- Creation of the Department of Northern Virginia. -- distribution of new confederate battle flags. -- debate in Congress about the action of the President with regard to General Beauregard's report of the battle of Manassas. -- telegram of the Hon. James L. Kemper concerning it. -- General Beauregard's answer. -- letter of Colonel Pryor on the same subject. -- commentaries on the executive endorsement. -- Governor Moore forwards resolutions of Louisiana legislature, congratulating General Beauregard. -- circular to division commanders about leaves of absence. -- Congress passes an act in regard to the matter. -- its effect. -- General Beauregard's plan of recruitment.
By General Orders No. 15, received October 25th, from the War Department, the armies in northern and eastern Virginia were brought into combined relation; a system which had been urgently recommended by General Beauregard in the early part of June. The Potomac district, between the Blue Ridge and the Potomac, to the north bank of Powells River, was assigned to the command of General Beauregard. On its right and rear, the Aquia District, between the southern bank of Powells River, the Potomac, the Chesapeake, and the Rappahannock, including the counties along the southern bank of the latter river from its mouth to Fredericksburg, was assigned to Major-General Holmes. On its left, the Valley District, between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies, was assigned to Major-General Jackson. All were brought into one department, under the command of the senior general—Joseph E. Johnston. The army of the Potomac was organized into four divisions, under Major-Generals Van Dorn, G. W. Smith, Longstreet, and E. K. Smith. But as General Johnston did not give the command of that army to General Beauregard, he, out of delicacy, would not move in the matter, but confined himself technically, as before, to a so-called army corps (his former army of the Potomac), though under no orders placing him in command of that or any other corps. Such a command the War Department persistently