War of the Rebellion: Serial 109 Page 0631 Chapter LXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.--UNION.

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in case it should become necessary to arm them also, though it was not contemplated to call these out except at the last moment. The organization being thus completed, ready for action at an hour's notice. I felt no further concern about it until late in August, when the rebel General Wheeler moved north and proceeded to demonstrate on our lines of communication and to threaten Nashville. August 31, when Wheeler was within ten or twelve miles of Nashville, I thought it best to know what force I actually had in hand, and so ordered a parade and review for the afternoon of that day. A copy of order is herewith marked C. The force out with alacrity, to the number of perhaps 3,000 men, of whom about one-half were armed and equipped. The next day, September 1, General Rousseau reported Wheeler as but six miles from the town, and fighting going on all day.

In anticipation of closer work I at once issued another order (see copy herewith marked D) directing the whole force to be forthwith armed and equipped and fifty rounds of ammunition per man to be provided and held in readiness. To see how far my orders were complied with I directed another review for the afternoon of this day also (see copy of order herewith marked E) and this time turned out in line fully 5,000 men, of whom over four-fifths were armed and equipped. By this order, as you will see, I also more fully perfected and designated the several commands so as to have each well understood and thoroughly in hand, and September 3 issued another order (see copy herewith marked F) for the same purpose, which at last rendered the organization complete. By this time, however, the danger from Wheeler was practically over, Rousseau, Milroy, and Granger combined had driven and routed him, and his entire force was in full retreat for Florence on the Tennessee. Thus it will be seen no actual necessity arose for the forces of the quartermaster's department to confront the enemy, but had the occasion come I make no doubt that we could have put into the defenses of Nashville at least 5,000 armed men, capable of being increased to 8,000 if necessary, of whom at least one-half of two-thirds were old soldiers. My officers took hold of the matter with great promptness and energy, and the men generally turned out with an alacrity and spirit truly commendable. I have thought their conduct worthy of notice, and following out your suggestion of September 3 have given it due recognition, as you will see by copy of order herewith marked G. Since the receipt of your letter of April 27 I have concluded to maintain my organization intact, and to this end have ordered a review for every Sunday afternoon at 4 o'clock (see copy of order herewith marked H). My opinion is that a review of this sort will promote a spirit of subordination and discipline among the men that will prove very advantageous for ordinary week-day work, and at the same time will give us a practiced, disciplined force of a tolerable military character that will be invaluable in case of sudden outbreak or attack here. I have directed my officers to provide themselves with the necessary armories, and we shall hold the forces of the quartermaster's department in readiness at all times to co-operate with the military authorities here in case of necessity. It strikes me that employes of the various staff departments should be similarly organized and armed everywhere. Why cannot this be done? Why may not all employes be regularly enlisted for duty in staff departments for a given time, to be provided with a simple designating uniform and required to drill and parade occasionally, so as to be ready for local defense when necessary, and thus obviate the necessity of maintaining large garrisons at posts and depots? Is not this plan practicable, and would it not in the end be cheaper for the Government thus to have