It is scarcely necessary to state now why that organization has not been carried out; the object of this paper is to have it restored and secured, and by authority that will make it binding upon officers of all ranks.
I respectfully proceed to state the principles which, in my judgment, should be adopted in establishing the organization, assigning when necessary some of the reasons which commend them:
First. The proper proportion of field artillery varies according to circumstances from one to five pieces to 1,000 men. In this army it has generally been fixed at three; it might, if efficiently organized be placed at two or two and a quarter as a minimum.
The total amount of artillery should be fixed and maintained without regard to temporary increase and diminution of troops in the army. Two-thirds of the guns should be attached to the troops, the remainder being in reserve. The amount attached to troops is that which they would ordinarily require; for emergencies they can draw on the reserve artillery.
Second. In attaching artillery to troops it should be laid down as a principle that no artillery command should be of less strength than would warrant the assignment to it of a complete staff, administrative and military, in order that all needful supplies may be insured to it and its discipline and instruction secured.
Whether the guns shall be assigned to divisions or army corps will therefore depend on the strength of the divisions. In the artillery, as in other arms, concentration is favorable to discipline instructions efficiency and especially to economy. But as artillery is attached immediately to the troops of other arms as auxiliaries and for special purposes its operations are subordinate to those of the cavalry and infantry, concentration must not be carried so far as to deprive the troops of the speedy use of their guns when needed. When, therefore, the artillery is attached to the army corps and circumstances make it desirable batteries may be, when near the enemy camped or marched with the divisions but unless the division are detached to a distance from the corps the batteries should draw their supplies, &c., from the artillery train. They should always be considered a part of the artillery brigade, to which they should return as soon as circumstances permit.
It is advisable in our service that the artillery should be attached to army corps. A division of less than 10,000 men would not have sufficient artillery with it to warrant a distinct administrative staff. There should be a major to every two batteries of six or three batteries of four guns each and a superior officer, a lieutenant-colonel or colonel to every four or six batteries. To each artillery brigade attached to an army corps there should be assigned a force of foot artillery for the various duties, artillery and other, required of foot troops; this force would vary according to circumstances from two to three battalions. The artillery of the corps should be under the command of a general officer of artillery, to whom all orders for its employment should be given. When two or more batteries are detached to a division they should be under the command of a field officer, who reports and sustains the same relations to the division commander that the chief of artillery does to the corps commander. (See paragraph 489, General Regulations.) The grand park of the artillery, consisting of the ordnance stores, tools, reserve ammunition, and small-arms, &c., the batteries of reserve and of position, and a force of foot artillery should be under the command of a general officer, who reports direct to the chief of artillery.