my ear, and I believe it gave general satisfaction to the army, the Government, and to the country.
The following are the numbers and classes of vessels laden with subsistence stores discharged by the laborers of the subsistence department while on the Peninsula. More than nine-tenths of them had entire cargoes:
Class April May June July August Total
Ships, barks, 7 46 54 28 8 143
Steamers 3 2 6 33 19 63
Propellers 13 23 21 22 13 92
Barges and 10 28 2 1 - 41
Total 33 99 83 84 40 339
This includes two large ships, and many barks, brigs, schooners, and propellers of the largest size. Besides, we loaded a number of vessels of different classes with supplies in changing depots from one place to another. In some cases we were compelled to lighter vessels as far distant as 35 miles from the depot. One hundred and twenty-two vessels with subsistence stores intend for this army and sent to the Peninsula were afterward discharged at Alexandria. There was not a vessel consigned for the subsistence department of this army while it was on the Peninsula that has not been satisfactorily traced up and accounted for.
The steam-hoisting arrangement on a barge for discharging vessels, furnished by the Quartermaster's Department on our recommendation, enabled us to gain both in time and labor and successfully meet any urgent demands for stores. It proved invaluable, and was true economy to the Government.
The sheet-iron ovens furnished by the department and used by several of the commands at Harrison's Landing proved a decided success.
But little of the large supply of "extract of coffee" sent to us was issued, the troops as a general thing preferring to do without coffee altogether than to use it. The ration of it was too small by one-half, and it was believed to produce diarrhea.
The following suggestions and remarks may be of value in future operations:
When salt beef or pork is for immediate use a reduction for wagon transportation of 56 pounds per barrel can be made by cutting the heads of the barrels in such a manner as to allow the brine to escape.
If each brigade commissary were provided with a wagon containing a box to fit the entire inside of it, divided off into a sufficient number of compartments for beans, rice, coffee, sugar, salt, and weights and measures, keeping them constantly full, the heavy loss by broken packages would be avoided and the convenience be great. A wagon could be retained for the purpose, or the box be removed when in a permanent camp and again replaced when necessary to move.
When movements are made similar to those of the Peninsular Campaign it would be advantageous to have a boat fitted up with cooking arrangements for supplying small detachments of troops with a meal immediately on their landing.
The reduction of the ration to its old standard for field service, allowing, in addition to it, the present issues of fresh vegetables, would furnish