Thanks for reproducing the full quote from an earlier post defining Forrest's arms and tactics. By reading subsequent posts in the thread, readers can determine how and why Forrest at Brice's Crossroads became the focus of the discussion.
Part of the misunderstanding here concerns the real meaning of the word "few". I deliberately used that word to describe the number of revolvers available to Forrest's troopers rather than the word "rare", which you used.
Few means not many, or well under a majority of a total number.
Rare means highly unusual or very difficult to find. That is not what I meant by using the word 'few'.
As mentioned in an earlier post, Forrest's men were among the best-armed cavalrymen available to the Confederacy. Based on reports for arms in the hands of Forrest's men later in the war, when the best documentation is available, revolvers of four different kinds can be found in his cavalry. In total, however, there are only enough to arm a small minority of his officers and men.
I have no quarrel with you over the arms issued to Terry's Texas Rangers or the troopers from Bolivar County. If anyone wanted to know how these two commands were armed during the periods you desribed, you would have the right answer. The same is true of the twenty-four Tennesseans you raided the Ohio wagon train -- we have a pretty fair idead how they were armed.
What we can't say from those examples is how other Confederate cavalry men were armed. We can't assume that everyone else in Miller's Mississippi Battalion was armed much like the pistol-packing Boliver Troopers, nor can we suppose that other Confederate cavalry commands at Shiloh carried weapons similar to those used by the 8th Texas Cavalry.
If we looked at only the part of the inspection report cited concerning Forrest's escort, we would assume that Forrest's men were heavily armed with the best wepons available. If, however, we only reviewed that part dealing with Gholson's Mississippi cavalry, we might erroneously suppose that Forrest's men were in very sad shape. The total numbers demonstrate that the truth is somewhere in between.
In summary, we are better served to draw conclusions based on a universal survey like an inspection report rather than make assumptions based on unrepresentative samples. Please don't get me wrong -- information such as you copied is highly useful, particularly if other sources are silent on the subject of arms. It's just not fair or reasonable to generalize beyond these two units for the period cited.
Inspections such as these are usually found in National Archives microcopy M935, Inspection Reports and Related Records Received by the Inspection Branch in the Confederate Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, 17 reels. Many of the earlier reports and simply handwritten reports. By 1864, for ease of use, the War Department prepared a booklet for inspectors to use in the field.
The first page of each report is its cover, normally folded lengthwise into three sections. At the top of the first fold is the report number. I happen to be reading 15-P-33. There's also a number in parenthesis, a total of officers reported as absent for any reason. Underneath is printed "INSPECTION REPORT". The inspector wrote the name of the command as, Godwin's Brigade, Early's Division, Commanded by Col. H. A. Brown. Stationed at New Market, Va. DATE -- October 31, 1864.
The bottom half of this first fold is labeled, "RECAPITULATION". Underneath that is "Aggregate Present and Absent" -- 3031. This is followed by lines for the number "EFFECTIVE FOR THE FIELD", one each for infantry, cavalry and artillery, which is 801. Below that is a line for "Number of guns", which is 581.
Above the title, "Inspecting Officer" at the bottom is the signature W. H. Beard. Beneath that is the date the report was received in the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office, Dec. 19, 1864.
The middle fold is labeled, "REMARKS". Here are found summary notes, usually answers to issues raised in the report. 15-P-33 includes notes from the brigade quartermaster, the brigade ordnance officer and the brigade commander on efforts to secure the necessary clothing, shoes and arms.
The third fold includes the date this report was received at army headquarters, Dec. 1, 1864, followed by Lieut. Col. Peyton's remarks. These are fairly routine and rarely vary from one report to another.
Each report has an oval stamp from the U.S. War Department, Records Division, labeled "REBEL ARCHIVES". The first fold above mentioned usually bears the square stamp of the U.S. Adjutant General's Office. It reads, "Returned to files" and "CARDED". That means individual cards have been produced for each officer named in the report. You've seen these in Lieut. Pittard's military service file.
General directions to the inspector for completing the report appear on page one. Specific inspections are usually found in the margins or on the bottom of each page.
Page two of the inspection booklet repeats data from the outside fold concerning the command being inspected, followed by the commander's name and unit. Each of his regiments and battalions are listed below, along with unit names and numbers, the date of entry into service and term of service.
Pages three, four and five contain columns numbered 5 to 51 for the number of officers and men present and absent. Major headings are Present for Duty, on Detail, Sick, Under Arrest; Present and Absent at Inspection; Absent on Detached Duty, Sick, With Leave, Without Leave; Present and Absent; Effective for the Field -- Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery; Horses; Guns; Remarks. Officers and enlisted men are always numbered in separate columns.
Page six is titled, "ABSENT COMMISSIONED OFFICERS ACCOUNTED FOR". Column headings are Name, Rank, Regiment, By What Authority, Date. Usually company officers are listed in order, A-K, but the company letter designation is not usually given. Oftentimes extra hand-ruled sheets were included to list officers absent. Of course each inspector had his own format for these sheets.
Page seven lists arms, accoutrements, ammunition and clothing, stating condition and deficiencies in each category. For instance, at the bottom of this page are seventeen items under clothing and camp equipment. In each grouping there are columns for reporting deficiencies or numbers on hand for each unit in the command. At the top of the page, arms reported for Godwin's Brigade are Springfield and Enfield, cal. 58; Altered Muskets, cal. 69.
Pages eight and nine include a series of questions concerning the condition of the command -- behavior, appearance, morale, health and military routine. Usually the inspector notes which component units meet the grade and which do not. Sometimes the required answer is Yes or No. In other cases, it is Good, Fair or Bad. In all cases, each component unit of the command is graded.
Pages ten and eleven are reserved for the inspector's remarks. These can be quite interesting or maddeningly brief. The best are written in essay form and fill both pages. The inspector's signature at the bottom of page eleven completes the inspection booklet.