War of the Rebellion: Serial 127 Page 0796 CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.

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alluded. The number of regiments now in the service for the war may be stated with sufficient accuracy at 115, and the number for twelve months at 275, making a total of about 390 regiments, to which are to be added the militia called out at different points, and the troops of our sister State of Missouri, not yet transferred, and of which no returns exist in the Department. In this estimate the troops raised by the different States are not included, and I have no means of arriving at any accurate conclusion in regard to their numbers. These are mostly enlisted for short periods, in no case exceeding twelve months.

Sixth. The Corps of Engineers of the Army is composed at present of only twelve officers, while fivefold that number are needed. No provision exists for the appointment of engineers in the Provisional Army. There is a large body of gentlemen educated for scientific pursuits, not military engineers by profession, but whose services it has been indispensable to secure for engineering purposes, and who now occupy in the Army the position of mere hired employees, without rank or authority as officers, and whose efficiency is consequently much impaired. In other cases they have been appointed to the lowest grade in the Regular Army, that of second lieutenant, and then assigned to engineer duties, witry rank, under the act of May 21, 1861, authorizing the President to confer such higher rank on officers of the Confederate Army for service with volunteer troops. In a word, various expedients have been used to supply this indispensable means of public defense and to obviate difficulties arising from deficient legislation, but the subject needs immediate attention, and I trust you will concur in my earnest recommendation that Congress authorize the appointment of at least fifty officers of engineers in the Provisional Army of rank not higher than that of captain.

Seventh. I was on the eve of concluding this paper when the official reports of the battle of Leesburg and the engagement at Pensacola were received, and they are herewith submitted. * In the battle of Leesburg our forces numbered in all 1,709 men, and were opposed to a force at Ball's Bluff amounting to five regiments and three pieces of artillery, while compelled at the same time to keep in check four regiments and a squadron of cavalry within supporting distance, at Edwards Ferry. In this unequal contest our whole loss was in killed and wounded 153, and 2 of our men were taken prisoners. The loss of the enemy, as far as known, was 1,300 killed, wounded, and drowned, and 710 prisoners, including among their killed General Baker and several other commissioned officers, and among the prisoners 22 commissioned officers; a total of loss inflicted on the enemy considerably in excess of the whole number of our troops engaged. Among the substantial fruits of this brilliant victory were 1,500 stand of arms, 3 pieces of cannon, 1 stand of colors, and a large quantity of accouterments and camp furniture.

The highest praise is due to Brigadier Gen. N. G. Evans and to the brave men whose intrepid conduct was so signal as to make the mention of any one name almost unjust to others. Colonel Hunton, of the Eighth Virginia; Colonel Featherston, of the Seventeenth Mississippi; Colonel Barksdale, of the Thirteenth Mississippi; Colonel Burt, of tssissippi, and Colonel Jenifer, of the cavalry, with their


*For reports of Leesburg, see Series I, VOL. V, pp. 347-368; and for operations at Pensacola, see Series I, VOL. VI.