O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLII/3 [S# 89]
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA, FROM OCTOBER 1, 1864, TO DECEMBER 31, 1864.--# 4
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF RICHMOND,
November 5, 1864.
General R H. CHILTON,
Inspector-General C. S. Army:
GENERAL: I beg to submit the following in lieu of the regular monthly inspection report, which it has so far been impossible to prepare owing to the newness of the greater portion of the command and its consequent deficiencies in organization and system. A reason even more powerful has been the constant and severe labor which the troops have been called upon to perform in erecting fortifications. General Barton's brigade is composed at present of the Eighteenth Virginia Battalion Heavy Artillery (properly of Colonel Pemberton's command), Twenty-fifth Virginia Battalion Infantry (City Battalion), <ar89_1203> First Battalion Virginia Reserves, Third Battalion Virginia Reserves, Fourth Battalion Virginia Reserves, Eighteenth Georgia Battalion Heavy Artillery (temporarily in this department by order from headquarters Department of Northern Virginia). These troops have an aggregate present of 1,509. General G. W. C. Lee's brigade consists of the Local Defense Troops, the Second Virginia Battalion Reserves, and the Tenth Virginia Battalion Heavy Artillery, with aggregate present of 1,763. Johnson's (Tennessee) brigade (Col. J. M. Hughs commanding), reports an effective present of 481; aggregate present, 704. Lieutenant-Colonel Pemberton's command (the Artillery Defenses) has present effective, 1,304; aggregate present, 1,488. The brigades of Generals Barton and Lee and Colonel Hughs have been so constantly occupied with work and picket duty as to be unable to pay much attention to police of camp or daily drills. The few troops who compose Hughs' brigade are pretty well drilled, as are the heavy artillery battalions, but the reserves in particular need instructions, not being acquainted with even the school of the company, so far as I have seen. They are now drilled daily as much as practicable. Sinks have been dug and the inert required to use them. The sinks of General Lee's command being placed in front his works, the ground in the neighborhood of his camps is quite clean. Along General Barton's line the men are now thinly scattered in works, which were at one time occupied by a considerably larger force. They were unable until very lately to complete the works and to clean up the whole extent of ground left dirty by the troops before them. Hence the police of this part of the line is not good, though it soon will be. Very few depredations have been complained of, the chief reason of which is that the ground was pretty well stripped before these troops occupied it. The health of the command is good, except that of the reserves, many of whom are poorly clad. Several desertions took place from the mechanics among the Local Defense Troops during the first half of the month, the men being frightened by the orders revoking details and fearing that they would be put permanently in the field. These have now ceased. Six or seven of the Castle Thunder battalion have deserted to the enemy. With these exceptions the morale of the troops has been fine, so far I could ascertain. Their arms are well kept and due precaution taken to prevent the waste of ammunition. The heavy artillery along the intermediate line proper keep their camps and arms in very good order, being enabled to do so easily by the stationary nature of their duty. General Gary's cavalry brigade is temporarily under General Longstreet's command. I hope by the 15th of this month to make a complete and comparatively satisfactory report.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Major and Assistant Inspector-General.