the several camps anywhere near the present limits and, with the limited number of officers, it will be impossible to prevent a large number of the troops now in camp becoming demoralized and useless.
The troops are now comfortable. All the convalescents are either in barracks or in tents, with stoves and floors. About 60 a day are being discharged. This number can be increased to 100, if the medical officers are able to give the examination for discharge proper attention. At present, the time required to get a discharge is about seven days; an arrangement should be made that will enable a soldier to obtain his discharge in less time.
I would respectfully suggest that authority be obtained to send all the able bodied men now in these camps belonging to the Army of the Potomac to their corps at once, or as soon as they are clothed. If they are allowed to remain, it will be necessary too assign additional officers. At present, there is but a single officer to each 500 men.
Many of the officers now there are temporarily sent by the provost-marshal of Washington and Alexandria, and are generally among the least competent in the army.
Should the available men be at once sent off, all the officers temporarily attached (by the time they are ready from 20 to 25 will be at the camp) should accompany them. It would then be necessary to make an assignment of at least 1 officer to 200 men left in camp.
I am confident that the number will not be less than 5,000 during the winter, and should measures not at once be adopted to discharge the disabled and send off to regiments the well, the number must be more than double, and may increase, as it once has, to nearly 20,000.
The officer in charge of the camps, Lieutenant-General McKelvy, coincides in these recommendations.
I have the honor to be, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. H. LATHROP,
Lieutenant-Colonel and Inspector-General.
HDQRS. GRAND RESERVE DIVISION,
Stafford Court-House, January 14, 1863.
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III. The following officers are announced as constituting the staff of the major-general commanding the grand reserve division until further orders; Lieutenant Colonel C. W. Asmussen, assistant inspector-general and chief of staff; Lieutenant Colonel T. A. Meysenburg, assistant adjutant-general; Major George G. Lyon and Capts. Ulric Dahlgren, J. H. Piatt, George T. Robinson,and Arnold Dulon, aides-de-camp; Lieutenant Colonel W. G. Le Duc, chief quartermaster; Lieutenant Colonel J. B. Salisbury, chief commissary; Lieutenant Colonel J. M. Deems, assistant inspector of cavalry; Lieutenant Colonel H. C. Hamlin, medical director; Captain M. Cohnheim, acting aide-de-camp; Lieutenant R. M. Rogers,acting assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant Colonel J. S. Robinson, provost-marshal and Captain Brown, assistant provost-marshal, will remain attached to the staff of the grand reserve division in their respective capacities.
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By order of Major-General Sigel:
R. M. ROGERS,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.