War of the Rebellion: Serial 124 Page 1042 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

To this number should be added the horses captured from the enemy and taken from citizens, making altogether an average remount every two months. We have now in our service some 223 regiments of cavalry, which will require, at the same rate as the Army of the Potomac, the issue within the coming year of 435,000 cavalry horses.

The organization of a Cavalry Bureau in the War Department, with frequent and thorough inspection, it was hoped would in some degree remedy these evils. To reach their source, however, further legislation may be necessary. Probably the principal fault is in the treatment of their horses by the cavalry soldiers. Authority should therefore be given to dismount and transfer to the infantry service every man whose horse is, through his own fault or neglect, rendered unfit for service. The same rule might be applied to cavalry officers who fail to maintain the efficiency of their regiments and companies. The vacancies thus created could be filled by corresponding transfers from the regular and volunteer infantry.

By the existing law the chief adjutant-general, inspector- general, quartermaster, and commissary of army corps are allowed additional rank and pay, while no such allowance is made to the chiefs of engineers, artillery, and ordnance in the same corps. These latter officers hold the same relative position, and perform duties at least as important and arduous as the others, and the existing distinction is deemed unjust to them.

* * * * * * *


It is seen from the foregoing summary of operations during the past year that we have repelled every attempt of the enemy to invade the loyal States, and have rescued from his domination Kentucky and Tennessee, a portion of Alabama and Mississippi, and the greater part of Arkansas and Louisiana, and restored the free navigation of the Mississippi River.

Heretofore the enemy has enjoyed great advantages over us in the character of his theater of war. He has operated on short and safe interior lines, while circumstances have compelled us to occupy the circumference of a circle. But the problem is now changed. By the reopening of the Mississippi River the rebel territory has been actually cut in twain, and we can strike the isolated fragments by operating on safer and more advantageous lines.

Although our victories since the beginning of the war may not have equaled the expectations of the more sanguine, we have every reason to be grateful to Divine Providence for the steady progress of our arms. In a little more than two years we have recaptured nearly every important point held by the rebels on the sea-coast, and we have reconquered and now hold military possession of more than 250,000 square miles of territory held at one time by the rebel armies and claimed by them as a constituent part of their confederacy. The extent of country thus recaptured and occupied by our armies is as large as France or Austria, or the entire peninsula of Spain and Portugal, and twice as large as Great Britain, or Prussia, or Italy.

Considering what we have already accomplished, the present condition of the enemy, and the immense and still unimpaired military resources of the loyal States, we may reasonably hope, with the same