Centreville, December 16, 1861.
General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:
SIR: Brigadier-General Hill, commanding at Leesburg,writes that the enemy are able to seen the ground on our side of the Potomac for 2 miles from the water with their artillery. He cannot, therefore contest the passage of the river. With another regiment of infantry and a sufficient body of cavalry he could occupy his position, and observe the long line of the Potomac, so as to prevent surprise. He thinks it possible that a regiment of infantry might be spared from Richmond. I f so, I beg that it may be sent without delay..
Colonel Jenifer, who was here to-day, thinks that his regiment, now in Western Virginia, could be very useful in Loudoun, and that the horse would gain very much by being removed to that abundant country. His minute knowledge of the county and people make s his own service there almost indispensable. I earnestly request, therefore, that his regiment may join him as soon as possible.
I need not remind the Department of the injury that would result to us from permitting the enemy to establish himself in Leesburg, not repeat that we are took weak here to re-enforce General Hill from this body of troops. If the two brigades announced to be en route to it in General Orders, Numbers 18, may be expected soon, I shall, on their arrival be able to strengthen Brigadier-General Hill's command sufficiently..
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
DUMFRIES, VA., December 16, 1861.
R. M. SMITH, Esq.:
DEAR SIR: L I was informed yesterday that our troops were destroying my houses on the river. There was a two-story, which attic, dwelling-house, with shed-rooms on the north side and a covered porch to both stories on the south side the large, well-built kitchen, a servant's house, a meat-house, frame office, new, and a large stable. My tenant was removed from the property months ago. I rode down to-day and found every plank taken from the stable, the office removed, the kitchen and servant's house all gone but the brick chimneys, the shed portion of the dwelling entirely gone, the window-sash and doors and the weather-boarding torn off and carried away, the fencing gone, and what I expected to by my future home a complete wreck. The enemy have not destroyed any man's property on the Potomac so completely as the Georgia, Texas, and Captain Frobel's company have destroyed mine. Is here no redress? Do we live under a militia despotism? I found Captain Trobel at the Cockpit Point batteries, 2 miles off, erecting winter quarters out of my houses. Other portions were taken by the Eighteenth Georgia Regiments and Second Texas Regiment. My wife grieves over the vandalism, because it was farther's, and the place where she was born. We have no courts of justice, or I would prosecute the ruffians. I am between the upper and nether millstones, robbed by the Yankees in Washington and by Southern troops here. I have paid texas on this property to the State, and the courts of the State fail to give me any protection. The country around here is treated more like an enemy's country than the homes of loyal citizens. What right has a