A suggestion to military men.
Without expressing an opinion as to the merits or demerits of the innovations upon military affairs alluded to in the following extract from a Virginia letter to the Mobile Tribune
, we insert it for the inspection of these having charge of matters:
But I beg your leave now to attract attention to the Colonel
of a cavalry regiment who turns them all down.
I allude to Col. St. George Croghan
, who commands a cavalry regiment under Gen. Floyd
in North western Virginia
He is 35 years of age, has the eye of as eagle and the Wellington nose; is about six feet high, faultless in form, graceful in carriage, and the best rider in America
He is the son of the celebrated Col. Croghan
memory, was born a soldier, educated a soldier, and in every hair on his head and drop of blood in his body a through, complete and perfect soldier.
He has no thoughts that are not military, no ambition that is not the ambition of a soldier.
Withal, he is endow with a pre-eminently practical and powerful intellect.
He has introduced innovations upon the established usages of camp life, the result of which must, if properly embraced, save the Confederate States
millions of doldollars and thousands of lives, and insure comfort where suffering else might have to be endured.
The innovation to which I allude is in the size and character of the camp tent.
He has reduced it to a size which will accommodate but four men. One end of it he leaves entirely open.
Before the open end he builds a camp fire, and that makes a small tent more comfortable in the coldest winter than the large tents are in autumn
One mule can carry thirty of these tents, (enough for two companies.) Baggage wagons in his regiment are therefore an obsolete idea; or, to use his nervous expression, an ‘"exploded humbug."’ This insures expedition without a sacrifice of comfort, and such has been the force with which the utility of this style of tent has impressed the military minds that have investigated its merits, that Gen. Floyd
, among others has thrown aside his huge amphitheatre and adopted the modest and comfortable little tabernacle, for which the army are indebted to Col. Croghan
In order, therefore, to enable any regiment in the Confederate
service that may feel an inclination to render themselves as comfortable as possible, by adopting the Croghan tent, I will describe it:
In the first place, it is triangular shaped, four feet high, eight feet case, and seven feet deep.
The tent poles are two feet long, fitting into each other, fitted together, having a nail in the top, is passed through an eye-let hole at the top of each end of the tent, and a cord fastened in the ground at the rear of the tent is passed through the back of the tent at the top. There it is twisted around the nail on the rear pole, and then it is passed to the front pole and twisted around the nail on this pole, from whence it is passed to the ground and fastened to a peg. This cord is the ridge pole.
has attached to his regiment forty baggage wagons, attached to each one of which are four horses, making one hundred and sixty horses in his transportation service; whereas five mules are altogether sufficient for the transportation of Croghan
tents enough for the same regiment; and the soldiers are bound to enjoy more comfort and sufferless in the Croghan tent than they do in the tent now in use in our army, and the transportation of which is so very expensive Col. Croghan
has also, by an alteration of the ordinary cort saddle into a pack saddle made it feasible for one mule to transport 300 pounds of provisions.
Thus you perceive this regiment is costing the Government
less than perhaps any one company in any other cavalry regiment in the service, and are for forced marches and surprise expeditions the most available arm of the Confederate
service.--When they move, their baggage mules can move.
They do not have to wait, as other cavalry regiments do, for baggage wagons.--They do not have to take, as other cavalry regiments often do, the pitiless pelting of the midnight storm, for they can always have their tents with them.
has attached to his regiment two rifled cannon, each weighing about two hundred pounds. Four mules transport the guns and their carriages.
I have been thus minute in my details, because I conceive that there is a vital interest in the simple facts which I have related.
They involve questions of life and death, of comfort and suffering to our beloved army.
Millions of people have a living and lasting interest in them.
I do not know a man in Col. Croghan
He has one company who went into the service only about half equipped and armed, and they have not an arm in their ranks that they did not take from the enemy.
Strangers though they are, it is with pride I record such facts, facts so indubitably bound to draw upon them the admiration and the praised of a grateful country.