HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
OFFICE CHIEF OF ARTILLERY,
New Orleans, April 25, 1865.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Gulf:
SIR: I have the honor herewith to submit to you a statement of the condition of the light and heavy artillery of the Department of the Gulf as it exists at the present date.
The batteries are generally well equipped with men. The only ones that are short are the Thirteenth Wisconsin and the Fourth Iowa Batteries. The former has now eight guns, six of them being the battery proper and two are mountain howitzers, which were issued to it for a special expedition, and they yet retain them. There are only three commissioned officers mustered into service, as the general commanding the department considered they had not men enough to entitle them to any more officers. There are, however, two enlisted men of the battery holding commissions from the Governor of Wisconsin, who desire to muster into service. I would respectfully recommend that the men be mustered as commissioned officers, or else that the commanding officer be directed to turn in the ordnance department all guns and harness, with implements and equipments, which he may have over and above four guns, &c. ; or, in other words, it be reduced to a four-gun battery. If they are required to retain the six guns they should have the officers. All other batteries have men enough to man and equip all the guns they have, and they are usually well equipped. The only thing they require to make them all fit for service is horses. It will be seen by the statement accompanying this that there are now required 540 horses to fully equip the twelve batteries of light artillery; also, that there is but one battery in the department that has a sufficient number of horses to enable it to take the field at once, and that is the Sixteenth Ohio Battery, located at Greenville, La. The Second Ohio Battery, at Ship Island, owns no horses at all. They have the guns, the harness, and the men, but no horses. Battey A, Second Illinois, was dismounted in January last for incompetency of officers and negligence of the men in care of horses and public property, and the horses were taken to fit up General Steele's army. There is an acting assistant quartermaster attached to the artillery corps of the department, and his duties include supplying horses for the artillery. In February last he received upward of 300 horses, but General Canby ordered, in Circular Numbers 5, from headquarters Military Division of West Mississippi, February 26, 1865, that " no artillery animals will be issued except upon requisition approved by the chief of artillery and ordnance, Military Division of West Mississippi, and this officer will always supply first those batteries already engaged in active field service. Artillery animals will only be furnished inactive batteries when the number of horses on hand for issue is more than sufficient for active service. " Then, again, in reply to communication inclosing requisition for horses for Thirteenth Wisconsin Battery, Twelfth Massachusetts, and Second Vermont Batteries, General Totten says:
Carefully select the batteries which you wish horses issued to, forward your requisitions here, and I will approve the issue, provided, the number on o batteries actively engaged in the army is not reduced below 300. This number must be kept on hand for supplying deficiencies in this army, by direction of Major General E. R. S. Canby.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier General and Chief of Artillery and Ordnance, Mil. Div., of West Mississippi.