Petersburg, November 7, 1864.
General WILLIAM N. PENDLETON:
GENERAL: I have read the abstract of the bill you propose for the organization of the artillery of an army in the field. It conforms in the main to the organization of the artillery of this army. I concur in its general features. To preserve uniformity in the whole service the organiztion had better be made by the Secretary of War (paragraph I). The commissioned officers provided in paragraph II should, in my mastter to perform the duties of commissary. In the proviso to paragraph II I think provision should be made for a major to command battalions of two companies, lieutenant-colonel for command of battalions of two companies, lieutenant-colonel for command of battalions of three, and colonel for battalions of six. I think paragraph III disadvantageous and cumbersome. I think it would be advantageous to give a brigadier to tthe command of the artillery of each army corps composed of not less than four battalions of sixty-four guns, and a major-general to the command of the artillery of an army composed of not less than 160 guns. the numberr of guns, I think, is the safest standard for the rank of artillery officers. I would recommend, in conclusion, that you submit the bill to the honorable Secretary of War for his consideration.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
Abstract of a bill to organize the field artillery of the Confederate States.
Be it enacted, &c.:
I. Any number of field batteries not exceeding six, the usual number expected to be four, constituted and officered as now authorized by law, may, by the Secrettary of War of under his sanction by generals commanding armies in the field, be grouped into battalions. And such battalions shall, when formed, be regarded as duly established organizations. Any battery of one battalion of his command may, however, be, at the discretion of a commanding general, transferred to anotther.
II. Each battalion thus organized shall be entitled to the following officers, to be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the commanding general, viz: One colonel or lieutenant-colonel, and one major; one adjutant and one ordnance officer, each with the rank of first lieutenant; one quartermaster to act also as commissary, with the rank of captain; ; one chaplain, one surgeon, and one assistant surgeon. Each battalion shall also be entitled to the same non-commissioned staff as is allowed by law to a regiment of cavalry, to be appointed by the battalion commander.
Provided, however, That for a battalion of more than four batteries there may be an additional field officer, and for one of less than four batteries the commander may be of less rrank than above designated. And provided also, That any field or staff officer above-mentioned may be transferred by a commanding general at his discretion to or from any artillery battalion in his command.
III. The battalions of artillery attached to each army corps or army, or department, when amounting to four battalions, containing sixty-four guns, shall constitute a brigade to be commanded by a brigadier-general of artillery, with the staff that is or may be allowed by law to each brigade of cavalry.