in their transit from Jackson's River Station to the army. A shed, with abundance of straw in it, in which detachments of troops passing to and from might sleep, is a great desideratum, inasmuch as it would convince our citizen soldiery that all is done that it is possible to do to protect them from exposure, and such a shelter, with such feeling, would do much to exempt them from the great sickness that now desolates these western camps. The expanse could not be much of such an erection, and the benefits would be great. The teams are also suffering severely for want of forage. That could be obviated in some degree by a very simple process, not adopted by the Quartermaster's Department, and yet so obvious that any one is surprised at its non-adoption, unless it is purposely omitted. Why could not each wagon that hauls flour or other heavy material for the army from any of the depots take with them from three to five hundred pounds of hay or blades? It would fill the wagon; it would protect the load from the weather; it would sustain the transportation attached to the moving columns of the army; it would prevent the loss of stock, and enable the army to move with more alacrity and facility.
Then there is a very great mistake in hauling flour to the army in the mountains, where they have nothing but flour and meat, and the consequence is indigestible bread, and consequently sickness. A bakery established anywhere in the rear, either at Jackson's River Station or Covington, 9 miles west of that, could bake bread for the army, and the weight would not be greater to halt in bread or crackers than in flour; and if you could not put a load of bread in a wagon, the wagons could be a little altered so that a load could be put on them, or under other circumstances a heavy package of some sort could be put in each bread wagon, so as to give the necessary weight to haul. the expense would be but small, and the gain great in the increased health and efficiency of the men-the fewer hospitals; for, if what I have hearted be true, the expense of the hospital at White Sulphur will equal, or nearly equal, the expense of the transportation from Jackson's River Station to the army.
As to vegetables, pounded hominy would be the most convenient, palatable, and healthy that the army could get, winter or summer, and it is the easiest dressed for eating of anything, and could be so easily supplied to each army, and the machines for cracking the corn and hulling it are so abundant and cheap, that it is to me wonderful that some department of the Army had not introduced it. I will venture to say that it is far better than rice, and could be supplied at one-third the cost of that article per pound.
The Tennessee and Georgia troops, with many of whom I have talked, are very averse to serving in the mountains. The climate does not suit them, and toiling up the mountains on marches breaks them down directly. It is strange that they should be sent here to serve while many regiments raised in the mountains, accustomed to the inequalities of the surface of the earth, inured to the rigors of the climate, all having homes or relatives to defend, should be retained in Estern Virginia and the defense of their homes instructed to strangers unaccustomed to so rough a country and so bleak a climate. The Twenty-seventh Virginia Regiment, so effective at Manassas, came from Greenbrier, Monroe, and Alleghany Counties, and perhaps a company or two from Rockbridge.
I am no military man. Age has disabled me from bearing the fatigues of a campaign, and if that were not so, blindness has disqualified me from so doing. Amaurosis has wholly obscured one eye, and the other one sympathizes with it. I therefore do not pretend to be a military .