say, but military men in European armies have been of the opinion that an army, to be efficient while carrying on active operations in the field, should have a cavalry force equal in numbers to from one-sixth to one-fourth of the infantry force. My cavalry did not amount to one-twentieth part of the army, and hence the necessity of giving every one of my cavalry soldiers a serviceable horse.
Cavalry may be said to constitute the antennae of the army. It scouts all the roads in front, on the flanks, and in the rear of the advancing columns, and constantly feels the enemy. The amount of labor falling on this arm during the Maryland campaign was excessive.
To persons not familiar with the movements of troops, and the amount of transportation required for a large army marching away from water or railroad communications, the number of animals mentioned by the General-in-Chief may have appeared unnecessarily large; but to a military man who takes the trouble to enter into an accurate and detailed computation of the number of pounds of subsistence and forage required for such an army as that of the Potomac, it will be seen that the 31,000 animals were considerably less than was absolutely necessary to an advance.
As we were required to move through a country which could not be depended upon for any of our supplies, it became necessary to transport everything in wagons and to be prepared for all emergencies. I did not consider it safe to leave the river without subsistence and forage for ten days.
The official returns of that date show the aggregate strength of the army for duty to have been about 110,000 men of all arms. This did not include teamsters, citizen employes, officers' servants, & c., amounting to some 12,000, which gave a total of 122,000 men. The subsistence alone of this army for ten days required for its transportation 1,830 wagons, at 2,000 pounds to the wagon, and 10,980 animals. Our cavalry horses at that time amounted to 5,046 and our artillery horses to 6,836.
To transport full forage for these 22,862 animals for ten days required 17,832 additional animals; and this forage would only supply the entire number (40.694) of animals with a small fraction over half allowance for the time specified.
It will be observed that this estimate does not embrace the animals necessary to transport quartermaster's supplies, baggage, camp equipage, ambulances, reserve ammunition, forage for officers' horses, & c., which would greatly augment the necessary transportation.
It may very truly be said that we did make the march with the means at our disposal, but it will be remembered that we met with no serious opposition from the enemy; neither did we encounter delays from any other cause. The roads were in excellent condition, and the troops marched with most commendable order and celerity.
If we had met with a determined resistance from the enemy, and our progress had been very much retarded thereby, we would have consumed our supplies before they could have been renewed. A proper estimate of my responsibilities as the commander of that army did not justify me in basing my preparations for the expedition upon the supposition that I was to have an uninterrupted march. On the contrary, it was my duty to be prepared for all emergencies; and not the least important of my responsibilities was the duty of making ample provision for supplying my men and animals with rations and forage.
Knowing the solicitude of the President for an early movement, and