HEADQUARTERS CAVALRY CORPS,
October 26, 1863.
Respectfully forwarded to Major-General Humphreys, for the information of the major-general commanding.
I would earnestly request that hereafter all the dismounted men may be retained in their commands and not to be allowed to go to the Dismounted Camp at Washington, but that the dismounted men be remounted in the field.
The sending of dismounted men to the Dismounted Camp at Washington has a very demoralizing influence over the men, and also destroys the discipline of the men.
[Inclosure Numbers 2.]
OFFICE OF CAVALRY BUREAU,
Washington, N. C., October 29, 1863.
Brigadier General R. INGALLS,
Chief Q. M., Army of the Potomac, Cavalry Bureau:
GENERAL: I have tried sending out horses in charge of such disposable men as I had in depot, and the plan of sending men back from the Army of the Potomac after the horses has been tried, and there have been found objections to both methods. Cannot the horses be forwarded by rail? If this is not expedient, how will the plan work of organizing a party fo experienced men under a competent officer, to lead the horses out, and an escort be either sent from here, if the men be on hand for that purpose, or sent from the Army of the Potomac, to meet the horses on the road and guard them to the army, the party to return by rail, bringing back broken-down horses.
To take out 500 horses will required a party of the horse-leaders of 150 men of experience and energy. The strength of the escort must, of course, depend upon circumstances. The horses should not be sent in droves or squads of more than 500.
There are now in charge of General Rucker and myself upward of 16,000 unserviceable cavalry horses, and it is hoped that the requirements of the army of the Potomac can be supplied during the remainder of this year from those now on hand.
There are now in depot seven new regiments of cavalry, awaiting arms, accounterments, and equipments. We have had the greatest difficulty in procuring laborers, and have sent all over the country for them.
As soon, however, as the depot is completed we shall have plenty, and the party spoken of above can be organized out of them, or you can organize it yourself and keep it under your own control. If the horses are sent by rail, we can deliver them at Alexandria.
Please let me know your views and wishes upon this subject as soon as may be, and also those of General Meade and General Pleasonton.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major-General of Volunteers, Chief of Cavalry.