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[91] and civilians, authority to raise companies of cavalry and artillery, especially the latter, from our excellent infantry regiments, in some instances for merely local service. Although the artillery of the army already exceeded the European proportion, many additional batteries were thus authorized. Fortunately the Ordnance Department was unable to arm and equip them; otherwise the army would have been deprived of several regiments of excellent infantry, and encumbered with artillery that could not have been taken into battle without danger of capture, for want of infantry to protect it. In all this the Honorable Secretary did more mischief by impairing the discipline of the army than by reducing its numbers.1 My respectful remonstrances were written to him on the 1st, as follows:
Your letter of the 25th, in reply to mine of the 18th, did not reach me until yesterday.

In entering upon the delicate and difficult work assigned to me, I shall keep in view your advice ‘to go to the extreme verge of prudence in tempting my twelve-months men, by liberal furloughs, to reenlist.’ It is, however, indispensable to the success of the undertaking, that you should remove certain difficulties which not only embarrass the execution of these particular orders, but are also causing great confusion and an approach to demoralization in the army. They result from a practice of giving orders to the army in matters of military detail which should only

1 There was such a want of arms at this time, that I was directed by the acting Secretary of War to send those of all soldiers “sick in hospital” to Richmond (see Appendix; in this way the army lost six thousand muskets.

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