To the Editors of the Richmond Dispatch:
In your issue of the 1st instant appears an article signed "Cavalry," asserting that the most important reason for the inefficiency of the cavalry branch of the service " is the ownership by the men of the horses they ride," and the consequent reluctance to expose the said horses to danger on account of not being able to replace the same, because the Government
will only pay two hundred dollars for horses actually killed in service, which, he says, will not pay for the red tape consumed.
Aside from thus putting the value of horse-flesh before every consideration of duty and patriotism, and the fear of being compelled to serve on foot, the article exhibits either the most deplorable ignorance of facts in this the fourth year of the war, or an interested and wilful misrepresentation.
As thousands upon thousands have been paid for horses killed, there ought to be little excuse for ignorance at this late date.
The law in force provides that for horses killed, or mortally wounded, in action, the owners shall be paid therefore the appraised value of the same at the date of entry or muster in the service.
The two-hundred dollar law is an old law of the United States
, still in force, under which claimants who have failed to comply with the regulations to enable them to come under the Confederate States
law can sometimes recover at least some compensation.
If a soldier neglects the simple precaution of having his horse properly appraised upon entry into service, he has none to blame but himself.