of our Army the more suitable in my opinion will it be to our service, and that every possible reduction in its expense should be made.
First. I highly approve of the assignment of a general officer to duty as chief of staff to a general commanding a separate army. The grade of colonel I should think sufficient for the inspector-general, quartermaster-general, chief commissary, chief of ordnance, and medical director. Two, or at most three, aides-de-camp, one of the grade of lieutenant-colonel, the other of major of cavalry, I should think sufficient. On the field all the members of the staff departments can perform the duties of aides. Off the field the aides have less duty than officers of the staff departments. If it is intended to dispense with all the assistant adjutant-general now allowed, there will have to be an assistant to the chief of staff and to the inspector-general of a grade lower to each to attend to the duties of the office, &c.
Second. I would suggest that the assistant adjutant-general, inspector-general, chief quartermaster, chief commissary, and chief of ordnance to lieutenant-generals in the field be all placed on an equal footing and have the grade of lieutenant-colonels of cavalry. I think, too, that the adjutant-general and inspector-general should each have an assistant with the rank of major; otherwise they will be unable to perform the necessary office and outdoor work. He should also be allowed a surgeon of the grade of major and two aides-de-camp, one with the rank of major and one captain of cavalry. It is better, I think, to give more strength to the adjutant and inspector general's department and to diminish the aides.
Third. To a major-general commanding a division I would recommend that one assistant adjutant-general, one assistant inspector-general, one chief quartermaster, one chief commissary, and one chief ordnance be allowed of the grade of major of cavalry; also one surgeon of the same grade and two aides-de-camp, one of the grade of captain and one of first lieutenant of cavalry.
Fourth. To a brigadier-general commanding a brigade I would suggest that two assistant adjutant and inspector-general be allowed of the grade of captain of cavalry for the indoor and outdoor work, a surgeon of the grade of major, [and] one aide-de-camp of the grade of first lieutenant of cavalry. A regiment should have a regimental adjutant and quartermaster. I consider a regimental commissary unnecessary.
Fifth. In the fifth and sixth sections of the bill I see no improvement to be made.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
CAMP NEAR FREDERICKSBURG, March 21, 1863.
His Excellency JEFFERSON DAVIS,
President of the Confederate States:
MR. PRESIDENT: Upon an examination of the Senate bill presented by General Sparrow for the organization of the staff of the Army, I think some changes might be made to advantage. These will readily occur to you, and I will therefore allude to them generally. I think it important, and, indeed, necessary, to simplify the mechanism of our Army as much as possible, yet still to give it sufficient power to move and regulate the whole body. Our armies are necessarily very large