HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
October 25, 1862. (Received 12 m.)
Maj. Gen. H. W. HALLECK,
The following is an extract from the report of Col. Robert Williams, First Massachusetts Cavalry, late of Regular United States Dragoons, now commanding a detachment of cavalry on duty with General Newton's division, at Cherry Run:
I have in camp 267 horses, belonging to officers and men; of these, 128 are positively and absolutely unable to leave the camp, from the following causes, viz, sore-tongue, grease, and consequent lameness, and sore backs. For example, the Fifth U.S. Cavalry has now in camp 70 horses; of these, 53 are worthless from the above causes. Out of 139 horses, the remainder, I do not believe 50 can trot 80 miles. The other portion of my command, now absent on picket duty, has horses which are about in the same condition, as no selection, unless absolutely necessary, has been made. The number of sore-back horses is exceedingly small. The diseases are principally grease and sore-tongue. The horses, which are still sound, are absolutely broken down from fatigue, and want of flesh. I will also remark that the men in my command are much in want of clothing.
GEO. B. McCLELLAN,
SOURCES: The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I, Volume 19, Part 2 (Serial No. 28), p. 484-5