is herewith inclosed. For orders in reference to other heavy batteries, as well as all the light artillery in the State of Florida, I beg to refer the commanding general to the synopsis of orders on the report of my inspector, Major Mayo, of 5th January. After complying with the orders of the commanding general I beg respectfully to represent that the inspection of ordnance and ordnance stores in the hands of the artillery appertains properly to this department, as has already been decided by the commanding general. The chief of ordnance would as justly object to my ordering an inspection of his central ordnance depot or of any of the depots under charge of his subordinate, as the chief of artillery objects to inspections of batteries made by the ordnance officer.
The inspection of artillery is different from that of small-arms, accouterments, &c., for the reason that there is no exclusive inspector provided for the latter, whereas the inspector of artillery has no other inspection but that of ordnance and ordnance stores in the hands of the artillery; besides, two inspections from two different departments, as is very much the case in the present instance, may occur nearly at the same time, necessitating double labor with only one result. Then, again, the views of different officers may clash upon the same subject, and the uncertainty which arises confuses rather than enlightens. Lastly, upon the same principle that an officer is not considered an impartial judge of the condition of his own command, an ordnance officer, as a general thing, could not be expected to be impartial as to the original character of ordnance stores furnished by his department to the department of artillery that he is at the time inspecting.
If the want of an inspector in my department should ever be so great as to cause detriment to the public interest, I would be thankful for the temporary services under my orders of any of the accomplished officers of the Ordnance Department, and I would most gladly reciprocate should that department find itself in the same predicament by tendering to it the temporary services under its own orders of my present assistant, Major Mayo, specially qualified therefor, as he has been, not long since, chief of ordnance of the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana.
A. J. GONZALES,
Colonel and Chief of Artillery of the Department.
CHARLESTON, S. C., April 5, 1864.
Memoranda of orders to be issued in reference to guns in position in Middle Florida:
First. The 18-pounder carriage at the upper battery on the Apalachicola River, upon which is mounted a 24-pounder, will be exchanged for one adapted to the gun and few rail plates supplied for the chassis as soon as practicable.
Second. The chief of engineers will cause the magazines of the upper and lower batteries (near the obstructions), and that of the battery at Hammock's Landing, on the Apalachicola River, to be properly improved or rebuilt.
Third. It having been reported that the fuses in the shells at the lower battery on the Apalachicola are too long for the range required, the commanding officer of the battery will verify this fact by actual experiment, and if the report be correct apply the proper remedy.