In the meantime, however, Major Laidley has not been idle, but has been making arrangements in his shops by which he will be enabled in the course of about ten days from date to make 10,000 cases a day, which will be increased in one month after to 25,000, and after that date the quantity will be increased in somewhat the same proportion, unless delay should be caused in obtaining the necessary presses. Much delay has already occurred in obtaining such as were wanted, and it is not safe to rely too much upon the promises of makers of machinery on account of the great demands made upon them for the product of their manufactures; but Major Laidley feels confident of being able before long of bringing the product of his shops up to 100,000 cases per day. This will be about the utmost capacity of the arsenal until the new establishment shall be ready for operations. Until that time, therefore, we shall have to depend upon private manufactures for such a quantity of these cartridges as we shall require over 600,000 per week. I would remark that the operation of placing the fulminate in the case is avery delicate one, upon which the successful explosion of the cartridges depends; therefore we may not at first urge too rapidly the manufacture, but must feel our way with caution to prevld beg leave in this connection to call your attention to the fact that the contemplated new establishment is on a very extensive scale, and, connected with the manufacture of percussion-caps, it involves an expenditure of $176,000, according to the approved estimates, and it may well be supposed that many grave considerations are embraced in the erection of such a structure and the procurement of the necessary machinery, and must in a great degree have reference to prospective rather than immediate wants.
In conclusion, from the best information before me I am forced to the opinion that, if the war should continue that long, we shall not be able to dispense entirely with private manufacturers of copper cartridges until about the end of the ensuing year.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. D. RAMSAY,
Brigadier-General and Chief of Ordnance.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND, Before Atlanta, Ga., August 9, 1864.
Brigadier General L. THOMAS,
Adjutant-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I would respectfully call your attention to the following facts and suggestions relative to the U. S. colored infantry service and the plan adopted and pursued by Colonel R. D. Mussey, superintendent for organization of colored troops, i. e., that of formation of new regiments exclusively, to the neglect and prohibition of securing recruits for regiments already in existence, and which have not reached the maximum of their organization.
By the formation of new regiments the army is called upon to furnish officers necessary to the efficiency of such organization, and thereby unnecessarily depriving commands already in the field of their officers, or else taking from the ranks men whose services can illy be spared, whereas by the filling up of those regiments already in existence and fully officered this upon the army would be removed.