at this season of the year we should have had no difficulty whatever in supplying every want, but we have had one continued series of storms ever since we landed on the Peninsula. Notwithstanding this drawback, however, I believe I can assert that no army of this size, under similar circumstances, or any other, has been or more regularly supplied. The railroad is in good working order from the depot on the Pamunkey to our front, through the recent heavy rains damaged it to a considerable extent. This road of course assists us vastly, though a small portion of our force only is immediately on it. Most of our supplies are obliged to be transported by wagons.
Our transportation as a general thing is still in fair condition, but if the rains continue we will be injured very materially. It is often the case that empty wagons stall, and no teams can ever haul more than 1,000 pounds. Casey's division lost a few wagons in the recent battle, but nothing to embarrass us. It lost, however, all of its shelter-tents, knapsacks, canteens, &c. These articles are being replaced from the White House depot. The railroad bridge across the Pamunkey is being rebuilt, and could be finished in a few days, but I am delaying it, as we want for the present the river above the bridge, as we have a forage station at Garlick's Landing for the right wing of the army. The moment the army crosses the Chickahominy the road can be put in running order to West Point, if we desire to use it. At present the depot at White House answers our wants. When we get possession of Richmond our supplies, a portion at least, can come by Fredericksburg and the James River, though the latter river will be rather unsafe unless we clear the southern bank of guerrillas, which can be easily done.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
STEWART VAN VLIET,
Brigadier-General and Quartermaster.
General M. C. MEIGS,
Quartermaster-General U. S. Army, Washington, D. C.
No. 8. Report of Brigadier General Rufus Ingalls,
Chief Quartermaster, of the operations from August, 1861, to September 2, 1862.
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, OFFICE OF CHIEF QUARTERMASTER, Camp near Falmouth, Va., February 17, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 20th ultimo, asking for a report of the operations of the quartermaster's department from the time I succeeded General Van Vliet to the date of transfer of the command by General McClellan.*
I desire to state that I have been connected with this army from its first organization; that I was chief quartermaster on the south side of the Potomac while our forces were in front of Washington until March last, when I took charge at Alexandria of the embarkation of the army to the Peninsula; that I followed it there and established successively
*So much of this report as relates to operations subsequent to September 2 will appear in the reports covering operations of the Army of the Potomac from September 2 to November 9, 1862. See Series I, Vol. XIX.