War of the Rebellion: Serial 005 Page 1062 OPERATIONS IN MD., N. VA., AND W. VA. Chapter XIV.

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II. Major General Longstreet's division will be designated the Second, Major General E. K. Smith's the Third, and that commanded by Brigadier General Early the Fourth Division of the Army of the Potomac..

By command of General Johnston:.

A. P. MASON,.

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General..

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,.

Centreville, Va., February 5, 1862.

General S. COOPER, Adjutant and Inspector General:.

SIR: I respectfully inclose herewith a letter to the President of the Confederate States, and beg that it may be laid before him..

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,.

J. E. JOHNSTON,.

General..

[Inclosure.]

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,.

Centreville, Va., February 5, 1862.

To His Excellency the PRESIDENT:.

SIR: I have just received from Major-General Jackson a copy of the letter of the Secretary of War to him, directing the evacuation of Romney and withdrawal of our troops to Winchester. On a former occasion I ventured to appeal to your excellency against such exercise of military command by the Secretary of War. Permit me now to suggest the separation of the Valley district from my command, on the ground that it is necessary for the public interest. A collision of the authority of the honorable Secretary of War with mine might occur at a critical moment. In such an event disaster would be inevitable. The responsibility of the command has been imposed upon me. Your excellency's known sense of justice will not hold me to that responsibility while the corresponding control is not in my hands. Let me assure your excellency that I am prompted in this matter by no love of privileges of position or of official rights as such, by a firm belief that under the circumstances what I propose is necessary to the safety of our troops and cause..

Let me urge you to visit this army again as a matter of great importance. Your presence here now or soon would secure to us thousands of excellent troops, who otherwise will disperse just as the active operations of the enemy may be expected to begin and be very beneficial otherwise. The highest benefit would be your assuming the command..

Most respectfully, your obedient servant,.

J. E. JOHNSTON,.

General..

WINCHESTER, February 6, 1862.

His Excellency JOHN LETCHER, Governor of Virginia:.

GOVERNOR: Your letter of the 4th instant was received this morning.*

If my retiring from the Army would produce that effect upon our country that you have named in your letter, I of course would not desire.

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*Not found..

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