volunteers, to be called. "The Virginia Legion," as a division or brigade, to be held in readiness for instant service for a year at a time, is highly expedient now. The plan was presented at the last session to the chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, and I confidently recommend it, divested of the provisions involving expense. If desired I will prepare a detail. Not to enlarge this report by repeating what was recommended in the last, I beg to refer to the fifth, eighth, twelfth, and fourteenth paragraphs of that report as in my opinion still requiring consideration.
The divisions and brigades are generally too cumbrous, and should therefore be promptly rearranged and the numbers increased. It is indispensable to provide the officers with the means of instruction in tactics, and it is especially and imperatively necessary to establish some more effective means of instruction in cavalry tactics. It was suggested to me by a distinguished Southern-born officer of the U. S. Army, who was present by invitation at the cavalry encampment near Richmond in November last, that a camp of instruction for the officers only would be far more valuable, and it would certainly be more practicable than the assemblage of that force in masses. He had assisted in one or more States at such encampments with the best results. The officers attending them were allowed pay, subsistence, and forage by the State. The suggestion seems to me to be eminently worthy of consideration. One or more-probably not more than two-such encampments might be authorized by the Legislature, at which the cavalry officers might attend voluntarily. Provision should be made by the State of subsistence and forage for men and horses, and to cover expenses of travel, mileage should be allowed to all the officers who attended and remained during the period of the encampment. But for the risk of interruption to the course of discipline and instruction at the Military Institute one encampment there might suffice for the whole State. It is a central point, and the best instructors are on the spot. If this should be found impracticable the encampment might be upon the fair grounds of the Central Agricultural Society, near Richmond, which would readily be placed by the society at the command of the State. The assemblage of any volunteer force by companies, battalions, squadrons, or regiments long enough to be tolerably well instructed, especially in the details of camp duty, imposes too great a tax upon the time of the rank and file, both in the country and the towns. But if the officers can have the benefit of an annual camp of instruction it will undoubtedly be imparted to their commands, particularly when called into actual service. It is burden-some and useless to require the cavalry officers to attend the ordinary trainings, and I know that nothing would be more acceptable to them than this plan. The patriotic devotion of their best services to the State at no little expense of time and money deserves and, it cannot be doubted, will command for them on her part all the means of instruction and encouragement they may require.
The duties of the Adjutant-General's Office are engrossing and overwhelming-impossible to be performed by any one man, as Your Excellency is fully aware; and it is a depressing and mortifying fact that while the heads of all the other departments of our State government are allowed as many clerks as they require for the dispatch of the public business, not one has been allowed for this. If the office be worth anything to the State, her best interests will be promoted by a thorough performance of all its legitimate duties, and I need scarcely remark to you, sir, that more would be gained by that than the largest clerical force would cost.