making in all fifty-five companies, when I was ordered to transfer the command to General Flood.
By an understanding with General Lee in the west, and with the President and yourself on my return to Richmond and recovery from a protracted illness of eight weeks, the legion was to be restored to me, except the companies raised in Western Virginia for its defense who might elect to remain, and expecting one battery of light artillery. Now, what has become of all this force of the legion? Lieutenant-Colonel Swank and Major Brown, of my third regiment, were superseded by Colonel Starke and Major Sweeney, and the ten companies of that regiment taken for the defense of Western Virginia were sent to South Carolina, and have since been moved back to Goldsborough, N. C. One company (Captain Crane's) was disbanded. Captain Wallace's company was put in its place, and that, too, has just been disbanded. Five companies were sent to Georgia. Nineteen companies of infantry were captured at Roanoke Island. Two companies of light artillery have been detached and eft under command of General Huger, and the term of service of one has expired and they are out of service of one has expired and they are out of service, and two companies of my second regiment, the Fifty-ninth Virginia Volunteers, have been left in hospital at Lewisburg, and the term of one company of cavalry has expired, and it is out of service. I have, without consulting me, been deprived of forty-two companies out of fifty-five, and yet have sixteen companies left, three new companies having organized and joined me before and since the affair at Roanoke Island, besides having filled up several companies on parole with new and additional men.
The legion still has nine companies of cavalry under Colonel Davis, five of infantry under Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, and two under Colonel Tyler, subject to my orders, besides the two companies of my second regiment at Lewisburg, still under orders to join me, under Colonel Henningsen, and the two companies and five pieces of artillery at Great Bridge, in the department of General Huger, and besides the ten companies of my third regiment at Goldsborough, N. C. Eighteen companies are still under my orders, numbering nearly 1,200 men, and I claim that twelve ought, according to promise, to be restored to me, numbering about 800 more, making the original number of 2,000 men; and I ask the question most respectfully, how the legion can be adjudged supernumerary in March, 1862, with a full organization, and from 1,200 to 2,000 men belonging to it, when in June, 1861, it was made a brigade with but eight officers and not one man, company, battalion, or regiment, and with but 600 State volunteers attached to it?
I respectfully submit this general statement of facts and this view of legal and logical deductions in order to have the full force of my legion restored to my command and to preserve its existence as a distinctive and independence force. I beg that this all may be referred to General Lee and then to the President, in order that I may have a decision on the questions-first, Shall the forces of my legion be restored to me? If not, may I be allowed to recruit it to its full complement? Or as a legion and originally constituted, is it to be disbanded? I ask for an early reference and decision, and am,
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,*
HENRY A. WISE,
*See Wise to Randolph, Series I, VOL. IX, p. 422.