War of the Rebellion: Serial 001 Page 0370 OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA. Chapter IV.

Search Civil War Official Records

of well-trained artillerists finds itself, after eight years of practice in that highest and most efficient arm, the light artillery, going into active service as footmen. They, too, feel, the change deeply.

I inclose a memorandum which Major Hunt has written at my suggestion, and I bespeak your influence to see that he is supplied with horses. If, in the end, this be not found the best field for the campaign-and I am not yet prepared to advise on this point-then these trained men and officers, these instructed soldiers, may be easily transferred to another field and replaced by some company whose training will suit the duties to be performed at our destination. The major served through the Mexican war in Duncan's famous battery, was brevetted for Churubusco, again for Chapultepec and the City of Mexico, and commanded the battery at MoliNumbers These are historic names. Such an officer should be encouraged, promoted, translated to that sphere to which his peculiar training and skill will be most useful to his country. I have been gratified, even surprised, at the soldierly and loyal spirit with which these officers go upon this expedition. Whether our aim be Charleston, Savannah, Dominica, Pensacola, Mobile, Key West, Louisiana, or Texas, they do not know, but with cheerful trust in the Government they rely upon its wisdom and patriotism, and not a sad brow or a complaining spirits is on board. This loyal and devotion is beautiful. It promises for the country, if properly appreciated and encouraged, a most efficient army, animated by hope and patriotism. From such men, and not from the pillows used to bolster up political reputations, should the colonels of your new regiments be selected. Such men will raise regiments at their call. The soil will sprout armed men. They can train them into soldiers who will save the country, if arms can save it. All patriots should look to these things. On the spirit and loyalty of your officers depends the success of your armies.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIG,

Captain of Engineers.

[Inclosure.]

Memorandum for Captain Meigs.

My battery dismounted in consequence of Twiggs' treason, left its horses at Fort Brown, Tex. The guns, light 12-pounders (the new canon-busier of Louis Napoleon), are the only ones in our service of that kind. They were brought off by the company in spite of extraordinary efforts on the part of Texans to get possession of them. Their firing is very accurate, and with equal mobility they have much greater power then the 6-pounder. Each is perfectly adapted ot the use of all the projectiles known in the service-shot, shell, spherical case, and canister. The fire of one portion of the battery is therefore never sacrificed to that of another, as so often happens in ordinary batteries, where the fire of the gun must often be sacrificed tot hat of the howitzer, and vice versa.

The men of the company are well instructed both as drivers and cannoneers, a work requiring time and patience, and it is of great importance that the knowledge they have acquired by long training should not be lost to the service, for neither drivers nor cannoneers can be improvised when wanted. The battery has with it its forge, battery-wagons, harness, &c., and requires only horses to make it thoroughly efficient. These ought to be supplied at once, as they would convert a comparatively inefficient, because uninstructed, infantry company into an efficient field battery.