War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 0962 Chapter XIV. OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA.

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RICHMOND, November 17, 1861.

General W. H. C. WHITING, Dumfries, Va.:

Communicate with General Johnston, at whose instance the regiments via Fredericksburg were to stop at Evansport, where they were to be armed from the depot at Manassas.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

RICHMOND, November 17, 1861.

Major General T. H. HOLMES, Brooke's Station:

The regiment that left here yesterday for Evansport had better remain at Fredericksburg the present, on account of General Whiting's dispatch. No more unarmed regiments will be sent in that direction.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector General.

WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, November 17, 1861.

General JOSEPH E. JOHNSTON,

Commanding Department of North Virginia:

SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge receipt to of your letter of 13th instant, received yesterday.

I perceive that your impression of the result of your conversation with Mr. Hunter was entirely different from that which he communicated to me, and this fact it, perhaps, the best proof that it would have been more regular and prudent that you should have communicated to me in writing some reply to my letter of 13th ultimo.

This, however, is a matter of small importance now, as I am gratified to perceive by your omission to call on me for the aid tendered in my letter of 7th instant that you have found means to shelter the army without the assistance of the Department.

Your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN,

Acting Secretary of War.

P. S. -I am sorry to say that the Honorable R. M. T. Hunter, who tendered his services in procuring the thousand laborers for work on entrenchments mentioned in my letter of 13th ultimo, has been prevented thus far from accomplishing that object by a difficulty in the laws of Virginia. He hoped to get authority from the governor to impress free negroes, but it seems that the power for that purpose does not exist in the governor. The quartermaster is trying to get slaves, in accordance with your recent request, to work on roads in the vicinity of the camp.