were also very efficient, and rendered important service. On our arrival at James River I found that Colonel Ingalls had arrived by water with our store vessels, and steps were immediately taken to supply the army from Haxall's Landing. After the battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, it was decided to move down the river to Harrison's Bar, which movement was commenced that night, and the next day found the entire army in camp at that point, with the great bulk of its transportation and material, a few wagons being delayed by the muddy roads until the 3rd.
I cannot close this report without calling particular attention to the very valuable assistance which I received on all occasions from Colonel Rufus Ingalls, the officer of the Quartermaster's Department next to me in rank with the Army of the Potomac. Of indomitable energy and great resource, he was always ready and prompt in the discharge of his duty. I would beg also to recommend to favorable consideration Captain Sawtelle, assistant quartermaster, and Captain Rankin, acting assistant quartermaster, who rendered most valuable assistance during the campaign of the Peninsula. Always in responsible and important positions, they discharged their duties alike creditably to themselves and advantageously to the service.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
STEWART VAN VLIET,
Brigadier-General and Quartermaster.
Brigadier General R. B. MARCY,
Chief of Staff.
CAMP WINFIELD SCOTT, VA., In front of Yorktown, April 28, 1862.
GENERAL: With regard to the operations of our department as connected with this army I have the honor to report that I believe that everything is working very satisfactorily. We have had great difficulties to encounter, but they have been overcome, and the wants of the army have been and are supplied promptly. The best evidence of this is that there have been no complaints. Our army is stretched across the Peninsula, the right resting near Yorktown and the left near James River. All our supplies are drawn from the depots at Cheeseman's Creek and Ship Point, except for a small portion of the left wing, which are obtained from Fortress Monroe. The only difficulties have arisen from the character of the country, which is nearly level and covered with a dense growth of pines. The surface of the country is sandy, resting on quicksand, and during rainy weather the roads are soon rendered impassable, empty wagons even sinking to their beds. Nearly every foot of the roads has been corduroyed. A great many of these roads have been badly made and are exceedingly rough, and the consequence is that the wear and tear of our transportation has been very great. Large working parties are now on them, and if we should have any more good weather they will soon be much improved.
I find that mules are the only animals fit for this rough service. Our horse teams suffer severely, and I would recommend that hereafter no more horse teams be provided for our armies, no matter in what part of the country they may be serving, as mules are far more serviceable and economical. Our main depots are at Fortress Monroe, Cheeseman's Creek, and Ship Point. I have placed Captain Sawtelle in charge of the depot at the fortress, assisted by Captain Thomas, and Colonel
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