War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0646 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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me has not been forgotten. As I hold my chief of artillery responsible for the efficiency of his artillery, I feel it my duty to let him select his own officers, so far as I may be able to favor such selections, ever having in view the selection of the best qualified.

In a recent letter I stated to you that Colonel Crutchfield might receive such favorable information respecting the health of Captain Brockenbrough as to render it advisable to recommend his promotion instead of Chew's. Last evening I received a note from Colonel Crutchfield, favoring the promotion of Brockenbrough, and I respectfully recommend that he be promoted to a majority, and assigned to the same battalion with Major Jones, and hope that Captain Barnwell will not be promoted into the artillery of my corps. I know nothing of his qualifications.

I have had much trouble resulting from incompetent officers having been assigned to duty with me regardless of my wishes. Those who assigned them have never taken the responsibility of incurring the odium which results from such incompetency.

I am, general, your obedient servant,

T. J. JACKSON,

Lieutenant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, February 28, 1863.

Honorable JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

SIR: I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 26th instant, inclosing dispatch of 25th from Captain [J. F.] Milligan, signal officer.

I have had certain intelligence of but three army corps of General Hooker's army descending the Potomac, each estimated at from 7,000 to 9,000 men; the whole probably amounting to 25,000. This body of men, with artillery, wagons, &c., can readily deceive even a practiced eye. One of my scouts, who has been on the Potomac for the past ten days, reports on the 26th that everything has been quiet on the river for the past week, only three or four steamers passing up and down during the day. A great many sail vessels and a great deal of hay descending. From the number of transports and their capacity, he estimates that 15,000 or 20,000 troops have passed down since the 9th. I think it probable this is Burnside's command, with which he will endeavor to advance south of James River, while General Hooker pursues this route. The army in front of us at present is certainly very large. It is compactly posted along the line of the railroad from Falmouth to Aquia, with cavalry on its flanks from the Rappahannock to the Potomac. Its approaches are so closely guarded that it is difficult to penetrate its lines, and I was obliged to have its outposts forced by General Fitz. Lee's cavalry on the 25th, to ascertain its position. With 400 cavalry, he penetrated its lines 5 miles north of Falmouth, proceeded to within about 4 miles of that place, fell upon his camps, and brought off 150 prisoners, including 5 commissioned and 10 non-commissioned officers. I regret that he was obliged to leave behind his wounded, 8 men. General W. H. F. Lee, on the 25th, attacked two gunboats (one side-wheel, one propeller), that had ascended the Rappahannock as high as Tappahannock, with two guns of his flying artillery, and drove them off, without loss on our part.

General W. E. Jones reported that two regiments of Federal cavalry drove in his pickets on the 26th, and that with a small force he fell