War of the Rebellion: Serial 122 Page 0746 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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to prevent the instruction and experience acquired by long training from being thrown away. For this purpose there should be a "platoon out of ranks" composed of the non-commissioned staff, band, and clerks. Indeed, this is necessary in the artillery, for men cannot without great injury, especially to the field batteries, be detailed for such duties. This, with the appointment of ordnance sergeants and an equal right with other arms to promotion from the ranks, would provide for keeping the enlisted men in their own corps. As to the officers, questions arise affecting departments of the Army.

Prior to 1832 the artillery, as in other countries, performed all the ordnance duties of the Army. From 1832 to 1838 there was a separate Ordnance Department, but it had no officers below the rank of captain, the duties of the lower grade being performed by lieutenants of artillery. In 1838 the grade of lieutenant was given to the ordnance, which now habitually receives its officers direct from the Military Academy.

It Is a question if great advantages would not accrue to the service as a whole if we could revert to the system of 1832, pass all artillery lieutenants through a course of practical instruction at the arsenals, selections from the first lieutenancies of artillery. If this should be done, the promotion of artillery officers in the subsistence and quartermaster departments could without injustice be prohibited. This would secure all artillery officers, except those selected for the Adjutant-General's Department, for artillery or ordnance duties. If it is not done, the grade of second captain should be restored to the artillery in lieu of the senior first lieutenant of batteries and the number of staff officers allowed the corps (adjutants and quartermasters) be added to the grade and those officers selected from it.

In consolidating the corps certain changes of designation should be made. The term light artillery is very indefinite; field artillery is the proper name. The term company, which properly refers to infantry soldiers, should be changed to battery, the modern designations already adopted in the Fifth Regiment of Artillery and for the volunteer service. The rank of sergeant might be retained; the grande of gunner should supersede that of corporal, and cannoneer that of private, with the same rank, respectively. These may appear to be small matters, but distinctive names and titles are powerful incentives to esprit de corps and consequent efficiency; they cost nothing.

A proper supply of mechanics and artificers is indispensable for all the batteries. At present the skilled workers in wood and iron (carriage-makers, wheelwrights, shoeing smiths, armorers, &c.) are furnished by the Ordnance Department and temporarily attached to the batteries. Harness-makers and saddlers, when they can be found, are detailed from the enlisted men and receive extra pay by special regulations; the artificers, less skilled as workmen, but specially required for fixing and preparing ammunition, are already allowed and should be continued. The means by which these men are supplies are complicated and by no means sure. They should be enlisted for the batteries, as part of their strength, the mechanics with the pay and allowances of mechanics of ordnance. They should be uniformed and equipped as soldiers, be subject to all battery duties when not required for the work of their trades, and rank as cannoneers. A minimum number of batteries should be prescribed to the designated and equipped as field batteries. They are needed for schools of instruction as well as for services, and the number of guns should not be less than the proper