assistant quartermaster, in charge of the public property captured at Front Royal. There was a very large and varied amount of supplies found there, consisting of harness, carpenter's tools, clothing, horseshoes and nails, blacksmith's tools, forges, axes, sutler's and commissary stores, &c., upon which it is impossible to place a reliable estimate of value.
A very considerable amount of these stores passed at once into our possession, being taken in charge and use by the different quartermaster as they passed through with their trans. Many valuable wagons were thus exchanged, out worn-out and injured ones being left in their stead. The same was done as to harness.
The subsequent capture of Captain Somers prevented any detailed report being made of the property received and turned in to him.
Upon my arrival in Winchester I at once set about making the most ample preparations for removing this property to the rear, and had detailed from each brigade a large number of wagons for that purpose. In addition I ordered up all the available transportation from Staunton, and it had arrived within less than a day's travel of Front Royal when that place was recaptured by a portion of General Shields' army. The trains from the brigades had partially arrived there, and a portion had been loaded and sent off, while a part turned back to Winchester. This train was placed by me in charge of Captain J. L. Cole, assistant quartermaster, Thirty-seventh Virginia Regiment (since resigned), with instructions to take immediate charge of the shipment to the rear. He proceeded in part to the performance of his duty, but was interrupted by the entry of the enemy into Front Royal. He narrowly escaped capture, having remained behind our troops (on his own motion) for the purpose of firing the depot and an adjoining building, full of stores, both of which were burned to the ground. His estimate of the stores thus consumed is, I am informed, $300,000, in which I concur, from my own recollection of the contents of the buildings. Having accomplished this, Captain Cole followed our retreating forces.
With the preparations made as above, had our forces held possession of Front Royal forty-eight hours longer, all the captured property would have been secured and taken to the rear.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN A. HARMAN,
Major, Chief Quartermaster, &c.
General THOMAS J. JACKSON.
CHIEF QUARTERMASTER'S OFFICE, SECOND CORPS,
March, 23, 1863.
COLONEL: In response to your inquiry in regard to the order of quartermaster's stores that came into my hands at Winchester, June 1 last, I beg leave to report that, upon a careful estimate, they amounted to $125,185.
It is proper for me to state that all the quartermaster's stores captured at Winchester did not come into my hands. Horses fell into the hands of the cavalry, and wagons, too, that were never reported to me, and a number of the quartermasters of the army got stores which they reported directly to the Quartermaster-General.
There was an order issued that everything belonging to the quarter-