War of the Rebellion: Serial 047 Page 0396 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

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approval of the examining board. Three companies can be organized in this way, and the change will make the cavalry force of this district more efficient, and more in accordance with the law on the strength of companies.

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


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

[First indorsement.]


Charleston, S. C., October 10, 1863.

In view of the interests of the service, I should not hesitate to grant Brigadier-General Finegan's application, and direct him to reduce all the companies of cavalry in his command to the maximum standard authorized by law, assigning the surplus (to such companies of their selection) to fill up companies that were below it, and any further surplus to be formed into new companies; but I am prevented from doing this by Paragraph II, General Orders, Numbers 125, current series, which says no such authority exists in me.

Finding companies in the service twice as large as the maximum strength prescribed by law, I believed, and still believe, it was my duty to reduce them to the maximum, and give the surplus a legal organization, and I found ample authority therefor. Besides, this action was invariably in the past twelve months submitted for final sanction of the War Department without a single objection. Of course, however, after the order in question was received, my authority was limited, and such divisions will not be attempted. But that such divisions should still be made in some cases, it is my duty to represent to the War Department, and to submit that sic subdivision of companies of organizations in existence on the 16th of April, 1862, do not make companies (within the meaning and spirit of the law of the 16th of April, 1862) which may not be filled up by conscripts, being formed of men in service a that time and remaining a part of an organization then in existence. For example: The Charleston Battalion consisted of six companies on the 16th of april, 1862. Some months ago it appeared that one of the companies had been recruited some time previously, by the selection of it by conscripts, as they had a right to do, to about 200 men. All above 125 were cut off, and a seventh company was formed, which remains a part of the Charleston Battalion, and as much, I believe, a part of the original battalion organization as any company in it.

I hope the War Department will at least allow me to do what General Finegan recommends.


General, Commanding.

[Second indorsement.]


October 15, 1863.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.

C. H. LEE,

Assistant Adjutant-General.