War of the Rebellion: Serial 025 Page 0668 WEST TENN. AND NORTHERN MISS. Chapter XXIX.

Search Civil War Official Records

the organization, by which it may be seen at a glance how deficient these forces are in commanders. These papers are submitted in view of the objections made to appointments recommended. No allowance has been made for sickness or other disability and none for the men absent from the ranks. Were the men borne on the muster-rolls present for duty, as they should be, our brigades would be largely increased in numbers. I do not hesitate to assert that a fourth of our efficiency is lost for want of suitable brigade and division commanders. Scarcely a disaster has befallen our arms that cannot be graced to this cause. It is, in my judgment, a pernicious rule to rely for commanders on established rank. No appointing power can avoid errors through which in time each grade must become incumbered with some incapable and inefficient officers, who cannot be employed without material prejudice to the service. For this reason alone our division commanders should be selected from the best brigadiers available, which cannot be done unless the rank of major-general is conferred upon them. It will add nothing to their pay and emoluments or increase the expense to the Government, while all experience convinces me of the advantages that may be anticipated.

Respectfully, general, your obedient servant,

BRAXTON BRAGG.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE TENNESSEE, Tupelo, Miss., August 6, 1862.

Honorable GEORGE W. RANDOLPH,

Secretary of War:

I have the honor to inform you that when I assumed command of the Army of the West I found that a large portion of the troops had never been paid, though they had been in service for from six to eight months. I immediately caused statements to be made of the pay in arrears and forwarded them to the general commanding the department, and received in reply the inclosed communication,* signed by Major Albert J. Smith, chief paymaster of the department. This reply encouraged me to hope that the funds might yet be obtained in a reasonable time; but General Bragg, when he left for Chattanooga, directed me to send to Richmond for them and not to expect them to be forwarded through his headquarters. I therefore send Major Williams, quartermaster of one of the divisions of this army, to Richmond with the proper estimates, and I beg you to order him to be facilitated in this business as far as possible. Many of my officers and men are in very great need of money, and the chief of the several departments also. As we are about to begin an active campaign it is very important that we should not be crippled by a want of funds.

I am, sir, with the greatest respect, your obedient servant,

STERLING PRICE,

Major-General, Commanding.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE TENNESSEE, August 7, 1862.

Colonel FALKNER,

Commanding Partisan Rangers:

COLONEL: The major-general commanding directs me to say in reply to your questions that-

1st. You will send all prisoners to headquarters without unnecessary delay.

---------------

*Not found.

---------------