War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0156 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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at one time determined to abandon the carbine and convert all the mounted troops into light cavalry; but soon after taking the field this arrangement was changed, and application was made for carbines, which had but recently been condemned as an incumbrance to mounted troops. These were furnished not as fast as they were wanted, but as fast as they could be procured from the department.

The supply of field artillery-smooth bore and rifle-was abundant and generally of excellent quality. At an early day I addressed a letter to General McClellan recommending that no more 6-pounders be received, and that the smooth-bore batteries be formed, as far as practicable, of light 12s or Napoleons. This suggestion was approved, and the army was thus liberally provided with what, perhaps, proved to be the most efficient part of our artillery. Of the rifle ammunition there was some complaint, and officers were divided in opinion as to the relative merits of the different kinds employed. It may be stated, however, that in some instances sufficient care had not been observed in the fabrication, and that its use was attended with but little less danger to ourselves than to the enemy.

After leaving Yorktown the principal depot was at the White House, and when the communications with that point were threatened several millions of cartridges for small-arms and artillery were rapidly transferred from thence to the vicinity of Savage Station and what was known as Forage Station. From these temporary depots such of the troops as had exhausted their ammunition in the various and protracted conflicts of June 26 and 27 were resupplied, and were thus enabled, without any lack of material, to fight and win the battles of Savage Station, White Oak Swamp, Glendale, and Malvern Hill, and when the army reached James River several steamboats laden with the remainder of the supplies from the White House were already at the landing.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, New York.

No. 7. Report of Brigadier General Stewart Van Vliet,

U. S. Army, Chief Quartermaster, of operations from July 27, 1861, to July 10, 1862.

QUARTERMASTER'S OFFICE, Washington, August 2, 1862.

General: I have the honor to submit a brief report, for the information of the general commanding, of the operations of the quartermaster's department of its organization until its arrival on the banks of the James River at the termination of the sanguinary battles in front of Richmond:

The general commanding arrived in Washington and assumed command of the troops around that city toward the end of July, 1861, and I was detailed by him as chief quartermaster on the 27th of the same month. But a few weeks previous to this troops had been defeated at Bull Run, where much of the material of the army had been