stop desertions at once. If we could only get a few hundred for each division the men would take new life and hope as soon, as they see that they are getting re-enforcements. I believe that much of the despondency is due to the fact that our men do to see any prospect of getting help. The exchanged prisoners will be quite as well satisfied in two weeks as they would be with their proper companies, and probably better. They will surely be better satisfied if we can gain some little success.
I remain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
FORT CLIFTON, March 6, 1865.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General C. S. Army:
SIR: if it meets the approbation of the general-in-chief and the department, I respectfully ask that my command be changed to cavalry and organized into a regiment. The command now constitutes alight artillery battalion, with organization and strength as follows:
Command Men Men who Total Total
present have been present. including
for duty. called in. absent,
Fry's 52 36 88 106
Montgomery's 22 90 112 169
Reese's 40 47 87 146
Carter's 30 42 72 142
Garber's 38 20 58 88
Carrington's 33 44 77 123
Tanner's 21 63 84 136
Jones' 66 30 96 137
Total 302 372 674 1,047
There are officers enough to give two to each company, besides four vacancies which can be filled without interfering with the rank of the other officers now in prison. Both officers and men are extremely anxious this change, and will do their best to render themselves useful and reliable in this branch of the service. We have the service. We have the advantage of a discipline that very few commands can compare with, and the men have learned to give that attention to their horses without which no cavalry can remain efficient. If the Government cannot furnish horses we propose to send a part of the command, say one-third, to the Valley, and there separate into small squads for the purpose of capturing horses from the enemy. We have reliable officers who are men of judgment, having been in the service as officers from the commencement of the war, and from a perfect acquaintance with this part of the country, can conduct such business with dispatch and success.
Our object in seeking this change is to get into mounted service with a more active life. Our past service as light artillery gives us some claim, and I am sure the opinions of superiors officers as to the conduct of officers and men on the field must have some weight as a recommendation.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. E. CUTSHAW,
Major, Commanding Battalion.