Rosecrans to mount infantry, and to the Quartermaster's Department to supply the horses, may be furnished to this office. It is presumed that General Rosecrans has made, as usual, his requisitions or orders upon the officers of the quartermaster's department under his command in the West. No such requisitions have been made by him on this office, which hears for the first time to-day that the authority has been given and that there is any delay in filling the requisitions.
As the General-in-Chief informs me that General Rosecrans has called for 5,000 saddles, it is presumed that he will want 5,000 horses. So large a number it will require some time to collect and forward to him, especially as the Department is largely in debt.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
M. C. MEIGS,
[Indorsements on Governor Morton's letter of December 26, 1862.]
QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, January 2, 1863.
Respectfully referred to the Secretary of War.
The Quartermaster-General has no authority to provide horses for mounting infantry. If mounted by authority of the War Department, it is presumed these troops would be transformed into cavalry. If authorized by the Secretary of War, the horses will be procured in the way pointed out by law and regulations, by public advertisement and contract with the lowest bidder. At Indianapolis contracts were thus made in November last, by Captain J. A. Elkin, assistant quartermaster, who has provided a large number of horses. The prices were, for cavalry horses, $96.25 and $96.75, and for artillery horses, $99. The bids fix the prices, and the specifications, if properly enforced, are sufficient, and the Quartermaster-General cannot recommend an increase of the price above that at which responsible parties offer to furnish the horses.
M. C. MEIGS,
QUARTERMASTER-GENERAL'S OFFICE, January 14, 1863.
General Halleck, General-in-Chief, informs the Quartermaster-General that General Rosecrans was authorized by the Secretary of War to mount some of his infantry, and the Quartermaster-General's attention has been called to the law of 1850, chapter 20, section 2, which authorized the President to cause such portions of the army as may by law be serving on foot to be properly equipped and mounted, whenever in his opinion the exigency of the service may require the same. This law is understood to be still in force.
General Rosecrans complains to General Halleck that his requisitions for horses to mount his infantry regiments are not properly filled. Inquiry will be made into the cause, and the requisitions, some of which have been sent to the Quartermaster-General's Office by General Rosecrans, will be filled as soon as possible.
M. C. MEIGS,