On January 26, General Loring receives the letter from his officers. He adds an indorsement of agreement:
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHWEST,
Romney, Va., January 26, 1862.
As this is a respectful communication, and presents for the consideration of the honorable Secretary of War the true condition of this army, and coming from so high a source, expressing the united feeling of the army, I deem it proper to respectfully forward it for his information. I am most anxious to re-enlist this fine army, equal to any I ever saw, and am satisfied if something is not done to relieve it, it will be found impossible to induce the army to do so, but with some regard for its comfort, a large portion, if not the whole, may be prevailed upon.
At the earliest possible moment I shall write more fully.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. W. LORING,
Brigadier-General, Commanding, &c.
Loring forwards the letter on through channels. The next officer to read it will be "Stonewall" Jackson.