War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0380 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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tion, having fed on nothing but grass and cover for a considerable time; the artillery horses hardly able to draw their pieces. I have seen but one company of cavalry that is tolerably well mounted.

4th. The position of Harrisonburg is not tenable for an army so weak and exhausted as this against the force Jackson can bring against it. It has no protection in front and can easily be turned on both wings. Besides, the possession of Harrisonburg seems to be of no particular importance; it covers nothing but the country immediately behind it, and can easily be retaken as soon as the army is in a condition to resume the offensive.

5th. The position of Mount Jackson is very strong, covered in front by the Shenandoah, and has good appuis on both wings. In that position the army can rest with safety, reorganize, and wait provisions and re-enforcements, and have that repose of which it stands so much in need.

For these reasons you will concede it was advisable to do what was done. Offensive operations being out of the question for the present, the defensive was to be made as strong and secure as possible, and the measures adopted are in my opinion the best and in fact the only ones that will fully answer the object.

Let me say a few words of the wants of this army:

1. It wants recruits to fill up the regiments. There are regiments mustering less than 300 men, and there are but very few mustering over 500.

2. It wants a few more regiments. General Fremont's army ought to consist of four divisions, of two brigades each, for active operations. There are regiments in the country which might be sent forward. I know of two which are without employment: the Nineteenth Wisconsin, guarding prisoners of war at Madison, Wis., and the Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania, Colonel Campbell, which I found scattered along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Cumberland and Martinsburg, mustering 900 men, and eager to do duty in the field. Prisoners as well as railroads might be guarded by militia.

3. Our soldiers want shoes and underclothing; they cannot march without them. Above all, let us have shoes.

4. The army wants at least 1,000 good horses. Only in this way can the artillery, as well as the cavalry, be rendered efficient.

5. In this mountainous country we ought to have a small company of suppers and miners to each division. It is so in every well-organized army, and ours cannot get along without them. It has been tried to supply their place with infantry furnished with the necessary tools, but this will not answer. It was found that the infantry soldiers charged with the tools will throw them away as soon as they become inconvenient on the march. In fact, I saw yesterday, when the march of the army was impeded by the breaking down of a little bridge, how the officer charged with repairing it had to borrow an ax of a farmer, and the march of the whole column was stopped for nearly an hour, while the damage done to the bridge might have been repaired by a company organized for that purpose in five minutes.

6. The commissary department must be looked into. It is impossible to stop marauding and to prevent the entire demoralization of the army unless the supplies of provisions arrive with some regularity. It is absolutely impossible to live upon a country where there is nothing left.

All the statements I have made here are based upon my own observations, and when speaking of the wants of the army I know that they are of the most absolute kind.