lost, and almost everything required in the organization of a large army had to be provided. As soon as I entered upon the discharge of my duties I commenced making preparations to collect together the vast and various supplies required by a large army. The depot for quartermaster's supplies in this city, under the able administration of Colonel D. H. Rucker, of the Quartermaster's Department, had to be much extended to enable me to collect the requisite material, and notwithstanding the prompt approval of my requisitions by the Chief of the Quartermaster's Department, General Meigs, there were many obstacles to the successful discharge of these duties. Probably the greatest difficulties I had to encounter arose from the inexperience of the newly-appointed officers who were placed under me and of the new regiments.
The first thing to be done was to provide transportation. As the difficulties of subsisting the large number of animals required by the army in Washington were very great, owing to the want of sufficient channels of communication with it, it was decided to establish a depot of transportation at some point in the rear. In consultation with the general commanding, Perryville, on the left bank of the Susquehanna, at the point where the railroad connecting Baltimore and Philadelphia crosses that stream, was selected as the most suitable place, as it could be reached both by railroad and water, and was removed from all chance of interruption by the enemy. In accordance with this decision Captain C. G. Sawtelle, assistant quartermaster, was ordered on the 8th of August to take post there and organize a train of 1,500 wagons.
New regiments from the loyal States were now arriving in great numbers, and were immediately furnished with supplies and put in camp around Washington. Transportation, &c., were issued to them as far as possible on the war allowance. Four wagons, drawn either by four horses or mules, were allowed each full regiment, one for the medical supplies of the regiment and one for the regimental headquarters, making in all six wagons to a regiment, and this was substantially the regimental allowance during the campaign, varied occasionally, however, by the exigencies of the service. Besides these wagons there were large trains organized for the transportation of subsistence, ammunition, pontoons, &c. An immense depot for clothing, camp and garrison equipage was likewise established in Washington, and vast amounts of these articles were hurried forward from New York and Philadelphia.
On the 19th of October the Potomac River, by which channel we had received most of our supplies, was closed by the enemy's batteries. From this time until the latter part of February, 1862, all the supplies, forage, subsistence, clothing, &c., required for the army, and all the supplies required for the city of Washington, were brought across the single-track railroad connecting Baltimore with Washington. The capacity of the road was taxed to its utmost, but the work was satisfactorily done. Some conception of the amount of work done may be formed when it is known that of forage alone about 400 tons were required daily.
In the latter part of February it was decided that the Army of the Potomac should move on Richmond by the way of the Peninsula. This made it necessary to procure a large number of vessels to transfer the army to its new base, Fortress Monroe, and the procuring of these vessels was intrusted to the Hon. John Tucker, Assistant Secretary of War.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ingalls, who had reported to me for duty soon after my arrival in Washington, and had been by me assigned as chief