- General Jackson proposes to resign. -- interference of Secretary Benjamin with the army. -- proposition to exchange prisoners. -- summoned to Richmond for conference. -- preparations for withdrawal from Manassas. -- Secretary Benjamin continues his interference with the discipline of the army. -- movement to the Rappahannock. -- orders to General Jackson. -- battle of Kernstown. -- army moved to the Rapidan. -- appointment of General Randolph Secretary of War. -- movements of General McClellan. -- another conference with the President. -- its result.
In the beginning of the year, General Jackson moved from Winchester with four brigades of infantry and a regiment of cavalry, to drive the Federal troops, then in the northern part of his district, across the Potomac. Their number being inconsiderable, he succeeded in ten days, without serious fighting. His men suffered very much, however, from cold, and hard marches. In the distribution of the troops of the district, agreed upon by General Jackson and myself, General Loring's three brigades were stationed near Romney, General Meem's brigade of militia at Martinsburg, General Carson's at Bath, and the militia regiments of Colonels Monroe, McDonald, Harness, and Johnson, occupied Moorfield, and different points on a curved line thence, in advance of Romney, to Bath. A week or two after these dispositions were completed, General Jackson received the following order