information. I have directed officers of the Twenty-fifth and Thirty-first Virginia Regiments to be sent up to that country, to fill up their regiments, and I shall make an effort to get at the conscripts.
R. E. LEE,
Lick River, W. Va., September 28, 1862.
Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War:
GENERAL: The reduced condition of many of the batteries of light artillery of this army renders it necessary that two or more of them should be consolidated into one, in order to make an effective battery.
Some of the batteries have been brought to this condition by losses of men and horses in battle; others by neglect and the inefficiency of the officers in charge of them. i have already ordered the following batteries to be united temporarily, as follows: The batteries of Captains Carpenter and Cutshaw to be consolidated into one battery, under Captain Carpenter, and the batteries of Captains Rice and Wooding to be united, under Captain Wooding. Captain Cutshaw has been badly wounded, and will probably never be fit for active service again, and Captain Rice has resigned. Lieutenants Brinker and Marks, of Cutshaw's battery, and Lieutenants Dickenson and Adams, of Wooding's battery, have been ordered to report to General Jackson, who has been directed to order them to report to the Adjutant and Inspector General of the Army at Richmond in case he does not require their services with his command. These officers have been recommended to be dropped from the rolls of the army, and to dispose of the supernumerary officers according to their merits. I desire that you would give the necessary instructions for the accomplishment of this matter.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
OCTOBER 2, 1862.
Respectfully submitted to the President. Authority has been asked of Congress to consolidate companies. It has not been granted. I have even been requested by a member to show my authority for disbanding them. I have no difficulty on that point, and conscripts may be transferred from the disbanded companies, but the officers of the company go out of commission, and the best officers of the two companies cannot be selected, as General Lee proposes. Shall I inform him of the difficulty before he proceeds further, or can anything be done to effect the object without a violation of law?
G. W. RANDOLPH,
Secretary of War.
Legislation is unnecessary. It would be well to communicate the facts to the committees on military affairs.