the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Love, which is of itself a brigade organization, and which has been temporarily attached to this brigade. The brigade entered the present campaign with an aggregate effective of 2,100 men. It now numbers but little over 400 aggregate effective, and the difference has been occasioned principally by the casualties of battle. Before it became part of the army commanded by Lieutenant-General Early it had met the enemy this year in two hard-fought battles, where it encountered vastly superior numbers; first at Cloyd's farm, May 9, where it fought the Eighth Army Corps, U. S. Army, commanded by General Crook, and again on June 5, at Piedmont, Augusta [County], where in conjunction with a small force of dismounted cavalry and the Forty-fifth Regiment of Infantry, it fought the command of General Hunter, which afterward penetrated to Lynchburg, Va. The sacrifices which it was compelled to make in fighting these battles was necessary for the country, and accordingly its losses were very heavy. These facts are mentioned to show that the present weakness of the brigade is occasioned by the service it has seen and not by the desertion and delinquency of its members. It has borne its full share in all the operations of this army since Lieutenant-General Early assumed command at Lynchburg, Va.
The prospects of recruiting the brigade this winter are very flattering. It is believed that many from the border and from the counties of Southwestern Virginia, whom the laws will bring into the field, will, if the opportunity is afforded them, elect to join this brigade, composed of men from that section. A very considerable number of prisoners, wounded and unwounded, in the hands of the enemy will, if exchanged, largely swell the ranks of the command. During the coming winter, too, many of our wounded, now at hospitals and private houses in Western Virginia, will be again able to join the command. If the opportunity is afforded the brigade will, without doubt, be able to take the field next spring in numbers, if not so large as at the opening of the campaign of 1864, still with larger numbers than most of the brigades in the Confederate service.
The men are much worn and exhausted by the fatigues of the campaign, and the regimental and company organizations are very much broken and are quite imperfect. In many of the companies there are neither commissioned nor non-commissioned officers. The brigades discipline and general efficiency would manifestly be much improved if time and opportunity sufficed for a thorough revisal and reorganization of its several regiments and the companies belonging to them.
In the tables of present and absent no account has been taken of those absent as prisoners, as they are beyond the control of the brigade commander, and as no place was prepared for such notice in the printed tables it was presumed that subject was left exclusively for the department of the acting assistant adjutant-general of the brigade.
The large number of absentees in Forty-fifth Battalion Virginia Infantry is referable to the fact that this command was formed in the enemy's lines, and these men, though enlisted in the command, never came out and have not been under our control.
HENRY G. CANNON,
First Lieutenant, Brigade Inspector, Smith's Brigade,
Wharton's Division, Army Valley District.