War of the Rebellion: Serial 040 Page 0614 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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ment could be to obtain such special consideration for the facts indicated as might be beneficial to the service.

In a report just forwarded to General Lee, presenting a plan for reorganizing the artillery, I exhibit the desirableness of having an additional number of artillery field officers, and among these the services of Majors [A. L.] Rogers and Page come into requisition. Pray do me the favor to communicate to General Lee the substance of this.

I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, &c.

P. S.-Major Rogers, on his return from headquarters, and my declining to make any special application, went to Richmond under the original order relieving him.

NEAR CHESTERFIELD DEPOT, VA., February 11, 1863.

General R. E. LEE,


GENERAL: I have the honor to submit for your consideration a plan for the better organization of our artillery. You some time since expressed to me the judgment that the custom of attaching batteries to brigades, and of grouping them in divisions, was not primitive of greatest efficiency in this arm. My own mind had reached the same conclusion long since, and the most judicious artillery officers I have been able to consult concur in the conviction. Colonel [S.] Crutchfield and Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander, whose views I have sought, are entirely agreed with me as to the advisableness of the main features of the plan now submitted, and, I believe, as to almost all its details.

The objections to the brigade batteries and division groups now existing are obvious. Burdened as are brigade and division commanders, they can scarcely extend to batteries thus assigned that minutes supervision which they require, and the supply officers, whose chief care lies with considerable bodies of infantry, cannot devote to one or more batteries the time and attention they imperatively need. This is most injuriously experienced in times of pressure. The existing arrangement moreover affords insufficient scope for field officers of artillery. Batteries, besides, permanently attached in this way, can scarcely be assigned elsewhere, whatever the emergency, without producing some difficulty, almost as if a vested right was violated. But, most injuriously of all, this system hinders unity and concentration in battle.

Toward remedying these evils, it is respectfully proposed that in each corps the artillery be arranged into battalions, to consist for the most part of our batteries each, a particular battalion ordinarily to attend a certain division, and to report to, and receive orders from, its commander, though liable to be divided, detached, &c., as to the commanding general or corps commanders may seem best; past associations to be so consulted in the constitution of these battalions as that each shall, as far as practicable, contain batteries that have served together and with the division which the battalion is still ordinarily to attend. These battalions ought to have, it is believed, two field officers each, a surgeon, an ordnance officer, and a bonded officer for supplies, if not both quartermaster and commissary. Such battalions, with the officers proposed to command them, are presented to view in the accompanying schedule.