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[570] are near Kingston, to improve their horses. I have applied for the promotion and assignment of Colonel E. P. Alexander to the grade of brigadier-general to command this artillery. It requires such an officer to prepare it for the field. The efficient chief of ordnance supplies us well with every thing pertaining to his department, except bayonets, which it is known cannot be procured. By taking about three hundred baggage-wagons from the troops we have for supply-trains six hundred wagons. Many of their mules require rest and food to make them fit for a campaign. One hundred and thirty wagons are being altered to bear pontoons. Such trains would not carry food and forage for more than three days for this army. Although the performance of the railroads is greatly improved, especially that of the Western & Atlantic, we do not yet receive sufficient supplies of long forage to restore artillery-horses to the condition they lost on Missionary Ridge. The army is composed of two corps. It cannot be manoeuvred in battle without forming a third. I have, therefore, so recommended, and beg consideration of that recommendation. The army should be organized, as nearly as practicable, as it is to fight. These troops are very healthy, and in fine spirits. This position is too much advanced. But for fear of effect on the country, I would fall back so that we might not be exposed to be turned by the route leading through Rome.

The written effective total of cavalry is five thousand four hundred and forty-two, but Major-General Wheeler reports that but twenty-three hundred of these have efficient horses. It is necessary to keep about two-thirds of them below Rome, near the Coosa, on account of forage.

At the end of Decemberthe effective total was36,826
total present and absent77,653
At the end of Januarythe effective total was36,111
total present and absent69,514

(Cavalry not included.)


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