HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF MISSISSIPPI,
Morton, August 26, 1863.
I have the honor to submit the following consolidated report of inspections made of the commands of Brigadier-Generals Ruggles and Chalmers, commanding in North Mississippi, and Colonel Logan in Southwest Mississippi:
This command is composed of four regiments of cavalry and one 6-gun battery, under command of Brigadier-General Ferguson. This command is generally in good condition; drill and discipline moderately good; arms imperfect; clothing generally good. In two regiments there is imperfect organization, the complement of field officers not being complete. The proper steps have been taken to correct this evil. There is a total effective force of 1,648 men; there are 105 dismounted men and 180 unserviceable horses. There are several small detachments of troops stationed at Columbus, Aberdeen, and Okolona, making a total effective in the district of 1,800, and aggregate present and absent of 2,900 men. There is a general complaint throughout the command of a want of quartermaster funds to meet current expenses. Certificates of Government indebtedness of twelve months standing, amounting to $500,000, are scattered through the country. The quartermaster and commissary report the country nearly drained of supplies. The distance between our outposts and those of the enemy is 60 miles, causing a country containing many valuable supplies to be neutral ground.
This command is composed of five regiments and three battalions of cavalry. The entire command is much demoralized. The reports obtained show a present aggregate of 896, and 2,331 absent. There is little or no discipline, and drills are unknown. The command is very inefficiently organized, there being three brigade organizations. The command is in need of everything. Quartermaster funds are much wanted. The horses and arms are in general good condition, at least such as were inspected.
This command is composed of five battalions of cavalry and one regiment of mounted infantry. The number of men inspected was 633, though the effective force is nearly 900. The command is tolerably well drilled and disciplined. The horses are in good condition, though there are on hand 700 unserviceable horses, half of which number are totally so. The arms are in general good condition. The horse equipments are of inferior quality. The command is in want of clothing. The quartermaster submits a long list of articles needed. One light battery is attached to the command, composed of four guns with equipments for only two.
J. D. BRADFORD,
Major and Assistant Inspector-General.