WAR DEPT., ADJT. GENERAL'S OFFICE, Numbers 273.
Washington, August 17, 1864.
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39. Major Frank W. Marston, inspector Signal Corps, U. S. Army, is hereby relieved from duty in command of signal detachment, Department of the Gulf, and will at once enter upon duty as inspector of the signal detachments in the Departments of the Gulf, Kansas, the Cumberland, the Tennessee, and the Ohio, respectfully.
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By order of the Secretary of War:
E. D. TOWNSEND,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF WEST MISSISSIPPI, OFFICE CHIEF OF CAVALRY, New Orleans, August 17, 1864.
Major C. T. CHRISTENSEN,
MAJOR: I respectfully inclose an order of the Department of Arkansas brigading the cavalry and assigning the brigades to the divisions of infantry. No such organizations are authorized in our armies by regulation or sound custom. Paragraph 474, Regulations of 1861, says: "A division consists usually of two or three brigades, either of infantry or cavalry, and troops of other corps in the necessary proportion." Paragraph 476, Regulations of 1861, says: "Mixed brigades are sometimes formed of infantry and light cavalry, especially for the advanced guards." Besides, any such organization as the one made in the order referred to would have to be broken up on the march and on the field of battle. It injures the esprit de corps of the mounted arm. If the divisional organization of the calvary of the Department of Arkansas is specially ordered, which I here respectfully and urgently recommend where the proximity of the brigadier admits of it, there are two general officers in that department well fitted for the command, General J. R. West, and General C. Bussey, U. S. Volunteers, the former by good judgment and dash combined, and the latter by long experience in the command of mounted troops. The condition of the cavalry of the Department of the Gulf, as known to me by inspection reports and my own observation, causes me no surprise at its want of success heretofore. But I can now say that I believe a spirit of care and economy is manifesting itself, and a healthy tone among its officers and men appears. I can now answer the questions of the general some week ago: "Is the cavalry in hand? What is its condition in the Department of the Gulf?" I can do so because it is being more concentrated and better organized under its own officers. I can answer the same questions of the cavalry of the Department of Arkansas from my reports, if the same organization into divisions of its own arm is made and competent officers put at the head of them. In Missouri the nature of the service is such as to forbid, in great measure, such organization, and the same care and economy cannot be expected or enforced as in the Departments of the Gulf and Arkansas.
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
J. W. DAVIDSON,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Cavalry.