The efforts of a quartermaster alone are not sufficient to prevent abuse, suffering, overwork, or neglect. Every commander, from the highest to the lowest in rank, from the commander of an army to the chief of the smallest detachment to which a wagon is attached, has a direct interest in the condition of the stock. Upon the efficiency of the animals depend the precision, rapidity, and success of his marches, and thence of all his military operations.
Discipline can be enforced only through the military commander. The galloping of orderlies and cavalry without necessity wears out the horses more than their proper service in campaign. Orders have been repeatedly issued to prevent this in the streets of this city, but they are not enforced.
In regard to the latter part of your letter, no further instructions or authority occur to me as necessary to be given to this department by you to accomplish the object of supplying the Army of the Potomac with horses. If its commander can inform you of the precise number needed by any particular date, this department will procure them, if possible.
A more prompt filling by the Treasury of the requisitions and estimates of this Department, for money to pay for these purchases, will tend to prevent the price rising, and will preserve the credit of the department. And if it be possible for you, by calling attention of commanders to the great destruction of horses in the army, to induce better care of them, it will go far to reduce the number which the Quartermaster's Department is called on to supply, and, thus, to reduce the expenses of the war, and the exhaustion of the material resources of the country for carrying it on.
With great respect, your obedient servant,
M. C. MEIGS,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
October 14, 1862-7 p.m.
General AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE, Commanding Left:
GENERAL: The commanding general directs that you at once send a force sufficient to guard all the fords between Knoxville and the mouth of the Monocacy River. It is thought that a brigade will be sufficient for this service. A strong force should be placed at Noland's Ferry. It has been reported that a large force of rebel cavalry has been concentrated near Leesburg.
R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
October 14, 1862.
Brigadier General R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff, Headquarters Army of the Potomac:
GENERAL: I am informed that the nurses and attendants in the hospitals (Confederates) all boldly state that the main portion of the Confederate Army is crossing at Cumberland, and it is believed that these men communicate with their friends on the opposite side of the river, and are well posted in regard to the position of our troops, and know all that is going on on the other side.