War of the Rebellion: Serial 089 Page 1206 Chapter LIV. OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C.

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impracticability of securing some important appliances, because of the absence of all legal sanction to the organization as now obtaining. At present, moreover, so many guns are required for officers of specified rank that we cannot get field officers enough. Experience proves that we ought to have two for each battalion, but under the casualties of service it has several times happened that there was no field officer for a battalion, while the senior captain was not a safe commander for the difficult complex charge. Besides, the extreme restrictions in the existing law as to rank of artillery officers operate alike unjustly and injuriously. We have a number of most deserving field officer to whom promotion is eminently due, and yet they cannot be justly rewarded as the law now stands. In view of the motives operating upon even the best men, this must repress energy while it is not itself right. I trust, therefore, the proposed measures will commend themselves to your approval and the bill will be promptly presented to Congress and be enacted into law. I send up the form of that bill as it was submitted to General Lee, his letter to myself based thereon, and the later form in which it is now proposed as adapted to the general's views.* The only point in which there can even appear a departure from General Lee's suggestions is in the proviso to section 11, in not specifying a major to command a battalion of two batteries and a colonel for one of six; but examination will show that both these arrangements are actually embraced in that proviso, while it avoids the embarrassments which often occur, as we have found under rigid specifications. I am satisfied the general would agree with me about this were it worth while to engage his time with a full exposition of the case. There is a minor point which cannot well be introduced into this bill, but which is, I think, worthy of consideration and action, viz, to allow to a four-gun battery two first lieutenants and one second lieutenant, instead of as now, one first and two second, the advantage being that it would prove an incentive where such stimulus is frequently salutary.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General and Chief of Artillery.


Wilmington, November 8, 1864.


Commanding, &c., Present:

GENERAL: I have to report the arrival of the C. S. steamer Tallahassee last night. I cannot forbear expressing the opinion that such a cruise as this can scarcely be a set-off to the loss and damage already sustained by the fitting out of this expedition and the mischief which it will bring, and I most respectfully but earnestly recommend that nothing more of the kind be allowed, but that the ship and crew may be turned over to aid in the defence of the harbor.

Very respectfully,




* Inclosures not found; but in connection with the subject, see

Pendleton to Davis, Vol. XXXVI, Part III, p. 880.