MEMORANDUM.] DECEMBER 1, 1862.
To obviate some of the defects existing at present in our cavalry organization, the following suggestions are respectfully submitted:
1st. That portion of the army whose duties are to cover the front and flanks of the army form advanced guards, rear guards, gain information of the enemy's movements, and, in fact, perform all the functions of cavalry as a corps, should be organized as such into brigades and divisions, with a common commander, under the direct orders of the commander of the army. The cavalry is a distinct arm of the service, having specific duties to perform, that can only be properly discharged under an organization conformable to those duties. It is, therefore, recommended that such legislation be obtained as will give the cavalry a corps organization.
2d. For the orderly escort and detachment service of infantry corps, divisions, grand division, &c., a certain amount of cavalry is needed, depending on the service required. This service can be very well discharged by cavalry regiments just entering the service, and as these men learn their duties, it is much better to keep them as such than transfer them to the new and trying duties of the cavalry to the front of the army. In each army corps an officer should be especially assigned to take charge of the cavalry on duties as orderlies, escorts, &c., and in no case should it ever be permitted to take men from the army corps and transfer them to the cavalry corps, or the reverse, unless with the approval of the several commanders concerned, and by the order of the commanding general of the army.
3d. To insure uniformity and accuracy in the reports to the commanding general of the army, the cavalry used in obtaining the information must be under the orders of the same person. The same report made through two different sources rarely reaches a third party as it started. Besides, under different independent commanders, each gets mistrustful of the other in the field, is soon confounded, frequently fires on the other through mistake, and eventually becomes timid. Such has been the experience of this was up to this time. Our cavalry can be made superior to any now in the field by organization. The rebel cavalry owe their success to their organization, which permits great freedom and responsibility to its commanders, subject to the commanding general.
4th. The horse artillery should invariable belong and serve with the cavalry. Eight batteries would be a proper allowance to a corps of two divisions of cavalry. This would allow four for constant field service, and on the day of battle one horse battery is equal to tow foot batteries, by reason of its mobility. The remaining four would render the most important service. These eight batteries should be formed into a corps, having a brigadier-general at its head, and no horse battery should be commanded by an officer of less rank than lieutenant-colonel.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, December 2, 1862-2.30 p.m.
The commanding general wishes to know when the troops leave Washington and about what time they may be expected at Liverpool Point.
JNumbers G. PARKE,
Chief of Staff.