I fully agree with you that the diminution of numbers must be compensated for by extreme activity, and if the cavalry now at your disposal is well taken care of by the battalion officers, and diligently used, it will be of great service to you.
The reduction of force in the lower valley will make it needful to keep watch of the country between the Kanawha and Guyandotte Rivers, as there will be efforts made to establish lines of contraband communication there.
As it will be an advantage to your men to have plenty to do, I suggest the lining the crest of Cotton Hill with abatis, covering the paths and roads leading to Gauley, by both upper and lower routes, with some defenses in the nature of breastworks, and doing the like at the principal points of the crest of the Loup Creek Hills, where paths pass over the hills, so that if it should become necessary to concentrate at Gauley, that position could be held while provisions should last, even if the enemy reached the river below.
Communicate freely and fully your ideas on the best policy there, and believe me, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. COX,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, January 23, 1863-8.50 p.m.
His Excellency ABRAHAM LINCOLN,
President of the United States:
I have prepared some very important orders, and I want to see you before issuing them. Can I see you alone if I am at the White House after midnight? I must be back by 8 o'clock to-morrow morning.
A. E. BURNSIDE,
GENERAL ORDERS, HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, January 23, 1863.
I. General Joseph Hooker, major-general of volunteers and brigadier-general U. S. Army, having been guilty of unjust and unnecessary criticisms of the actions of his superior officers, and of the authorities, and having, by the general tone of his conversation, endeavored to create distrust in the minds of officers who have associated with him, and having, by omissions and otherwise, made reports and statements which were calculated to create incorrect impressions, and for habitually speaking in disparaging terms of other officers, is hereby dismissed the service of the United States as a man unfit to hold an important commission during a crisis like the present, when so much patience, charity, confidence, consideration, and patriotism are due from every soldier, in the field. This order is issued subject to the approval of the President of the United States.
II. Brigadier General W. T. H. Brooks, commanding First Division, Sixth Army Corps, for complaining of the policy of the Government, and for using language tending to demoralize his command, is, subject to the
*This order was not approved by the President, and was, therefore, never issued. It appeared in the public prints, is referred to in the correspondence between Halleck and Franklin, post, and in Burnside's testimony before the Committee on the Conduct of the War.