Lt. Col. C.F. Ruff
August 12, 1861
“Relative to the price paid for horses for Col. Rush’s Regt. thinks the $120 horses are not good enough”
General I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communications of the 10th inst. in regards to horses for Rush’s Regiment Volunteer Cavalry – I have just seen Colonel Rush, in reference to the matter, he is entirely satisfied that Horses suitable for Cavalry, cannot be procured at a less price than $135.00 each, that such horses as are offered for $120 are actually dearer than horse he can procure, and would accept at $140 – In all this is entirely agree with Colonel Rush, I have watched this matter of horses pretty closely, and – know to a certainty that such horse as will be procured at $140 are cheaper to the government than any horse can possible be purchased at any place, for $120 – for Cavalry Service: Colonel Rush’s – Opinion in this matter entirely disinterested, he seeks no contract, and no profit arising from from contract, he is as free from pecuniary interest in this matter as I am, and in this respect of personnel interest, differs from most, if not all, the colonels of volunteer cavalry; I understand him to say, and believe him, that his sole object is to mount his regiment efficiently. The regiment can be mounted here and well mounted, on northern horses from Vermont, and the northern part of New York [which are the best and most serviceable horses] at $140 each perhaps at an average of $135 and I will take care that no other description of horses shall be furnished. Allowance to say that it is bad economy to mount men on indifferent horses, at any price, and that having the presence and deffering to the wishes of Colonel Rush at every inspection of horses, he cannot fail to be satisfied, nor can it very well happen that the judgment of both of us, should be at fault.
Horses are offering here and elsewhere as Kentucky Horses. I know that they are not Kentucky Horses. In 1853 I had to purchase for my own regiment 500 Horses – I did so a Cincinnati’s, Ohio, and the horse market there was filled with horse buyers from Kentucky, in expressing my surprise at this, they told me they had turned their attention to breeding mules as the most profitable, that nothing but the finer class of horses, and mostly of racing stock was raised in Kentucky, and that they found it more to their interest to buy at Cincinnati, their ordinary, saddle, road, and draught horses – The horse here represented to be Kentucky horses are from Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, and every way inferior to the Vermont, and Northern New York Horses: I make this representation on behalf of Colonel Rush, because he really feels and express his desire to have a well mounted regiment, and of course an effective one. I trust his wishes may be gratified, and express again the conviction that such horses as he accepts will be cheaper at $140 than any horses that can be procured any where else for Cavalry Service. I believe too the average may be reduced to $135 – not lower – please reply at your earliest convenience by telegraph.
Source – National Archives, Washington D.C. – “Horses” 1861 / Box 839 – Quartermaster / Consolidated, Correspondence / File 1794 – 1915
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