During the march the brigade destroyed about ten miles of railroad track. Being without the usual facilities for this work, it was done under considerable disadvantage and much hard labor; it, however, was accomplished most effectually, and reflected great credit upon officers and men for their energy and zeal. I have the honor herewith to forward the reports of Major Hobbs, surgeon in chief of the brigade, but, acting commissary of subsistence. From Lieutenant Wing's report it will be seen that the whole number of horses and mules and the amount of forage procured on the march is as follows: Horses, 36; mules, 32; corn, 99,312 pounds; fodder, 66,720 pounds. Lieutenant Harbert's report shows the following subsistence stores taken from the country: 150 head beef-cattle, 475 sheep, 8,000 pounds fresh pork, 2,000 pounds bacon, 10,000 pounds poultry, 6,600 bushels sweet potatoes, 5,000 pounds honey, 33 barrels sorghum sirup, 3,000 pounds corn meal, 2,300 pounds flour.
To the constant energy and systematic industry of Lieutenant Wing and Harbert the brigade is under especial obligations, which I take pleasure in here acknowledging. Lieutenant Harbert so managed his department that when the supplies of the other brigades of the division were exhausted, he still had on hand two day's rations of hard bread, having in the meantime satisfactory supplied the troops with daily issues of sweet potatoes.
I have to express my gratification with the faithful, efficient, and gentlemanly manner in which I have been assisted by my staff officers. For more particular remarks in regard to the execution of the duties of the different staff departments, I desire to refer to the letter of advice by the brigade inspector, a copy of which is herewith transmitted.
In closing this report I desire to say that while my position has been somewhat embarrassing by being separated from my regiment and placed in command where I was comparatively a stranger, I am exceedingly well pleased with the brigade, and do not hesitate to pronounce it one of which any brigade commander may well be proud. The Twenty-second Wisconsin, Nineteenth Michigan, and the Eighty-fifth Indiana must be reckoned among the best troops in the service. For the well-known bravery in face of the enemy of the Thirty-third Indiana Veteran Volunteers, it will always be entitled to honorable mention. For its laxity in discipline, the present officers are by no means wholly responsible. The evil is of long standing, and therefore difficult to eradicate. The men are generally possessed of noble impulses, with pride and ambition to secure a good reputation in all that pertains to the true soldier; but to accomplish this they stand in great need of the proper direction and control from competent officers. Whether Lieutenant-Colonel Burton will inaugurate and prosecute this work to a successful issue remains to be seen.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain JOHN SPEED,
Asst. Adjt. General, Third Division, Twentieth Army Corps