stores were unloaded here and shipped by wagons and railroad to the front.
As soon as the York River Railroad was put in operation, May 25, Captain Granger was directed to select a suitable point near the Chickahominy River and establish a depot. Dispatch Station, about 1 mile from that river, was selected as being the most convenient for issuing stores, as well as on account of the roads leading to it from the positions occupied by the army.
May 27 Captain Thomas Wilson, commissary of subsistence, U. S. Army, who joined at the White House on the 18th of that month and rendered valuable assistance there, established a depot at Savage Station, on the railroad, about 3 miles the Chickahominy River, to supply those portions of the army in that vicinity.
May 30 Captain Wilson left the depot at Savage Station in charge of Captain R. Holmes, commissary of subsistence, volunteer service, and June 3 established a depot at Orchard Station, near Fair Oaks, about 7 miles from Richmond. From this depot the advance troops of the army were supplied.
Owing to the limited railroad transportation and the impracticable condition of the roads, the stores first sent to the depots in front and supplied from them were chiefly the necessary articles of the ration-salt meats, hard bread, coffee, tea, sugar, and salt; but after a supply had accumulated which would admit of the cars bringing the complete ration the other less essential articles were regularly received and issued, as well as anti-scorbuties in large quantities.
Captain J. H. Woodward, commissary of subsistence, volunteer service, arrived at Eltham May 11, and superintended the landing of beef cattle from vessels at that point, and with his party took charge of them. On the 14th he marched with the cattle so received for Cumberland Landing, arrived there the next day, and reached the White House on the 16th, where a large corral was established for the receipt and issue of beef cattle.
May 20 Captain Thatcher arrived at the White House with his large herd of beef cattle from Fort Monroe, and turned it over to Captain Woodward. On the march, though encountering many difficulties, Captain Thatcher conducted his herd successfully and in the most satisfactory manner. From the corral from time to time a sufficient number of beef cattle were driven forward to supply the army, and were distributed to the different commands by Captain Buchanan.
June 18, in compliance with instructions given to met by the commanding general, Captain Bell proceeded to Yorktown, selected vessels containing 800,000 rations, and had them forwarded to near City Point, on the James River, where they were placed, under protection of the gunboats, to await further orders.
June 26 Captain Bell was directed to continue sending hard bread and other important articles of the ration to the front during the day and night, and then to reship all he could of the large amount of stores on shore. At the same time he was ordered to be prepared, in the event of the approach of the enemy in considerable force, to destroy all the subsistence stores not reshipped, and then to proceed to Fort Monroe, where he would find further orders. Captain Woodward was directed to proceed at once to the vicinity of Savage Station with all the beef cattle then at the White House. The same day Captain Granger was directed to break up the depot at Dispatch Station, and to send the stores as fast as possible to Savage Station. After supplying the hospitals in that vicinity with rations he succeeded in removing his