hoped that yo would see that you had misinterpreted his expressions, and would be content. But while in yours of the 5th instant* you accept the assurance given that Mr. Benjamin could not have intended to give you offense, you serve notice that your "motives must not be called into question," and that when your "errors are pointed out, it must be done in a proper tone and style," and express the fear that Mr. Benjamin "will, under all circumstances, view only the legal aspect of things, and that insensibly this army and myself (yourself) will be put int other straight-jacker of the law," &c., I do not feel competent to instruct Mr. Benjamin in the matter of style. There are few who the public would probably believe if for that task. But the other point quoted from your letter presents matter for graver consideration, and it is that which induces me to reply. It cannot be peculiar to Mr. Benjamin to look at every exercise of official power in its legal aspect, and you surely did not intend to inform me that you army and yourself are outside of the limits of the law. It is my duty to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and I cannot recognize the pretension of any one that their restraint is too narrow for him.

The Congress carefully reserved to all volunteers the selection of their company officers and provided various modes of receiving them into service as organized bodies. When you disregarded that right, and the case was brought to be notice of the Secretary of War, it could but create surprise, and the most mild an considerate course which could have been adopted was to check further progress under your order and inform you of the error committed.

Very respectfully, yours, &c.,


RICHMOND, VA., November 10, 1861.


Commanding Department of the Potomac:

SIR: The Secretary of War has this morning laid before me yours of the 8th instant.* I fully sympathize with your anxiety for the Army of


*Not found.


60 R R-VOL V .