The arrangements of Lieutenant-Colonel Ingalls were perfected with remarkable skill and energy, and the army and its material were embarked and transported to Fort Monroe in a very short space of time and entirely without loss.
During the operations on the Peninsula, until the arrival of troops at Harrison's Landing, General Van Vliet retained the position of chief quartermaster, and maintained the thorough organization and efficiency of his department. The principal depots of supplies were under the immediate charge of Lieutenant-Colonels Ingalls and Sawtelle.
On the 10th of July, 1862, General Van Vliet having requested to be relieved from duty with the Army of the Potomac, I appointed Lieutenant-Colonel Ingalls chief quartermaster, and he continued to discharge the duties of that office during the remainder of the Peninsula and the Maryland campaigns in a manner which fully sustained the high reputation he had previously acquired.
The immense amount of labor accomplished, often under the most difficult circumstances, the admirable system under which the duties of the department were performed, and the entire success which attended the efforts to supply so large an army, reflect the highest credit upon the officers upon whom these onerous duties devolved. The reports of General Van Vliet and Lieutenant-Colonel Ingalls, with the accompanying documents, give in detail the history of the department from its organization until I was relieved from the command of the Army of the Potomac.
On the 1st of August, 1861, Colonel H. F. Clarke, commissary of subsistence, joined my staff, and at once entered upon his duties as chief commissary of the Army of the Potomac. In order to realize the responsibilities pertaining to this office, as well as to form a proper estimate of the vast amount of labor which must necessarily devolve upon its occupant, it is only necessary to consider the unprepared state of the country to engage in a war of such magnitude as the present, and the lack of practical knowledge on the part of the officers with reference to supplying and subsisting a large and at that time unorganized army. Yet notwithstanding the existence of these great obstacles, the manner in which the duties of the commissary department were discharged was such as to merit and call forth the commendation of the entire army.
During the stay of the Army of the Potomac in the vicinity of Washington, prior to the Peninsular campaign, its subsistence was drawn chiefly from the depots which had been established by the Commissary Department at Washington, Alexandria, Forts Corcoran and Runyon. In the important task of designating and establishing depots of supplies Colonel Clarke was ably seconded by his assistants, Colonel Amos Beckwith, commissary of subsistence, U. S. Army; Lieutenant Colonel George Bell, commissary of subsistence, U. S. Army; Lieutenant Colonel A. P. Porter, commissary of subsistence, U. S. Army; Captain Thomas Wilson, commissary of subsistence, U. S. Army; Captain Brownell Granger, commissary of subsistence, U. S. Volunteers; Captain W. H. Bell, commissary of subsistence, U. S. Army; Captain J. H. Woodward, commissary of subsistence, U. S. Volunteers; and Captain W. R. Murphy, commissary of subsistence, U. S. Volunteers.
For a full knowledge of the highly creditable manner in which each and all of the above-mentioned officers discharged their duties I invite