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[438] reported to him on Saturday that our battery could not move, and that there was not a battery in the command that could make a day's march. I also had Captain Berry to inspect the horses of the battalion, and told him how the horses were fed before I assumed command of the battalion, that I reported every day to Captain Corput the condition of my horses. This is my defence, and if any one has made more strenuous exertion to prevent the government from starving its own stock, I would like to know who he is. The threat from an officer occupying the position that you do, that we shall not have any more horses when we lose what we have, may be all right, it is not for me to say, I simply say this, that I hope we will not get any more unless they can be better fed. I know that I am doing wrong by reporting direct to you, but under the circumstances I know you will excuse me.

Very respectfully your obedient servant,

John B. Rowan, Captain Commanding.


Headquarters Artillery, Army of Tennessee, August 30, 1864.
Captain,—The within communication handed me this morning. In my reply to Lieutenant Russell yesterday I meant to say, and did say that there will be no horses furnished to artillery (not to you especially) but to no one for the reason that horses are not to be had. I did not find fault with you for failing to report direct to me. I don't desire you to do so, because such a course would be irregular. I stated simply that no report of this great deficiency had been made to me, nor has a proper report been yet made of it.

The ‘threat’ you are pleased to say I made in regard to furnishing horses was a simple statement of the fact that the supply of horses is practically exhausted. If to threaten, however, would cause a proper degree of care and attention to be given the animals I should not hesitate to use that course.

I admire your independence in ‘wishing that no more horses may be sent up here to be starved.’

Respectfully your obedient servant,

R. F. Beckham, Colonel Commanding. Captain Rowan, commanding Battalion.

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