War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0018 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

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Quarter's Department. He remarks that the Quartermaster-General may have ordered the clothing to be forwarded, but that it has not yet reached the depots of his army, and that unless greater efforts to insure prompt transmission are made by this department, the articles might as well remain in New York or Philadelphia, so far as the articles might as well remain in New York or Philadelphia, so far as the army under his command is concerned.

Upon first hearing that there was a deficiency of supply of clothing in that army, I made inquiries of those whose duty it was to attend to this portion of the business of the Quartermaster's Department, and I am assured that all articles of clothing called for by requisition from General McClellan's headquarters were not only ordered but had been shipped on the 14th of October. This department cannot control the trains upon railroads of which the War Department has not taken the management into its own hands. Messengers were sent over the railroads by Colonel Sawtelle, appointed quartermaster, assistant to the chief quartermaster of the Potomac, to endeavor to facilitate and hasten the transport of these stores, and Colonel Sawtelle reported to me that not only had they all been shipped but that the messengers could find none of them in transitu, and he concluded that they must have reached the termini of the railroads in Hargerstown, Frederick, or Harper's Ferry, with the exception of 51 boxes of clothing, which it was feared had been captured at Chambersburg by Stuart's cavalry. The railroad companies complain that cars are not unloaded at their destinations, and that their sidings are occupied with cars are needed for forwarding supplies. I presume that the missing articles are in some of these cars, or that they have been unloaded and have not yet reached the particular corps or detachment for which they are intended.

The Secretary of War gave to General Haupt (and a more capable man is not to be found) an unlimited authority to do whatever was necessary, in his opinion, to insure safe and rapid transit over the railroads supplying the army of General McClellan. He has, at the instance of the Quartermaster-General, within a few days directed General Haupt to take possession of the Cumberland Valley road, against which the greatest complaints are made, and to run it as a United States military railroad route, if on inspection this should appear to be necessary to the public service.

The fact is that no railroad can provided facilities for unloading cars and transacting the business attending the supply of an army of the size of General McClellan's in a short time or in a contracted space. Sidings, switches, depots, turn-outs do not exist and cannot be laid down at once for such a traffic. I believe that the railroad companies and the officers of the Quartermaster's Department have worked faithfully and zealously, but too much business has been thrown upon these railroads. In addition to the stores transported, they have been called upon to move large bodies of troops, which interfered with the transportation and delivery of stores.

General Porter informs me that his troops need clothing still. Any deficiency which may be pointed out will be filled if possible.

General McCllelan states that the number of horses received by his army since the commencement of the present campaign is only 1,964, which is several thousands less than reported in my letter of the 14th October to the Secretary of War. The apparent discrepancy is only apparent. That letter was a report made upon seeing a dispatch to you from General McClellan, stating that the arrangements to supply horses were insufficient; that the weekly average issue to the Army of the