Today in History:

691 Series I Volume IV- Serial 4 - Operations in the South and West

Page 691(Official Records Volume 4)  


quartermaster, being absent, sick) that he has sent a special messenger three times to Richmond with this draft, and that each time this messenger has presented the draft at the Treasury several times, and he has not been able to get the money, the statement there being that they could not get the notes. I beg that this be made known ot the Secretary of War. Nothing except an unavoidable necessity prevent the troops being paid.

The artillery horses which have been furnished this department are, almost without exception, worthless. The order has been given, no doubt property, by the Quartermaster-General, but only the vilest refuse has been sent here. I must have at least one hundred good artillery horses. I have not a single battery in the Peninsula furnished altogether with horses except Randolphs' navy howitzers, which were furnished before I left Richmond. The pieces here are drawn by miserable horses, the caissons by seeable mules, and the harness to a great extent plow harness. The roads are now almost impassable. Of course the field artillery will be useless or lost.

I was wilting to submit to these things in the commencement and for a reasonable time, but further neglect in these matters is criminal, and I hope the attention of the departments whose duty it is to furnish these supplies will be called to this neglect.

The friction primers received from the Ordnance Department (a fresh supply), only received a few days since, to supply the place of others which were worthless, turned out to be worthless themselves, and I send a special agent-an officer who can be illy spared from here-to get from the Ordnance Department the means of firing the guns. I wish also at least fifty more wagons and twenty ambulances, with horses and harness for same. They can be had, and should be sent here. Requisitions have been made and repeated, messengers have been sent again and again, and standing agents kept in Richmond to procure these supplies, but with very inadequate results, both as to quantity as well as quality. I need now artillery harness for at least two hundred horses. This is a low country, the roads are flooded with the rains, and these means are necessary here if anywhere. I am informed by the Quartermaster-General that I must depend upon this country (I presume from West Point down) for forage, and when I send ageist to purchase, I find that the forage is being purchased by agents of the Quartermaster's Department from Richmond. Again, no forage can be wagons enough to move the troops. The artillery and cavalry horses are dying for want of long forage. I am endeavoring to remedy this, but cannot do it without at least fifty wagons more.

I hope that you will bring this letter to the notice of the Secretary of War, and that he will order from Quartermaster's Department one hundred good horses for artillery and fifty good wagons, with four mules and four sets of harness each; twenty ambulances, with the horses and harness corresponding for each. From the Ordnance I wish regular artillery harness for two hundred horses, in the proper proportion of lead and wheel, and friction primers of the best kind.

I should not request that these things should be ordered by the Secretary except that I shall not be otherwise able to obtain them, at least in any reasonable time.

No re-enforcement have yet arrived.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. BANKHEAD MAGRUDER, Major-General, Commanding.