circumstances interesting my department at the retreat from the vicinity of Rockville on the evening of the 17th instant:
You will bear in mind the lapse of time from the first alarm to the appearance of four of the enemy's ships did not exceed twenty minutes. At the first intimation of an attack I had the teams property harnessed. The ammunition wagon first moved off, next followed the surgeon's wagon with medical stores. Two wagons were sent to the commissary store-house and loaded with various articles out of my store-rooms, and the four remaining wagons, with the other spring cart, were loaded with knapsacks and blankets, in accordance with your orders. On these wagons were placed other articles of a private character, in opposition to my express orders to the country, as it was impossible to supervise in person the loading of each. All the wagons were then take in charge by the regiment and retreated to Bogle Place, about four and a half miles distant. The first three of them unloaded were returned to camp and again dispatched with tents. Two other wagons returned and were also despatched with tents and commissary stores.
At this period our scouts reported the enemy as having landed on the wharf at Rockville, and you instructed me to turn back the other wagons, which were returning to camp for the purpose of saving the remainder. At my request Quartermaster -Sergeant Green visited a neighboring plantation for the purpose of obtaining additional transportation. He secured one team, on which was placed the property of the field and staff, or so much of it as was saved.
You are aware of the reported applications I have made to the brigade quartermaster for transportation sufficient to move the regiment, and the loss realized by the retreat was due to the small capacity and limited number of wagons I could control. The commissary stores lost, consisting of about thirteen days' rations of grist, sugar, and bread, were too bulky for rapid movement, owing to the size of the packages (hogsheads and tierces), even had I the necessary wagons.
I will also call your attention to the anxiety I had expressed to you that large wall-tents should be furnished for the storing of commissary and quartermaster's stores. These had been refused at headquarters after my repeated applications for them, and after my having brought to the notice of the brigade quartermaster (with a request that he would read my remarks at headquarters) that if they were not sent my responsibility for the loss occasioned by having the stores in advance of the regiment ceased. Great delay was occasioned by the inferiority of the team harness, as they continually broke, and also from many of the mules given me in exchange for the horses which had been take for artillery service in the city, [which] were wild and unbroken. Eight of them would not draw or lead, and on the retreat broke loose from the wagons to which they were hitched; 2 have since been recovered and 6 are still in the woods.
I am satisfied that had the proper transportation been furnished, together with other appliances actually necessary to the regiment, all the quartermaster's and commissary stores, as well as other property, would have been saved. You are well aware I have often complained to you of the want of those articles essential to the perfect organization of my department, and the difficulty I experienced in getting my orders filled or a response to my applications.
My assistants, Quartermaster-Sergeant Green and Private Adan, rendered good service in making the loss night as possible under the