the year it was not difficult to do this at a distance of 20 or 30 miles from our base, the roads then being good. Our first supplies by rail came to the Monocacy, on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. So soon as the bridge was finished, the depot was moved into the city of Frederick. After the battle of South Mountain, the country was opened to Hagerstown, on the Cumberland Valley Railroad, where another depot was immediately established. Soon after the battle of Antietam another was established near Harper's Ferry. The canal was navigable for supplies to near Poolesville.
With these depots the army from Williamsport to Poolesville was supplied with all its material wants, except as hereafter referred to in this report. The labor, however, of arranging and perfecting this system of transportation, of bringing to each depot the requisite amount, and the details of trains for the distribution of these vast supplies to the different portions of the army, was excessively onerous night and day. Immediately after the battle of Antietam, efforts were made to supply deficiencies in clothing and horses. Large requisitions were prepared and sent in. The artillery and cavalry required large numbers to cover losses sustained in battle, on the march, and by disease. Both of these arms were deficient when they left Washington. A most violent and destructive disease made its appearance at this time, which put nearly 4,000 animals out of service. Horses reported perfectly well on day would be dead or lame the next, and it was difficult to foresee where it wold end or what number would cover the los. They were attacked in the hoof and tongue. No one seemed able to account satisfactorily for the appearance of this disease. Animals kept at rest would recover in time, but could not be worked. I made application to send West and purchase horses at once, but it was refused on the ground that the outstanding contracts provided for enough. but they were not delivered sufficiently fast nor in sufficient numbers until late in October and early in November. I was authorized to buy 2,500 late in October, but the delivery was not completed until in November, after we had reached Warrenton.
There was great delay in receiving our clothing. The orders were promptly given by me and approved by General Meigs, but the roads were slow to transport, particularly the Cumberland Valley road. For instance, clothing ordered to Hagerstown on the 7th of October for the corps of Franklin, Porter, and Reynolds, did not arrive there until about the 18th, and by that time, of course, there were increased wants and changes in position of troops. The clothing, however, arrived in great quantities near the last of October, almost too late for issue, as the army was crossing into Virginia. We finally left 50,000 suits at Harper's Ferry, partly on the cars just arrived and partly in store.
During the whole of September and October we increased our stock of animals all in our power. In the beginning of October my records show that there was with the army immediately present under General McClellan about 3,219 baggage and supply wagons, some 7,880 artillery, 8,142 cavalry, and 6,471 team horses, and 10,392 mules, making some 32,885 animals in all. Many additional were absolutely necessary to move the army. (See list herewith, marked A.)
About the 1st of November following there was much improvement. My records show that, exclusive of the forces about Washington, there were 3,911 wagons, 907 ambulances, 7,139 artillery, 9,582 cavalry, and 8,693 team horses, and 12,483 mules, making 37,897 in all.
(See return herewith, marked B.) This exhibits about the number on hand when