service to which we have lately been subjected, the great exposure they have suffered, the deprivation of proper food, and the want of absolute rest that the present condition has been induced. Depression of spirit adds greatly to the induction of camp diseases, and this exists to a certain extent among the men.
Most of our marches have been made during the heat of the day, and we arrived in camp almost invariably at night, when the men, worn out, throw themselves upon the ground to seek rest, regardless of the dews and indifferent to hunger.
There are many men belonging to the command who cannot, from absolute want of muscular tone, follow in its marches. Men never known to fall behind, upon previous marches, do so now. Three of the regiments are without one field or staff officer; company officers are few, and non-commissioned officers either wholly or partially wanting in all the companies.
The organization, the very existence, of these regiments trembles in the balance. Captains, inexperienced in the service, are commanding the Twenty-eighth New York, the Fifth Connecticut, and the Forty-sixth Pennsylvania. Corporals are commanding companies, reduced almost to their proper guards.
The men feel the want of their officers, and there is nothing which keeps them together but the common interest and association, and I have no hesitation in saying that unless some opportunity is afforded these regiments to rest and to reorganize, their regimental character will cease to exist.
My men need rest, and I respectfully urge upon the general commanding that he will use his influence, after the present exigency, to send this brigade to some point where, while they may be useful, they at the same time will have an opportunity to reorganize and recruit both the health and spirits as well as men.
* * * * * * * * *
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. W. CRAWFORD.
HEADQUARTERS BANKS' CORPS,
Seneca Run, September 9, 1862.
Respectfully forwarded. The main difficulty with this brigade is the loss of field and staff officers in three regiments. Most of the company officers were also disabled in the action at Cedar Mountain. Three regiments are commanded by captains. If recruits could be had, and the vacancies in officers promptly filled, the partial demoralization would be effectually removed.
A. S. WILLIAMS,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
September 10, 1862.
Respectfully forwarded to the Adjutant General for the consideration of the General-in-Chief. It is recommended that measures be taken to cause the vacancies among the commissioned officers to be speedily filled. As much opportunity will be afforded the brigade to rest as circumstances will permit.
By command of Major-General McClellan: