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Headquarters 1ST corps army of the Potomac, Centreville, Va., Jan. 29th, 1862.
Sir,—I have this day received the War Department letter of the 26th instant, ordering me to assume ‘command of the defences’ at Columbus, Ky. I will leave here, as soon as practicable, via Nashville and Bowling Green.

I remain sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Centreville, Jan. 29th, 1862.
My dear General,—I have just received the enclosed letter, much to my regret. I have been hoping that the views of the War Department might be changed.

Your transfer from this army is a great loss to it — a very great loss to me. The troops you have formed regard you as their general, and my confidence in you makes me feel weakened by our separation. You will take with you my best wishes. The best is that you may have fair opportunities; you know how to use them.

Very truly yours,

Headquarters 1ST corps army of the Potomac, Near Centreville, Jan. 29th, 1862.
General, In addition to my staff, it is essential I should be allowed Major G. W. Brent, 17th regiment Virginia Volunteers, in Inspector-General's Department. Captain S. W. Presstman, 17th Virginia, Captain J. M. Wampler, 8th Virginia, as Topographical and Military Engineers, under the recent Act of Congress.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Centreville, Va., Jan. 30th, 1862.
Sir,—I have the honor to report that I shall hurry through to Bowling Green to report to General A. S. Johnston.

As it will be my object to have my command thoroughly organized as soon after my arrival at Columbus as possible, I hope I shall be excused for suggesting to the War Department the following organization of the forces there, if not already made, to wit:

Brigades of four regiments, divisions of three brigades, with a light battery, at least, for each brigade.

Should officers of the proper rank and capacity be wanting, in part, for this organization, my anxiety for securing the efficiency of my command, to be handled in a field unknown to me, must be my excuse, further, for respectfully recommending the following as officers whose services I would be glad to have, in case additional general officers are needed there, namely: Lieutenant-Colonel W. W. Mackall, Adjutant and Inspector General's Department, to command a division;

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