I think the loss of public property was remarkably small. My greatest regret is that I cannot say the same as to private property, for it seems to be a hard case to make the soldier bear a loss which was caused by no fault of his own.
The report of Major Lee [No. 8.], which is inclosed, will show what was done at Bacon Race. That of Captain Summey, quartermaster Sixteenth North Carolina, will tell what brought and what left by that regiment, which contains twelve companies, and is very large one. The reports from the other regiments, with that of the brigade commissary, will be sent to you as soon as they are handed in .
My letters and to the Quartermaster's Department will show that I foresaw the consequences of our weak transportation, and that I constantly and earnestly called attention to this branch of the service. It was not, doubtless, in the power of the Department to afford the assistance needed, but it is unquestionably due alone to the condition of our transportation that anything was lost, and I cannot feel that any blame should attach to the division you command, especially when the only foundation upon which such blame is based is a vague and unofficial report.
As to the brigade which I have had the honor to command for some months, and which has during that time held the advanced position in face of an enemy greatly its superior, I can only say that in the recent retrograde movement it brought with all the public property that it possibly could. That any should have been lost is a source of regret to me; but my regret is entirely free from the slightest feeling of selfreproach.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
General WHITING, Commanding Division.
No. 7. Report of Colonel J. J. Archer, Fifth Texas Infantry.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH REGIMENT, TEXAS VOLUNTEERS,
Camp Wigfall, Va., March 21, 1862.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that from the time of receiving your order to put my brigade in complete marching order the whole of my brigade train was constantly engaged in carrying the sick to the rear, and one-half of each regimental train in carrying the most valuable of the camping property, including a large quantity of spare arms. As it was contemplated that the enemy might attack during the movement, it was not deemed prudent to send any of the ammunition in advance; and when the final order came every wagon at my disposal was loaded under the immediate supervision of the regimental commanders and the brigade quartermaster and commissary, and every article which, with my limited means of transportation in the existing state of the roads, could possibly be carried was brought away.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. J. ARCHER,
Colonel Fifth Texas Regiment.
Major JAMES H. HILL, Assistant Adjutant-General.