War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0335 Chapter XXX. SIEGE OF SUFFOLK, VA.

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proven itself not to be such an one, for General French has hastened to remove all batteries remaining near that point to some safe inland position.

I have been working hard and straining every point to fully equip and man my battalion, and was flattering myself that I was succeeding pretty well when this drawback comes upon me. It does seem that it is but a poor inducement for one to get a fine battalion if he is to have nothing to do with commanding it in times of peril - if it is to be placed in traps to be captured without fighting. I had hoped that I might have the honor of commanding my own battalion on a battle-field, there to share its honors, victories, or defeats; but it seems otherwise. I had no idea of accepting a sinecure when I became a field officer of artillery, and when my battalion is needed I wish to carry it into battle myself.

I have received both of the papers recommending officers for Caskie's battery. He has one vacancy for a lieutenant, and I should much prefer Lieutenant [S. F.] Chapman to [L.] Booker. I sent Captain Caskie himself back to Richmond to see if he could hasten the filling of the requisition for his guns. I have written to him on the subject and am expecting an answer daily. Some charges against Lieutenant [T. B.] McCurdy, of the same battery, came down to-day, and I have just ordered him back to report to Colonel Crutchfield for trial. He appears to be an indifferent and worthless officer and talks of resigning. I hope he may, if my impressions prove true.

I hope, general, you will allow me to have the Parrott gun Captain Caskie turned over to Colonel Crutchfield. I am greatly in need of rifles, and wish much to have a rifle battery, and besides really think I am justly entitled to that gun. The battery was sent to me without horses or guns, though it had both, and both ought rightfully to have been sent - at least all he had. My horses are doing well, and if Captain Stribling had his battery and I had the Parrotts for Captain Blount I would be satisfied.

Believe me, general, your obedient servant,

JAMES DEARING,

Major, Commanding Battalion.

Brigadier General WILLIAM N. PENDLETON,

Chief of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia.

P. S. - I forgot to mention that Lane's Whitworth gun burst in North Carolina, and that both of his 20-pounder Parrott guns have been disabled down here; one, elevating screw was broken; the other gun was cracked, I believe.

[Indorsement.]

HDQRS. ARTILLERY CORPS, April 27, 1863.

Respectfully forwarded to the commanding general for his information, and to express the anxiety of the undersigned lest much care in adjusting our artillery organization be frustrated by change of system in those temporarily serving elsewhere. Major Dearing's views and feeling seem reasonable and soldier-like. It is hoped they may be in the main approved by General Lee and Lieutenant-General Longstreet.

Respectfully submitted.

W. N. PENDLETON,

Brigadier-General and Chief of Artillery.

P. S. - No reflection whatever upon General French is intended by the undersigned, who has a favorable and very kind recollection of Gen-