War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1004 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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Brigadier-General WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Army of the Potomac:

GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following statement concerning the deficiency in ammunition for the regiments of this division that were left in camp when the division last moved: Thinking it not improbable that the impression was made that the two regiments (Thirteenth Pennsylvania and Sixth Ohio Cavalry) which remained behind are armed with Burnside carbines, I will state that three-fourths of the carbines in use by these two regiments are Sharps, for which there was an abundance of ammunition. I believe the Third Pennsylvania Cavalry is also armed with Sharps carbines. After the departure of the division there was a deficiency in ammunition for the 176 Burnside carbines in use in the two regiments, and I believe the deficiency to have been caused in this manner: Captain Allibone, division ordnance officer, loaded ten wagons with the full supply of reserve ammunition to accompany the division on a recent movement. After having done this, and during the night before the division marched, requisitions were made by regiments to supply deficiencies resulting from the additional rounds carried by each trooper in his saddle-bags having in some cases become damaged by rain and from the motion of the horse in the performance of picket and scouting duty. Issues were made from the reserve ammunition not to be obtain with the division. The reduced the supply of ammunition below that required to be kept on hand for the Burnside carbines in use in the two regiment. Captain Allibone reports that he received orders on the night of the 6th to have his train in readiness to move at a moment's notice, and having on hand some ordnance stores just received and which he could not issue to the regiments, he believed it to be his duty to load these stores and not at that time make requisition for ammunition which he would probably not receive. Knowing that three-fourths of the carbines in use in the two regiments were Sharps, for which he had an abundance of ammunition, he did not anticipate an immediate demand for Burnside ammunition. Captain Allibone has always performed his duty well, and I have never before known any deficiency in the supply of ammunition for which he could at all be held responsible. I cannot but regret that Colonel Kerwin failed to report fully the exact number of ammunition for the Sharps carbines, the commanding general might have directed the movement of a sufficient cavalry force to have accomplished all its intended purposes. The officer responsible for the failure to provide a supply of ammunition to meet deficiencies can only be Captain F. B. Allibone, division ordnance officer, whose explanation is that given above.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brevet Major-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding Division.

CITY POINT, VA., December 14, 1864-10 a.m.

Major-General BUTLER,

Fortress Monroe, Va.:

What is the prospect for getting your expedition started? It is a great pity we were not ten or twelve days earlier. I am confident it