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[434] my battery affected with some fatal disease, fourteen horses having died within the three weeks of my absence and two to-day. Two more will die to-day or to-morrow at farthest, and several more are afflicted in a similar manner to those which have died.

The disease with which my stock have died seems to be an epidemic catarrh; known to be fatal unless the proper remedies are employed to check it, which remedies cannot be employed in the army for want of them. This disease was produced by the want of feed and the bad condition of what we did get, and the horses in the condition naturally produced by this bad feed, being then exposed to the very severe weather experienced a few weeks back, were in the very state to be afflicted with this fatal malady, and hence the result.

I have now but forty-eight well horses (and they are very poor) and ten unfit for any service. If I had a field with meadow land in it, and the horses turned in it, carefully separating the diseased horses from those not diseased, I think I might save nearly all the balance of the stock, but I am fully convinced if the stock remains tied up as it has been, with no proper medicine (and the proper medicine cannot be obtained), nearly all, if not all the remainder will die; I therefore respectfully ask that the inspector be invited to inspect the horses of this battery at an early day.

I have three wagons, two six mule and one four mule, for which I have but twelve mules, three of which are unfit for service. In case I had to move I would not have mules enough actually to pull the empty wagons. I have kept up my forage teams by relieving them with my forge and battery wagon teams, until I have well nigh lost all. The poor feed has affected them as well as the horses, and unless my teams are filled up I shall soon have none. I either wish to give up my large wagons or have six mules to each. To keep up my stock I want seven more good mules for the teams I now have. I ought to have more wagons and cannot complete my stabling under two months with the wagons I now have. I have no mule harness at all for my forge and battery wagons, although application after application has been made for them. My mules have been almost ruined by the artillery harness which I was compelled to use. No blame is attributable to the battalion quarter-master, but the crime is higher up upon the roll, his superiors in the same line. I need twenty artillery bridles and a coil of manilla rope for picket and halters (the horses having actually eaten up bridle and halter, leather and rope during the famine), also three saddles and a few


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