HEADQUARTERS BROOKE'S STATION,
December 31, 1861.
Colonel Pickett has managed his command on both sides of the Rappahannock admirably well. He has organized and distributed the small force at this disposal in the most judicious and effective manner, but being junior to all the coloels I had no option but to relive him of a part of his command on the arrival of Colonel Brockenbrough at his present post in the lower Northern Neck, whee the two rivers are close to each other, and the original status would have produced a conflict of authority.
Respectfully forwarded to the Adjutant-General.
T. H. HOLMES,
Major-General, Commanding District.
JANUARY 4, 1862.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
Colonel Pickett has the temporary appointment of colonel for the purpose of commanding on the Rappahannock. As he has been superseded in that command, it is possible he may be usefully employed elsewhere.
Adjutant and Inspector General.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Numbers 98.
December 30, 1861.
The troops are reminded that the Fifty-seventh Article of War makes punishable with death the giving intelligence to the enemy, directly or indirectly. Any letter intended for publication, or even not guarded against publication, falls within the law, if it contains the sort of information that the enemy would pruchase with money or by armed reconnaissance-such as position of guards, distribution of corps, character of works, state of maerial, or numbers, or plans of movement. The general commanding prefes, however, to appeal beyond the law to the patriotism of the army against tthe mischievous tendency and treasonable effec tof such reckless writings. Reserve in correspondence may be a sacrifice, but if we are not ready to make sacrifices oin all points we shall not deserve the great success for which we are contending. Professional correspondents of newspapers will be absolutely excluded from our camps, as it is notorious that the enemy hae been habitually arriving at valuable information through their indiscretions.
By command of General Johnston:
THOS. G. RHETT,
RICHMOND, December 30, 1861.
Lieutenant Colonel W. E. PETERS,
Dublin Depot, Va.:
When General J. B. Floyd left here it was arranged that he would order the Forty-fifth Virginia Regiment to Greenbrier County to give protection to the inhabitants in that section. If he has substituted anohter regiment for that service, and has ordered the Forty-fifth to