Let's see if anyone is interested in the the commentary section for Harris' Mississippi Brigade, August 30, 1864, Petersburg VA. The summary shows 1,996 officers and men present and absent, 678 aggregate present with 634 firearms on hand.
Inspection report written by Capt. James Hays, formerly 2nd Lieut., Co. "I", 12th Miss. Regt. His commentary (last two pages of report) is faded and smeared in places. The endorsement below appears on the outside fold of the report.
I have found it quite difficult to make as complete and thorough a “Report” as I desired from the fact the Brigade has been moving a great deal from one front to another, and from the South side to the North side of the James & back again.
The Brigade suffered heavily in action on the Weldon R.R. on the 21st August, losing in killed, wounded and missing 254 out of 450 carried into action. The cause of the Small number carried into action was owing to the fact that 200 (?) men were on “picket duty” on this side & north side of the James. The men were worn out, and there were a good many stragglers.
A short time back(?) 40 yards of cloth was issued to this Brigade for sale to the officers. When this cloth amounting to 935 yards for the corps was issued to the corps Q.M. Col .Corley Chief Q.M. of the army positively ordered that “not more than two and one fourth (2-1/4) yards of said cloth should be sold to any one officer; sufficient to make a coat, or pair of Pants & Vest, as the officer might prefer.” This order we have every reason to believe has been violated by all except at brigade Hd. Qrs. and in the Regiments [----] speak [poorly?] of this Brigade.
Not more than five (5) officers of the Brigade have over drawn from the Govt. and as they are debarred from the purchase of clothing of the Govt. till all enlisted men including all non-combatant detailed men are supplied. They all need cloth, or ready-made clothing and their pay will not justify their purchasing in that market, they look to the Government.
If the order of Col. Corley had been complied with the “line officers” might have been somewhat satisfied (?) by the issue of the cloth; but it turned out that Staff Officers, QMs and Commissaries &c have left but little for issue to “line officers” and they very justly complain.
I would respectfully suggest that in the next issue of cloth for officers that the “line officers” be given preference over all others as they get less pay, endure more hardships and have less opportunities of getting clothing.
Very Respectfully &c
Capt. & Asst. Inspector General
Hd. Qrs. ANVa.
Inspector General’s Office
Sept. 12, 1864
An investigation will be made into the facts reported by Capt. Hays. As to the misappropriation of the Gov. cloth designed for officers, should the evidence sustain the charge the guilty parties shall be brought to trial.
H. E. Peyton
A. A. & I. Genl.