War of the Rebellion: Serial 026 Page 0795 Chapter XXX. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-CONFEDERATE.

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BRIGADE HEADQUARTERS,

Chaffin's Farm, Va., December 13, 1862.

Major General GUSTAVUS W. SMITH,

Commanding, &c.:

GENERAL: I report to you the condition of things in the Chickahominy and York Peninsulas, below this post: [W. P.] Shingler's and [L. J.] Hawley's cavalry were not sufficient for pickets or for pots. They had been badly disciplined. The pickets were negligent and were cut off and the posts not sufficient only guarded to prevent the enemy from making very dangerous dashes. I have deemed it proper and necessary to send Lieutenant-Colonel Council, of the Twenty-sixth Virginia Regiment, in command of about 100 effective infantry and the re-enforcements of Major Robertson's cavalry. He has taken post at Sherman's, on the Diascund road, 2 miles below Forage Bridge. Yesterday evening he sent to me the accompanying field return, which shows:

SHINGLER'S COMMAND [HOLCOMBE LEGION].

Commissioned officers........................... 9

Non-commissioned officers....................... 20

Privates....................................... 148

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Aggregate...................................... 177

Sick........................................... 26

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[Effective total].............................. 151

Extra duty..................................... 29

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Fit for field duty.................................... 122

ROBERTSON'S COMMAND.

Officers....................................... 6

Non-commissioned officers...................... 9

Privates....................................... 100

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Aggregate...................................... 115

Sick........................................... 1

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[Effective total].............................. 114

Extra duty..................................... 8

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Fit for field duty...................................... 106

HAWLEY'S COMMAND.

Officers....................................... 4

Non-commissioned officers...................... 8

Privates....................................... 42

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Aggregate...................................... 54

Sick........................................... 7

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[Effective total].............................. 47

Extra duty..................................... 3

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Fit for duty.............................................. 44

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Total cavalry fit for duty................................ 272