RICHMOND, VA., April 12, 1862.
General J. E. JOHNSTON, &c.:
GENERAL: Under orders to report to you as soon as the investigation of the committee of the House of Representatives on the Roanoke affair is completed in order that you may assign me to a new brigade, I had a personal interview with you last evening in which you said your command is completely organized and you would aid in reuniting to my command the remaining forces of my legion, and you requested me to furnish you with a memorandum of their numbers, distribution, &c. With this request I now comply: In Western Virginia I had raised the legion to fifty-five companies of all arms. Of these forty-three companies were organized and were left at Camp Defiance, on the Big Sewell Mountain, in September, 1861, to wit: Three regiments and one company of infantry, 31; eight companies of cavalry, 8; four companies of artillery, 4-43; on the way to join and in the act of organizing, 12; total, 55. The organized force of forty-three companies numbered in the aggregate, 2,850 men, with 2,450 efficient for service, and at the time of the transfer of my command to General Floyd were actually engaged with at least 6,000 of the enemy. Without censure I was called home and was detained from service by severe illness nearly three months, with the understanding that my legion was to be restored to my command in the East. Since then I was ordered to North Carolina. Ten companies of inantry, under pretext of being retained in Western Virginia to defend their homes, constituting my third regiment, were taken and ordered to South Carolina. they are now at Goldsborough, N. C. Four companies from Georgia were sent home properly to recuirt their health. The terms of three companies have expired. Five have been transferred. Two have been disbanded. Nineteen companies were captured at Roanoke Island. Thus in all, taken away, expired, transferred, disbanded, and captured, forty-three, leaving, from fifty-five comapnies, twelve. With companies formed since the capture at Roanoke Island I have cavalry, 9; infantry, 7; artillery, 2; total, 18. One of the companies of cavalry is in Rockingham, left there to recruit, ordered to report to you. Four are ordered to the Peninsula under General Magruder, and four are at Murfreesborough, N. C. Of the infantry, four companies under Lieutenant Colonel J. H. Richardson are in the Peninsula, and three are here in Richmond. The two artillery companies, with five pieces of my artillery which I brought from the west, are at the Great Bridge, Norfolk County, Va., under Major General B. Huger. Besides these, several new companies are ready to join me, and the nineteen companies captured are waiting only to be exchanged. In all, with the least aid, I can soon raise and organize the legion up to at least forty companies of prime troops. I beg that these, with such other troops as you can assign, may be added to my command and assist in forming my new brigade.
With highest respect, your obedient servant,
HENRY A. WISE,
P. S.- Since writing the above I have seen the Secretary of War, and he has addressed or will address you on the subject.
H. A. W.
[9 and 11.]