Virginia Artillery is to be regarded as legally alive, it is virtually dead, and that the interests of the service require its legal status to be made to conform to its actual by an order, if need be, from the Department formally disbanding the organization. This will interfere with the rights of no officer, there being now no colonel, no major, and no staff officers properly belonging to it as a regiment. We shall thus escape all the difficulties incident to conflicting systems. Our battalion organization, which works so well, will be unimpeded, and promotions can be made according to merit without occasioning the dissatisfaction necessarily attaching to an instance like this of constructive advancement. The commanding general will, I am sure, appreciate this as a question of organization worthy of attention, and will I hope add his sanction to my recommendation.
I have the honor to be, colonel, respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. N. PENDLETON,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Artillery.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA, Petersburg, July 25, 1864.
Respectfully forwarded and recommended the regiment be disbanded.
R. E. LEE,
ORGANIZATION OFFICE, August 9, 1864.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
JNO. BLAIR HOGE,
Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.
AUGUST 12, 1864.
To General Bragg for counsel. How can the regiment be disbanded without disbanding the companies, which would displace all their officers? It seems desirable to change the regimental organization, but how is this legally to be effected?
J. A. S.,
HEADQUARTERS C. S. ARMIES, August 14, 1864.
Respectfully returned to honorable Secretary of War.
If this command ever had a legal organization as a regiment [which can only be determined by looking up the authority that united the companies] it seems to have been abrogated, as only six companies now remain. In that condition I see no objection to announcing the regimental organization annulled, and that the companies be considered as other artillery companies in same army. The views of General Pendleton are just and cogent.