terments, especially of the cartridge-boxes and their magazines.
The evil has been alluded to before in letters of advice. There seems to me to be an easy remedy for this evil, as may be found in section 65, "Instructions for making ordnance returns, prepared by the Ordnance Bureau, Washington, D. C., 1863, "in which General Orders, Numbers 189,. War Department, 1862, is embodied. Under this authority regimental commanders are authorized to detail a skillful mechanic from their regiments to act as regimental armorer. Tools for such armorers will be furnished upon requisitions approved at army of department headquarters, and by the Chief of Ordnance at Washington. Allow me to suggest that authority should be obtained from the War Department to make alterations similar to that exercised in General Orders, Numbers 214., Department of the Cumberland, so that the chief of ordnance for department might take final action on such requisitions. This being done let a general order be issued by General Rosecrans, requiring each regimental commander to appoint an armorer, and I think that the good of the service will be attained at little expense to Government.
Orders have been promptly and strictly obeyed throughout the command, and our marches free from that army nuisance, the straggler.
Discipline of the command reflects credit on both officers and men, and their steady obedience under fire surpasses all that it has ever been my lot to have witnessed. Of course during the month of September such a thing as drill was impracticable, but their discipline and drill were tested in a fiery furnace, and what further proof is necessary to pronounce a verdict from?
I take pleasure, colonel, upon the present occasion, to call your attention to the various brigade and division inspectors whose zeal and ability have more than seconded the plans and work of the inspector's department at corps headquarters, and trust that they may still be found each at his post for the prosecution of the good work, for the harvest already garnered authorizes the assertion in General Orders, Numbers 99., that inspectors are friends alike of the general in council and the soldier at the bivouac.
Acknowledging the friendly assistance of the other corps and department inspectors, I have the honor to be, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HORACE N. FISHER,
Lieutenant-Colonel, and Assistant Inspector-General.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND,
Chattanooga, October 6, 1863.
Comdg. Third Division, Twentieth Army Corps:
GENERAL: The general commanding wishes to know if you cannot find out whether the rebels are taking their artillery off or bringing it nearer. Have you no men who will undertake to crawl up and ascertain?
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. S. THOMS,