RICHMOND, November 13, 1861.
General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON, Centreville:
The road to Manassas is so encumbered with transportation os supplies that in order to prevent further delay I am compelled to order up to your army three of four regiments by way of Fredericksburg. Please send orders to them there. I have ordered two regiments from Staunton to your re-enforcement, and they will leave Staunton to-morrow or day after. General Jackson is urging me to send him an engineer, and I have not one at my command. Have you one that you can possibly spare him?
J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War.
CENTREVILLE, November 14, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN:
Send all the troops you can, and as soon as possible. The Fredericksburg route is good. We have but one engineer officer, who is sick. We require more.
J. EW. JOHNSTON,
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS, November 14, 1861.
Brigadier General W. H. C. WHITING,
Commanding near Dumfries:
DEAR WHITING: We are still waiting the movements of McClellan; but for some time past have been giving more and more attention and through towards your side than to our front or left. Beauregard told me last night that he would suggest to Alexander to practice daily the signal telegraph with you. It is becoming all-important that we have prompt communication. At my suggestions orders have been issued for the making of temporalty bridges across the Occoquan. The formation of a reserve oft the army has reduced my command here to three brigades. Jackson's went to the valley of Virginia. Elye's and Crittenden's were put in the reserve; by the way, Crittenden has been appointed major-general, and goes to Cumberland Gap, in Kentucky. I have Sam. Jones, Toombs, and Wilcox here, and your command detached, forming the Second Corps, including Field's cavalry. I am on the wrong flank for prompt movement in your direction, but rely upon it, old fellow, that if they put overpowering numbers against you, I shall give you all the assistance in my power. We are in good condition considering all the drawbacks to which we are constantly subject. My men will move with a will in going to your support.
Allston is here, has taken hold in earnest, and is a great addition to the command. He signed a report yesterday, "Ben. Allston, major, &c., commanding regiment." So you see he is not entirely weaned from you yet.
I sent you the papers the other day and sent two this morning. Give my regards to Hill, Wighfall, and others friends. Your brother, Randal Allston, and other send king regards to yourself. White as often as you can.
As ever, you friend,
G. W. [SMITH.]