and Potomac Railroad as far as Kilbey's Mill; will there leave the railroad and proceed to Halfsink. General Anderson will go to the same point, and will open communication with you as soon as possible.
Your letter of May 26 is received.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
Richmond, May 26, 1862.
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Major General Lafayette McLaws is assigned to the command of the troops heretofore commanded by Major-General Magruder, the latter having been relieved by Special Orders, Numbers 118, Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, May 23, 1862.
By command of General Johnston:
A. P. MASON,
HDQRS. DEPARTMENT OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
May 26, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have had the honor to receive your letter of this date, in which you require me to modify my order relieving Major-General Magruder from duty in this army.
Your letter is calculated, I think, to give the impression that I have done Major-General Magruder injustice. Let me remind you that my order in question was given in obedience to yours assigning General Magruder to the command of a department, and directing him to report for instructions. Your order was positive and unconditional. I had no option, but was bound to obey it. If injustice has been done it was not by me. If an improper order has been given it is not mine. Mine, therefore, permit me to suggest, is not the one to be recalled or modified.
Obedience to the order contained in your letter would place me in a false position in relation to Major-General Magruder and to the Army. I therefore respectfully ask you to recall it.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, Va., May 26, 1862.
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XXIV. Major General J. B. Magruder is relieved from the operation of paragraph VII, Special Orders, Numbers 118, current series, and will report for duty to General Joseph E. Johnston, commanding Department of Northern Virginia.
By command of Secretary of War: