Accomac and Northampton cover in extent abot seventy miles. There are some eight or mine companies in Accomac in camp and some four or five in this county. There are four encampments in Accomac - one at Jenkins' Bridge, one at Guilford, one at Accomac Court - House, or its immediate vicinity, and one at Pungoteague. There is one in this county, Camp Huger, and I understand another is to be established nearer Cape Charles. It is probable that many more than now enlished in the service will shortly enlist. The number of encampments are almost a necessity in the isolated position we occupy on a peninsula. Every neighborhood is constantly liable to be infested by marauding or foraging parties, and no one ought to be left entirely without protection. Being at war, as we are, with an unrelenting and profligate enemy, the women and children of every locality ought to be assured of some protection by the presence of an armed force. Now, we have a colonel, Charles Smith, a lieutenant - colonel, Louis C. H. Finney, and a major, N. Robert Cary. However efficient these gentlemen may be, it is almost physically impossible that they can keep up a proper discipline
[which is all important] and brig about a proper efficiency of the troops scattered overa territory covering seventy miles in extent. Under these circumstances, feeling a deep solicitude for the successof our arms, I hope you will excuse the suggestion that you should send a general oficer to this shore to exercice a supervising control over the whole foece. Although the extent of the territory is so great for one general officer, yet ours are table lands, and can be passed over with as much rapidity as over a plank road. And pardon another suggestion, if you conclude to ssend a brigadier - general to this shore, that you will send an active man and good disciplinarian, for such in my option, we need. I would barely remark that if you shall obtain a foothold in Maryland, on the Potomac, it may become desireble to send forces upon the Eastern Shore of that State; and if so, they must necessarily be sent from these two counties, and then it will be eminently important that a good general officer shall be in command here. In connection with this matter I would state that you have in service here one surgeon, Dr. Peter F. Browne, and that it is impossible for him to render service in all the camps. Dr. William Alex. Thom has been discharging the duties oa Camp Huger, and I would sugest that he be appointed assistant surgeon of the forces on this shore. I understand he has been appointed surgeon in the general service, but his family resides in this county, and he would find it very inconvienient to remove them from it, and I presume would prefer to take the inferior position of assistant to being obliged to separate himself for and indefinite period from his family. I make these suggestions with great deference, and hope you will pardon the presumption on account of the deep interest I feel in the success of our arms and the welfare of our country.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servnat,
MIERS W. FISHER.
HDQRS. ARMY OF THE POTOMAC Numbers 34.
September 29, 1861.
Captain E. P. Alexander, Engineer Corps, C. S. Army, is assignedto duty as chief of ordnance and signal officer of the Army of the Potomac, and he will be obeyed accordingly.
By command of General Johnston:
THOS. G. RHETT,
Assistant Adjutant - General.