Brig. Gen. H J Hunt
Chief of Artillery - A of P
Your note of the 20th is received.
As Chief of Artillery of the Army of the Potomac, when under my command, your duties were both administrative and executive. I held you responsible for the condition of all the Artillery, Heavy & Light, Divisional, Horse, & Reserve.
It was through you that I kept myself informed as to the condition of all the Artillery; & through you that I took the steps necessary to ensure its efficiency for action & movement, & its proper employment in battle. It was your duty, both personally and through your staff, to maintain constant inspections of, & supervision over the personnel & material of the batteries, & to give the orders necessary to ensure the discipline and instruction of the former, as well as the completeness of the latter. You personally made to me daily reports, either written or verbal, on these subjects, so that we were in close formal communication upon all things pertaining to your arm of service.
As to your executive duties on the field of battle - perhaps the instances(?) of the battle of Antietam will best illustrate what they were.
On the first day, the 15th, I pointed out to you, in a general way, the positions I wished occupied by the Reserve batteries, & instructed you to post them. You took with you Col., now Genl. W Hayes, then cmdg the Reserve Artillery, & with him placed these batteries. On the 16th and 17th, I several times sent you to select positions for Divisional batteries, & to give them instructions. You frequently did this without special instructions from me, in the performance of your duties as Chief of Artillery; and during the progress of the battle did everything in your power to secure supplies of fresh ammunition.
So far as I know, when you gave orders to Divisional batteries, you consulted with the Corps & Divn Commanders, except when I gave you specific instructions, in which case you informed them accordingly.
I have written this note hurriedly, and, as I have no papers at hand to refer to, from memory, so that I may have omitted points of importance - if so, I would be glad to have you call my attention to oversights. It may be well to add that, far from finding any difficulty in the working of the system as I have sketched it, the results were excellent.
Had I the same thing to do over again, the only change of moment I would make would be to give you a larger staff - from six to twelve excellent officers of Artillery. So much was thrown upon you, but I owe it to you to say that, notwithstanding the meagerness of your staff, you never failed to carry out ? ? ? of any importance, ? ? ? often(?) that I was obliged ? ? ? information as to ? ? ?
The system worked well, & you did all that any one could(?) do.
I am, General(?), very truly yours
George ? McClellan
Maj. Gen. USA