War of the Rebellion: Serial 018 Page 0597 Chapter XXIV. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

Search Civil War Official Records

sarily large. The army is burdened with the protection and supply of an enormous train, which clogs its movements and exhausts the Treasury.

I have not been able to compel regular reports of the state of this transportation, but I have from a quartermaster in General Sigel's corps the following statement: Regiments average about 550 to 600 men; brigades, four regiments, one battery, and one to three companies of cavalry. Each regiment has 15 wagons, drawn by four or six mules. Each brigade has a supply train in addition of 40 wagons, making an average of about 23 wagons to a regiment of 600 men. With this, I understood, they carry ten days' provisions.

Napoleon asserted that 500 wagons were enough for 40,000 men. We are using at the rate of three times this number.

I have been informed that shelter-tents have been issued to the Second Brigade, First Division, of General Sigel's corps, and that they have still retained three Sibley tent to each company. As the companies are not over 60 strong, and one Sibley tent to 20 footmen is the full regulation allowance, this brigade is transporting two complete sets of tents for its rank and file. How it is with other brigades I do not know. These tents are needed, and should be sent to the depot for issue to new regiments not yet housed.

If the army is to move with efficiency, rigorous measures must reduce this luxury of transportation. Can any one believe that Jackson's troops regularly receive 20 car loads of oats per day, or that they move with 23 wagons to each regiment of 600 strong, or that they have two sets of tents to a company?

After all its losses the Army of the Potomac had in camp on James River nearly 2,800 wagons, which was at the rate of 28 wagons to 1,000 men.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

M. C. MEIGS,

Quartermaster-General.

SPECIAL ORDERS,

HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,

Numbers 238.

Camp at Williamsburg, Va. August 18, 1862.

* * * * * * *

II. Order of march for to-morrow:

General headquarters to move at 5.30 o'clock; Franklin's corps at 7 o'clock, and Heintzelman's corps at 7 o'clock, and all to encamp in the immediate vicinity of Yorktown.

Sumner's corps to move and encamp near the mill, about 3 1/2 or 4 miles beyond Williamsburg, the present camp of Franklin's corps.

Keyes' corps will remain near Williamsburg; Peck in his present position, and Couch either in his present position or such other in this immediate vicinity as General Keyes may select.

Generals Sumner and Keyes will receive further instructions to-morrow by telegraph from Yorktown.

Pleasonton's brigade of cavalry to proceed as far toward Yorktown as may be convenient.

Averell's brigade of cavalry to remain in front of Williamsburg, covering all the approaches.

Colonel Averell will report to headquarters to-morrow by telegraph. By command of Major-General McClellan:

S. WILLIAMS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.