per regiment, weakened before leaving Chattanooga, has not rested a day since, and is no longer serviceable. Should the weather thaw the roads it could not haul rations for the brigade from the railroad (7 miles) and forage could not be obtained at all. With an impracticable line of supplies to the rear of this point, and one by rail via Chattanooga that does not promise completion under thirty days, places the possibility of sufficient comfort and nourishment for the command so remote that I am induced to yield to constant appeal of officers and men under my command, and make this representation of facts, believing that in no way can the best interests of the service be so greatly promoted as by putting a period to this nearly four months of want and constant military watchfulness in the presence of an enemy.
It is due my command in this connection to state that they have always been ready, and are so now, to fight the enemy. The troops have been ready, and are so now, to fight the enemy. The troops have at all times evinced the greatest cheerfulness and devotion to duty; but for the last thirty days it has been under circumstances the most trying, and they are now kept from the frost in many cases by crouching around the fire the entire night, and as the pending nights of midwinter are upon us, nature requires an increase, not a diminution, of nourishment.
If consistent with the good of the service I have to ask that my command be placed during the inaction of winter where it can be properly supplied.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. B. HAZEN,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
January 8, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded for the consideration of the officers in higher authority.
A more gallant and patriotic body of men has never borne arms in defense of their country. Cannot something be done to alleviate their condition? Cannot they at once be restored to the army to which they belong, and where they might be clothed and fed? They are willing to fight for their country, but they do ask to be taken care of. Since October they have been living on short rations. Is this to continue always?
TH. J. WOOD,
Brigadier-General Volunteers, Commanding.
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
East Tennessee, January 9, 1864.
What General Hazen states in regard to the condition, wants, suffering, and destitution of his brigade, transportation, &c., is equally true of the entire command; in fact, Hazen's troops are better provided than most of the others. It does seem necessary that our troops should be put in winter quarters, well fed, and clothed, until the weather is favorable for active operations.