June 21, 1864.
Captain DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp:
CAPTAIN: Please inform the major-general commanding the army that his communication of last night has been received. His instructions to cross Noonday Creek have, in anticipation, been complied with four times, and attempted another, within the last ten days. I have in that time attacked the enemy’s cavalry five times, and have always found it superior to me in numbers, and always they have had the advantage of position. Yesterday I lost 65 men in the fight. I am within four miles of the camp of the rebel cavalry, which joins on the right of their infantry. This is according to the report of every one I have access to, and also that there are three divisions of cavalry and two independent brigades at Wheeler’s camp. Their brigades number five regiments each, and their divisions two brigades. This information I have from rebel officers, men, and citizens, also negroes. My division when it dismounts to fight, which it has to do as a general rule in this country, can bring into action less than three-fourths of its numbers, and does not amount to more than a fair brigade of infantry in strength. Also the men on picket must be deducted, as well as the flankers. I regret exceedingly that on several occasions the major-general commanding has seen fit to write as if they were dissatisfied with my activity and zeal. It is impossible to do all that might be desired, but the same consideration should be had for the cavalry, which cannot advance over natural advantages and a strong enemy, that is given to the infantry, which has not overcome the numerous difficulties before them. The cavalry is a special arm of the service, and the commander of division, situated on one of the flanks like mine, should possess the full confidence of the commanding general. Unless such is the case his sphere of usefulness is materially injured and the real good of the service is affected. My service with the cavalry this campaign has been very unsatisfactory, for I have been made to feel more than once that it was not equal to the occasion, when I feel confident that both men and officers of the command have been earnest and zealous in the discharge of their duties and have well and faithfully done all in their power to accomplish what was asked of them.
Should the general commanding desire a change in the command of this division, I will most cheerfully yield it and take command of a brigade of infantry. The Noonday is into the obstacle to my advance on these roads, but the superior force of the enemy in strong positions.
My force is picketing at Bob McAfee’s, and also on the Canton and Marietta road. The enemy made the attack yesterday; was repulsed. I held the ground, and still hold it where the fight was.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier General Kenner Garrard,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.