Purdy bridge to a point west of Monterey. General Wallace's division is encamped near Mickey's White House, northeast of Monterey.
After this statement it is hardly necessary to add what is obvious, that the amount of duty performed by these two divisions is very great, indeed exhausting, if not oppressive. This is particularly true of the available cavalry attached to them, only amounting in all to 359 men. In proof of this assertion the fact may be cited that General Wallace's cavalry has been unrelieved from duty for four days, while the same is substantially true in regard to General Logan's cavalry.
As an explanation of the very small available cavalry force (104) attached to General Wallace's division, I may state that two companies of his cavalry are detached for special duty near Pittsburg.
These facts have been laid before Major-General Grant, and have been answered by an order to General Thomas to detach two squadrons of cavalry from his command under orders to report to me, but none have yet reported.
Additional infantry and artillery, as well as cavalry, are needed to lighten the heavy burden of duty imposed on my command and to enable it to perform efficiently and well trust committed to it.
JOHN A. McCLERNAND,
Major-General, Commanding, &c.
HDQRS. RESERVE OF THE ARMY OF THE TENNESSEE,
May 15, 1862.
Major General WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Commanding, &c.:
GENERAL: My suggestion of yesterday, that a field battery would be acceptable, was casual; I can do without it. Doubtless it is better that you should retain all your artillery. My command is very much divided, not to say dispersed. While a portion of General Wallace's division is encamped at Mickey's White House, three regiments of infantry and nearly all of his cavalry are detached to guard the line of Owl Creek below and upon fatigue.
The First Division (General Logan) is at Locust Hill, but this morning I shall advance one brigade of it to or near Easel's. Other three regiments of it now form outposts, while the cavalry are continually employed in guarding an extended line.
Besides advancing a brigade, as already mentioned, in prudence I shall have to post a regiment at an intermediate point, say at some camp of yesterday morning, probably in the position occupied by McDowell.
It is desirable, therefore, that you should at least leave a force for the protection and support of the siege battery until one of my brigades reaches Easel's.
This disposition of the only division of the reserves near me (based in part upon the information contained in your letter) will leave the different detachments and camps of the First Division scant of artillery. Hence if you could leave two or four guns at Easel's subject to the order of Brigadier-General Ross you would much oblige me, and at the same time promote the interest of the public service.
JOHN A. McCLERNAND,
13 R R-VOL X, PT II