1863(and addressed to Brig. General George Crook, commanding Second Cavalry Division),by William H. Sinclair, assistant adjutant-general,in reference to procuring long forage for the horses of my brigade since its arrival in this vicinity, I have the honor to state,in the first place, that a good part of my own time since I arrived here has been employed in the performance of official duties which I could postpone no longer, and that I have possibly not given the forage question the attention I should. However,it did not escape my attention, for, while we were at the other camp west of this, I gave orders for all of the public animals of the brigade to be taken to a field near by and grazed until the recall was sounded from my headquarters or was sounded by the headquarters bugler. Arriving at that camp late in the day, and being ordered to prepare to move the next morning at an early hour, and moving the same day, prevented the animals from being grazed on that or the following days,as I intended them graze every day. since arriving here have not been grazed because there are no grazing fields in the vicinity. The Brigade quartermaster has had nearly half the wagons of each regiment engaged in hauling supplies of forage and rations from Stevenson,every day since we have been here. I supposed and the supposition turns out to be correct from the report of the brigade quartermaster,that a number of the regimental wagons, harness,&c.,would need repairing,&c. There was thus left in the regiments on the 24th, the day after our arrival here, and 25th and 26th, from seven to eight wagons in a regiment,and some of these out of repair, and the animals much in need of rest after their trip across the mountain. I allowed one day, after getting in camp, for the purpose of policing the camp. Knowing the condition of the train and mules, I thought I would wait until the quartermaster accumulated a supply of short forage on hand, and then would send a detail from the brigade for long forage, with the whole of the thirteen regimental wagons to each regiment, it taking at least that number,the way they are loaded,to haul a day's supply of long forage or fodder. It,however,taking the quartermaster longer than I had anticipated to get a supply of forage on hand, I, on yesterday and to-day (and intended doing the same every day), sent a detail from the brigade, with what wagons could go, to bring in what long forage they could. In regard to the report of Major Patten, I would respectfully state, without saying anything about the informal and unmilitary manner in which it was made and received, that it is, stated in the above mentioned communication, incorrect in point of fact. I am informed by my adjutant-general, Captain Crane, that he stated to Major Patten that regiments were forbidden to take forage or send out foraging parties on their own responsibility, but that foraging parties must consist of a brigade detail and that he did not state to Major Patten, as one would infer from his report as stated by Major Sinclair, that forage, &c., was not to be the command in any manner. The order requiring foraging parties to consist of brigade details is at these headquarters now.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Comdg. Second Brigade, Second Cavalry Division.