HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, January 29, 1862.
Honorable E. M. STANTON,
Secretary of War:
I have the honor to report that in my judgment a greater number of cavalry regiments have been authorized than the service at present requires, and as it is necessarily a very expensive arm of the service, I respectfully recommend that measures be taken to reduce the number of regiments and at the same time to increase the strength and efficiency of those retained. To effect this some regiments should be disbanded and the men transferred to other regiments. There are many reasons in favor of consolidating regiments from the same State, and as far as possible this should be done, breaking up such as are, or bid fair to be, the least efficient. Where there is but one regiment from a State and it is deemed advisable to break that one up the men can be transferred to regiments from other States or to infantry regiments from their own State. There are a greater or less number of men in each regiment who will never make efficient cavalry soldiers. Such of these as will make good infantry soldiers should be transferred to that branch of the service and the remainder discharged. (The latter class will be composed mostly of old men and young boys who should never have been enlisted.) It would be for the interest of the service to transfer such soldiers as desire it from the disbanded regiments to the six regiments of regular cavalry now in service. In this way the regular regiments and fifty regiments of volunteers could be brought up to the maximum strength, which, in my opinion, is all the cavalry that will be required. It would be but just to require all the cavalry officers in the volunteer service to be examined by a board of general officers selected, as far as practicable, from those familiar with the mounted service.
There are undoubtedly some efficient officers in the cavalry who would prefer to serve in the infantry. After these have been transferred andsigned or been discharged, I am convinced that the remainder could be provided for with rank equal to that which they now hold.
To avoid the possibility of injustice or mistake I would further recommend that all the volunteer cavalry regiments be at once carefully and minutely inspected, as far as possible, by the inspector and assistant inspectors-general of the Army, and that from the reports of these inspections the Honorable Secretary of War and the major-general commanding decide which regiments shall be retained and which disbanded. I inclose herewith the reports and the recommendations of the chief of cavalry of the Army of the Potomac.*
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. B. McCLELLAN,
Major-General, Commanding U. S. Army.
ADJUTANT-GENERAL'S OFFICE, Washington, January 29, 1862.
Commanding Department of the Missouri, Saint Louis, Mo.:
GENERAL: I have the honor to state, for the information of mustering officers in Missouri, that it is the desire of the President that the Missouri State troops shall be mustered into the service individually as