War of the Rebellion: Serial 086 Page 0685 Chapter LIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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effective strength of General Lee's division is in round number 2,000 cavalry, and that the Colonel Davis' brigade 1,200. The arms in both of the commands are good and are kept in excellent serviceable condition. This is especially the case in the brigade of Colonel Davis. The entire mouth of his men is good; their horses are conditioned for active and hard service. In fact, there were not among 1,200 ten that could be exchanged for any better among the horses in the country. Having inspected about 1,200 carbines I found but one that was not clean and in excellent service condition. His horses are well and thoroughly groomed, and all their mounts well kept. From what I saw of this command I should judge its discipline and instruction good. The hard raid General Lee's division just completed, and the little time the troops had had to condition themselves for inspection, would not justify my forming any judgment of its progress and improvement in discipline and instruction, but the arms, horses, and equipments were in better order than might have been expected, and are in good condition for further active service. I found the horse equipments in General Lee's division in many particulars out of repair. On inquiry I ascertained that the colonels of regiments had not been able to get leather from either the ordnance or quartermaster's departments.

It is my intention to make further inquiry into its matter, as there is culpable negligence in regimental commanders of cavalry in this division, or on the part of the ordnance or quartermaster's departments in not supplying leather and other materials for the constant repair of cavalry mounts. If blacksmiths, farriers, and saddlers of companies are required to do their duty daily, regiments will at all times be in readiness for the field. But there is daily and habitual neglect, and these are the great mischief of the cavalry service, and justly attributable to want of diligence and fidelity of company and regimental commanders. Small repairs, that from day to day require but little of the time of saddlers, running on from week to week, accumulate and become a labor of time, requiring companies and regiments to remain in inactivity until put in order, or new purchases are made. Either alternative is the cause of serious delay, when sudden cavalry expeditions are contemplated; and all experience teaches that the effectiveness of the cavalry arm depends almost entirely on unanticipated and sudden movements. Until company and regimental commanders are held to a more strict accountability and more direct supervision by higher commanders, these most serious evils of cavalry service will continue. My attention was directed to the remarkable contrasts in the sick reports of the cavalry division at Baton Rouge and the brigade at Morganza. The aggregate force present at Baton Rouge on the 20th, of November was 3,735. Of that number 584 are reported sick. At Morganza at same date 2,843 are reported present, and 280 sick. Thirty-one commissioned officers at Baton Rouge reported sick and 9 at Morganza. I was at first led to inquire into the geography of the posts in the belief that local causes would illustrate a reason for this great disproportion of the sick and well of the two commands, but so far as I could convince myself from personal observation, Baton Rouge, where the sickness so greatly prevails is a healthier locality than Morganza. It is, therefore, my conviction that we must look for the real cause in the care, supervision, and discipline of company and regimental commanders over their men. If company commanders are required by commanders of regiments to attend personally to the cooking at the messes, to the police of camps, the cleanliness and habits of the men, it is believed that the remarkable sick