refer such requisitions to the Surgeon-General. The consequence was my orders were countermanded, and I was finally ordered by the Surgeon-General not to issue anything not allowed by the supply table without his sanction, previously obtained.
The pressure upon the purveyor consequent upon the influx of so large a body of troops caused great delay in the issuing of supplies. Complaints of this delay were made to me as early as the beginning of September. I offered the purveyor more assistance if it would expedite his issues. That officer replied on the 6th of September that "any additional aid to that now employed is unnecessary, and would in nowise facilitate the matter." Subsequently a different conclusion was arrived at, and additional aid was furnished.
Another difficulty was encountered in getting the supplies to the regiments after they were put up. Ordinarily the purveyor turns over his supplies to the quartermaster, and it is the duty of that officer to transport them to their destination. It was soon perceived that this mode would not answer in the confusion then reigning in Washington. The regular guartermasters were charged with duties considered of more importance, and the volunteer quartermasters did not know how to perform what we required. We were therefore obliged to require the medical officers to call for and transport their own supplies to their camps. Much was accomplished in this way, though in many instances great negligence and indifference were manifested on the part of the surgeons themselves. Another difficulty to overcome was the supplying the regiments with hospital tents. I determined to issue three of these tents to a regiment. These would accommodate comfortably thirty men. The demand for tents and the scarcity of canvas made it necessary to reduce the allowance to the minimum that could be made to suffice. I approved of requisitions for this number whenever they were presented, and I ordered requisitions to be made in all cases where I discovered it had been neglected. These tents, however, were frequently taken by arbitrary authority for other purposes, such as store tents, guard tents, and the like. Whenever an abuse of this sort was brought to my notice I took every means in my power to correct it, and I believe, from the best information I could get, that when the army moved to Fairfax Court-House every regiment in it had its full supply of hospital tents. When the medical officers reported to me I required them to submit to me an inventory of the supplies of all sorts they had on hand. These were carefully revised, and whenever they were defective, requisitions were immediately called to meet the deficiencies. Great difficulty was experienced in enforcing obedience to this simple requirement. By firmness and patience I believe it was overcome, so that I had every assurance short of personal inspection, which was impossible, that nearly every regiment in the army was fully supplied for three months at the time we moved. A few had succeeded in neglecting this duty and escaping the vigilance of the inspectors and brigade surgeons. These applied for issues during the few days we remained at Alexandria after our return from Fairfax. My purveyor was then engaged in packing and shipping his stores for Fort Monroe. Of course I could not arrest this work to remedy the faults of half a dozen idlers.
My next step was an attempt to improve the condition of the camps, so as to promote the health of the army, by correcting hygienic errors and by removing as far as practicable the causes of disease. On the 19th of August I directed all the prisoners at the Capitol Prison to be vaccinated, a bath to be fitted up for their use, and such outdoor exer-