War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0533 Chapter XXXVII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

May 28, 1863.

Co. J. C. KELTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

COLONEL: I have the honor herewith to transmit, for the information of the General-in-Chief, a copy of a statement which has been addressed to the headquarters by Brigadier General A. Pleasonton, at present commanding the Cavalry Corps, setting forth the condition of that command at this time.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOSEPH HOOKER,

Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure.]

HDQRS. CAVALRY CORPS, ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

May 27, 1863.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I assumed the command of this corps on the 22nd instant, relieving Major-General Stoneman, and I desire to submit the major-general commanding the Army of the Potomac the condition of the cavalry as is comes under my command:

First Division, late my own command: First Brigade, 1,546 serviceable horses, 371 unserviceable; Second Brigade, 1,228 serviceable horses, 364 unserviceable.

Second Division, Colonel Duffie commanding.

Third Division, Brigadier-General Gregg commanding.

Of these two divisions, General Gregg reports "that a close inspection of the horses of these two divisions" on the 31st ultimo will show one-half of the whole number of horses unfit for" active offensive operations." The average of each of these divisions is about 3,000 men; consequently the two have only about that number at present fit for service.

The Reserve Brigade, under Brigadier-General Buford, is reported as follows: "There are 549 horses in the command" that cannot be recruited in a month. It will require 1,396 horses to mount "the whole command." This brigade on the last of March had 2,226 serviceable horses. The difference leaves only 830 horses fit for service at this time.

RECAPITULATION.

Serviceable horses:

First Division.................................... 2,774

Second Division................................... 1,212

Third Division.................................... 1,861

Reserve Brigade................................... 830

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6,677

Deduct Kilpatrick's force and detachment, say.... 2,000

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Effective strength................................ 4,677

The effective strength of the corps by the March return was upward of 12,000 men and horses. It is now one-third of that strength, and, so far as I can ascertain, is not fitted to take the field.

In taking this command, I cannot do myself such an injustice as to remain silent as to the unsatisfactory condition in which I find this corps. I shall use every exertion to bring it to a state of efficiency at