There are now stationed in the District of Georgia, under the command of Brigadier-General Mercer, the Fourth Regiment of Georgia Cavalry, Colonel Clinch; the Fifth Regiment of Georgia Cavalry, Colonel R. H. Anderson; Lieutenant-Colonel Millen's battalion of six companies, Major E. C. Anderson's battalion of three companies,a nd an independent squadron, under Captain McAllister; making in all thirty-one companies, with an aggregate of at least 2,500.
I very respectfully suggest the above organizations be brigaded, and that an energetic and competent cavalry office be appointed brigadier-general, and assigned to the command of all this cavalry.
The advantages gained by so doing will be to secure uniformity of drill, to improve the discipline, to reduce the variety of armament, to secure speedily good and uniform equipments for the different commands, which are now, with the exception of those of the Fifth Georgia Cavalry, varied and miserable, and which can be, with very little difficulty, obtained at the different arsenals in Georgia by an energetic head, well acquainted with all the wants and necessities of cavalry. In short, to mold excellent material into a most efficient brigade of cavalry, to employ as the "eye" of General Beauregard's army, should he ever be compelled to retire from the line of sea-board.
As these commands now are, should necessity compel you to mass them to-morrow, and to call them into action as a brigade, you would find them totally inefficient, for the following reasons: No two commands are drilled alike, their internal administration is entirely different, their discipline in some cases loose and irregular, their armament varied, and their equipments, in the majority of the commands, miserable. I verily believe that most of the commands could not march to-morrow from Savannah to Charleston without having 50 percent. of their horses unfit for service on account of sore backs, which is to be attributed to poor saddles, bad grooming, and to gross inattention and ignorance as to the proper manner of saddling the horses.
The brigading of the cavalry under an efficient head would remedy to a great extent all of these defects, and would also improve vastly the system of picket duty, which they are now performing in a loose and careless manner, to the neglect of drill and all other training.
Should the commanding general see fit to promote me to the command of the Georgia cavalry, I feel confident of my ability to achieve the improvements I suggest, and to present to him, in the course of a few months, a brigade of cavalry that he will be able to depend upon under any and all circumstances.
Respectfully requesting your early and favorable consideration, i am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. H. ANDERSON,
Colonel Fifth Regiment Georgia Cavalry.
HDQRS. DISTS. OF MIDDLE AND EAST FLORIDA,
Lake City, October 7, 1863.
Brigadier General THOMAS JORDAN,
Chief of Staff, Charleston, S. C.:
GENERAL: I respectfully submit herewith, for the consideration of the commanding general, letters from E. E. Blackburn, Confed-
26 R R-VOL XXVIII, PT II