something more than a mouth since. My troops have been so scattered, by sending a part into Northwestern Virginia, where they seem to have been doing admirable and valuable service, and to the salt-works, which are seriously threatened from Kentucky, and by the order from the Adjutant and Inspector General to send three regiments of Jenkins' cavalry brigade to you, that I am not only unable to send re-enforcements to Imboden, but have not sufficient force to guard the approaches through Greenbrier, Monroe, and Mercer if the enemy should concentrate his force in the Kanawha Valley and move with determination on any one point.
If I could now send a brigade to re-enforce Imboden, I think it highly probable that the enemy would abandon, temporarily, at least, the Kanawha Valley. Of course I don't know your plans or your wants in the way of troops, but I beg that you will send me the Fiftieth Regiment as soon as you can possibly spare it. May I ask you to inform me when what will probably be?
With great respect and esteem, your obedient servant,
ORDNANCE BURAU, Richmond, May 12, 1863.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War:
SIR: I have the honor to extract for your information from Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin's letter of the 7th instant, as follows:
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I returned this evening with the army to my old encampment near Hamilton's Crossing. Loss of sleep and fatigue of the past week must be my excuse for not furnishing a detailed report. I have not yet received the written reports called for from ordnance and artillery officers.
I remark generally that everything connected with ordnance operations have as far as I can gone off admirably; artillery officers speak of great improvement in our projectiles and ammunition. Complaints are made of the 20-pounder Parrott shells; many of them, from defects in the castings, burst near the muzzle of the gun. The Whithworth shells, fabricated at Richmond, are a decided success; they did admirable execution.
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I am unable to report precisely the number of pieces of artillery captured. I know of but eight, but hear of eleven and thirteen. We lost ten pieces at Marye's Heights - 1 United States 3-inch rifle, two 12-pounder howitzers, three 12-pounder Napoleons, two 10-pounder Parrotts,and two 6-pounder guns.
The field is so extensive - ranging from Fredericksburg, a distance of 10 miles, through dense woods and deep ravines - that it has been very difficult to collect the arms and almost impossible to estimate their number. I should say that there may be about 20,000, of which 12,000 may be set down as trophies. They have been collected and placed in prominent places on the roadside, and are being transported to the railroad depot as speedily as our limited transportation and broken-down condition of the animals will admit. I will have the field thoroughly gleaned. The ordnance officers have generally discharged their duties faithfully. I cannot speak in too high terms of the energy, zeal, and intelligence of Captain [William] Allan, chief of ordnance of the Second Army Corps. He should at once be promoted to the grade he is entitled to by law.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Chief of Ordnance.
P. S.-An application was made on the 21st of March for the promotion of Captain Allan to a majority, and is again recommended.