intrenchments might be expected, especially should we be enabled to commence the construction of a glaces coupe and covered way for our new works.
Lieutenant-Colonel and Chief Engineer District of the Gulf.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF TENNESSEE,
OFFICE INSPECTOR OF FIELD TRANSPORTATION,
Dallas, Ga., October 6, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel A. H. COLE,
Chief Inspector Field Transportation, Richmond, Va.:
COLONEL: Yesterday there were captured by Loring's DIVISION at Acworth 12 wagons and teams, 8 horses, a large lot of harness, and other stores belongings to our department. This property was immediately taken possession of by Captain Abrahams, one of my officers, who was sent up by me for this special purpose. I reported the fact to Major Mason, assistant adjutant-general and acting chief of staff, who showed the list of property to General Hood, who directed that the property be taken possession of by Major Ayer, chief quartermaster, and be distributed by him. This, therefore, takes from us one very important part of our duties. I asked Major Mason whether General Hood intended that we should have nothing to do with captures. His intimation was that we, not being officers of the army, had no right to control or saw what should be done with property captured by this army. My own opinion is that we are looked upon as a set of inquisitors, and it is the determination not only of General Hood but of all the lieutenant- generals to prevent anything from falling into our hands or passing through us except when they are in a strait for horses and mules, or wagons; then they call upon us and say we must furnish them. General Hood says he will have to diregard orders as far as this army is concerned, and will have to mount cavalry and others on captured horses or wherever else he can get them. I have talked very freely to Major Mason, who is a very clever gentleman, and who has always treated me with the utmost kindness; he says that as long as our status in the army is as it is now we will be ineffectual for any good. He says that the officers have all taken up the idea that we are put here for the purpose of crippling them rather than to aid them. I have only done what I considered to be my duty under your instructions, working constantly to that end. I send you a copy of a letter addressed to Major Ayer defining my position. It was based upon a note of mine addressed to Major Ayer stating that there was an excess of ambulances at army headquarters and asking him to turn one of the excess over to Major George, General Lee's quartermaster, who had none. The above, and other things too numerous to mention, have determined me to ask you to relieve me from duty as inspector of transportation for this army. My health, which is not at all good, also urges me to this course. If you have any other position which you think me capable of filling, and which my health will allow me fill, I would be glad if you would assign me to it. All my officers agree that we are doing no good here, especially now that they have taken out of our hands the looking up of captured property. There is a total disregard of all orders on the subject of transportation. At army headquarters they now have thirty-seven or thirty-eight fourhorse wagons. This, of course, includes escort, provost-marshal, &c.