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[480] The shafts should be about ten feet long, and the heads seven or eight inches. Those furnished to us are, many of them, of heavy wood, and too short, the heads too thin and unnecessarily broad. Ash is the best wood.

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

Centreville, February 11, 1862.
Hon. J. P. Benjamin, Secretary of War. Sir:
On the morning of the 2d instant, I dispatched to Major-General G. B. McClellan a proposition for the general exchange of prisoners of war according to modern usage. He was informed that the proposition was made under authority derived from you.

According to some of the Northern newspapers, this letter was the subject of a cabinet council at which General McClellan assisted.

No answer has been received, and it is now reasonable to suppose that none is intended. Under such circumstances, permit me to suggest the propriety of at least suspending the unprecedented mode of exchange now practised.

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

Headquarters, Department of Northern Virginia, Centreville, February 11, 1862.
General S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector-General. Sir:
An order from the War Department removed two artillery companies which manned four of the heavy batteries at Manassas. I cannot supply their places without taking for the purpose excellent infantry who are ignorant of artillery service. I therefore respectfully ask that two companies may be sent to Manassas to man the batteries in


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