those officers cannot be had, our only alternative seens to be the employment of such civil engineers as may already have had some military experience. In this case, and indeed in any case, in engineer officer of experience should be detailed to visit and inspect every work, as well as to advise with the commander fro its defense.
Very respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,
Major of Engineers and Acting Chief of Bureau.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC.
Fairfax Court - House, October 9, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:
SIR: The Department letter of the 8th instant has been received, informing me that the President doe not approve the division of the army into two corps. If I am to understand by this that I am no longer in command of an army corps, then I have the honor to request that I may be relieyed forthwith from my present false position; but if I am in command of one, I must then be provided with an officer to supply the place of Captain E. P. Alexander, Corps of Engineers, who was my signal officer and acting ordnance officer, but transferred by me to General J. E. Johnston on account of his necessities as general - in - chief. The worse are the elements of an army in the field, the greater must be its subdivisions under competent officers, otherwise those in command must devote to details the time and attention which ought properly to be applied only to the most important duties of their position. The application for Mr. T. B. Ferguson was intended for an acting ordnance officer to see to the details of that important department of the First Army Corps.
I remain, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
General, Commanding First Corps, Army of the Potomac.
STAUNTON, VA., October 9, 1861.
We have received this morning an order from General Jackson directing the regiment. [Fifty - eight Virginia] to go west at once. It is utterly impossible to comply with it. The reasons are communicated in a letter sent you by John Barclay today. It will be necessary to have the order countermanded by the War Department at once.
S. H. LETCHER.
SALUDA, October 10, 1861.
Mr. J. P. BENJAMIN,
Acting Secretary of War:
DEAR SIR: I have thought it advisable to inform you of our exposed condition on the Rappahannock River. There is no fortification between Lowry's Point and the mouth of the river, a distance of forty miles, and