General Baird has not returned;it is imperatively necessary for the First Division, Reserve Corps,to have a commander;they need it now as much as at any time since they have been in the service. There will be enough to form a court-martial without me;cannot I be excused?
W. C. WHITAKER,
Brigadier-General, Commanding First Division.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Winchester, Tenn., August 11, 1863.
Captain H. THRALL,
CAPTAIN: I have tho honor to make the following report of the condition of the artillery in the defenses of Nashville, Tenn.:
By a personal inspection made on the 11th and 17th of July, 1863,
I found that the artillery of Nashville consist of two batteries,or twelve pieces of light artillery,and twenty-eight pieces of heavy ordnance,stationed as follows:Six light and eight heavy guns stationed at Capitol building;nine heavy pieces on the bank of the Cumberland River,on a line of defense on the east side of the city;eleven heavy guns in Fort Negley,and a battery of six pieces camped on the outskirts of the city.
The two batteries of light artillery were in very good conditio. The efficiency in the drill to which the men had arrived,their discipline,and the uniform cleanliness of their camps reflected credit upon the officers in command. They were,however,deficient in some of the implements,means to remedy which have already been taken. The condition of the siege guns was quite different;they were insufficiently manned;deficient in ammunition and equipments. They are manned by companies raised in the light -battery organization,daily expecting to be relived,and of course have not taken that interest in the perfection of their drill which is necessary. Means have been taken to have them supplied with the requisite amount of ammunition and with the proper equipments.
The nine pieces stationed on the band of the river and on the east side of the city are manned by Captain Osborne's battery. He has hone to Indiana to obtain six pieces of light artillery,and is daily expected to return. When he does return in order that his company may be instructed in the duties of field artillery,it will be necessary to have them relieved from the duty which they are now on,and there will have to be an infantry detail made to work these guns. These same guns are mounted on old worn-out marine carriages,and in case of an action a very few discharges would make them all totally unfit for use. I most respectfully suggest that an order may be issued to the ordnance department to obtain proper carriages for these guns.
The heavy guns at the Capitol building are insufficiently manned,as are also those in Fort Negley. In order to render them efficient,of some practical use, I would most respectfully suggest and urge that an infantry detail of 300 men,with the proper proportion of