JANUARY 22, 1864.
SECRETARY OF WAR:
The means adopted are the natural and proper ones. In addition to them, the services of the commanding general might be made available. The illegal organization of new companies composed of conscripts is to be remedied by the enrollment of the men and their assignment to companies, as provided by law and regulations. Wherever a company exceeds the maximum the excess should be transferred. Another remedy seems appropriate, which is to exchange the full regiments which have not seen service for the skeletons reduced by campaigns and battles. In the cavalry of Virginia there is need both of men and horses; that of the army of South Carolina is represented to be full. The present is a favorable period for the correction of the abuses referred to within and noted in similar communications.
JANUARY 26, 1864.
Note the President's indorsement. You have sent inspectors to discover and correct the evils complained of in past. You may request the co-operation of the general commanding. Observe the other portion of the President's remarks in respect to exchange of depleted for full regiments, and, as opportunity offers, order such.
J. A. S.,
HDQRS. DEPT. S. C., GA., AND FLA., Numbers 25.
Charleston, S. C., February 20, 1864.
I. Companies of artillery, cavalry, and infantry in this department will at once be reduced to the maximum number allowed by law, to wit:
1. For a company of cavalry, 5 sergeants, 4 corporals, 1 farrier, 1 blacksmith, 2 musicians, and 80 privates.
2. For a company of heavy artillery or infantry, 4 sergeants, 4 corporals, 2 musicians, and 125 privates.
3. For a light battery of 6 guns, 1 sergeant-major or first sergeant, 1 quartermaster-sergeant, 6 sergeants, 12 corporals, 1 guidon, 2 artificers, 2 buglers, and 125 privates.
4. For a light battery of 4 guns, 1 sergeant-major or first sergeant, 1 quartermaster-sergeant, 4 sergeants, 8 corporals, 2 buglers, 1 guidon, 2 artificers, and 125 privates.
II. This reduction will go into immediate effect, and the attention of district commanders is enjoined. The excess in any company above the maximum will be allowed choice of companies now below the maximum in their present regiment, brigade, or military district, under the following provisions:
1. Those longest in the service and company will have precedence in the right of selection.
2. In cavalry companies which are in excess of the maximum, dismounted men who are not able to procure remounts will be transferred to infantry or artillery companies below the maximum until