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[479] now conflicting with those you have given, would have an unfortunate effect — that of making the impression that our views do not coincide, and that each of us is pursuing his own plan. This might especially be expected among General Loring's troops, if they are, as represented to me, in a state of discontent little removed from insubordination.

Troops stationed at Moorefield could not well cooperate with those in the northern part of the Valley, as the President remarks.

Let me suggest that, having broken up the dispositions of the military commander, you give whatever other orders may be necessary.

Most respectfully, Your obedient servant, J. E. Johnston, General.

Centreville February 9, 1862.
General S. Cooper,
Adjutant and Inspector-General. Sir:
I am informed that a law recently passed authorizes the President to organize a provisional corps of engineers.

Officers and soldiers of that branch of the service are greatly needed by us. If one or two competent engineers, with eight or ten subalterns of those appointed under this law, could be sent to this district soon, their services would be of great value. They should have sappers and pontoniers as soon as practicable. Such an organization would add greatly to our strength, and, in the event of marches, would be essential.

We should have a much larger cavalry force. The greatest objection, or rather difficulty, in increasing it, is said to be the want of proper arms. This can be easily removed by equipping a large body of lancers. These weapons can be furnished easily and soon, and would be formidable-much more so than sabres — in the hands of new troops, especially against the enemy's numerous artillery.

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